How to Transport Cars From State to State – Essential Things to Know

October 8, 2019Car Shipping Essentials
Steven Rogers

Apart from sharing Captain America's name, our freelance writer Steven is also a big fan of moving, history, and geography.

To transport cars from state to state, besides time and budget, you’ll need to think about a few other things, including legal regulations and insurance options. However, if you choose a reliable shipper, you can be sure that your beloved four-wheeler will be transported without any problems.

What Are the Legal Requirements Necessary to Transport Cars From State to State

If you plan on moving your four-wheeler, make sure that you are familiar with what your future state’s laws and regulations say about interstate car transportation, including automobile inspection and registration. Don’t forget that each state has its requirements regarding this matter.

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Your Vehicle Must Comply With the Inspection Criteria of the New State

To avoid any inconvenience, contact the US Department of Transport (USDOT), and check whether your car is ready for moving. Motors vehicle agencies are available online in most US states; that’s why it should be easier for you to find every information needed.

Remember, your car must comply with your new state’s inspection criteria so that you don’t have trouble passing the inspection. To prevent any unnecessary stress regarding car transportation, you can always rely on a reputable company that provides adequate services.

man in the job interview
Make sure that you are familiar with the legal requirements regarding the process of car transportation.

Before You Arrange the Shipping, Order a Free Auto Transport Cost Quote

Perhaps you didn’t know this, but when it comes to car shipping, there is no such thing as a fixed price. That’s why you should ask for estimates, a.k.a free quotes, that will give you the general idea of how much you are going to pay for shipping your car across the country.

If a carrier that provides these services also provides you with quotes, it’s usually a sign of its reliability and transparency. Besides, when you know approximately how much money you will need to provide for the services, it will be way easier to come up with a realistic budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car – Various Factors Determine How Estimates Are Calculated

When you ask for a free quote from the company that provides cross-country auto shipping services, it will calculate the estimate based on various factors, including the type of service you choose and the distance between pickup and delivery location. Other than that, the overall cost will also be determined by:

  • The condition of your car – If your vehicle is inoperable, getting it on the truck will require more people and more significant effort. Also, you will need special insurance; therefore, the costs will be higher.
  • The size, weight, and type of your auto – Different four-wheelers require different levels of attention and different modes of transportation.
  • The time of the year – If you want to achieve a great deal with a company that provides shipping services, you should know that summer is the peak season when the prices are at their steepest.
  • The day of the week – If you order a carrier on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, it will likely come cheaper than if you booked on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Additional note – To be sure what factors shippers use to calculate the estimate, contact them, and ask for detailed information.

Ways to Reduce the Overall Cost of Car Shipping

If the estimates you receive are above your budget, there are ways to reduce the overall cost of shipping a vehicle. One way is to choose more affordable services such as an open carrier, and another is to change the delivery location. You can always take into consideration the option of contacting the chosen company so that you can get professional advice on how to reduce the costs.

USA Auto Transport
The free quotes will give you a general idea about the price of car shipping.

Choose the Right Insurance Option

When your four-wheeler is being transported cross-country, you should have insurance that covers any mishaps that could happen along the way. You can always contact your insurer to see what are the best insurance options for this particular situation. Even though most companies provide basic insurance, getting third-party coverage is a step worth considering.

a car insurance policy
Besides basic insurance options offered by companies, customers should also consider the option of additional insurance.

To Ship a Four-Wheeler Across the Country, You Need to Prepare It Adequately

Before you hand your car keys to your chosen shippers, make sure that your vehicle has been cleaned and prepared for transport. Besides washing it, you might need to change fluids or get new tires and repair visible damage.

Take out All Your Belongings From the Car Before You Transport It

When you start cleaning the interior of your four-wheeler, make sure to remove all the items you’ve kept inside of it, including valuables, documents, and money. It is recommended that the vehicle being transported is empty, but leave a quarter of a full tank of gas, just in case.

Wash the Exterior and Record All Damage

After you have removed all unnecessary items from your car, it’s time to wash its exterior. Also, you should check for all the damage and record it. It’s advisable to take pictures of your vehicle so that, later on, you can establish if some additional damage occurred.

Take Your Auto to a Mechanic for a General Checkup

To be sure that your car is ready for moving, take it to a general checkup. A word from the professional will assure you that your vehicle is in the right condition to be transported.

usa auto transport truck
Before the transportation day, take your car to a mechanic.

A Crucial Step Is to Choose the Most Suitable Shipping Option

When you first contact a company, the representatives will provide you with the information regarding their services and, based on the information about your vehicle, suggest what kind of service is most suitable for your car. Which one you will decide to go with depends on your preferences, time, and money.

Enclosed Transport Is the Best Option for Transporting Expensive Cars Across States

If you choose an enclosed trailer, you can be sure that your car will be fully protected. Not only from any kind of damage, but from road debris, weather, and other external elements. However, an enclosed trailer is the type of service that is quite expensive and mostly reserved for show and luxury cars.

Open Auto Carrier Is an Affordable Alternative

If you choose an open trailer, you should know that your car is going to be transported on a carrier along with several other vehicles. It is the most commonly used auto shipping method and a much more affordable option. If you hire reliable and highly professional shipping experts, you won’t have to worry about any possible damage to your car despite the fact that it will be exposed to the elements.

Door-To-Door vs. Terminal-To-Terminal Delivery

The most common way of delivery is door-to-door, meaning the auto transport company you hire will pick your car up from your current home and deliver it precisely to the address you’ve specified.

However, if you wish to reduce the costs of transportation, you can choose terminal-to-terminal delivery. It means that you have to drive your four-wheeler to the nearest terminal and pick it up from a different one.

USA Auto Transport
Open or enclosed trailer; customers choose the service according to their preferences and financial means.

It All Starts and Ends With a Reliable Auto Shipper

The process of moving a car is impossible without reliable shipping experts. To find the right one, you should gather as much information as possible by reading online reviews and asking for recommendations. That way, you will be sure that the business you’ve hired will get your four-wheeler to its final destination in terms most suitable for you.

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