Everything you need to know about shipping a car to and from Washington

Brantley Kendall

28 Mar 2022 2 years ago

When you are making a move to shift to Washington, up on the West Coast, you need to make a lot of decisions. From what school your kids will attend to, which neighborhood is the best- multiple things are demanding your attention simultaneously with a sense of urgency.

In such a scenario, you might not wonder how you will ship your personal belongings- some packers and movers will help you. At this juncture, you might be more concerned about, “how will I transport my car to Washington?”

If you caught yourself thinking about the same, you are at the right place because, in this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about getting your car shipped to or from Washington. From how much to transport a car to Washington, to how the process works and even what is the necessary paperwork you need to get ready- we will give you a guide that you can keep handy and make the process of shipping your car easy. 

Five Different Ways to Ship a Car To or From Washington

When you think about shipping your car to or from Washington, you would ideally want to choose a way that is most effective, quick, cheap, is hassle-free, and requires minimal paperwork. The best way that would suit your needs to ship a car to and from Washington heavily depends on where you currently are and its distance from Washington. 

The distance and several other primal factors give you a choice between five different ways of shipping a car to and from Washington. Let’s discuss this in more detail. 

Drive the Car Yourself  

Washington is on the Northernmost Western side of the country, where the state shares boundaries with Canada. If you plan to move to a state like Montana, Oregon, Idaho, or even Nevada, driving your car down to these destinations may be the best way. 

Driving the car to Washington from these states makes the most sense since these states are only a few hundred miles away from Washington. While Nevada is some 80 miles away from Washington, the distance from Washington to Idaho and even Montana is around 600 miles. Oregon happens to be the closest to Washington, with the drive being a mere 350 miles. 

Therefore, if you are transporting a car from Washington to any of these neighboring states, driving down on your own may be your best option. Moreover, you can quickly turn this into a one or two-day activity with the family or friends and take a mini-vacation while you drive down to your ultimate destination. 

However, the downside to having driving the car on your own to transport the car to Washington is how the drive can tire you and wear you out. Long hours behind the wheels are not suitable for people who are not used to it, increasing the chances of getting into accidents. Besides, there are multiple costs that you will incur while shipping your car to or from Washington. 

If you are driving to farther states like Maryland, Florida, Texas, Michigan, or practically any state on the East Coast, you will have to drive for anywhere between 4,000-6,000 miles. The travel, fuel, maintenance, food & lodging, and other miscellaneous expenses can set you back by thousands of dollars. Driving that car to or from Washington rarely makes sense in such situations. 

Have Someone Else Drive Your Car for You

If you are concerned about how driving for roughly 3,000 miles from New York to Washington might wear you out, you can hire a driver to drive the car for you. You can check the credentials of a professional driver, look for adequate references, and get them to drive your car down from Washington to wherever you want or to Washington from any state. 

These drivers possess impeccable skills and expertise to navigate the most complicated routes and drive your car to its final destination. In addition to this, you may also be able to hitch a ride with them (if they allow) for car transport to Washington. This way, you can tag along, make sure your car is in safe hands, and save money on buying yourself a plane ticket. 

However, the biggest challenge here is finding a reliable and trustworthy driver enough for you to give them the keys to your car. Besides, you cannot estimate a driver’s driving skills 100%- this may keep you worried until the vehicle is delivered to your doorstep. 

Read on if you think this is the best way to transport my car from Washington

Use a Train Shipping Service

 A great alternative to hiring someone to drive your car is to use a train shipping service. Essentially, you can book a compartment in a cargo train that plies on the route where you want the car to be delivered. You have to look for a train cargo service that ships cars to or from Washington. Next, you will have to drive the car to the train station, where the vehicle will be loaded onto the compartment and begin its journey. You will also have to be present at the train station at your destination to receive the delivery of the car after it is unloaded from the train. 

Nevertheless, it would help if you remembered that train cargo services do not ply across all states in the country and run only on limited routes. In addition to this, to transport my car to Washington via a train shipping service, you will have to be quick and prompt in delivering and receiving the car to and from the train station. A delay of even a few seconds can mean the train moves onto its onward journey without getting your vehicle loaded or unloaded. 

Use an Airplane Cargo Service

Another popular medium of car transport in Washington is using the airways. Using this way, you can load your car onto a cargo airplane which will deliver the vehicle to the airport at your chosen destination. This is the fastest and one of the safest methods of shipping a car to or from Washington.

However, you must note that the most significant limitation of using air freight to ship your car to or from Washington is cost. The charges of using air freight are roughly 4-5 times that of using roadways. Therefore, using air cargo may only make sense if you are shipping a car with a high commercial value, is a rare, luxury, or a collectible car, or needs to be shipped and delivered within a few hours. 

