How to ship a car to another state

How to ship a car to a new state
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Whenever the time has come for you to move to a new state (How to prepare to move out of state?), you may need to have your car transported to your destination state in the quickest and safest way possible.

Regardless of whether you’re driving to your new home and you need to have your other car shipped, or you’re flying to the new residence and you need your only vehicle to be transported, one thing is clear: you’re going to have to rely on professional car transportation services.

The truth is that moving to a new state is a lot of work. Therefore, you’re advised to take care of this car transportation business as fast as possible so that you have sufficient time to tackle other important pre-move tasks as well.

Learn the basics of how to ship a car from one state to another: how to find a reliable auto shipper, what you should do to prepare your car for state-to-state transportation, and what to do after shipping a car to a new state.

What to know before shipping a car to another state

Unlike an informed decision to perform a short distance self-move by renting a moving van and asking friends to help you move out, shipping a car to another state is not something you can manage without professional assistance. For some reason or another, you won’t be driving your own vehicle to the new-state home, so the only reasonable alternative is to hire a dependable car transportation company to transport your car for you.

The major problem is that finding just any auto shipper won’t usually work well – you just have to find a car transporter with years of vehicle transportation experience and affordable rates too.

  • Professional experience. It’s best to look for an established car shipper with many years of experience – the mere fact that the car transportation company has stayed competitive in a highly competitive market usually means that they must be doing something right.
  • Dependability (reputation). Turn your attention to auto shipping companies with excellent online reputation – an important sign that most customers are happy with the services they have received and have left positive reviews and overall ratings about the company that had shipped their own respective vehicles across the country.
  • Affordability. Provided that your own money will be put on the line during the car shipping process, it’s only normal that you’ll want to find a low-cost auto shipper. The affordability of car transport services is essential for forming a favorable decision in the end, but you shouldn’t look only at the price of the offered service.

See also: Should I drive or fly when moving cross country?

What’s the cost to transport a car to another state?

Car transportation services are calculated on a case-by-case basis, and therefore it’s practically impossible for you to know the vehicle shipping price in advance unless you request car transport quotes from professional auto shipping companies.

To better understand how the auto shippers quotes are formed, here are the major factors that affect the final cost:

  • the make, model, and size of your car awaiting professional transportation;
  • the overall weight of the vehicle;
  • the distance between the two locations;
  • the motor vehicle insurance;
  • the specific car transport rates of the company itself. Similar to household movers, different car shippers charge differently for the same service, so don’t skip the all-important task of comparing various vehicle transportation companies.

So, how much does it cost to transport a car? Request a car transport quote and you’ll find out soon enough.

How to find the best auto shippers

When searching for a professional company to ship your car to another state, it’s vital that you spend some time researching various auto shippers so that you can actually select the best one for you.

  • Has anyone from your circle of friends and colleagues had their car transported recently? If yes, speak with them and learn whether they can recommend their car transport service provider, and why.
  • Fill out a car transportation quote and get contacted by experienced vehicle transportation companies that can service you along the route and on the date you have specified.
  • Access several reputable auto shippers reviews websites and compare the online reputation of the companies by reading what former customers had to say about the service they received. This type of research will give you a better understanding of what to expect from the professional car transporter.
  • Before saying Yes to a car shipper, talk with the car transporters and voice any concerns, worries, or questions you may have regarding the process of having your car shipped across the country. Their responses will give you a clear indication of their level of professionalism and dedication.
  • Base your final decision on friendly recommendations, transport reviews, and of course – the price and conditions on the quotes. Also, make sure you understand well your insurance options.

How to prepare a car for interstate shipping

Once you’ve made up your mind to hire a reputable car shipper to transport your vehicle to another state, it’s time to turn your attention to that same vehicle and prepare it for the road ahead. In other words, there are specific steps you must take to get your car ready before the hired auto shipper arrives to take it away on the pre-arranged date.

  1. The interior of your vehicle should be clean, so wash it yourself or have it washed at a car wash near your home.
  2. Inspect carefully your car while looking for any signs of damage you may not have noticed until then. Photograph any damage you find and keep the photos as proof of your vehicle’s current condition.
  3. Make sure no more than approximately 1/4 of fuel remains in the tank of the car.
  4. Leave the tires inflated and make sure they are in good condition.
  5. Make sure the car battery is completely charged.
  6. Check the emergency brake – it should be operative.
  7. Remove any items of yours from the interior of the car, especially any valuables such as your car stereo, GPS devices, etc. In fact, the only thing you are permitted to leave inside is a child seat.
  8. Take down any removable exterior car elements such as non-permanent racks. Standard vehicle equipment such as tools, emergency kits and so on can remain.
  9. Retract or remove temporarily the antenna of your car.
  10. Disable the alarm system of your vehicle.

Click here to access the full car shipping checklist.

What to do after shipping a car to another state

Finally, let’s say a few words about the 2 most important tasks you should complete after your vehicle has already been delivered to the new address in the new state.

  1. Inspect your vehicle really carefully and look for any signs of damage caused during transit. Your auto shipper will expect you to sign the Bill of Lading and the condition report of a proof that everything has gone smoothly. Should you notice any damages, photograph them, write them down and inform immediately the car transportation company.
  2. Register your car in the new state within the allowed registration time frame – otherwise, you may be fined. Contact the local DMV office for more information about registering your out-of-state care. Do not postpone getting this job done as some states give vehicle owners as little time as 10 days (Florida, for example).

See also: How to ship a car overseas

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