Long-Distance Car Transport – Choosing the Right Car Shipping Services

Harish Makam

16 Aug 2023 8 months ago

Are you considering a long-distance move or buying a car from another state? Long-distance car transport can be a practical and efficient solution to get your vehicle to its destination without adding unnecessary mileage. At SAKAEM Logistics, we offer a reliable long-distance auto transport service.

Long-distance car transport has gained significant popularity in recent years. As our lives become more interconnected and mobile, the demand for such services has grown exponentially. Whether moving for work, retiring to a sunny state, or purchasing a car from a distant dealership, long-distance auto transport can save you from enduring a lengthy drive, prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle, and minimize the risk of road accidents.

This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about long-distance car transport. We will provide insights into the process and cover vital information to consider before entrusting your prized possession to a car shipping company.

Understanding Long-Distance Car Transport

Long-Distance Car Transport is a specialized service that facilitates the movement of vehicles over substantial distances, often shipping cars to other states or across countries. It involves engaging professional car transport companies to handle the entire process, from pickup to delivery. These companies load the vehicles onto carriers, which may be enclosed or open, and transport them to their specified destination.

Obtaining a Quote: The first step is to contact a reputable car transport company and request a quote for shipping your car. You can do this conveniently by filling out an online form on their website or contacting customer service.

Providing Vehicle Details: The car transport company will ask for specific details about your car, such as its make, model, year, and special features or modifications. They will also need the pickup location (New York) and the delivery location (California) to calculate the distance and estimate the cost.

Selecting the Transport Type: You can choose between enclosed and open car transport based on your preferences and budget. If your car is a luxury or classic vehicle, you might opt for enclosed car transport to provide extra protection. For everyday cars, open transport is a more cost-effective option.

Scheduling Pickup: Once you agree on the price and transportation details, the car transport company will schedule a pickup date and time with you. They will arrange for a carrier truck and driver to come to your location in New York to load your car onto the carrier.

Inspection and Documentation: Before loading your car, the driver will conduct a thorough inspection and document any existing damages or issues. This inspection report is crucial for insurance purposes and will help determine if any damages occur during transit.

Loading and Securing: The carrier truck will have a hydraulic lift or ramp to load your car onto the trailer carefully. The driver will use straps, wheel chocks, and other securements to ensure your vehicle stays in place during transit.

Transportation: With your car securely loaded, the carrier truck will journey from New York to California. The driver will take necessary breaks and strictly adhere to safety regulations throughout the trip.

Regular Updates: Reputable car transport companies provide regular updates on the status of your car during transit. Some may offer a tracking system that allows you to monitor the progress of your car’s journey.

Delivery: Upon reaching the destination, the carrier truck’s driver will unload your car and perform another inspection to ensure it remains in the same condition as when it was loaded. You or an authorized individual must be present to receive the car and complete the necessary paperwork.

Benefits of Long-Distance Car Transport

A long-distance car transport service offers several advantages, making your vehicle’s relocation process more manageable, safer, and efficient.

• Time and Energy Savings: Long-distance car transport services save you the hours or even days spent driving. For instance, if you’re moving from Miami to Seattle, the drive takes approximately 48 hours without accounting for rest periods. Opting for car transport saves this time and energy, allowing you to focus on other essential tasks related to your relocation.

• Vehicle Safety and Preservation: Professional car transport services can minimize wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving long distances adds thousands of miles to your car’s odometer and accelerates the wear on tires, engines, and other components. Each additional mile may impact its value if you’re transporting a classic 1965 Ford Mustang. Car transport ensures your classic vehicle arrives at its new home without unnecessary mileage.

• Reduced Stress and Risk: Driving your car over a long distance can be stressful and potentially risky. Dealing with traffic, potential mechanical issues, adverse weather conditions, and fatigue can contribute to a challenging journey. Long-distance car transport helps you avoid these concerns. For example, instead of navigating icy roads during a winter move from Chicago to Denver, you can have your car professionally transported, minimizing the risk of accidents due to harsh weather.

• Convenience for Multiple Vehicles: Car transport services are highly convenient when you have more than one vehicle. Consider a family with two cars moving from Texas to New York. Rather than embarking on two separate long drives, they can opt for a car transport service and have both their vehicles shipped simultaneously, ensuring safe delivery without the hassle of coordinating multiple road trips.

