Transport a Car To or From Seattle: Your All-in-One Guide

Brantley Kendall

15 Apr 2022 2 years ago

If you’re going through a move, you must be in a tough place to manage work, family, moving agency, and much more. No wonder Americans describe moving as life’s most stressful experience, even more than breakup/divorce and marriage. In the midst of all this, there’s one more thing you need to manage: your car transport to Seattle.

To the surprise of many, shipping a car to or from Seattle is a relatively straightforward process, given that you have the relevant knowledge to make the right decisions. This blog post aims to help you understand the car shipping industry, the process involved, and how you can ship your car most reliably. Let’s get straight into it!

5 Different Ways to Ship a Car To or From Seattle

Selecting the shipping method is the first choice you’ll need to make when shipping your car to or from Seattle. Here, you have five options to choose from.

1. Drive the car yourself

Why go through all the trouble when you can drive the car yourself? It makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, it is a sensible option if you’re moving to or from one of the neighboring states of Emerald city. 

Unless you are looking for a long adventure, spending more than a few days on the road doesn’t make sense. It takes a toll on your body, mind, pocket, and car. Plus, you’ll need to spend time off your work. We suggest you move your car by driving if it takes 1-2 days, given you are in the good physical condition and feel confident about your driving ability.

2. Hire a driver

Driving the car might not be a feasible option for most as it takes away days and stresses you out. If you feel the same way, another option is to hire a driver to do the job. It might sound logical but comes with few catches.

The first concern here is to find a reliable driver as you’ll be trusting a total stranger to ship your beloved car to or from Seattle. Usually, the companies offering such services have students and retirees as drivers. Thus, it would be best if you were absolutely sure of their trustworthiness as person and driver.

Another concern with hiring a driver is that, like the previous option, you’ll be putting unnecessary wear and tear on the engine, brakes, and tires.

3. Request a friend or family member to drive

Reliability is the primary concern when it comes to hiring a driver. One way to eliminate this is to ask a known person to drive the car for you. It might be a little awkward to ask someone for such a favor, but it can be good if you have a friend or a relative who’s willing to do it.

Before asking someone to drive your car, you must be 100% sure about their driving ability. Will they be able to handle the physical and mental stress of driving on the highway for days? It’s the question that you must have an answer to. 

4. Air shipping

You might not have expected this, but you can ship your car by plane. As it goes without saying, this is a costly option that might cost you more than the price of your car. Most people who prefer this shipping method have super-expensive cars that they want to ship internationally.

5. Hire an auto transport company 

Here comes the option that you’ve heard the most about. Hiring a car shipping company is the most popular car shipping method as it ticks a lot of boxes. 

Car shipping companies are reliable as they need to be approved by the government. Plus, your car remains protected under insurance coverage. 

On top of that, you don’t need to move an inch when you hire a car shipping company to transport your car to or from Seattle. You can book the order online; they come to pick up your car at your doorstep and deliver it where you want to. 

Granted, it’s a more monetarily expensive option than driving your car, but you’ll be saving days and won’t need to go through the taxing experience of driving. 

Types of car shipping 

If you’ve decided to hire a car shipping company, you must make another choice. This time, it’s the mode of shipping. You can choose to ship your car by available shipping or fast shipping. Let’s see what they both have to offer.

Open car shipping

When you opt for open car shipping, your car will be loaded onto an open truck, as you can see in the picture. This could expose your car to rain and snow in extreme weather, but you don’t need to worry otherwise. Most car manufacturing companies ship their cars by this method.

Enclosed car shipping

If you want to give more protection to your car, you can go with enclosed car shipping as your car will be kept inside an enclosed truck. It’s made of solid material and protects your car from outside elements such as wind, rain, and snow. 

As you’d expect, it’s the more expensive option of the two. You’ll need to pay 30-40% more than open car shipping. It’s an ideal option if you possess an antique, rare or expensive car.

How Much Will It Cost to Ship a Car to or From Seattle?

