How to Ship Your Car across America: A Complete Guide 

Brantley Kendall

14 Nov 2022 2 years ago

So you’re thinking of moving to the States? Or maybe you’re just on a road trip across the country, and your car needs to be ready for the long journey. Whatever the case, chances are you’ll need to ship your vehicle across the USA at some point! But how do you go about shipping a car safely and securely? And is it cheaper and more convenient than driving it? This post will explore your options for shipping your car across America, including the pain points and solutions for each option. When it comes to car shipping, there are a lot of things to consider. But don’t worry. We’re here to help! This post will cover everything you need to know about shipping your car across America. We’ll start by discussing the different methods of car shipping and helping you decide which one is right for you. From there, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from start to finish. We’ll also cover some of the most common car shipping myths and mistakes so that you can avoid them from the get-go. Following our tips and advice, you can rest assured that your car will arrive safely and sound at its destination. So let’s get started!

Why Ship Your Car?

You’re busy. We get it. You don’t have time to drive your car across the country. That’s why transporting it is a great option. Here are a few more reasons why you should ship your car:

  • You’re short on time: Let’s face it, driving a car across the country is a lot of work. If you’re short on time, car shipping is the way.
  • You’re not comfortable driving long distances: It can be tiring and nerve-wracking, especially if you need to get used to it.
  • You’re going on a road trip: A road trip is always more fun when you don’t have to worry about driving. Shipping your car will allow you to relax and enjoy the journey.
  • You’re moving: Moving is stressful enough without worrying about driving your car across the country. Shipping it will take care of that for you.
  • You want to save money: Driving your car across the country can be expensive, especially if you have to stop for gas and lodging. Shipping your vehicle will save you money in the long run.

There are plenty of reasons to ship your car, so get started immediately. Get started today!

Different types of auto transport services

When shipping your car across America, you have a few different options to choose from. The most common auto transport services are door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal.

  • Door-to-door transport: As it sounds, the driver will pick up your car at your doorstep and deliver it to your destination. This is the most convenient option, as minimal coordination is required.
  • Terminal-to-terminal transport: The driver will pick up your car at one terminal and deliver it to another terminal. This option can be less expensive than door-to-door transport but requires more coordination. You will need to ensure that both terminals are close to each other.
  • Expedited shipping services: If you need your car delivered quickly, consider using an expedited shipping service. These services guarantee that experts will pick up your vehicle within a specific timeframe, so you can rest assured that you’ll be behind the wheel as soon as possible.
  • Military vehicle shipping: Finally, if you are deployed or moving overseas, you might consider using a military vehicle shipping service. These services are designed specifically for members of the armed forces, and they offer a variety of benefits, such as discounted rates and guaranteed delivery dates.

Open vs. enclosed carrier vehicle shipping

When choosing how to ship your car, you have two main options: open carrier and enclosed carrier. Both have pros and cons, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.

Open vehicle shipping

Open car shipping is the most common and affordable way to ship a car. Professionals will transport your car on an open trailer with other vehicles. This means it will be exposed to the elements during transport, but it also means that more cars can fit on one trailer, which keeps the cost down.

Enclosed carrier transport

In this type of car transport, professionals will place your vehicle inside an enclosed trailer. This protects your car from the elements during transit and results in a safer, more secure delivery. There are several benefits to using an enclosed carrier for shipping your vehicle. Because your car is sheltered from outside threats, there’s a reduced risk of damage during transit. Besides, enclosed carriers typically have additional security features, such as locks and alarms, to deter thieves and keep your car safe while being transported. If you’re looking for the highest level of protection and security for your vehicle during transport, then enclosed car shipping is the right choice.

How to Choose the Right Shipping Company

You want to avoid hiring any company when shipping your car across America. You need to research and make sure you’re choosing the right one.

  • Start by comparing quotes from different companies. This will give you a good idea of the range of available prices. Then, read reviews from past customers. This will help you understand the quality of service each company provides.
  • Once you’ve narrowed your options, talk to the companies and ask questions about their process. This will help you make an informed decision about which company is right for you.
  • Before working with any auto transport company, you should check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. This will give you an idea of how they treat their customers and how well they handle complaints.
  • You should also make sure that the company is insured. This will protect you in case something goes wrong during the shipping process.
  • Finally, make sure you get everything in writing. This includes the price quote, the estimated delivery date, and the company’s policy in case of damage. This will protect you in case there is any confusion later on.

Shipping your car across America can be a hassle-free process if you take the time to do your research and choose the right shipping company.

The Cost of Shipping Your Car

So you’re considering shipping your car across America. Great idea! But before you pull the trigger, there are a few things you need to know about the cost of shipping your vehicle. First, the industry average cost to ship a car is $2 per mile for journeys less than 200 miles. $0.58 is the average per-mile cost for journeys over 200 miles. But that can vary depending on the size and weight of your vehicle. And if you’re shipping your car within the United States, it may cost you an average of $1,150. Again, that’s subject to the distance, the time of year, and many more factors that can directly or indirectly affect the cost of shipping. Distance is the most significant factor in calculating the cost of shipping your car. The farther away you are, the more it will cost to ship your vehicle.   However, that’s not all. Here are some more factors that affect the shipping cost:

  • The time of year: The peak season for car shipping is usually between May and September. During this time, demand (and prices) are higher than usual. You can save some money if you can ship outside of these months.
  • Your schedule: If you need your car shipped as soon as possible, you may have to pay a premium to get it done quickly. You can usually get a lower rate if you’re not in a hurry.
  • Accessorial services: These include things like pickup and delivery, door-to-door service, and insurance. Adding these services will increase the overall cost of shipping your vehicle.
  • Your pickup and delivery locations: The distance between where your vehicle is being picked up and dropped off also plays a role in pricing. If these locations are further apart, shipping your car will likely cost more since the driver requires more time and fuel. On the other hand, if they’re closer together. It could save you money on your total shipment price.
  • Discounts: discounts may be available if you are willing to ship your vehicle on specific dates or routes. You can save money on the total cost if you have flexibility in when and how your car is shipped.

