How to Ship a Car from A to Z

There are many reasons to ship a car. You can ship your newly purchased, recently leased, or old car. You could also be relocating or moving to another city for the holidays. Shipping your vehicle can seem simple, but what exactly goes on in the process? As you read, you will get to know all of it.

Why Shipping?

Whether you are moving a new or old car, why should you consider shipping your car? The time factor affects your choice. If you need your new vehicle as soon as possible, shipping will save you more time than driving. Also, shipping is preferable if you want to avoid racking up mileage on your car. What are the available shipping options?

Shipping Companies or a Hired Driver?

While shipping companies help to prevent excessive mileage on your car, private drivers will help to save time. Several shipping companies are available to help you move your car easily. When choosing one, you look for experience, reliability, and professionalism. Certifications like the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number help to prove credibility.

When opting for the drive-away service, you can either get a driver who advertises his services online or reach out to a company that will connect you to a driver. Looking for a driver’s license, insurance, and criminal background would be best.

Shipping companies transport more than one car, requiring that they pick up and deliver vehicles at different locations. With a private driver, there are no stops for loading or unloading other vehicles, making this option more expensive.

Shipping Methods

You can ship your car via a truck, trailer, cargo ship, aircraft, or train. However, trucks, trailers, and boats are the most common methods used.

By Truck

Truck shipping is the go-to method for most individuals. This is because it is less expensive than others. What goes on is that you select a reliable shipping company that moves cars with a truck. You either drive your car to them, or they come to pick up your car at home. Then, they load your car onto the trucks or trailers ready to move.

By Boat

After trucks, shipping by boat is relatively affordable. Shipping by boat is preferable if you are shipping from one coast to another or offshore locations. Ro-Ro ships are helpful when moving larger vehicles that cannot go on trucks.

Open or Enclosed Shipping

If you are shipping your car via a truck, it is either in a covered carrier or an uncovered carrier. The open transport method transports your car in an uncovered carrier. It is less expensive and does not protect your vehicle from road debris or weather elements. In enclosed transport, your car will be in a closed trailer from pickup to delivery. Because there is more protection here, enclosed transport costs more than open transport.

Tips for Car Shipping

As much as the shipping companies help you move your car, you also have some work. Here are a few tips to help you get ready.

Plan to Ship: Your planning will involve booking a shipping company days (or weeks) before you need your car. Also, you want to determine your budget. Your budget will guide you in choosing the shipping company and method.

Get Shipping Quotes: Most shipping companies will provide forms, which, after you fill them in, you get the exact cost of shipping your car. You can get quotes from more than one company before comparing them with your budget.

Prepare Your Car: Preparing your car for shipping includes cleaning the in and out of your vehicle. You want to ensure that there are no additional personal items in your car. You also want to take note of your car’s condition and fluid levels. Ensure your fuel is about half full so the company can drive it onto and off the trailer.

Inspect: You may need to take pictures of your car before transport and compare them during delivery. Following all these, you now know what it means to ship a car.


Now that you know the ins and outs of car shipping, do not hesitate to ship your car when you next need to. Then, please speak with a professional company like Ship A Car, Inc. and let us sort it out for you.

  • Can you ship my vehicle if it isn’t running?

Yes, we ship running vehicles and those in non-running/inoperable condition.

  • Do I have to pay a deposit?

You do not have to pay anything until your vehicle is assigned to a carrier.