The Complete Manual for Transporting Your Vehicle Across the Nation 

You just landed your dream job on the opposite coast, but you don’t want to sell your beloved car. Or perhaps you’re moving to a new state and need your vehicle with you. Shipping your car across the country may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where our ultimate guide comes in.

We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about shipping your car, including cost factors, transport options, and seasonal considerations. From operable vs. inoperable vehicles to open vs. enclosed transport, we’ve got you covered. Also, we’ll explore the various factors that impact the cost of shipping a car, and different types of transport options, and provide tips and advice to help you navigate the process with ease.

Whether you’re relocating, buying or selling a car, or simply need to get your vehicle from one coast to another, this guide has got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let us help you navigate the journey of shipping your car across the country.

The Complete Manual for Transporting Your Vehicle Across the Nation 

Reasons for Shipping a Car Across the Country

There are numerous reasons why someone might need to ship their car, including relocation for work, buying/selling a car, and attending college. Let’s dive deeper into each of these reasons and explore why car shipping is an essential option.

1. Relocation for Work

One of the most common reasons for shipping a car across the country is job relocation. With today’s fast-paced job market, individuals often have to move to different cities or states for work. In such cases, driving a car across the country may not be practical or feasible.

Additionally, long-distance driving can be exhausting and time-consuming, and it can take a toll on the car’s wear and tear. Shipping a car saves time, and energy, and helps ensure the car arrives at its destination safely.

2. Buying/Selling a Car

Another common reason for shipping a car is when buying or selling a vehicle. Many individuals buy and sell cars online or from out-of-state dealerships. In such cases, shipping the car is a convenient and cost-effective option. For buyers, shipping a car allows them to purchase a car from any part of the country without worrying about how to transport it back home. For sellers, it’s a way to expand their customer base and reach buyers who live in different parts of the country.

3. Attending College

Students who attend college in a different state often prefer to have their car with them. It provides them with the flexibility to travel and explore new surroundings without relying on public transportation. Additionally, having a car on campus can help run errands or attend off-campus events.

However, driving a car across the country can be time-consuming and exhausting, especially for students who are already busy with their studies. Shipping a car saves time and energy, and it allows students to focus on their studies and college life.

Types of Car Transport Services

Types of Car Transport Services

Shipping a car across the country can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a breeze. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is which type of car shipping service to choose. In this guide, we’ll discuss the different types of car shipping services available, including their benefits and drawbacks.

1. Open Transport

The most common type of car shipping service is open transport. As the name suggests, this service involves transporting your vehicle on an open trailer, where it will be exposed to the elements during transit. This option is often the most affordable and widely available, making it a popular choice for many. However, the downside is that your car is not protected from the weather or debris on the road.

2. Enclosed Transport

If you’re looking for a higher level of protection for your vehicle, enclosed transport may be the way to go. This service involves transporting your car in an enclosed trailer, shielding it from the elements and debris on the road. It’s a more expensive option, but it provides added peace of mind, especially if you’re shipping a high-value or classic car.

3. Door-to-Door Shipping

Door-to-door shipping is a convenient option that involves picking up your vehicle from its current location and delivering it directly to your desired destination. This means you don’t have to worry about dropping off or picking up your car at a terminal. However, it may not always be possible to get a truck to your door due to narrow streets, low-hanging branches or wires, or other logistical issues.

4. Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping

If you’re willing to drop off and pick up your car at a designated terminal, then terminal-to-terminal shipping may be a good option for you. It’s often a more cost-effective option than door-to-door shipping because the carrier can pick up and drop off multiple vehicles in one location. However, you’ll need to arrange for transportation to and from the terminal, which may incur additional costs.

5. Expedited Shipping

If you need your car to arrive at its destination as quickly as possible, then expedited shipping is the way to go. This service guarantees a faster transit time, but it comes with a higher price tag. It’s a great option if you’re on a tight schedule or need your car for an important event, but it’s not always necessary if you have more flexibility in your timeline.

