How to Move Your Car to Another State

Brantley Kendall

21 Mar 2023 1 year ago

It is always a task to do something for the first time and we understand that when it comes to your dear car. Every holiday season calls for a good long trip to a new place, even a new state; that’s when you miss your car the most for all the convenience. That’s when our role comes in, we at Sakaem Logistics help you with car shipping or relocation anywhere in the world.

Let us help you in understanding various details about car shipping.

What is car shipping?

Car shipping/ transport is a way of relocating your car from a source to a destination in a carrier through a third party, known as car shipping services.

The auto transport industry is a vast and complex one, with many different processes and procedures to consider. If you’re looking to transport your vehicle, you may be asking yourself, “How does auto transport services work?”

Auto transport services typically involve a customer requesting a quote for the transport of their vehicle from one location to another. The customer will provide the auto transport company with details such as the type of vehicle, the pick-up and delivery locations, and any special instructions. The auto transport company will provide an estimated cost and pick-up date. Upon approval, a driver will be assigned to collect the vehicle and transport it to the delivery location. The customer gets updates throughout the process and get notification once the vehicle has been successfully delivered.

Why opt for car shipping services?

You might be moving to a new state for a mini vacation or for a job or any other personal reasons; that’s when you would want to spend your time understanding and settling in the new place. It won’t make sense to spend time chalking out the plan for driving your car to the new place. It would add to your overall anxiety and hassle.

So, the best way is to get a car shipping service provider that can minimize the stress by moving your car to another state. There are so many reasons why you should let a car shipping service do this task for you.

  • It minimizes your hassle while shifting to a new state.
  • Car shipping companies are experts at what they do, so you can expect a smooth pickup and delivery of your car.
  • Driving across long distances and crossing borders can be overwhelming, and car shipping services have a process to get this sorted. This will take the burden off your shoulder.
  • Car shipping companies use large trailers to transport your car which protects your car from wear and tear over long-distance driving sprees.
  • Car shipping companies have insurance coverages that cover any mishaps that may happen during the transit, which makes it a reliable and trustworthy service.

Types of Car shipping

You can ship your car using different types of transport offered by the car shipping company. There are variations depending on many factors.

Understanding the different types of car shipping services will help you make an educated decision regarding which service is right for you.

Open car transport

When the car shipping company offers to transport your car in an open truck trailer, then it is known as open car transport. It is one of the most commonly used transport mediums by people in the country.


  • The cheapest option to transport your car from one place to another.
  • A readily available option as it is always in demand.


  • Open transport exposes your car to elements like sunlight, dust, and dirt.
  • Since it is easily available, availability at short notice might be difficult.

Enclosed car transport

Enclosed car transport is when your car is transported in an enclosed trailer.


  • It protects your car from external elements like sunlight, dirt, and debris.
  • If you have a good budget to protect your car, then enclosed car transport can be a good option.


  • It is not a readily available option as it requires experienced carriers.
  • If you have a limited budget, then this type of transport may not be fit for you.

Door-to-door car shipping

Door-to-door car shipping is one of the easiest options for shipping your car. Under this type, the carrier picks up and drops off the car from their end. You do not have to go through the stress of taking your car to the company.


  • A convenient option for people who have busy schedules.
  • Door-to-door shipping is a hassle-free choice for people who are trying car shipping services for the first time.


  • Door-to-door shipping can be an expensive choice so if you are low on budget, it might not be a fit for you.
  • If you live in a high-security or gated society, then getting permission for a truck trailer’s entry into the premises may not be possible, adding to your stress.

Terminal-to-terminal car shipping

Every car shipping company has a station/ terminal in the major cities where they operate in. You can choose to drop off your car at your nearest terminal and then, pick up the car from the nearest terminal at the destination.


  • Since you are doing a bit from your end, the overall car shipping will be minimized. It is a cost-effective option.
  • If you live in a gated or high-security area, then terminal-to-terminal car shipping can be super convenient for you.


