How To Ship A Car To Another State?

Brantley Kendall

14 Feb 2022 2 years ago

How do you ship a car to another state? Millions of Americans ask this question every year when they decide to relocate their automobiles, which is why the vehicle shipping industry in the USA has reached a valuation of $12 billion. Whether you’re traveling for work, moving out of an old house into a new home, or relocating across the country, shipping a car is often part of the process.

Shipping your vehicle from one state to another is not as difficult a task as it may seem. But many minute details need attention and consideration before you actually go ahead and hire a company for interstate car shipping services

So, if you are wondering how to transport a car to another state, you came to the right place. In this article, we will break down everything you need to do and how do to it properly, so that your car arrives safely in another state.

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

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Ship a Car from Florida to Massachusetts (and vice-versa)
Ship Car From Florida To New York (and vice-versa)
Ship A Car From California To Florida (and vice-versa)
Ship Car From California To Texas (and vice-versa)
Shipping a Car From California To Georgia (and vice-versa)
Ship car from California to New York (and vice-versa)
Ship A Car From California To Virginia (And Vice-versa)
Ship A Car From California To Michigan (And Vice-versa)

5 Different Ways to Ship a Car from One State to Another

To move a car from one state to another, you have five major shipping options to choose from. While all of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, the best option for you will depend primarily (but not only) on the home state and the destination state. Distance plays an important role when transporting a vehicle from one state to another. Additionally, you should also consider the impact of weather conditions on car transportation, as these may affect the timeframe and cost of the journey.

Based on this and several other factors, you can choose between these five car shipping options to ship cars to different states:

1. Drive It Yourself

If you are thinking about how to transport a car from one state to another, the first way that might come to your mind is driving it yourself. Driving down to the new place that you are moving to is one of the best ways to ship a car out of state. You won’t have to depend on anyone else and can drive as per your schedule.

Moreover, you can treat this as an opportunity to take a road trip and explore another state. This way, you can let your hair down, relax, unwind, and enjoy some time with family or friends.

In fact, when it comes to state-to-state car transport, you may find that driving it yourself is easier than any other alternative. Not only is this medium widely used by people, but it can also help you reconnect with nature.

However, the biggest disadvantage of driving it yourself when shipping your car to another state is the length of the journey. This is especially true if you are moving from one side of the country to the opposite side of the country. For example, if you are moving from a city like San Diego or Dallas to a city like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, the distance is going to be between 2,700 and 3,200 miles.

This makes it a 40–50 hour non-stop drive. Considering you will make multiple stops during a journey as long as this, it could take you at least 10 days to move a vehicle from state to state. Naturally, this becomes an overwhelming, exhausting, and physically draining journey. Not to mention how expensive the trip would become given you’d have to consider the skyrocketing fuel, car repairs, food & accommodation for at least 10 days.

2. Hire Someone to Drive It For You

Shipping a car to another state yourself can be exhausting. An alternative you could look into involves hiring someone else to drive it for you. A professional driver with a good track record and referrals can help you transport your car from state to state.

The biggest benefit of hiring someone to do the driving for you is that you can put your luggage in the car and save on the money you’d have to pay packers and movers. 

However, such professionals can be expensive, and you might have to pay for additional insurance as well. Moreover, it can be an uphill task to find a trustworthy professional driver who will take care of your car.

3. Use a Train Shipping Service

This might surprise you, but you can actually use a train service to ship your car. If you catch yourself thinking about how much it costs to transport a car to another state via train, you should know that in addition to the train fare, there are added costs that you will have to bear.

For example, you will have to make sure that your car is properly packed and secured before it is loaded on the train to prevent damage during the journey. The loading and unloading expenses can also pinch your moving costs.

In addition to this, when you search for options on how to ship a car to another state via train, you will find that not all trains offer routes across the country. There are only a handful of routes where trains ply to ship cars as cargo while the rest are merely passenger trains.

4. Use an Airplane Shipping Service

You might be aware of how many people opt for air cargo to get their belongings and personal items shipped to them since it is the fastest way to do so.

Before you ask how much car shipping costs from one state to another via airplane, the end-to-end cost can set you back by anything between $3,000 and $5,000. Now, this might not be the cheapest way to ship a car to another state, but it is definitely the safest and fastest way to do so. However, the cost may be too much for the average American.

