Transporting Your Vehicle to a New State: A Helpful Guide

Everyone who’s endured a move knows it’s a haggering experience. Moving locally is hard enough, but moving out of state is even tougher. A lot of the challenges are due to the colossal amount of tasks to do prior to the move itself – all within a limited time period. What can make it even more difficult is if you are forced to ship your car to another state. How do I ship my car from one state to another? How do I find the best auto transport company? How much does it cost to ship a car to another state? How do I prepare a car for transport? All of these are important questions that you will find yourself asking, and stressing over, as moving day approaches.

To help you through this head-scratching process, check out the guide below to learn what you need to know and do in order to organize your state-to-state vehicle transport in the best possible way.

What do I look for in an auto transport company?

Believe it or not, auto shippers do exist (phew!). All you have to do is find one. It may seem easier said than done, but it really is that simple – as long as you know what to look for, that is. When on the hunt for an auto shipper, pay close attention to these things:

Experience: As with all companies/businesses, what sets a great car shipping company apart from a not-so-great one is how much experience it has. Your best bet is to choose a company that’s been in business for many years. The length of time a business has been established acts as a sort of guarantee that your state-to-state auto transport will be well taken care of by someone with experience.

Trustworthiness: Having trust in your auto shipper will come from communication and dealing with the company one-on-one, and it will also come from what you read or hear from reliable, trustworthy sources. So do your research, and trust your instincts as you venture into a business relationship with an auto transport company.

Professionalism: It’s easy to tell right off the bat whether a company is professional or not. Professionalism is an attitude, a way of doing business in an honorable, honest way. A company that is disorganized or has rude, unhelpful employees is definitely not professional, so steer clear.

Affordability: A successful auto shipper will have a healthy balance between high-quality services and affordable prices. The most expensive place and the cheapest place are more than likely not your best choice, so try and find a company that stands somewhere in the middle.

How much does it cost to transport a vehicle?

One of the most important questions to ask an auto transport company is how much they charge, so be sure to ask for a price quote as early as possible to avoid wasted time and energy. Here are some things that will affect the cost of your state-to-state auto transport:

  • The distance from Point A (the current location of your vehicle) to Point B (your new destination). The more miles, the more costly.
  • The size, make and model of your vehicle. Larger or more expensive cars will cost more.
  • The total weight of your vehicle. The more weight, the higher the cost.
  • The cost of insurance to protect your vehicle (and you!) if there are any problems during the transport.

How do I prepare my vehicle for transport?

Once you’ve selected a company to transport your vehicle, you may think the task of shipping your car is complete – just hand over the keys and you’re done, right? Well, you will be handing over the keys, yes, but you will need to prepare your car for transport first. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash the exterior – if needed.
  2. Do a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Note any damage with close-up photos. This will stand as evidence of your vehicle’s pre-move condition. Also, get photos of your entire vehicle in case a damage claim needs to be filed post-move.
  3. Inspect your vehicle for leaks – around the engine, underneath the car, etc. If any leaks are discovered, have them fixed prior to shipping your vehicle.
  4. Leave your gas tank with roughly ¼ of fuel. This will decrease the total weight of your vehicle and save you money in shipping costs.
  5. Inspect tires to confirm they are in good condition and fully inflated.
  6. Ensure your car’s battery is well-secured and charging as it should.
  7. Verify the emergency brake is in good working condition.
  8. Remove any personal belongings from your vehicle. The only belongings that are allowed to stay are a child seat, spare tire, jack and emergency kit.
  9. Remove any non-permanent exterior parts (i.e., a bike rack).
  10. Disable or remove any alarm systems.
  11. Fully retract (or remove) your vehicle’s antenna.
  12. Close and secure any convertible tops, sunroofs, etc.

Now that you know a little bit about how to ship your vehicle between states, your move will go a lot smoother. For more tips and tricks to make your move easier, click here.