• Insurance Coverage: Reputable long-distance car transport companies provide insurance coverage, offering you peace of mind. This insurance protects your vehicle from potential damage during the transit process. If you’re shipping a luxury vehicle like a BMW X5, knowing it’s insured provides significant peace of mind.

• Flexibility and Comfort: Long-distance car transport offers flexibility for various scenarios. Whether you’re taking a flight to your new location, have a non-operational car, or need to transport multiple vehicles as an auto dealer, car transport can cater to your needs. For instance, a couple moving from Los Angeles to Hawaii cannot drive the entire way, so shipping their car is the ideal solution.

EnclosedTypes of Car Shipping: Choosing Between Enclosed and Open Transport Transport

Car transport companies offer two main types of services:

Enclosed Transport

In enclosed transport, your car is shipped in a fully enclosed carrier, providing maximum protection from the elements and potential road debris. This option is ideal for luxury, classic, or high-value vehicles, ensuring they remain safe from weather conditions and external damage.


  • Enhanced Protection: Enclosed carriers provide a higher protection level than open carriers. It shields your vehicle from external elements such as rain, snow, dust, and road debris, reducing the risk of cosmetic damage during transit.
  • Added Security: Enclosed carriers offer better security features, reducing the chances of theft or unauthorized access to your vehicle. This is particularly appealing for high-value, classic, or luxury car owners who want extra peace of mind during transportation.
  • Weatherproof Transit: With an enclosed carrier, you won’t have to worry about weather conditions affecting your vehicle. Extreme weather events like hailstorms or heavy rains won’t directly impact your precious ride.
  • Reduced Visibility: The enclosed design provides privacy and confidentiality, which can be essential for some vehicle owners. If you prefer to keep the details of your vehicle shipment low-key, an enclosed carrier might be the best choice.
  • Custom Vehicle Fit: Enclosed carriers can more effectively accommodate custom, high-end, or oversized vehicles. If you own a modified car or a vehicle with unique dimensions, an enclosed carrier can cater to your specific needs.


  • Higher Cost: The extra protection and security come with a higher price tag. Enclosed carriers are generally more expensive than open carriers. If budget is a primary concern, you should weigh the benefits against the added cost.
  • Limited Availability: Enclosed carriers are less common than open carriers, making scheduling more challenging, especially during peak shipping seasons. You should plan to secure a spot on an enclosed carrier.
  • Slower Loading and Unloading: The enclosed design can make loading and unloading vehicles more time-consuming than open carriers. This could result in slightly longer transit times.

Open Transport

Open transport is the more common and cost-effective option. Your vehicle will be transported on an open carrier, exposed to the elements during transit. While open transport is generally safe, it might not suit vehicles requiring extra protection.


  • Cost-Effective: The open trailers can carry more vehicles at once, which helps keep the overall shipping costs down.
  • Widespread Availability: You can get open carriers even on short notice, as they are the most common. This makes open transport a convenient option for many customers.
  • Quick Loading and Unloading: Open carriers are typically easier and faster to load and unload as the vehicles are driven onto the trailer. This efficiency can result in quicker turnaround times.
  • Industry Standard: Open carrier auto transport is the most common method dealerships, and car manufacturers use. It is widely regarded as a safe and reliable means of shipping vehicles.


  • Exposure to Elements: Since the vehicles are exposed to the open environment, they are more vulnerable to weather conditions, road debris, and dust.
  • Less Privacy: Some vehicle owners prefer the added privacy that enclosed carriers provide, especially when transporting high-value or luxury vehicles.
  • Size Limitations: Some oversized or custom vehicles may not fit on standard open carriers. It means alternative arrangements may be necessary, leading to potential delays.
  • Security Concerns: Although reputable carriers take precautions to ensure vehicle safety, some owners might be concerned about potential theft or unauthorized vehicle access during transit.

Common Concerns and Misconceptions

Some concerns and misconceptions surrounding car transport include:

Damage During Transport: One common worry is potential damage to the vehicle during transport. Reputable car transport companies take extensive measures to ensure your vehicle’s safety. However, inspecting your car thoroughly before transporting and documenting any pre-existing damage is essential.

Delivery Delays: People often worry about delivery delays. While unforeseen weather conditions or road closures might cause delays, reliable transport companies adhere to agreed-upon schedules and provide regular updates.

