How to Ship a Car from an Auction

When you are shipping a car, there are many different factors that make an impact on the price of the transportation. However, a little more planning is involved if you are buying a car at an auction. Buying cars at an auction offers the opportunity to purchase a car at a reasonable price. However, it can be a nightmare to actually get the car to your house, especially if you bought the car at an online auction. If you bought the car with a salvage title, it is illegal to drive it anywhere until you are able to get the car to a workshop and DMV to change the title. While it may be a overwhelming task, if you follow these steps, you should be able to ship your car with no problems.

Reasons to Ship the Car

There are many different reasons to ship the car instead of driving the car yourself. First of all, if you bought the car at an online auction and the car is out of state, it doesn’t make sense to drive to the auction and drive it yourself. Another reason to have the car shipped is to avoid any more wear and tear the car may already have since it was at an auction. Furthermore, having the car shipped drastically reduces the risk of accidents occurring on the drive.

Methods of Car Shipping

Before covering the moving costs, one has to understand the various options available. Each of these options offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and come with a different price tag for each option.

  1. Do it Yourself
  2. Tow Truck
  3. Train
  4. Car Shipping Carrier

Do it Yourself

In today’s day and age, there are many people who are firm believers of “DIY – or do it yourself”. This option is typically going to be the cheapest option you could choose from depending on the items you already have or don’t have. If you already have a trailer to put the car on, you would not have to worry about adding mileage to your car or any damages that could occur from driving the car across the country. However, if you have to rent a trailer or pay to have a hitch put on your vehicle, the upfront costs could be quite expensive without even bringing the price of gas into consideration. Along with the price of the trailers, gas, and the hard work of moving it yourself, some people tend to look for different options to move their car.

Tow Truck

An alternative to moving the car yourself would be to hire a tow truck to make the transport. This would be a step up in the price range from the DIY option, but there are a few advantages and disadvantages. The advantage would be that you wouldn’t have to put any miles on the odometer, or too much wear and tear on your vehicle. Obviously the back wheels will have some wear and tear during the travel, but it is still less wear and tear when compared to moving it yourself. This is not really an option for long distance car shipping.


While this option is not commonly done, it is still available for consumers. The demand is not very high, nor is the supply, so there are not many trains that offer this service. The majority of people who choose this option are those who are actually traveling on the train themselves and want to have their car at their final destination. This is only available on Amtrak and the train runs from DC and Florida.

Professional Auto Transporting Company

If the stress of driving long distances seems worrisome to you, professional transporting companies will take all the stresses away from you. Shipping your car professionally offers you a peace of mind that your car won’t be damaged during the transport, and may not be as expensive as you think, especially when you compare how much it could be if you drive it yourself.

Typically, the professional transport company will transport your car through an open car hauling. This way the cars are suspended on the double decker trailers, protecting the wheels and suspension from incurring any damage during the travel. Conversely, you can opt to ship via an enclosed unit, which offers protection from flying road debris and inclement weather. Obviously open transport is the less expensive option. Please remember if you book for an operable vehicle and the vehicle turns out to not run, you will incur a fee.

Another option is known as inoperable vehicle shipping, where the vehicle must be inoperable to be considered for this option. The carrier that is shipping your car must have a winch or a flatbed hauler for close-range shipping.

Price to Ship the Car

There are many varying costs associated with shipping a vehicle. For example, the distance you are shipping the car from to its destination plays a major factor, the further the distance the more expensive it is. Additionally, the type of shipping you choose to go through will rise or lower the price. The fuel price will make the cost of the shipment rise or fall. The time of the year will play a major factor in the price to ship your car. Finally, both the condition your car is in and the make/model will play a major factor in determining the price of shipping your car, the more expensive the car is, the more money it will cost you.

Steps to Ship the Car
  1. Settle the car payment for the auction company – this must be accomplished before the vehicle is shipped.
  2. Request a quote from multiple companies to determine a few prices
  3. Notify the auctioneers what company will be used to transport your vehicle.
  4. Provide the transportation company with the gate pass, lot number, and buyer number.

Lets move your vehicle together

Choose the Right Company

When you are searching for a company to ship your car, it is important to do a thorough research for what is available. There are multiple companies that will offer their services to you, it is important to thoroughly research each company, and pick the one that is right for you. Throughout the research process, here are a few important deciding factors that you should consider before making your decision. First of all, the company you choose should be a reputable company that has been in business for a long period of time. Another factor that is important to consider is the company’s insurance policy that will cover your car throughout the move. An obvious area that you would need to look into is the timing of your shipment. Most people want their goods shipped quickly, so that could be a deciding factor in which company you use. The final area to compare between companies are the quotes that they send to you, which could be the determining factor. However, when shipping a car, the cost should not play a major influence on determining which company you decide to choose, it should be the company you feel will deliver your vehicle with no damage and no headaches on your end.


Whether you are buying an old clunker or an exotic vehicle online, there are a few options you may choose from to ship the vehicle to its new destination. There is the obvious “DIY” option, where you just drive it there yourself, coming with some obvious drawbacks of driving yourself and the wear and tear on your vehicle. You could go with a tow truck, offering a slightly more expensive option, and still have some wear and tear on your vehicle. The train option may be the most expensive option, the only benefit is if you are on the train yourself as well. Finally, the auto transport industry could offer many advantages and disadvantages, it may not be cheaper than doing it yourself, but it will save you the headache of driving yourself!