Factors that determine the time it takes to ship your vehicle across America

You’re probably wondering how long it will take to get your car from Point A to Point B. Believe it or not, and many factors determine how long the transportation process will take. For starters, the actual transportation of your vehicle takes anywhere from around 7-14 days. It depends on various factors, like the distance between the points and the weather conditions. And then, you have to factor in the time it will take for the carrier to pick up and deliver your car. In most cases, it usually takes around two weeks.

  • The route: The distance your car travels will affect how long it takes to get from point A to point B. If you’re shipping your car from New York to California, for example, it will take longer than sending it from Pennsylvania to Virginia. Below is a quick rundown of all the possible factors affecting the shipping time.
  • The time of year:  Did you know that cars are shipped more frequently in the spring than in any other season? That’s because many people relocate during this time for work or school purposes. As a result, demand for shipping services tends to be higher from March through May, thus, affecting the availability of trucks and shipment time.  
  • The weather: Bad weather can delay shipments, so if you’re shipping your car during the winter or summer, expect potential delays.

Tips to get you started

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Figure out the model and type of your car. This will determine the shipping method that you use.
  • Choose an enclosed or open carrier. Enclosed carriers offer more protection for your car but are also more expensive.
  • Choose a door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service. Door-to-door service is more convenient, but it’s also more expensive.
  • Get quotes from multiple companies before you decide on one. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the best price.
  • Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the company that you’re using. Read the fine print carefully before you sign anything.

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Ensure all exterior parts are securely fastened—doors, mirrors, antennas, etc. You’ll also need to remove any personal items from the car, including luggage, gear, and even the spare tire. And finally, deactivate any electronic passes or tags attached to the vehicle. It’s also a good idea to book your shipment early to get the best price. Be sure to have your proof of ownership ready and a detailed list of any damage done to the car in the past. Take pictures of the car from all angles and note any valuable items inside (including parking passes, keys, etc.). This will help ensure that you’re reimbursed for any damage or theft that may occur during transport.

FAQs about Car Shipping

If you have a few questions about car shipping, we can help. Here are the most common questions we get about car shipping:

How long will it take to ship my car?

A few factors will affect how long the entire shipping process of your car across America will take. Your location, the distance of the move, and your flexibility for a delivery time frame are all essential considerations. The type of car delivery you choose can also impact the timeframe. If you’re looking for the quickest possible delivery, you’ll need to choose an enclosed carrier. But an open carrier may be a better option if you have more flexibility. Lastly, your vehicle’s size and weight are factors that will affect how long it takes to transport. Heavier and larger cars will take longer to ship than smaller and lighter vehicles.

How to help speed up the shipping process?

There are some things you can do to speed up the process. For example, choosing a direct route will help reduce the time spent in transit. And make sure you’re accurate when entering your delivery information; if there are any changes, let the carrier know as soon as possible.

What kind of shipping coverage do I need?

You don’t need to buy any insurance in particular. However, the US Department of Transportation mandates that vehicle shipping companies have enough liability coverage. The business handling your vehicle’s actual transportation must comply with this law. That’s why the carrier must have insurance.

What happens if my car is damaged during shipping?

Car shippers are liable for harm caused by their carelessness. They will also inform you about the car accident. In addition, you must familiarize yourself with the company’s policies and who you’re working with by reading the contract’s terms and asking about any concerns you may have.

Can I pack my belongings in the car?

It’s not against the law to transport your vehicle with boxes or personal belongings inside. Several businesses have different requirements and preferences for how you should transport your car and the stuff inside it.

Can I track my car’s progress online?

Many car shippers provide clients with online tracking information so they can monitor their vehicle’s whereabouts at all times. Customers with a tracking number may enter the company’s website, input the number, and get an immediate status update. If a quick update is not possible, the company will notify you by email of any delays within 24 hours. Even if the company doesn’t have an online monitoring system, you may often get an update by calling and asking for it. When others are transporting anything, they will provide automated tracking updates.

How to pay for auto transport services?

Vehicle shipping companies accept many different payment methods. Typical ones include credit card, debit card, and funds transfer using PayPal, Check, etc. Remember that paying by check may delay your shipment since the companies will wait for the bill to be cleared before initiating the car delivery process. Expect the same lag time if you want to pay via bank transfer. These days, most businesses accept payments through phone or web form submission. Avoid the convenience fee associated with online transactions by paying the vehicle transport firm directly at their office. Ask exactly how you must make the final payment before accepting delivery.


You’ve decided it’s time to move across the country. You know you’ll have to ship your car, but the thought of it makes your stomach churn. What if your vehicle is damaged in transit? What if it doesn’t make it to your new home in one piece? Relax. We’re here to help. We’ll walk you through the process of shipping your car, from start to finish, and ensure that your vehicle arrives safely at your new home. We know that shipping a car can be a stressful experience, but our years of experience have taught us how to do it right. We’ll take care of everything for you, from picking up your car and delivering it to your new home to ensuring that it’s properly insured. Shipping your car doesn’t have to be a headache. Let us take care of everything for you.

Brantley Kendall