There are various types of car shipping services available, each with its benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing which service to use. Whether you opt for open or enclosed transport, door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal shipping, or expedited or standard delivery, make sure to do your research and choose a reputable car shipping company that can meet your needs.

Cost of Car Shipping

Cost of Car Shipping

When it comes to shipping a car across the country, one of the most important considerations is the cost. The cost of car shipping can vary widely depending on several factors, including the distance, the type of vehicle, the shipping service, and the time of year. In this guide, we’ll discuss how car shipping costs are calculated and what factors can affect the cost.

How Car Shipping Costs are Calculated

Car shipping costs are typically calculated based on a few key factors, including the distance of the shipment, the size and weight of the vehicle, and the type of service you choose. The distance is usually the most significant factor, as the farther, your vehicle has to travel, the more it will cost. The size and weight of the vehicle also play a role, as larger and heavier vehicles require more space on the carrier and may require a specialized carrier.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Car Shipping

In addition to the distance and size of the vehicle, several other factors can affect the cost of car shipping. These include the type of transport service you choose, the time of year, the pickup and delivery locations, and any additional services you request.

For example, an enclosed transport service will typically cost more than an open transport service because of the added protection it provides for your vehicle. Shipping during peak seasons, such as summer months when many people are moving or travelling, can also increase the cost due to higher demand. Similarly, shipping to or from a remote location may be more expensive because it requires more effort to arrange for pickup and delivery.

Average Cost Estimate

On average, the cost of shipping a car across the country ranges from $600 to $1,000 for open transport and $1,000 to $1,500 for enclosed transport. These estimates are based on a distance of 1,000 miles, and the cost can increase or decrease depending on the factors mentioned above.

It’s important to note that while cost is an important factor, it should not be the only consideration when choosing a car shipping service. Quality of service, reliability, and reputation are also crucial factors to consider, as you want to ensure that your vehicle is in good hands throughout the shipping process.

Understanding the factors that affect the cost of car shipping and how costs are calculated can help you make an informed decision when choosing a car shipping service. By considering the distance, size and weight of your vehicle, type of service, time of year, and additional services, you can get a better idea of what to expect in terms of cost. Ultimately, choose a reputable car shipping company that offers quality service at a fair price to ensure a safe and successful shipment of your vehicle.

Choosing the Best Car Shipping Company

Choosing the Best Car Shipping Company

When it comes to shipping your car across the country, choosing a reputable and reliable car shipping company is crucial. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start.

Tips on how to choose a car shipping company that you can trust:

1. Check their Credentials

One of the first things to look for when choosing a car shipping company is their credentials. Make sure that the company is licensed, bonded, and insured. A licensed company will have the necessary permits to transport your vehicle, while being bonded and insured ensures that you are protected in case of any damage or loss during transport.

2. Read Reviews

Another essential factor to consider is the company’s reputation. Read online reviews from past customers to get an idea of their experiences. Look for patterns in the reviews, such as consistent issues with on-time delivery or poor customer service. Be wary of companies with a large number of negative reviews, as this is a red flag.

3. Ask for References

If possible, ask the car shipping company for references from past customers. Contact these references to ask about their experiences and whether they would recommend the company. This can provide valuable insight into the quality of service and reliability of the company.

4. Get Multiple Quotes

It’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple car shipping companies to compare prices and services. However, be cautious of companies that offer significantly lower prices than their competitors, as this may be a sign of poor quality service or hidden fees.

5. Consider Additional Services

Some car shipping companies offer additional services such as door-to-door delivery or expedited shipping. Consider whether these services are necessary for your specific needs and factor them into your decision-making process.

6. Communication and Customer Service

Consider the company’s communication and customer service. A reputable car shipping company should be responsive to your inquiries and provide clear and timely communication throughout the shipping process. Be wary of companies that are difficult to reach or unresponsive, as this can lead to frustration and uncertainty during the transport of your vehicle.

