Shipping a Car to or from Michigan: Everything You Need to Know

Brantley Kendall

31 Mar 2022 2 years ago

Michigan is the largest of the Great Lakes State, and it is also one of the biggest car producers in the United States. The automotive industry is a massive contributor to the economy of Michigan, which has a population of around ten million.

Michigan has a lot to offer between the Great Lakes, the forest, and the beautiful scenery. If you live in Michigan, you might plan to leave for a new adventure. Or maybe you’re moving to Michigan and need a way to get your car there. Either way, your best option is an auto transport company that can move your vehicle to or from Michigan on a car carrier when it comes to car transport in Michigan.

Cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Troy, Ann Arbor, and Sterling Heights are among the most popular in Michigan for auto transport. However, hiring a reliable car shipping company is crucial when shipping a car from Michigan.

If you are interested in purchasing a car or moving from or to Michigan, a little knowledge and preparation will go a long way toward getting you through the process quickly and easily. We have put together this guide to help you navigate the particulars of shipping cars to or from Michigan.

5 Different Ways to Ship a Car To or From Michigan

 When you need to ship a car, it’s best to have all your options laid out. That way, you can decide on the best possible solution for your situation. There are five basic ways to transporting a car from Michigan (and vice versa), and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s look at the various options in detail below.

Drive It Yourself

When it comes to car transport in Michigan, the easiest way is to drive it yourself, but that’s not always possible. The distance is too great to make it a feasible choice in most cases, and the cost of gas alone might make it more expensive than shipping. Another factor is that it can be dangerous and unwise to drive over long distances. Many things could go wrong with your vehicle during such a long trip, and you would be responsible for all the costs if something does happen. In addition, if the car breaks down along the way, you will have to figure out how to get both the vehicle and yourself back home, and this will be considerably more difficult than simply getting your car transported.

Hire Someone to Drive It for You

Another option would be to hire a driver to transport my car from Michigan. A professional driver who knows the area will probably be more familiar with traffic patterns, where construction is happening, etc. They might also learn about local events that could impact traffic (like a sporting event or concert). However, hiring someone to drive your car for you comes with an extra cost to ship the car to Michigan, and you need to pay for the driver’s travel expenses.

Moreover, you might have to pay for accommodation and other expenses like insurance. Hiring a driver will cost you extra money if your budget is limited. Besides, if you are moving from Michigan to a faraway state, it’s better to ship the car with a professional auto transport company.

 Use a Train Service

A train is not a common choice for over-the-road car transport in Michigan, but it is safe and dependable. Once the vehicle has been loaded onto the car carrier, it will stay there until its final destination. However, trains do not have access to many locations, and those that are accessible may be far from your home. The shipping time will be longer and the cost higher for having your car transported by train due to distance traveled and fuel costs incurred in getting your vehicle to its drop-off location. The time needed for shipping a car by train will vary based on site, but you can expect the transit time to be five to ten days. It’s best to use this method when you have plenty of time for your vehicle to arrive at its destination. 

Use Airways to Ship Your Car

Air shipments are not as standard as the other type of car transportation, but they’re a great option if you want to ship your car in a short time. Depending on the distance between the drop-off and pick-up location and how fast it moves through customs, you can usually get your vehicle within a day or two. This shipping method is ideal if you cannot be without your car for longer or if you have an emergency when you need your vehicle right away. However, there are also some downsides. The cost to transport the car to Michigan (or vice versa) through airways will be higher than other methods like land transport.  

Hire an Auto Transport Company  

While some people choose to drive their cars across the country, others find it easier and more cost-effective to hire an auto transport company such as SAKAEM logistics to ship their vehicles from and to Michigan. So if you are wondering how to transport my car from Michigan? The simple answer is auto transport companies.And you are not alone doing sothousands of people each year choose to hire auto transport companies to ship their cars across the country, and there are several reasons why. 

Shipping your car with a professional auto transport company is safer, more convenient, and cheaper than driving it yourself. These businesses ship vehicles of all sizes for people who do not have the time or means to drive them themselves.

Also, these companies offer a wide range of services to customers, including comprehensive insurance coverage, door-to-door delivery, open and enclosed shipping services.

There are different reasons people need to hire someone to transport their vehicles. They may either move out of the state, have bought a car and want it shipped, or maybe relocate for a short period, or need to transport their vehicle because it’s not working. The reason doesn’t matter; what matters is that there are car shipping companies that can help you with getting your vehicle transported, no matter where it needs to go.

 Look for those with established histories, plenty of experiences, insurance details, and the ability to answer any questions you might have about auto transport.

Types of Car Shipping Options

If you’re shipping a car for the first time, you might want to know about the different types of auto transport and how they work. The two major types of auto transport are open and enclosed, and each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to understand them before you decide. Keep reading to learn about the popular methods of car transport in Michigan.

