Learn How Car Shipping Services Can Help You Transport Your Vehicle in the USA

Brantley Kendall

06 Feb 2023 1 year ago

You’ve just spent a lot of money on a new car, or you finally have the time to take that cross-country road trip you’ve been dreaming about for years. But there’s one problem getting your vehicle from Point A to Point B. The thought of putting thousands of miles on your new car is enough to make anyone cringe, and driving for days (or even weeks) straight isn’t exactly a vacation. That’s where auto transport companies come in.

 Your auto transport company will pack your vehicle in a shipping container and transport it to its destination. While there, it will be offloaded from the ship and driven to its new location. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the distance between the pick-up point and drop-off location.

Generally, it will cost more to transport a car to an international destination than a domestic one. Also, if you have a rare or vintage car, it will cost more to ship it. In this blog, you will learn about the auto transport process and the benefits of hiring such a service.

The process of transporting your vehicle

 Transporting your vehicle can be challenging, whether you’re shipping your car across the country or just across town. But if you follow these simple steps, you can ensure that your vehicle arrives safe and sound.

Get a few documents ready. 

Before you begin shipping your vehicle to another country, you will need to obtain a few documents. These include a bill of sale, vehicle title, registration, and insurance information.

  • Bill of lading: A bill of lading is a document that details the specifics of the shipment, such as the origin, destination, and any additional services required. It is crucial to provide a copy of this document to the shipping company to ensure that your vehicle is shipped safely and securely.
  • Vehicle Title:  The vehicle title is a legal document that identifies the vehicle’s owner and is required for the transport of the car. It is essential to provide this document to the shipping company to ensure that the car is delivered to the correct person.
  • Vehicle registration: It is a document issued by the state or country in which the vehicle is registered. It is crucial to provide this document to the shipping company as it proves that the car is legally registered and is allowed to be transported.

Choose a reputable company.

Once you have all the necessary paperwork, you will need to find a reputable shipping company that offers international shipping services. Make sure to get quotes from multiple companies before making a decision. There are a few things you should take into consideration when choosing an auto transport company.

  • Check Company’s registration: Make sure the Company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can check this by going to the FMCSA website and searching for the Company’s name in the registration database.
  • Get quotes from multiple companies: It is also a good idea to get quotes from various companies before making a final decision. This will allow you to compare prices and services to find the best option for your needs. When you have selected a company, be sure to ask about its policies and procedures. This will help you understand what to expect during the shipping process.
  • Look for online reviews of the Company’s services. Reviews can tell you a lot about how a company operates, so check out reviews from former customers before signing up with any auto-transporter service provider. This will give you valuable insight into their level of customer service and help ensure that the Company you select is committed to providing quality services at competitive rates.
  • Get firsthand experiences: Speak with friends and family who have used an auto transport company. Getting firsthand experiences from people you trust is an excellent way to assess each Company’s quality honestly.
  • Check insurance coverage: Ask each potential transporter what type of insurance they have to protect your vehicle in case of damage or theft while in transit. It’s also essential to ensure they are insured for both damages to your car and liability in case of an accident while they are transporting it.

 Prepare your vehicle for shipping.

This involves cleaning it inside and out, removing all personal items from the interior, and ensuring there is enough fuel in the tank for transport purposes. You may also be required to disable certain features like alarms or GPS systems before shipment.

  • Please take photos of your vehicle before you hand it over to the shipping company.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good working condition and is free of mechanical issues.
  • Remove any personal items from the car, including any valuables.
  • Make sure the gas tank is a quarter full at maximum.
  • Remove or secure any loose parts, such as spoilers and antennae.
  • Clean the exterior of your car and ensure no fluids are leaking.
  • Check the tire pressure and make sure the tires are properly inflated.
  • Make sure the battery is charged and in working condition.
  • Make sure the car is well-secured on the shipping truck
  • Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork ready for delivery.

Schedule pick-up

 When you want to schedule the pick-up of your vehicle with an auto transport company, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

  • You’ll need to figure out when you want your car picked up. Most companies have a schedule they adhere to, so it’s vital to ensure that the date and time you choose work with their schedule.
  • You’ll also need to consider where you want your car picked up and delivered. Again, most companies run specific routes, so it’s crucial to ensure that your pick-up and delivery locations fit within their route network.
  • You’ll also need to decide whether you want door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service. Door-to-door service is often more expensive but can be worth it for convenience. Terminal-to-terminal service is typically cheaper but will require you to drop off and pick up your vehicle at one of the Company’s terminals – which may not be convenient depending on your location.

Pay for shipping

The cost to ship a car in the USA will depend on the distance, the size of the car, and the type of transport you choose. Generally, if you are shipping a vehicle in the USA, you can expect to pay around $500 to $2,000, depending on the specifics of your shipment. If you are shipping abroad, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size, weight, and distance. Before choosing a car shipping service, it is essential to compare the rates of different companies to ensure you get the best deal.