Choosing a reliable and reputable car shipping company is crucial when shipping your vehicle across the country. By checking the company’s credentials, reading reviews, asking for references, getting multiple quotes, considering additional services, and evaluating their communication and customer service, you can make an informed decision and ensure a successful shipment of your vehicle.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparing your car for shipping is an essential step to ensure a smooth and safe transportation process. Below is a checklist of steps to take before shipping your car:

1. Clean your car: Before shipping your car, make sure it is clean inside and out. This will help to identify any pre-existing damage and make it easier for the transport company to inspect the car.

2. Remove personal belongings: Remove all personal belongings from the car, including GPS systems, air fresheners, and other accessories. This is because most car shipping companies do not allow personal items in the car during transportation. Additionally, removing these items helps to prevent theft or damage during transit.

3. Disable alarm system: If your car has an alarm system, disable it before shipping. This will prevent the alarm from going off during transport and causing unnecessary delays or disruptions.

4. Check for leaks: Check your car for any leaks or mechanical problems that may need to be addressed before shipping. This will help to prevent any further damage during transportation.

5. Document pre-existing damage: Take photos of your car before shipping to document any pre-existing damage. This will help to ensure that any damage that occurs during shipping is properly documented and can be addressed accordingly.

6. Check the fuel level: Most car shipping companies require that the fuel tank is less than a quarter full before shipping. Check the fuel level and make sure it meets this requirement.

7. Secure loose parts: Make sure all loose parts, such as antennas, spoilers, and mirrors, are securely fastened or removed before shipping. This will help to prevent any damage or loss during transportation.

8. Check tire pressure: Make sure your car’s tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread before shipping. This will help to prevent any damage to the tires during transport.

9. Provide necessary paperwork: Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork for shipping your car, including the car’s registration, insurance, and other documents required by the transport company.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance Coverage

When it comes to car shipping, it’s important to have insurance coverage in case of any damage or loss that may occur during transportation. Here are the different types of insurance coverage available for car shipping:

1. Basic coverage: This is the standard insurance coverage provided by most car shipping companies. It typically covers damage caused by the carrier’s negligence, such as accidents or theft, up to the policy limit.

2. Full coverage: This type of insurance provides more comprehensive coverage than basic coverage. It typically covers damage caused by any reason, including weather, fire, and vandalism.

3. Gap insurance: This type of insurance covers the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the amount owed on a loan or lease in the event of a total loss.

It’s important to note that while most car shipping companies provide basic insurance coverage, the coverage may not be enough to fully protect your car. For this reason, it’s recommended to purchase additional coverage for peace of mind.

When choosing additional coverage, consider the value of your car and the level of risk involved in the transportation process. For example, if you are shipping a luxury or high-end car, you may want to consider full coverage or gap insurance.

Before purchasing additional insurance coverage, be sure to read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and excluded. You should also check with your car insurance provider to see if they offer any additional coverage for car shipping.

So, having insurance coverage is important when shipping your car. While most car shipping companies provide basic coverage, it may not be enough to fully protect your car. Consider purchasing additional coverage based on the value of your car and the level of risk involved in the transportation process.

Shipping Documents

Shipping Documents

When shipping a car across the country, several shipping documents are required by law and by the car shipping company. Here are the most common shipping documents you’ll need:

1. Bill of Lading: This is the most important shipping document and serves as a contract between you and the car shipping company. It includes details about the origin and destination of the shipment, the type of vehicle being shipped, the shipping method, and the cost of the shipment.

2. Insurance Policy: This document outlines the insurance coverage you have purchased for your car during transport. It should include the policy number, coverage limits, and any exclusions or restrictions.

3. Vehicle Inspection Report: This report documents the condition of your vehicle before it is loaded onto the carrier. It includes information such as mileage, any pre-existing damage, and the overall condition of the car.

