How to Ship a Car to Another State

Posted On 26th January 2021

Useful Tips of How to Ship a CarThere are many situations in which you might want to know how to ship a car to another state.

Perhaps you're planning a move to a new state or city on the other side of the country and want to find out how to transport a car to another state, for example. Or maybe you've sold your car to someone who lives far away and wants to learn how to ship a car across the country.

You might even be buying a new car from a private owner or dealership and want to arrange a door-to-door car freight shipping service to bring the car home.

In any case, finding out how to transport a car to another state is vital for anyone who intends to contact an auto transport company and get a car to another state or location. This guide will cover all you need to know about how to ship a car to another state.

How to Save Money When Shipping a Car & Cheapest Way to Ship a Car

One of the first things to learn in terms of how to ship a car to different states is that it often isn't a cheap process. "How much would it cost to ship my car to another state?" is, in fact, one of the most commonly asked questions about the entire process, and the answer is that it really depends on a range of different factors, which will be explained in further detail below.

Fortunately, even though cheap car transport services can be hard to find, there are ways for you to find affordable car transport.

So if you want to know what is the cheapest way to ship a car or figure out how to ship your car to another state and save money in the process, here are a few key things to bear in mind.

  • Compare your options, getting an instant car shipping quote from different companies to see where you can save money.
  • Opt for open carrier trucks over enclosed transportation, as this is usually much cheaper.
  • Consider alternative pick-up and drop-off points that reduce the distance or make the route easier for the trucking company and therefore more affordable for you.
  • Drive your car to a significant pick-up point to cut down some of the total costs.

What Factors Affect the Car Shipping Price

When it comes to contacting transportation companies and negotiating a shipping service to transport vehicles, the process's total cost can vary quite a lot.

When you're trying to answer questions like "How much to ship a car to another state?" or "How much is it to ship a vehicle?" you need to consider all of the following factors.

Vehicle Size

One of the first things to know when it comes to car delivery from state to state is that your car's size can impact the final price.

It's important to note that more oversized vehicles will take up more space and weigh more, resulting in a higher car freight shipping cost. Therefore, it's recommended to think carefully and make sure you have the budget to cover the shipping process costs for a large SUV.

Car Shipping Company

Another significant factor that comes into account when you're learning how to ship your car to another state or trying to find the best way to ship a car across the country is the car shipping company you choose to work with.

Many shipping companies are operating in the transportation industry, offering different customer service levels and very different prices. This is why it's wise to compare your options when looking for the best way to ship a car.


Distance is arguably the most important factor to think about when it comes to the cost of shipping a car, so before you figure out how you can ship your car to another state, you need to think about the distances involved in the journey.

Obviously, longer distances cost more money, as more time, fuel, and manpower will be required to make longer journeys when transporting cars from place to place.

How to Ship a Car Across Country

There are a few things to keep in mind when shipping a car across the country.

  • The first is to make sure the car is in good working order. This means having it serviced and making sure there is enough oil and other fluids. It is also a good idea to have the brakes checked and the tires properly inflated.
  • The second thing to keep in mind is the type of trailer that will be used. There are enclosed trailers and open trailers. Enclosed trailers provide more protection for the car, but they are also more expensive. Open trailers are less expensive, but the car is more exposed to the elements.
  • The third thing to keep in mind is the route that will be taken. Some routes are better than others for car shipping. The best route is the one that is the shortest and has the least amount of traffic.
  • The fourth thing to keep in mind is the time of year that the car will be shipped. Summer is the busiest time for car shipping, so rates will be higher. Winter is the slowest time, so rates will be lower.
  • The fifth and final thing to keep in mind is freight shipping insurance. Make sure that the car is insured for its full value in case something happens during transport. This will give you peace of mind and protect your investment.

Now that you know the things to keep in mind when shipping a car across the country, you can start planning your move. 

How Much to Ship a Car Across Country

The cost to ship a car across the country can vary greatly depending on the size of the car, the distance it needs to travel, and the method of shipping you choose. Smaller cars may be able to be shipped via an enclosed trailer, while larger vehicles may need to be shipped on an open trailer.

The distance your car needs to travel will also affect shipping costs - shorter distances will generally be less expensive than longer ones. Finally, the type of shipping you choose (enclosed or open) will also affect the cost.

  • Enclosed shipping is generally more expensive than open shipping, but it offers more protection for your vehicle from weather and road conditions. If you are shipping a classic car or other high-value vehicle, enclosed shipping may be the best option to protect your investment.
  • Open shipping is less expensive than enclosed shipping, but your vehicle will be exposed to the elements during transport. This type of shipping is generally best for newer vehicles that are not as valuable.

The best way to get an accurate estimate of shipping costs is to contact a few different companies and compare rates. Be sure to ask about any discounts or specials that may be available.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

When it comes to getting a car shipped, the final cost may also be influenced by the precise pick-up and drop-off locations of the vehicle itself.

Some companies may offer a door-to-door service, in which a car is taken from a dealership or private location and transported all the way to your door, for example, but this is often more costly than taking the car and dropping it off from major shipping locations like ports or train stations.

Time of Year

Even something as simple as the time of year can affect the cost of transporting a car from state to state. This is because of shipping schedules, which can vary throughout the year.

Sometimes, companies are less busy, so they have more resources available to ship cars and offer lower costs, but other times, costs may be higher during the most active moments of the year.

Type of Truck

Two main types of a truck are used for shipping cars: enclosed transport and open carrier.

An open carrier truck will usually cost less but offer a lower protection level for your vehicle as it gets transported.

What Trucks are Using for Car Transportation

Many people have questions about how to ship a car across the country, and many people want to know precisely how cars are shipped by trucks.

Well, as stated above, there are two main types of trucks used in this process:

Open Carrier

An open carrier, also known as open-air transport, basically means that the trailer will be open and exposed to the air and elements, leaving your car prone to rain, wind, snow, and changing temperatures.

Most cars are shipped this way, and it's seen as the best way to ship a car in terms of affordability and accessibility.

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport is usually reserved for high-end and luxury vehicles. With this type of truck, the trailer will be closed, and the vehicle will be completely protected, giving you more peace of mind and confidence that your car will arrive unharmed.

This is the best way to ship a car across the country if you care about preserving your vehicle.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping

As well as knowing how to ship a car and the specifics of how to ship your car to another state, you also need to understand how to prepare your car for the shipping process.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Clean your car both inside and out and take photographs before it goes. This way, if any damage does occur on the road or the car arrives dirty, you have evidence to show that it wasn't your fault.
  • Make sure to go through the vehicle and remove any personal possessions or valuables you might have left behind in the trunk or glove compartment.
  • Add in about a quarter tank of gas, just so that the car can be operated and driven on and off the trucks, as needed, but don't fill it too high as that extra gas will give your car a higher weight and may lead to higher shipping costs.

How to Choose the Best Car Shipping Company

Now that you know how to transport a car to another state and understand the answer to questions like "How to ship a car?" you'll need to focus on finding the right company to meet your needs.

One of the best ways to ship a car is to take your time, doing the necessary research and using a convenient comparison service like FreightRun to get quotes from a range of companies in a matter of minutes.

You should also read reviews and learn more about what each company has to offer and what sort of track record they have in terms of shipping cars to find one you can genuinely really on.

With this information, you'll fully understand the ins and outs of how I can ship my car and choose the best business to take care of any vehicle.