Open Car Shipping

This is the most common way to ship cars because it is cheaper than enclosed auto transport. In this method, the professionals load your car onto a large open trailer with other cargo of the exact nature. This means that many vehicles are being transported simultaneously to different destinations. The two main car trailers that auto carriers used are flatbed and multi-car carriers. The former has no sides or roof and can carry only one vehicle. The latter is like a semi-trailer with three levels for loading vehicles, and it can carry up to ten cars at once. This method usually takes longer because of the number of places it has to stop, but it is still very effective and safe if done by professionals. You must choose a company that has been around for a long time and has experience in this field when transporting cars from Michigan using this method.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transportation is the transport of a car in a fully secured truck or trailer. The vehicle sits inside the truck or trailer and does not have exposure to the elements and dirt. In this case, the vehicle is not just protected from weather conditions but also from road debris such as rocks and dust that can damage your vehicle. Enclosed car shipping is a good choice if you want to transport your classic, exotic, vintage, or luxury vehicle in the most secure way possible. Enclosed car shipping provides extra protection to ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination in the same condition where the shipping company picked it up. Because of this, enclosed auto shipping is generally more expensive than open car transport.

Different Types of Car Shipping Services

Car shipping services are more diverse than you may think. There are primarily three different car shipping services that you can choose from. Here’s a quick rundown of all the three-car shipping services that you can opt for:

Express Transport

If you are looking for a shipment that is available within the next 24-48 hours, you are looking for “express auto transport.” Many auto transport companies offer this premium service that allows you to book your shipment in 1 or 2 days. This can be very useful if you are in a rush and need your car, truck, or other vehicle shipped as soon as possible. However, this does come with a price premium, so you need to make sure that it’s worth it before booking an express auto transport service.

Guaranteed Transport

Guaranteed auto transport service is the kind of service that a car carrier offers when they are ready to pick up your vehicle and deliver it to the specified location within a specific time frame. It is like giving an assurance that they would be able to make the delivery on time without any delay. If you have some significant work in another city and need your vehicle at the new place as soon as possible, opting for guaranteed auto transport services would be a great option. You can easily take care of your business-related work with your vehicle and save money on renting a car.

Military Shipping

The nature of military work is that it regularly requires relocation from one place to another. This means that you need to pack your belongings and vehicles and ship them off to wherever you are moving. Military personnel who are in service and are on a transfer can use this service for transporting a car from Michigan (and vice versa).

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

Shipping a car in Michigan is not a difficult task. There are numerous options you can choose from, but many factors influence the answer: how much to transport a car to Michigan? The cost to transport the car to Michigan varies on many factors, including what service you choose, how far it’s traveling, and the type of vehicle. Also, you can opt for different types of transport, including open-air transport or enclosed transport. Here’s a list of factors that you need to consider:


The distance you are shipping your vehicle from origin to destination or where the auto transport carrier is picking up your vehicle and delivering it in Michigan plays a prominent role in determining the cost of shipping. The farther the distance covered by the truck carrying your car, the more expensive the shipping will tend to be.  

Make and Model  

This is another crucial factor that will affect the total cost of shipping a vehicle. The larger the car, the more expensive it will be to ship. Typically, transport companies charge more for larger vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and vans than smaller vehicles like sedans and hatchbacks. Some may even refuse to ship certain types of cars due to their size and shape.

The Time of Year

There are very many auto transport companies that do not mean that you can ship your car anytime you wish. There are times when several people will want to send their vehicles at once, and they will all look for carriers at once, making them scarce and expensive. In general, summer months are busier for auto transport companies than winter because people tend to move around more during summer, and students also have time off from school. If you need to ship a car during summer, expect higher prices.

Choose an Open or Enclosed Carrier

The type of transport method you choose can also determine how much to transport a car to Michigan. Open carriers are cheaper than closed carriers because they can accommodate many vehicles simultaneously, each exposed to the weather elements during transportation. On the other hand, enclosed carriers are expensive because they transport a few cars at a time, thus offering more protection for your vehicle during transit and charging you for this extra service.  

Vehicle Condition

The condition of your vehicle can affect its shipping costs as well. If it’s completely operable, you’ll pay a lower price than if it’s inoperable or has mechanical issues that require special handling or equipment during transport.

How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car To Or From Michigan? 

When it comes to shipping a car, people often ask, “How long does it take to ship a car?”. It is impossible to give a definitive answer to the question, and several factors decide the time taken for shipping a car.

Destination and Pick up Points

The location where you want your vehicle delivered and the site where experts will pick up your car is also essential when determining the shipment duration. It may take more time if your pick-up or delivery point is located in a remote area or an area that has too many traffic jams.