Now comes the most crucial question you have in your mind. Well, we don’t have any number to give you here as it’ll depend a lot on various factors. We can help you understand them so that you make an informed choice. 


As it directly impacts fuel costs and driver wages, distance is the most significant determining factor in car shipping. Thus, the further you want to ship your car, the more you’ll need to pay.

Note here that the distance is between the pickup and delivery points. Thus, you might have to pay more or less than other people who live in the same city, depending on your exact location.

Shipping type

You choose the type of car shipping: open car shipping or enclosed car shipping.


As per Government regulations, car shipping trucks can carry limited weight. Thus, the make and model of your car will also play a part in determining cost. For instance, you might have to pay more to transport an SUV than you’ll need to pay for a hatchback.

Car’s Condition

If your car is broken and cannot run, the car transport company will attach it to a truck to get it to the shipping point. This will cost you more.


Car shipping companies that choose popular routes tend to charge less and vice-versa.

Gas price

The ups and downs in fuel costs will directly impact the car shipping cost to or from Seattle.

We know you’re still not satisfied and want to know the exact cost to ship a car to or from Seattle. Well, we at Sakaem Logistics have got you covered. Our super-fast quote calculator will give you the prices within seconds. You can also contact our support team if you have any further questions.

Here are some cost-saving tips for shipping your car to or from Seattle:

  • Book well in advance
  • Ask shipping company for discounts
  • Pick the right time of the year to ship
  • Try to ship multiple cars together
  • Go with the correct shipping method (open or close)

How Long Will It Take to Ship My Car To or From Seattle?

It’s evident that the time it will take to ship your car to or from Seattle will depend a lot on the distance. Thus, we can’t say anything without knowing the exact location. However, there are a couple of things we’d like to share with you.

First, the car shipping time can be divided into two parts: pickup time and delivery time. Pickup time is the time it’ll take the car shipping company to pick up your car. It can take anywhere between one to five working days for it.

The second part of the shipping time is the time a shipping truck will take for the truck to ship it between both places. This, as you rightly guessed, will depend on the distance. 

In addition to the distance, the following are the factors that will have a direct influence on the car shipping time:

  • The number of stops made each day by the carrier
  • The traffic flow
  • Weather conditions
  • Detours
  • Road construction
  • Heavy traffic
  • Pickup/Delivery Locations

How Does the Process of Transporting a Car To or From Seattle Work?

You know the shipping cost and time, but how do you go from zero to one? In other words, how do you ship your car to or from Seattle? Well, it’s pretty straightforward. It takes four easy steps, and it will be over before you even know it. Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – Get a Quote

The first step is to get quotes from car shipping companies to know how much it’ll cost and how long it’ll take. We suggest you get quotations from at least three car shipping companies to make the best choice.

To get a quote, you need to visit car shipping companies’ websites, and you’ll have it within seconds on your screen. 

Once you have quotes, make sure that there aren’t hidden costs, such as insurance fees or weather surcharges. As a precaution, it’s always good to talk to their support staff and get it confirmed in writing.

Step 2 – Order the shipping

Once you’ve finalized the car shipping company, it’s time to confirm the shipping by placing the order. Like the previous step, this step can also be performed online.

Step 3 – Car pick up

After ordering the shipping, it will take a few days for the car shipping company to pick up your car. They will contact you a day or two before the pickup date to ensure that your vehicle is pickup ready. At the pickup time, take their help to inspect your car thoroughly.

Step 4 – Delivery

Getting the car delivered is the ultimate step in the process of car shipping. The car shipping company will contact you before the delivery to ensure your availability at your home. When you get the delivery, make sure you check your car well to spot any damages that occurred along the way. Sign the bill of lading (BoL) only after finding the car in damage-free condition.

How to Get a Quote to Ship a Car To or From Seattle

Getting a quote is one of the essential steps to transport your car to or from Seattle. As we discussed, you must get at least three quotes. 