  • The car shipping company’s terminals are located on the outskirts of the city, so if you live in an interior area then, reaching the terminal may add to your cost and can also prove to be a hassle.
  • If you are not available on time to take the delivery at the destination terminal, then the car shipping companies may charge you extra money for storage.

Choosing the right car shipping company

More than half of your stress will be subsided, if you make the right choice of the car shipping company to relocate your car to another state. There are a few quick pointers that can help you in finding the car shipping company that will be appropriate and credible to move your car from one state to another.

Factors to consider for choosing the right car shipping company

  • Check for registration

First and the foremost thing to look for when shortlisting a car shipping company is to check its legitimacy. You can do that by checking the company license and registration details at Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) under the Department Of Transport(DOT) which offers accreditation to companies in the car shipping industry. A well-established will always be transparent to look up the web for details about its registration. If you are having trouble finding the license, then you must avoid that particular car shipping company.

  • Look for insurance coverage

Once the car shipping company’s legitimacy and credibility are established, check the website or connect with the team to get the details about insurance coverage offered by the company. As you are planning to move your car to another state, you must know the insurance details, if God forbid, your car undergoes any accident or mishap during the transit.

Getting to know the insurance specifications in advance will help you to leave no room for confusion once you finalize the car shipping company that fits your budget and need.

  • Types of transport service offerings

When you are moving your car to another state, you should opt for a car shipping service that offers all the possible ways of transporting your car. Different types of transport vary as per your needs and budget. The most common choices are between open or enclosed car transport trailers and the type of delivery between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal. A reputable and experienced company will have all the choices available for you depending on your requirement as well as the size and condition of your vehicle and the distance between the source and the destination.

  • Cancellation policy

Some auto shipping companies give you a quote that is too good to be true but till the time of delivery, they add multiple surprise charges which can often disturb your initial planned budget. So, it is advised to get a detailed quote from any company taking into consideration all the stages from pickup to the delivery of the car.

We understand that sometimes there may be a change of plans due to which you might have to cancel your car shipping, so for such situations, it is advised that as a hygiene step, you must always check the company’s cancellation policy so that you are prepared for any expected charges that might come your way.

  • Payment options/ modes

It is ideal to do part payment for your car delivery. One in advance and another half at the time of delivery once you have verified the condition of your car. The most preferred payment method is usually a cheque or cash on delivery (COD). It is wise to understand the payment modes available by different car shipping companies before making your final choice.

  • Years of experience in the field

Since it is about transporting your car to another state through some third party, it requires you to trust and rely on the car shipping company and its carriers. Choose a reputable company that has been in the business for quite a few years as these car shipping agencies will have a well-established network of reliable carriers who will ensure the safety and protection of your car at all costs during the transit.

  • Success stories and reviews

Once you check all the above boxes, check for the company’s reviews and past customer testimonials. It will give you a fair idea of the quality of services offered by the auto shipping company. If possible, try to get in touch with some past customers to have an understanding of the entire process from pickup to delivery of the vehicle at the desired location.

However, before doing your research, always choose to ask for recommendations from your friends and family if they have used any such services in the past. Connecting to an agency through an acquaintance makes it easy to trust the service provider.

Deciding on the car shipping company

Once all the above-mentioned factors are considered, you must shortlist 3 car shipping companies and request price quotes from each one of them. Get a customized quote as per your choice of transport, distance, car size, and model for an accurate comparison. Having multiple quotes will help you make an informed decision and you will be able to have the most cost-effective deal for shipping your car to another state.

Questions to ask a car transport company before hiring them

Before you finalize the auto shipping company, always ask them the following questions for a better understanding –

  • How much time will it take to ship my car?
  • Which type of transport would you suggest for my car?
  • How can I track my car during transit?
  • Will everything be done within my given budget?
  • What are the available options for pickup and delivery of my car?