The route from point A to point B

The route taken by the transporter decides how long it takes when it comes to transporting a car from Michigan. Sometimes, the transporters may have to detour your vehicle through another route due to some ongoing construction works. This always adds more time and miles to your transportation process.

Roads Blocked Due To Accidents or Weather Conditions

There are times when roads get blocked due to an accident or bad weather conditions like heavy snowfall. The transporters have no other option but to wait till the road gets cleared again before they can start moving again. So, this is another factor that decides how long it takes to ship a car?

Construction Works

Construction work can cause delays in delivering vehicles because roads are closed off or are inaccessible during construction work. In addition, the number of lanes available for travel is also limited during construction work, which can delay shipments further. Hence, you need to check if any significant construction work may affect your shipment when you book an order with an auto shipping company.

How Does The Process Of Shipping A Car To Or From Michigan Work?

Shipping a car to or from Michigan can be complex and may seem overwhelming if you have never done it before. And if you are worried about how to transport my car to Michigan or vice versa, there’s good news for you. You just need to follow a few simple steps to book your shipment. Here’s an overview of what happens when you ship your car with a car shipping company:

 Hire an Auto Transport Company

Before you start shopping for a carrier, you should get quotes from several companies. You’ll want to do this to ensure that you get the best price and service possible. When requesting quotes, you may also want to ask about their insurance policies and whether or not they offer additional services such as door-to-door delivery. You can also generate quotes through the Quote Generators that these companies provide on their website. You just need to fill in some basic details such as pick-up and delivery location, the transport type, open or enclosed, and you are good to go. You can also request specific services like enclosed shipping or express delivery. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details, give your auto transport company a call and they’ll help you figure it out!

Get Your Car Picked Up For Shipping

When choosing the right shipping company for car transport in Michigan, you must schedule a pick-up. The carrier will usually give you a window of two to four days for them to pick up your vehicle, but if you need it sooner, just let them know. Remove all personal items from your car and ensure that it is empty except for the spare tire, floor mats, and floor jack. Also, check to ensure that your gas tank is no more than 1/4 complete and that no fluids leak out of your car. If any of these issues are present, then let the carrier know. So they can adjust their prices accordingly or refuse the shipment altogether.  

Some auto shipping companies offer GPS tracking as an additional service if you want to track your shipment. You will be able to see where your vehicle is at any given moment during its transport. If anything goes wrong during the transport process, they will immediately notify you by phone or text message.

Get Your Car Delivered

After all the preparations are done, and the car has been picked up, you can start to get ready for the delivery. Most shipping companies can give you a day and time range that they can deliver your car, but some may not be able to do so.

The delivery of the car is dependent upon the type of transport you choose. Door-to-door shipping is the most popular, but it is impossible for all locations. terminal-to-terminal delivery is cheaper, but it may not be available in your area. You can always check with the company about your locations’ drop-off and pick-up options.

Check for Any Damages

Make sure that you are present when the vehicle arrives so that you can inspect it before signing off on the Bill of Lading. Check for any damages that may have occurred during transportation, and make sure that the Bill of Lading mentions the same before signing it. If any damages appear after signing off on it, they will be considered pre-existing issues.

Documents Needed To Ship a Car To or From Michigan

It is vital to have all the necessary paperwork when transporting a car from Michigan. Proper documentation will ensure no delays in the shipping process and ensure that you have a smooth and seamless experience. Several types of documents are needed when shipping a car to or from Michigan. These include:

Bill Of Lading

A bill of lading is a contract between the carrier and the cargo owner, and it acts as a receipt for a shipment that has been loaded on board the carrier’s vehicle. It contains crucial information such as the names of the consignor and consignee, the number of packages on the cargo, type of cargo, and weight. 

 Insurance Terms and Conditions

 These are the terms and conditions regarding your insurance coverage for your vehicle. Note that you must purchase liability insurance under the FMCSA. Your shipping agent will help you obtain this document.

Absent Owner Authorization 

 If a person other than you is picking up your vehicle from transport, you must sign this form to authorize them. A car transport company can supply an absent owner authorization form.

Title and Registration

 You must bring these documents with you when dropping off or picking up your vehicle from transport. Scan them and email them to your transporter beforehand if you have them at hand.

 Lienholder Authorization

The lienholder authorization is a document that your vehicle owner obtains from the bank or lender to confirm the permission for transportation. The paper should be faxed to your auto transport company and contain a bank manager’s signature.

How to Find the Best Auto Transport Company to Ship a Car To or From Michigan?

Many car shipping companies exist today, but not all of them have the same level of service or experience to transport my car to Michigan. The best car shippers are there to ensure that their customers’ cars are well taken care of during the transportation process. However, since many auto transport companies are available right now, finding the right one can be difficult? To help you out, here are ways to find the best auto transport company to ship a car to or from Michigan.