Nevertheless, if your car is a collectible, rare, antique, or one in a million, the cost of transporting a car to another state is perhaps the last concern on your mind since the car is too valuable to entertain cost-cutting measures. In that scenario, it makes perfect sense to pay the air freight charges and get your precious car delivered to you safely.

5. Use an Auto Transport Service

Let’s get back to the main point: in shipping your car to another state, all that matters is cost-efficiency, speed, and safety. A fuss-free option that checks all the boxes is using an auto transport service that will help you with state-to-state car transport.

Using auto transport services isn’t just the cheapest but also the most reliable shipping method. These companies take care of everything to securely ship a car out of state. SAKAEM comprehensively takes care of your car throughout the entire trip. From loading and unloading, traversing through rough terrain, and driving even in the roughest weather conditions to reach the destination in door-to-door delivery. With decades of experience in transporting automobiles across the country, come hell or high water, your car will be delivered to you safely and on time.

Moreover, you can customize the process however you want – schedule pick-up time and date as you wish and stay on top of the transport with regular updates.

Types of Car Shipping Options

There are two primary types of car shipping options that you can choose from based on your requirement, budget, and convenience. The two options you can choose from are:

1. Open Car Shipping

Think of an open trailer truck and a car mounted on top of it, secured by harnesses and ropes – this is exactly what open car shipping looks like. It’s the most common method of shipping your car to another state and also the most budget-friendly option.

Open trailers are essentially large flatbeds with no sides or tops, so they do not offer protection from the elements. If you account for the driver’s rest periods during cross-country trips, you may be dissuaded from open transport since the car will have to remain exposed. However, don’t be mistaken – this form of long-distance car shipping is still very safe, reliable, and definitely the most affordable.

2. Enclosed Car Shippings

Enclosed car shipping involves transporting your car inside a container. This method is often preferred when transporting rare or exotic cars that have significant value, as it reduces the risk of damage to the car during transit.

It protects your car from all the outside elements and has security measures in place should someone attempt to enter the trailer. However, this option is more expensive than opting for open shipping to move vehicles from state to state.

But, is enclosed auto transport worth the extra cost? It might be, especially if transporting luxury cars, antiques, and priceless vehicles. SAKAEM Logistics offers both options, and, thanks to our years of experience in professional car transport, we can easily advise you on the best solution tailored to you. Simply reach out to our shipping experts, and they’ll be glad to help out.

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

Different Types of Car Shipping Services

After deciding on the type of car shipping option, the next thing to do is to choose the type of car shipping service. This step is crucial to define how long it will take for your car to be picked up from its current place and delivered to its destination.

When you transport a car from one state to another, these are the two car shipping services you can choose from:

Expedited Pick-Up

Expedited pick-up services are great if you have a strict time constraint on your car shipping. This service stipulates that your car will be picked up for transport within 24 hours of the specified ship date. For example, if you are moving on the 1st and need your car by the 2nd, you can use this service to guarantee that your carrier picks up your vehicle on the 1st or 2nd.

Express Auto Transport

If you want to send a car to another state and have a fair amount of time on your hands, you can opt for an express auto transport service, which will pick up your car a few days from the booking date.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Another State?

When shipping a car interstate, one of the obvious concerns on your mind will be the cost to do so. But is it possible to choose an auto transport company that will cater to all your needs and not burn a hole in your pocket at the same time? Absolutely!

Let’s consider the factors that influence the cost of state-to-state car transport:

  • Distance: The distance between pickup and delivery location. The further away, the more it will cost.
  • The type of carrier you choose: An enclosed carrier is more expensive than an open carrier. Enclosed carriers protect the vehicle from dirt, debris, and weather. They also provide security if you’re shipping a classic car or other high-end vehicles.
  • Pickup and delivery services: Most carriers offer regular and express shipping options. As you might expect, choosing the latter will subsequently run up the total costs.
  • Time Frame: If you need your vehicle picked up or delivered within a certain time frame, this can drive up the cost of shipping.
  • Car type: The size and type of car you are shipping will also determine how much it will cost. For example, high-end sports cars with modifications that alter their dimensions may be more expensive to move than their stock models. Similarly, larger vehicles such as trucks or vans will take up more space than smaller cars and so cost more.