Factors that impact the cost of car shipping

The cost of shipping your car will never be absolute as it depends on many factors that are variable in nature and will differ from customer to customer. Following are all the possible points that will decide the cost of shipping your car to another state.

  • Distance

The distance between the source and the destination will decide the initial cost of shipping your car. Auto shipping companies have base charges for some standard distances, the distances beyond that are calculated with per-mile charges as fixed by the concerned company.

  • Size, model, and weight of the car

The specs of your car will also affect the price quoted by the car shipping company. When you are shipping your car to another state, the size will decide the kind of trailer required to carry your car. If your car is a limited edition, vintage, or sports car, it would demand special attention during the transport and hence, it will also boost your cost of shipping your car across the state.

  • Season

The season of auto transport is also an important factor when deciding the cost of shipping your car. Usually, summer is considered the peak season for all auto transport companies. Other than that, extreme weather conditions like snow, rainfall, or tornados can also increase the overall cost of shipping your car.

  • Type of transport

The choice of the trailer between open and enclosed and transport options between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal delivery will also affect the final quote for shipping your car across the state.

  • Delivery time flexibility

Your desired delivery window can see a rise or fall in the price. It is recommended to be flexible with delivery timings as it gives the car shipping company to decide the day at their own convenience, thereby cutting down your final cost at the end. Cooperation with the car shipping company can get you a lot of discounts till the final payment, so always approach the auto shipping service provider in advance to avoid paying any high price for early delivery.

The average cost of car shipping your car to another state can be between $1000 – $2000, which is definitely subject to all the factors mentioned above.

How to get an accurate car shipping quote from the company?

The right way to get an accurate car shipping quote is to get in touch with the company’s representative and share all your requirements and get a customized quote. At Sakaem Logistics, to start with you can use our shipping cost calculator which will give you a rough estimate depending on your car’s model, type of transport, and distance. Once you add in details from your end, our calculator will generate an instant cost with you and upon sharing your contact details, a person from our team will get in touch with you for a more detailed discussion. It is our policy to serve our customers at every step with complete transparency for a hassle-free car shipping experience. 

Preparing your car for shipping

Once you have finalized everything with the car shipping company, it is time to prepare your car for transport. There are some mandatory steps that you must follow for an easy and stress-free car shipping experience.

  • Wash your car to have a clear view of any existing marks or dents on the car.
  • Get the mechanic check-up done to understand the car’s overall health, battery level, tires, and levels of car fluids.
  • Remove all your personal belongings from the car so that the weight is minimum.
  • Fit all the loose accessories or remove the ones that cannot be repaired. Alternatively, you can also secure some external parts with cello tape and bubble wrap to protect them from any jerk or damage during transit.
  • Disable all the alarms and toll tags before loading your car onto the trailer so that there is no alarming moment during the transport.
  • Keep the fuel ¼ full for easy loading and unloading of your vehicle. If your car is not in an operable state, then you must keep the gas tank empty to reduce the weight of the car.
  • Have all the necessary documents handy to share with the carrier as he might need them for entering another state.
  • Have a spare set of keys to share with the carrier, in case of any emergency during transit.
  • Click images of your car from all angles before loading it onto the trailer, also take pics of the interior such as the odometer reading, so that you can compare the condition of your car at the time of delivery.
  • If there are any leaks or other specifications unique to your car, make it a point to inform about it to the carrier so that he is prepared for it in advance without causing any delay in your car’s delivery at your given location.

What to expect on the day of pickup and delivery?

On the day of pickup, keep the documents, spare set of keys, and your car ready for loading onto the trailer, get the tracking link from the carrier to track the location of your car at any given point in time. If there are any doubts, get them cleared with the carrier in advance so that there is no room for confusion during transit or at the time of delivery.