Know what you want

The first thing you need to do is to know what you want. Do you want a door-to-door delivery service or terminal-to-terminal delivery? Door-to-door delivery is where the auto transport company will deliver your car directly at your doorsteps. On the other hand, a terminal-to-terminal delivery involves delivering your vehicle at a terminal near your home. In this case, you have to pick it up by yourself from the terminal.

Get an Auto Transport Quote

The next step to finding the best auto transport company is to estimate how much it will cost to ship your vehicle. Call several companies and get a quote for shipping your vehicle. Check what type of insurance is included with the estimate, and ask if any additional charges will pop up later.

Ask Around

You should also ask around for recommendations about the companies providing services for car transport in Michigan. Family, friends, and co-workers may have previously hired auto transport companies and can provide you with some great recommendations that could make your search much more accessible.

Do Your Research

Once you have a list of recommendations, it is time for research! You want to make sure that the company has been in business for several years and has a good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also check out review sites such as Google Reviews and Yelp to see what others say about their experiences with each company.

Make Sure They Have Proper Licensing and Insurance

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require all auto transport carriers to be fully licensed and insured before operating across state lines. This is important because their trucks have passed inspections, and drivers have undergone background checks to work across state lines.


It is crucial to determine how long an auto transport company has been transporting the car from Michigan or vice versa before hiring them. If a company is brand new and has not yet had time to establish itself in the industry, it may not be able to provide you with exceptional customer service or even deliver your shipment on time. 

FAQs Regarding Shipping a Car To or From Michigan 

What Documents Are Needed To Ship a Car from and to Michigan?  

Documents needed for shipping a car from and to Michigan may vary based on your vehicle, the shipping provider, and if you are shipping to another state or country. Meanwhile, your carrier handles most of the paperwork for you, so in reality, the two things you have to worry about are insurance and ownership documents.  

How Long Is an Auto Transport Company’s Quote Valid For?

Once you request a quote from a top-rated auto transport company, the quote is valid for 48 hours. As long as you book within that 48-hour window, you may be able to get the exact quote. Pricing can be affected by shipping volume and vehicle demand, so it’s in your best interest to book your car as soon as possible within a reasonable time frame.

 Should I Be Present At The Time Of Pick Up And Delivery?

While customers are not required to be present for pick-up and delivery of the car, experts recommend that a customer or a representative of the customer be present at each end. This is not only to provide accountability but also to allow a customer or the person representing the customer to inspect the car before and after transport and fill out and sign the appropriate paperwork.

How Can I Pay For The Auto Transport Service?

You can pay for your vehicle transport quote using any major credit card, like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Card. You can also use debit cards issued by the same companies, and they also accept payment through the online service PayPal™.

Does Insurance Cover My Car During Transit?

When a car is shipped, it will have its insurance policy purchased by the auto transport company.

Their insurance policy is an “all risk” coverage that can cover damages and losses for the carrier/shipper and customer. It does not cover damage resulting from mechanical failure (unless directly related to an auto accident), acts of nature, “acts of god” (such as hail), or intentional damage. 

Pros and Cons of Moving To and From Michigan

Michigan has many things to offer, including natural beauty, affordable housing, and a strong economy. It has the longest freshwater shoreline globally, and its Great Lakes region is home to over 11,000 miles of coastline, 200 active lighthouses, and countless beaches. The state also has over 100 state parks and many national parks that provide access to natural wonders such as dunes, forests, and waterfalls.


  • Low cost of living: The cost of living in Michigan is low compared to other states, making it a great place to settle down and start a family.
  • Fun activities: Many cities within Michigan offer a variety of activities, such as shopping and dining out with friends or family members.
  • Job opportunities: Michigan has plenty of job opportunities in various fields, so there’s something for everyone here! And the number boasts of it. The unemployment rate is consistently falling, leading to a low of just over 5%. 
  • Sports: Every year, thousands of sports fans flock to Michigan. No matter the time of year, you are likely to find a sporting event in the state that will appeal to your interests. From golf to skiing, from football to hockey, from basketball to baseball, Michigan is a state for sports fans.


  • Winter blues: Michigan winters make it much more challenging to get outside, which can lead to the winter blues. It is not uncommon to see people with a pasty complexion during the winter months. Even those who make an effort to get outside may feel depressed due to the lack of sunlight.
  • Expensive education: The cost of higher education in Michigan is outpacing the cost of living and is especially onerous for parents saving for their child’s college education.
  • Transportation structure: Temperature extremes can damage pavement, making the roads more likely to crack and deteriorate. Underground infrastructure like pipes and sewers can also be damaged by extreme cold or heat.

Brantley Kendall