Use the Services Of An Auto Shipping Company

Finally, it would help to consider another shipping option using an auto shipping company. An auto shipping company offers the service of transporting cars from Washington to any state of your choice in the safest, most cost-effective, and most efficient manner. 

This method requires minimal efforts by the car owner (you), so you can sit back and relax while a competent team from the auto shipping company does all the grunt work. You have to find a suitable and reliable auto shipping company, tell them the details about the move and the shipment, and let them take charge! 

From loading the car to a trailer, shipping it, and unloading it at the destination- the auto transport company will take care of all the details! Experienced drivers who know how to ship cars from one point to another in the smoothest fashion will drive the carrier. From braving the weather to understanding routes, from avoiding road closures, to understanding how to avoid traffic jams and bottlenecks- these drivers are trained to deliver your car to you as fast as possible.

Now that you have chosen to proceed with the services of an auto shipping company, you will need to select a car shipping option. 

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

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Types of Car Shipping Options

There are two types of shipping options that you can choose from:

Open Shipping  

Open shipping is shipping where your car will be shipped using an open trailer. An open trailer is a kind of truck that is open from all sides and has the scope for only loading a car onto it, secured with harnesses and ropes to ensure the vehicle is safe during transit. 

During car transport Washington via open shipping, the experts will load your car onto an open trailer, and a driver will drive the trailer. However, it would help if you remembered that the vehicle would be exposed to environmental factors like rain, dust, and snow during transit. 

Enclosed Shipping  

On the other hand, enclosed shipping is a type of shipping where the carrier loads your car onto a trailer that is closed from all sides. Essentially, the auto company will load your vehicle onto a container, then be loaded onto a trailer and driven off. The shipping company will secure your car in place with robust harnesses and ropes inside the container. 

The cost to transport a car to Washington via enclosed shipping might be slightly higher than available shipping, but it is one of the best shipping types where your vehicle will be secure from external agents. Therefore, if you are getting your car shipped out in extreme weather conditions or when there is a high likelihood of rainfall, snowfall, dust storm, etc., it is best to opt for enclosed shipping to protect your car from them. 

After you have chosen the type of shipping that is most suitable according to your needs, you will have to choose between the type of shipping service you would want. 

Types Of Car Shipping Services

There are three primary types of shipping services that you can opt for based on your budget, requirement, and urgency. These are: 

Guaranteed Shipping Service

This is a type of shipping service where you can expect your car to be picked up for shipping within 24 hours if making a reservation, given there is no public holiday in the next 24 hours. All you need to do is quickly get the paperwork done and get ready for a team from the auto shipping company to come to your doorstep for car transport Washington. You can opt for the guaranteed shipping service if you want your vehicle pick-up as soon as possible if you’re relocating urgently or need to leave your current location as early as possible.

Express Shipping Service

If you want your car to be delivered at the earliest, your best bet is to opt for the express shipping service. In this service, you can expect your vehicle to be picked up within 1-2 days of making a booking and filing the necessary paperwork. If you are thinking about how to transport my car to Washington in the fastest way, this is the option you can consider. 

Military Shipping Service

Military shipping service is a unique shipping service offered to the people working in the armed forces or who are veterans and have served for the country. This service gives those from the armed forces preferential treatment and attractive discounts. A military shipping service is an excellent option for military personnel and their families moving around the country for different postings. 

Now that the shipping type and the shipping service have been taken care of, you need to figure out the best rates for getting your car shipped to or from Washington and make a booking. 

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car To Or From Washington?

The biggest influencer to the cost to transport a car to Washington is the distance from where the vehicle is being shipped to Washington. 

For instance, if the shipment is to leave from a city in a state like Florida, they will have to cover over 3,000 miles while the distance between Washington and New York is nearly 2,800 miles. Similarly, the distance between Washington and some of its neighboring states like California, Nevada, and Colorado is 400 miles and 1,000 miles. Thus, you can conclude that the price to ship a car from a state like New York, Michigan, Florida, or any other state on the East Coast will be much higher than shipping the vehicle from neighboring states like Nevada, Montana, California, or Idaho. Farther the distance from Washington will be the cost to transport the car to Washington

If you want a more accurate estimate of how much to transport a car to Washington, you must consider the following factors as well: 

Fuel cost: When crude oil prices rise in the market, the gas prices in the retail market also rise. This can further increase the final cost of shipping a car to or from Washington based on the distance. 

Type of shipping and type of service: Each transport company has its charges for guaranteed and express shipping services. Moreover, veterans and armed personnel can get a military discount, which can bring the cost down. At the same time, you must note that enclosed shipping will cost you more than it would cost you if you choose open shipping

The weather: If the weather condition at the time of shipping is not favorable, the drivers might make stops accordingly, affecting the price of shipping a car to or from Washington. 