Cost Concerns: The cost of car transport can vary depending on distance, vehicle size, and service type. While it might not be the cheapest option, its benefits and safety often justify the cost.

Limited Access to Remote Areas: Some individuals believe that car transport services are unavailable for remote or inaccessible locations. However, many reputable companies offer solutions to reach even the most remote destinations.

What Factors Decide Car Shipping Costs?

Whether classic beauty or a modern marvel, long-distance car transport can be exciting and daunting. One of the first questions that come to mind is, “How much will it cost?” Here are a few factors that may help you get the answer:

Distance: It’s simple logic – the farther it needs to go, the more resources are required. Shipping companies consider the mileage between the pickup and drop-off locations to determine the base cost.

Vehicle Size: Cars come in different sizes, impacting the cost. Smaller and lighter vehicles cost less to ship than larger and heavier ones. The space your car occupies on the transport carrier matters, so keep that in mind when planning.

  • Delivery Timeframe: Do you need your car shipped urgently, or can you afford to wait for a more flexible delivery timeframe? Expedited shipping will naturally cost more while opting for a more extended delivery window can save you some dollars. Consider your needs and priorities before making a decision.
  • Vehicle Condition: If your car is operable and can be driven onto the carrier, the process is much smoother for the shipping company. However, if your vehicle is non-running or requires special handling, be prepared for additional costs to accommodate the extra effort and equipment.
  • Transportation Type: Here comes a choice for you to make. Open transport carriers are the more common and affordable, but they expose your vehicle to the elements. On the other hand, enclosed carriers provide added protection but come with a higher price tag.

Seasonal Variations: Like vacation destinations, car shipping costs can vary with the seasons. Harsh weather conditions or peak demand periods might lead to increased prices. Plan your car transport during off-peak times to get a better deal.

Additional Services: Sometimes, you might need extra services to ensure a smooth transport process. Whether it’s door-to-door car shipping, expedited shipping, or vehicle tracking, each add-on will come with its own cost. Choose the services that best suit your requirements and budget.

Insurance Coverage: Shipping companies often provide basic insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. However, if you have a high-value or sentimental car, consider additional insurance options for complete peace of mind. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Fuel Prices: As with any mode of transportation, fuel prices can impact car shipping costs. Fluctuations in fuel prices can influence the overall cost of shipping. Keep an eye on the current fuel rates to gauge how they affect your expenses.
  • Carrier Availability: The law of supply and demand also applies to the car shipping industry. Prices might rise if there’s a shortage of carriers available for your specific route. Book your transport well in advance to secure a spot and save money.

Tips to get an accurate quote:

These tips will help you get the most accurate quote and make your car shipping experience smooth and stress-free.

Compare Multiple Companies: Avoid choosing the first solution you come across. Request quotations from several businesses and evaluate their offerings, costs, and testimonials. Sometimes the best option isn’t the cheapest.

Give Accurate Information: Provide accurate information about your vehicle, the locations where it needs to be picked up and dropped off, and the services you require. Any errors might result in more expenses down the road.

Ask About Discounts: Depending on the time of year, the type of vehicle, or your military service, certain auto shipping firms may provide discounts. Ask whether any discounts apply to you. Feel free to do so.

Check Insurance Coverage: Find out what the shipping company’s insurance covers during transit. Consider purchasing supplementary insurance if you own a sentimental or valuable vehicle for further piece of mind.

Read the Fine Print: Carefully read and understand the contract and terms of service before committing to anything. Watch out for additional costs or restrictions that can alter the total price.Use Online Quote Generator: Make use of the online quote generator. It’s a quick and convenient tool with a transparent price. After providing basic information about your car and preferences, you’ll receive customized quotations from reputable vehicle shipping firms.

Selecting the Best Car Transport Company

Just follow these essential steps to choose the perfect car shipping service. Pick the business that meets your needs and ensures a smooth transport experience.

Step 1: Research and Shortlist

Start by researching different car shipping companies online. Look for well-established and reputable companies with positive customer reviews and ratings. Besides, create a shortlist of potential candidates that you can further investigate.

Step 2: Get Quotes

Contact the companies on your shortlist and request quotes for your specific car shipping requirements. Be prepared to provide accurate information about your vehicle, pickup, drop-off locations, and any desired additional services.