Coordinate with the carrier during the car’s delivery so that you can be there to attend to your car and verify the condition of your car. Be there at the location, and thoroughly check your car before signing the final papers of confirmation of delivery and making the payment to the car shipping company. Take your time to properly scan through your car to see for any hidden damage or loss, to avoid any confusion later. Once you sign the final Bill of Lading and make the payment, you cannot claim any insurance coverage.

How to check your car for any damages after delivery?

Verify your car with the images that you took at the time of pickup before the shipping. See for any changes or modifications and if you find any discrepancy or potential damage, you can connect with the car shipping company to state your problem. The car shipping company will then connect with the insurance company to take action on the matter.

Car shipping insurance

Car shipping insurance protects your car against any potential damage or loss that might occur during the transport of your car from one state to another state.

It is important to have your car insured for shipping to cover the expenses that might go into repairing your car against any loss that may occur due to an accident while transiting the car from one state to another.

Types of car shipping insurance

  1. Carrier insurance

This insurance is mandatory for any carrier. This insurance covers the losses that may occur by the carrier during the transit of the car from one state to another.

However, it is pertinent to know that incidents like Acts of God such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc. are not covered by insurance. Even acts of terrorism and anything causing civil unrest also lies outside the carrier insurance claim.

  1. Broker insurance

It is just supplemental insurance that the car shipping companies may use to lure in customers. You must opt for this insurance after mindful consideration and reading all the conditions carefully for avoiding any discrepancies.  

You must understand that the damages and losses can only be covered through carrier insurance, so ensure that you clearly check the carrier insurance and all the details mentioned in the insurance policy offered by the car shipping company.

How to make a claim if your car is damaged during shipping?

Firstly, compare your car at delivery with the images that you took right before loading your car onto the transport trailer, if you notice any discrepancy get in touch with the car shipping company to address your concern.

Upon understanding your problem, the car shipping company will connect with the insurance agency. The agency will then send a representative to your location to verify your claims of damage and if found liable, then you would be compensated for the same depending on the values mentioned in the signed policy.

In a nutshell, shipping your car to another state can be a stress-free process if you understand various aspects like the types of transport and delivery, factors affecting your cost and choice of the shipping company as well as types of insurance that you need to know. Once you understand these basics of car shipping, then no one can stop you from experiencing hassle-free shipping without you having to drive your car across the state.

If you want to know more about car shipping then check out our other blogs and articles to clear your doubts. If that seems like a lot of work, then simply get in touch with us and our proactive team will get in touch with you to address all your queries about shipping your car with us. Don’t let the complexities of car shipping bother you, just connect with us and make this easy for you and your precious car.

Most Common Questions People Also Ask (PAA):

How much does it cost to move a car to another state?

You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for coast-to-coast transport across the country, while shorter distances may cost between $500 and $1,000.

How long does it take to ship a car to another state?

On average, if the distance is up to 2000 miles, it will take 1-2 days and if more distance, then it may take from 7-9 days.

Is it better to use an open or enclosed car carrier for shipping?

The choice depends on the type of car and your budget for shipping your car. However, an enclosed car carrier is a better option in terms of protecting your car.

What are the risks of shipping a car?

There might be a risk of theft or damage to your car during the transit, however, insurance coverage is offered by the shipping companies for such situations.

Can I ship personal items in my car?

It is recommended to not ship any personal items in the car.

What documents are needed for car shipping?

You need to have a copy of your driving license, a report of the car’s condition, registration documents for your car, and any active insurance policy. Get in touch with the shipping company for more details.

How do I prepare my car for shipping?

You must wash your car, get a mechanical checkup, secure or remove any external accessories, look out for any leaks or fluid checks, disable all alarms and toll tags, and click pictures of your car before shipping.

What happens if my car is damaged during shipping?

You can claim insurance coverage offered by the car shipping company at the beginning of shipping.

What should I look for when choosing a car transport company?

You must go for an experienced, reputable company with proper registration and license from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA).  

Is car shipping insurance necessary?

Yes, it is necessary to protect your car from any potential damage or loss during the shipping process.

Brantley Kendall