  • Size of the vehicle: Larger vehicles will cost more to transport than smaller ones. This is because they take up more space on the transport truck and therefore require more fuel to move them.
  • Distance of the transport: Shorter distances will generally cost less than longer ones, as it takes less time and fuel to move the vehicle a shorter distance.
  • Enclosed trailer vs. an open-air carrier: Enclosed trailers provide more protection for your car but are also more expensive. Open-air carriers are less expensive but offer less protection from weather and road debris.
  • Door-to-door delivery vs. terminal-to-terminal delivery: It is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal delivery since it enables you to enjoy the ease and convenience of hiring an auto transport company.
  • Time of year: Shipping rates are typically higher during peak season, which runs from late spring through early fall. If you have some flexibility when shipping your car, consider doing so outside of peak season to save money.

Handover, the car to the auto transport company

Contact the auto transport company on the scheduled pick-up date and time to confirm that the driver is on his way. Meet the driver at the pick-up location and sign the necessary paperwork. Inspect the vehicle for any damage that may have occurred during transport.

Track your vehicle

Most auto transport companies offer tracking services that allow you to view the current status of your vehicle’s transport. By using the Company’s online tracking system, you can see the exact location of your car along its route and track it from pick up to delivery. You can also receive regular updates from your transport company regarding your vehicle’s journey progress.

Receive the delivery of your vehicle

  • Visually inspect your vehicle for any exterior damage that occurred during transport.
  • Make sure you have all your documents in order before signing off on the delivery.
  • Ensure that the auto transport company has provided you with proof of insurance for your vehicle.
  • Test drive your vehicle to ensure that it is running correctly and that all systems are functioning properly.
  • Ensure that all the accessories and add-ons you requested to be installed on your vehicle have been appropriately established.
  • Ensure you are given a copy of the bill of lading and any other paperwork related to the shipment.
  • Ensure that the auto transport company has provided you with a copy of the driver’s log book and other relevant documents.
  • Ensure you have all the keys, alarm remotes, and other items that were sent with your vehicle during shipment.
  • Make sure the driver is adequately compensated for their time and effort.
  • Ensure that you can contact the auto transport company in case there are any issues with the delivery.

The benefits of using an auto transport service

If you want to move your car or truck across the USA, consider hiring an auto transport service. Auto transport services offer an affordable, safe and convenient way to transport your vehicle from one location to another. Here are some of the benefits of using an auto transport service:

  • Save time and money: An auto transport service can save you both time and money. With their professional equipment and trained staff, they can help you get your vehicle from point A to point B quickly, efficiently, and safely. You no longer have to worry about driving long distances or dealing with costly repairs due to wear and tear on the road.
  • Safe and secure transportation: When you use an auto transport service, you can rest assured that experts will take care of your vehicle during transit. Professional companies use specialized equipment to ensure that your car is safely secured during its journey, without any damage or accidents occurring along the way.
  • Flexible options: Auto transport services offer a variety of options so that you can find one that best meets your needs. Whether you need open or closed-air transportation, door to door delivery, or terminal-to-terminal drop-offs, there’s a solution for you.
  • Licensed and insured carriers: When choosing an auto transport company, ensure they are licensed and insured for your peace of mind. This will ensure that their insurance policy covers any damage caused to your vehicle during transit and that they follow all federal regulations to provide a safe and secure service for all customers.

How long does it take to transport your vehicle?

The time it takes to transport a vehicle varies depending on the distance, method of transportation, and other factors. Generally, a car can take anywhere from 1-14 days to be delivered.

  • Distance: The farther the destination, the longer it will take to transport your vehicle.
  • Weather: Inclement weather can cause delays in transportation, as roads may be closed off and transportation providers may be limited.
  • Road/traffic conditions: Heavy traffic or road construction can affect the time it takes to transport a vehicle.
  • Time of year: During peak transportation seasons, there may be an increased demand and longer wait times.
  • Customs: If a vehicle needs to be transported across international borders, it will require additional paperwork and processing times.

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to do before transporting my vehicle?

Before transporting a vehicle, you should ensure that it is in good working condition and that you have all the required documents, including the vehicle title and registration. Additionally, it is a good idea to take pictures of the vehicle before it is loaded onto the transport truck to document its condition.

How long does it take for my vehicle to be transported?

The time for transporting a vehicle depends on the distance of the shipment and the type of transport truck used. Generally, shipments within the same state can take anywhere from one to five days, while shipments from one state to another can take up to two weeks.

What type of insurance is provided for my vehicle during transportation?

Most auto transport companies provide basic liability coverage for vehicles during transportation. However, you may be able to purchase additional coverage for additional peace of mind.

Is it safe to ship my vehicle across state lines?

Yes, it is safe to ship a vehicle across state lines. If you select an experienced and reputable auto transport company, the auto transport company will safely and securely transport your vehicle.

What type of transport should I choose?

This depends on your budget and the level of convenience you need. Open transport is usually the most affordable option, while enclosed transport is typically more expensive but provides increased protection.

Is insurance included in the cost of transport?

 Yes, all reputable auto transport companies will provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transport.

Can I ship my vehicle to an overseas destination?

Yes, you can ship your vehicle to an overseas destination, but the cost and process will differ from shipping to a domestic destination.


By choosing an auto transport service, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be transported safely, securely, and affordably from one location to another within the USA. From door-to-door delivery services to flexible options, their experienced staff and specialized equipment will help make sure your car arrives at its destination quickly!

Brantley Kendall