Step 3: Compare Services and Pricing

Compare the services offered by each company. Look for critical factors such as insurance coverage, transportation type (open or enclosed carriers), delivery timeframes, and extra services like door-to-door delivery or vehicle tracking. Also, pay attention to the pricing, but remember that the cheapest option may sometimes be the best choice.

Step 4: Check for Licensing and Insurance

Ensure that the car shipping companies you are considering are licensed and insured. A licensed company demonstrates compliance with industry regulations, and proper insurance coverage gives you peace of mind in case of any unfortunate incidents during transport.

Step 5: Read Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the experiences of previous clients with a car shipping company. Check online reviews and testimonials to understand the company’s reputation and how well they handle their customers’ vehicles.

Step 6: Inquire About Additional Fees

Before finalizing any deal, ask about any potential additional fees that might apply. Sometimes, there could be extra charges for special services or specific delivery locations, so it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the total cost.

Step 7: Seek Recommendations

Contact friends, family, or colleagues who have used car shipping services. Their firsthand experiences and recommendations can be invaluable in helping you make the right choice.

Step 8: Customer Support and Communication

Good communication is crucial when dealing with car shipping services. Ensure that the company is responsive to your queries and provides clear and timely updates throughout the transport process.

Tips for a Smooth Car Transport Experience

Here are some practical tips to prepare your vehicle and ensure a hassle-free pickup and delivery process:

Preparing Your Vehicle for Safe Transport

  • Clean Your Car: Give your car a good inside and outwash. This will help you inspect your vehicle for any pre-existing damages and ensure a clear record of its condition.
  • Document Any Pre-Existing Damage: Inspect your car for scratches, dents, or other damages. Document these with photographs and notes to prove the car’s condition before shipping.
  • Remove Personal Belongings: Remove all personal items and valuables from your car. Car transport companies are not responsible for any belongings left inside, and they might cause damage during transit.
  • Check for Leaks and Mechanical Issues: Make sure there are no fluid leaks from your car and all mechanical issues are resolved before shipping. A well-maintained vehicle is likely to avoid problems during transport.
  • Secure Loose Parts: Remove any loose or aftermarket parts from your car, such as spoilers, antennas, or bike racks. These items could get damaged during transport if not appropriately secured.

Ensuring a Hassle-Free Pickup and Delivery Process

  • Plan Ahead: Schedule your car transport well in advance, especially during peak seasons or busy times. This will give you more flexibility in choosing the desired pickup and delivery dates.
  • Be Present During Inspection: When the car transport company arrives for pickup, oversee the inspection process. Please go through the pre-existing damage documentation and ensure the transporter acknowledges it.
  • Provide Clear Instructions: Communicate specific pickup and delivery details with the transport company, including addresses, contact numbers, and any access restrictions at the locations.
  • Confirm Delivery Details: Before the delivery date, double-check the delivery location and confirm arrangements with the destination contact to avoid confusion.
  • Inspect Upon Delivery: Carefully inspect your vehicle upon arrival for any damages that might have occurred during transport. Compare the condition with your initial documentation.

International Long-Distance Car Shipping

 Shipping a car across borders involves understanding customs regulations and documentation requirements and finding a reliable and efficient shipping service. Here is what you need to know:

Understanding Customs Regulations

Different countries have varying rules and restrictions on importing vehicles. Researching and understanding these regulations thoroughly is essential to avoid any legal issues or delays in the shipping process.

Customs duties and taxes are also crucial considerations. These fees can significantly impact the overall cost of shipping a car. SAKAEM Logistics, with its extensive experience, can guide customers through these intricacies and help them calculate the potential customs duties and taxes, enabling better financial planning for their clients.

Documentation Requirements

Shipping a car internationally requires a long list of documentation. Some common documents include the vehicle’s title and registration, bill of lading, purchase invoice, and a valid photo ID.

The team at SAKAEM is well-versed in the documentation requirements for various destinations worldwide. We help customers gather and organize all the necessary documents, minimizing the risk of delays and ensuring a hassle-free shipping experience.

Ensuring Proper Insurance Coverage The vehicle is exposed to various risks during international car shipping, including damage or loss. Having adequate insurance coverage to protect against such unforeseen events is crucial. A reliable company like SAKAEM provides comprehensive insurance options for their customers. Their team explains the available insurance plans. This makes sure you have a clear understanding of their coverage and can make an informed decision.

