How to Move Your Car to Another State – Things to Know

October 16, 2018Car Shipping Essentials
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

If you’re in the process of relocating your household to a new home, the question of how to move a car to another state might have crossed your mind a couple of times already. The procedure is relatively straightforward if you’re planning to drive it to your new address yourself. But if that’s not the case, say, you’re planning to catch a flight to your new home, there are a few options at your disposal.

There are many advantages, cost- and convenience-wise, of using auto transport services to ship your vehicle, especially compared to driving it yourself. But the most important thing here is to find a reliable and professional auto shipper with a proven record of transporting cars across state lines. We’d like to show you how to recognize a trustworthy company, and then get you familiar with all other aspects of this process, from necessary paperwork to the preparatory steps needed to ensure safe transport.

Why Move Your Car to Another State By Using Auto Shipping Services Instead of Driving It Yourself

Moving across state borders and settling into a new home can bring you a lot of excitement and plenty of anxiety, too. Besides many little or not-so-little details related to your relocation, such as doing research about reliable moving companies, packing your belongings, and dealing with necessary documents, there is one more task that should be planned thoroughly – shipping your car.
Do you think that loading your car with stuff and driving to your new home across many miles is a piece of cake? Keep reading and find out why using professional auto transport services might be a smart investment.

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Shipping Your Vehicle Between States Can Be Cheaper

Even if you’re moving far away – 400 miles or more across the country, you can always drive yourself and reach your desired destination. But, how more convenient, safer, and maybe even less expensive would it be if you entrusted your precious four-wheeler to experts?
If you want to do it yourself, you have to pay for gas, food, hotel services, and all other car expenses associated with a long, cross-country drive. Plus, if anything gets damaged, you’ll be the only one responsible. On the other hand, a legitimate carrier will provide you with insurance in case something happens during the transport.

It Is Less Stressful

You’ve probably heard that relocation is one of the most stressful events in life. And if you have already gone through it before, you know just how true this can be. Planning every step of the way, creating an inventory list, thinking about packing, and doing research about your prospective place is a serious and time-consuming effort. And if you have kids, having to drive them, your plants, pets, and the rest of your stuff in your car might be a real nightmare.
The United States is well-known for its risky interstate highways, and if you don’t have a lot of experience, as trained drivers do, you should avoid driving yourself. On top of that, you will save your car from wear, tear, and additional mileage.

USA Auto Transport
If you want to choose the most reliable way to ship your car, consider hiring a carrier

How Much Does It Cost to Transport Your Vehicle From One State to Another

This is a question that will probably cross your mind right after you decide to choose a professional carrier instead of driving yourself or use some other transport method. There is no universally correct or simple answer to this question as the price of this service depends on many factors, such as:
● The distance from your current place of residence to your new home
● The size, make, model, and weight of cars (for example, exotic auto transport will cost you more than transporting a sedan)
● The shipping method you prefer (open or enclosed auto transport)
● The cost of insurance

cars stuck on open trailer
The final price will be formed depending on a couple of factors

Find the Best Auto Shipper

If you’ve decided to employ professional auto shipping services, you should entrust your car to a shipper with the required set of skills and years of experience. The essential traits when it comes to choosing the right carrier are:
● Experience
● Trustworthiness
● Professionalism
● Affordability

If you are having trouble finding a reliable company, do some research, and witness how this small effort on your behalf will pay off in the end. To complete this process without a hitch, keep in mind these steps that should be taken before you go for this or that auto shipper:
● Fill out a car transport quote on the carrier’s website
● Make sure to include all necessary information about your car and shipping details
● After receiving several bids, you should pick the most suitable one (which, in most cases, is not the cheapest one)
● Check your prospective shipper – read reviews, ask for recommendations, look for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau
● Your company should be licensed and have a USDOT number – you can check this on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website

Ask for Auto Shippers’ Quotes

We’ve already mentioned that you should ask for quotes from several carriers before choosing a particular one. But why is receiving multiple quotes so important? You know that there are thousands of companies out there, so how can you choose the right one? The most effective way is to collect several different estimated prices, compare carriers against one another, and choose the most acceptable offer.

Advantages of Direct Auto Transport

Hiring a professional shipping company comes with many benefits, and one of them is direct auto transport, also known as door-to-door service. Depending on your needs and your car’s condition, you can choose between two transport options:
● Open-air transportation
● Enclosed shipment

Express Car Shipping

If you require express car shipping instead of standard door-to-door car delivery, you should expect about a 30% higher price than usual. However, with express shipment, your carrier typically guarantees for:
● A precise pick-up date
● An exact drop-off date
● A guaranteed interval of “x-days” from pick-up to drop-off
When paying for this service, the good idea is to request a written guarantee on what reimbursement you can expect if your auto shipper doesn’t meet the agreed date.

usa auto transport truck
Ask for several quotes, and pick the one with a good price-to-quality ratio

The Documents Needed to Ship Your Vehicle

Shipping your vehicle cross country requires some paperwork you should provide to your transporting company beforehand. The number and type of documents vary from company to company, but these are some basic things without which your shipment can’t be performed:
● Car’s registration and title
● Driver’s license
● Proof of insurance

A person reading a document about door to door auto transport
To ship your car successfully, prepare necessary documents beforehand

Prepare Your Car

If you’ve arranged everything for the shipment, there’s one thing left to be done – to prepare your car for shipping before your carrier picks it up. We’ve prepared this short checklist to help you do everything on time:
● Wash your vehicle and look for any signs of damage
● If there are scratches or abrasions, take photos and save them
● Take several pictures of your whole vehicle to file a damage claim later if it happens
● Fix fluid leaks
● Make sure that your tank is only ¼ full
● Check your tires
● Batteries should be charged
● The emergency brake should be in good condition
● There is no room for any belongings in the trunk
● Remove all exterior parts that can be removed (including the alarm system and antenna) and leave only the standard equipment

the person taking a picture of the car
Taking a photo of your car before loading onto the truck could be a good idea

What Comes After Your Vehicle Gets Delivered

Probably the most exciting part is the delivery to the new address. Even though this might look like the last step, there are several things left to take care of. First, you should inspect your car for any signs of damage. If you conclude that everything is alright, then you should sign the Bill of Lading and the condition report. In case of damage, photograph the car, mark it down on the document, and contact your shipper.

Do You Have to Change Your Auto Registration

After moving to another state, you’re going to deal with some post-relocation tasks, including the registration process. Since every state has different rules, check with your  local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) how much time you have to finish your obligations. Besides paying the fee, you’ll likely need to show these documents:
● Proof of ownership
● Proof of insurance
● Proof of inspection
● A government-issued ID

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