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 Long Does It Take To Ship A Car To Or From Washington?

Shipping a car to or from Washington is a process that can take anywhere from 1-12 days, and it depends on the pick-up and drop-off location of your vehicle. For example, shipping a car from nearby states like Montana, California, Oregon, and even North & South Dakota and Utah can take 1-3 days since the distance to be covered is nearly 1,000 miles. 

For farther states, the time taken to transport my car from Washington can take longer. For example, shipping a car from Oklahoma may take around 6-8 days, while shipping a car from Nashville can take about nine days, assuming the trailer driver can drive nearly 400 miles in a day. 

However, you must keep in mind that this is the best estimate of how long it would take to ship a car to or from Washington. Several other factors play an essential role in how long the process takes. Here is a look at these factors: 

  1. If there is unusual traffic, there might be a possibility that the time taken to ship the car to or from Washington will increase. 
  2. If a longer route has been chosen for the transit, it might increase the time taken to ship the car to its final destination. 
  3. If the weather is highly unfavorable when making the shipment, the driver might have to make stops to ensure the shipment’s safety. Thus, the time taken to ship the car might increase marginally. 

The time taken to transport my car from Washington is a mere estimate, and the exact location of the pick-up and drop makes a huge difference. For instance, if the pick-up or the delivery spots are in remote areas, it might further increase the duration of the journey.

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 Does Shipping A Car To Or From Washington Work?

Shipping a car to or from Washington is relatively straightforward and hassle-free if you opt for the right auto shipping company. With the help of a reliable auto shipping company, you will be able to get your car shipped down to Washington stress-free, faster, and at a cost-effective price. 

If you want to know how the process of shipping a car to or from Washington works, here is a detailed explanation. 

Try to find auto shipping companies that ship a car to or from Washington. The next step is to tell them about your requirement in detail. The auto transport company will give you a quote based on your need. If the quote is acceptable to you, you can accept it and proceed further. If you feel like the price is too high, you can negotiate with the auto transport company.

A team from the auto Transport Company will arrive at the car’s location and assess it for any pre-existing damages. The same will be mentioned on the Bill of Lading. The team will then make you sign the Bill of Lading. After this, the car will be loaded onto the trailer and begin its onward journey. You can also discuss the route that the shipment will be taken through and mention if you want the shipment to take a specific way.

When the car is about to reach its destination, a team from the auto transport company will inform you. When the vehicle comes to its delivery location, you can assess it for any damages, sign the Bill of Lading and complete the process of receiving the car.

Documents needed to ship a car to or from Washington

  • Car registration 
  • Ownership certificate 
  • The title of the car
  • Bill of Lading

How to Find The Best Auto Transport Company To Ship A Car To Or From Washington?

If you want to find the best auto transport company for car transport in Washington, here are a few tips to help you:

Ensure that the auto transport company you are in talks with has been in business for a significant time. Moreover, they must have adequate experience transporting cars to or from Washington.

Next, go through the customer reviews and assess the company’s feedback regarding the driver’s expertise. If you are satisfied with this, you can ask the auto transport company for a quote. For this, It is essential to be as detailed as you can viz-a-viz, the type of car, the model of the vehicle, its manufacturing year, when you want the shipment to be picked up, and when you want it delivered, and what is your budget like.

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.

FAQs regarding shipping a car to or from Washington 

How to Get My Car Ready For Shipping?

Preparing your car for shipping includes removing all personal items from the vehicle, leaving only a car jacks and spare tire behind. Check to see if you have any outstanding parking tickets, tolls or moving violations to avoid being charged for them upon arrival at its destination. Also, leave about a quarter of a tank of gas in the car. Take photos of the car, make a detailed inventory of any damage and get estimates for repair if needed. Make sure that your car is in good mechanical condition and has the required level of fuel.

How Much To Transport A Vehicle To Washington?

The cost of shipping a car to Washington depends on a range of factors like the type of car you are transporting, the shipping method you have opted for, the type of shipping service, and the time of the year when the transit is being made.

How Can I Pay The Auto Transport Shipping Company?

You can pay the auto transport shipping company in cash or credit or debit card. Alternatively, you can use PayPal as well. 

Do I Have To Be Present At The Time Of Delivery? 

Although it is not mandatory, experts recommend that you oversee the pick-up and the delivery. However, you can depute anyone over the age of 18 to do the same if you are unavailable. 

Pros and Cons of Moving To Washington

The state of Washington is nicknamed The Evergreen State thanks to its lush, forested landscape. It’s home to snow-capped mountains, beautiful natural parks, and some of the country’s most famous cities. If you’re considering a move to Washington, it pays to know about the pros and cons of living in Washington.



Brantley Kendall