FAQs About Long-Distance Car Transport: Your Top Questions Answered

How much does it cost to ship a car internationally?

The cost of shipping a car internationally varies depending on several factors, such as the destination, the size and weight of the vehicle, the chosen shipping method, customs duties, and taxes. SAKAEM offers transparent pricing and can provide accurate cost estimates based on these factors. To get an exact quote, you can contact SAKAEM and provide the necessary details about your car and shipping preferences.

How long does it take to ship a car internationally?

The duration of international car shipping depends on the destination and the chosen shipping method. Shipping a car overseas typically takes two to six weeks, but this can vary. Factors such as customs clearance, weather conditions, and the shipping route can also affect the timeline. The car shipping company informs customers throughout the process, providing updates on the car’s location and estimated arrival time.

Is my car insured during transit?

Yes, SAKAEM provides comprehensive insurance options for all vehicles during transit. Their insurance coverage protects against car damage, loss, or theft while it is shipped internationally. SAKAEM’s team explains the available insurance plans, ensuring customers clearly understand their coverage.

What documents are required for international car shipping?

Commonly required documents include:

  • The vehicle’s title and registration.
  • The bill of lading.
  • The purchase invoice.
  • A valid photo ID.

Different countries may have additional requirements, so it’s essential to check the specific regulations of the destination. SAKAEM assists customers in gathering and organizing all the necessary documents to ensure a smooth shipping process.

Can I ship personal items inside the car?

In most cases, shipping personal belongings inside the car is not recommended. Many countries have restrictions on importing vehicles with items inside, which can lead to customs delays or legal issues. We advise customers to remove all personal belongings from the car before shipping to avoid any problems during transit.

What is the Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) shipping method?

RoRo is a popular method for shipping vehicles internationally. With RoRo, vehicles are driven onto a specialized vessel and secured in place for transport. It is a cost-effective option for shipping cars and allows easy loading and unloading at the destination. SAKAEM offers RoRo shipping services and can explain the benefits and limitations of this method to help customers make an informed choice.

Are there any age restrictions on the cars that can be shipped internationally?

Certain destinations may only allow imported vehicles up to a specified year of manufacture. It’s crucial to research and understand the regulations of the destination country. SAKAEM’s experienced team can guide this matter and help customers navigate any age restrictions that may apply.

Can I track the status of my car during shipping?

Yes, SAKAEM offers advanced tracking and monitoring services. Customers can track the status of their car during the entire shipping process and get real-time updates on the car’s location and estimated arrival time. This feature lets you stay informed and alleviates worries about your vehicle’s whereabouts.

Do I need to prepare my car for international shipping?

Yes, it’s essential to prepare your car for international shipping. This includes cleaning the vehicle, removing personal belongings, securing loose parts, and ensuring the gas tank is only partially full. We provide a detailed checklist of pre-shipping preparations, ensuring that customers are ready for a smooth and efficient shipping process.

What makes SAKAEM a reliable choice for international car shipping?

SAKAEM’s reliability stems from its years of experience in the industry, a commitment to customer satisfaction, and an extensive network of shipping partners worldwide. Their multilingual staff, transparent pricing, comprehensive insurance options, and dedication to sustainability make them a trusted and efficient choice for international car shipping. Positive customer reviews and testimonials further attest to their professionalism and high-quality service.


In conclusion, long-distance transport efficiently gets your vehicle to its destination without unnecessary mileage. SAKAEM Logistics offers reliable and comprehensive car transport services for both domestic and international shipping needs.

The key is to understand the process and cost factors. Get accurate quotes, compare services, and select the correct transport type for a hassle-free experience. SAKAEM Logistics is a reliable choice for car shipping services with extensive experience, customer satisfaction commitment, and a global shipping partner network. Their multilingual staff, transparent pricing, comprehensive insurance options, and dedication to sustainability ensure a trusted and efficient vehicle transport experience.

For safe, secure, and convenient car transport, trust SAKAEM Logistics for your long-distance move or international car shipping needs.

Visit SAKAEM’s website for more information and request a tailored quote. Let your vehicle be in the safest hands from start to finish.

Harish Makam