Most companies allow you to generate quotes on their websites. However, each quote will be different and will consist of different details. Thus, it would help if you examined quotes well to be wary of any hidden charges.

To get quotes from most companies, you’ll need to enter the following details: 

  • Pickup and Delivery Locations (zip code)
  • Shipping method (open/enclosed).
  • Details about the vehicle (such as model, manufacturer year, and company)
  • First available pickup date
  • Email address and phone number

After entering the above details, the website will generate a personalized quote within seconds. You’ll also receive it at your email address.

Here’s what a standard shipping quote includes:

  • Shipping costs
  • Your vehicle details
  • The delivery address and pickup location
  • Car condition
  • Type of service: Open or Closed
  • First shipping date
  • Distance to be covered
  • Timeframe for delivery

How to Choose the Best Seattle Car Shipping Company

Choosing the right shipping company will make the process seamless and give you peace of mind. You could be in for a ride if you choose the wrong one. Thus, you must take utmost care while selecting the car shipping company for transporting your car to or from Seattle.

We’ve listed down significant considerations you must consider while looking for a car shipping company.

License & Insurance

Government regulations mandate car shipping companies to hold a license to ship cars across states. By checking their US DOT # by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator site, you can verify it. Also, we suggest you get all information regarding insurance before confirming the shipping.

BBB Rating

Better business bureau (BBB) accredits companies by giving them a rating. It’s an excellent way to learn about companies’ credibility. Thus, checking the BBB rating must be a non-negotiable.

Customer Reviews

There’s no better way to find a company’s reliability than checking past customers’ testimonials. That’s it’s crucial to check them on neutral websites and social media sites.

Service Experience

Many people try to judge companies by looking at their sites and social media pages. You might get an idea about companies, but you’ll get to know more only if you talk to them. Thus, we suggest you talk to their support team and ask all kinds of questions. In the process, try to see how responsive and helpful they are. A company that provides healthy customer support is more likely to deliver good service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What documentation do I require to send my vehicle?

It is essential to keep the following documents in your possession before the vehicle is picked up:

  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Bill of sale/Bill de lading
  • The original title of the vehicle
  • Unexpired identification (i.e., driver’s license or passport)

How do I prepare my car to be shipped?

  • Take away personal documents and other items from your vehicle
  • Keep one-fourth of the fuel in your tank
  • Make sure the battery is in fully charged condition
  • Check that your the tires are in good condition
  • Take photos of your vehicle to check for damage later

What happens if my car is damaged in the process of shipping?

Car shipping companies offer insurance protection to ensure that your vehicle is protected against damages. However, you need to confirm the specifics of the coverage with your shipping company before ordering the shipping.

What can I do to pay the auto transportation company?

The majority of auto shipping companies accept debit and credit card cars. Some of them also accept PayPal payments.

What is the Bill of Lading (BoL)? Why does it matter?

A bill of lading (BoL) is a form of documentation that outlines the condition of the vehicle, including damages, vehicle’s make, model, and date of purchase. You must sign the document at the time of pickup and delivery to signify your acceptance. It ensures complete transparency between the client and the company that ships your car.

What is expedited car shipping?

Express shipping allows your car to be transported quicker. It’s an alternative service that some car shipping companies provide and will cost more than usual. It’s a good alternative if you need your vehicle to be relocated quickly and you don’t mind paying a little extra money.

What is the top load service?

If you select the top-loading service, your car will be placed close to the very top of the shipping truck. This way, it will be safe from rocks and dirt. Shipping companies will charge you additional costs if you choose this.

How long does a quote last?

There could be a variance regarding the legitimacy of quotes based upon the shipping service you select. The majority of quotes are valid for 7 working days. Prices can change based on the variables discussed previously.

Pros of Living in Seattle

  • Great career prospects
  • Proximity to nature
  • Zero state income tax
  • Awesome food culture
  • Pleasant weather 

Cons of Living in Seattle

  • High living costs
  • Rain throughout the year
  • Heavy traffic
  • The Settle freeze

Brantley Kendall