To reduce the cost of interstate car shipping, you can make advance bookings to beat the surcharges, ask for discounts, and make sure that you choose a time of the year that does not increase the number of days it takes to ship a car to a different state.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car to Another State?

The time needed to transport a car to another state largely depends on the distance between the city the car is being shipped to from the city where the car is right now.

To illustrate with an example, transporting a vehicle from Oregon to Massachusetts, one needs to travel 3,000 miles. Assuming that an experienced trailer driver is able to drive 300 miles in a day, it will take them at least 10 days to reach the destination given no hindrance en route. 

Another important factor that can help you understand the time taken to ship a car to another state is the terrain that the driver has to drive through. Trailers can travel smoother and faster on plains than in hills, mountains, or deserts.

How Does the Process of Shipping a Car to Another State Work?

Now, it’s time to talk practical terms. So, how do you ship a car to another state? Take a look:

Get a Quote

Look for a reliable and trustworthy auto shipping company with credible customer reviews. Share your requirements with them and get a quote. Negotiate the price if necessary. Give them the details like pick-up and drop-off point, your choice between open and enclosed, and all the details regarding your car.

Pick Up

The dispatcher usually calls you once a driver is assigned to pick up your vehicle. Typically, drivers call 24–48 hours before the pickup date, but some may call earlier. The driver will then give you a firm pickup date/time, confirm all of the details and answer your questions.


Before signing off for the delivery, check the car for any damages and sign the Bill of Lading if everything is in order. Do not become overly complacent in the excitement of receiving your car all safe and sound – some minor kinds of damage may not be immediately apparent, so take extra time to perform a thorough inspection.

How to Get a Quote to Ship a Car to Another State?

The easiest way to obtain a quote is by filling out an online form from the transport company. The first step is to provide pick-up and delivery information by entering your zip code, origin city, destination city, and dates of availability for pick-up and delivery. If you have selected expedited service, be sure to add in the date of required delivery.

Next, the auto shipping company will also require your car’s details. Include the year, make, model, and any special instructions, such as if it’s non-running or has been modified. You also need to indicate if there are any special requirements for shipping your vehicle.

Upon completing the process, the system will calculate a price quote based on the information entered and then allow you to book the order.

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

How to Find the Best Company to Ship My Car to Another State?

Picking the best company involves more than just checking their apparent reputability by looking up their Google Review score and BBB rating. 

First, find out what type of vehicles they usually ship. If they usually deal with big rigs and this is your first car, they probably won’t be ideal. Also, look at their history and find out if they have any major complaints against them. Then, see how long they have been in business as there are plenty of new companies out there that are just trying to make a quick buck.

Remember, companies offering car shipping services for relocating people are a dime a dozen; the trick is to pick the right one that can accommodate all your needs and offer a safe and convenient way to ship a car to another state.  Plus, by shopping around and getting a range of different quotes, you can narrow down your search and focus on those companies that offer the best quality for the cheapest car shipping rates.

Shipping a Car to Another State – FAQ

What documents do I need to ship a car to another state?

Before commencing the process, you’ll need to gather a few documents. This will include registration, purchase documents, and insurance.

How to send a car to another state with personal items?

Some auto transport companies allow you to transport a car from one state to another with a few boxes of your personal belongings. Larger items like sofas, chairs or tables aren’t allowed, as auto shipping companies don’t let customers ship furniture during car transport.

What should I do before I move my car to another state?

Make sure that all your valuables and personal items are removed, there is a little bit of gas and the tires are well inflated.

How do I pay to transport vehicles from one state to another?

Most providers accept cash, credit or debit cards, and mobile wallets like PayPal.

Does the car transportation service from state to state cover insurance?

Some companies do. To know how to ship a vehicle to another state, make sure that you check with the auto transport company about their insurance coverage policy.

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

The Takeaway

Now that you know how to ship a car to another state, you can begin your decision-making process. As we’ve explained, there certainly is a lot to consider before making your choice. From enclosed vs. open shipping, to the method of transportation and all the intricacies and minute details of the process – it’s a whole ordeal.

This makes picking a reliable shipping company paramount to saving yourself from unwanted headaches. Sakaem Logistics offers comprehensive services to take the burden off your shoulders. See how much it will cost to ship a car with us and order a quote today.
You may also read: How to Prepare a Car for Shipping: A Guide

Brantley Kendall