In addition to these documents, some car shipping companies may require additional paperwork, such as a power of attorney or a release form (usually for international vehicle shipping). It’s important to check with your car shipping company to see what documents are required for your shipment.

Before signing any shipping documents, make sure you read and understand them thoroughly. Pay attention to the details and ask questions if anything is unclear. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of all shipping documents for your records.

When shipping a car across the country, you’ll need several shipping documents, including the bill of lading and vehicle inspection report. Make sure you read and understand all documents before signing them and keep a copy of everything for your records.

Delivery and Inspection

Delivery and Inspection

Your car arrives at its destination. You are excited to see it and inspect it for damage, and report any issue to the car shipping company if need there’s a need to.

The first step is to make sure you are present at the time of delivery. This will allow you to inspect the car for any damage and ensure that everything is in order. The driver of the car shipping truck will usually call you a few hours before delivery to give you an estimated time of arrival. You must be available to receive the car at the scheduled time.

When the car arrives, the driver will carefully unload it from the carrier and place it in your driveway or another designated location. Before signing any paperwork, make sure to inspect the car thoroughly for any visible damage. Take note of any dents, scratches, or other issues that you see.

It is important to do a thorough inspection, including the exterior, interior, and under the hood of the car. If you notice any damage, take pictures and document the damage on the bill of lading or other paperwork provided by the car shipping company.

Once you have completed the inspection, sign the paperwork and receive the keys to your car. It is a good idea to start the car and test the brakes, steering, and other components to make sure everything is working properly.

If you do notice any damage or issues with the car, make sure to report it to the car shipping company as soon as possible. Most reputable car shipping companies will have a claims process in place to help you file a claim and get reimbursed for any damages that occurred during transport.

Receiving your car at the destination involves inspecting it for any damage and reporting any issues to the car shipping company. It is important to be present at the time of delivery and do a thorough inspection before signing any paperwork. If you do notice any damage or issues, make sure to report it to the car shipping company as soon as possible to ensure a smooth claims process.

Cost Determinant to Ship a Car Across the Country

1. Make and model of the vehicle: The size, weight, and value of your vehicle will affect the shipping cost.

2. Distance travelled: The farther the distance, the higher the shipping cost.

3. Delivery time frame: If you need your vehicle to arrive by a specific date, you may need to pay extra for expedited shipping.

4. Transport type: The type of carrier used will affect the cost. Enclosed trailers generally cost more than open trailers.

5. Vehicle condition: The condition of your vehicle will affect the cost. If your vehicle is not in good condition, you may need to pay extra for additional services.

6. Location: The pickup and delivery locations may affect the cost. If the locations are in remote areas, the shipping cost may be higher.

7. Season: The time of year can also affect the cost. Winter weather conditions may increase the cost due to potential delays and a higher risk of damage.

8. Fuel prices: Fluctuations in fuel prices can affect the cost of shipping. Higher fuel prices can result in higher shipping costs.

9. Carrier availability: If there are fewer carriers available for the route or time frame you need, you may need to pay a premium to secure a spot on a carrier.

10. Additional services: If you require additional services, such as door-to-door delivery or expedited shipping, you may need to pay extra for these services, which can increase the total cost of shipping.

International Car Shipping

International Car Shipping

Shipping a car across international borders can be a complex process that involves several additional steps and documents. It is important to understand the requirements and regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

The first step in international car shipping is to find a reputable and experienced car shipping company that specializes in international shipping. The company should be able to provide you with all the necessary information and guidance regarding the shipping process and the required documents.

One of the most important documents you will need for international car shipping is the Bill of Lading (BOL). This document serves as a receipt for your car and contains important information about the shipment, such as the origin and destination ports, the name of the shipping company, and the details of your car. The BOL is also used by customs officials to verify that your car has been properly imported/exported.

In addition to the BOL, you will also need to provide the shipping company with several other documents, including a copy of your passport, the title and registration of the vehicle, and the certificate of insurance. You may also need to provide additional documentation depending on the country of origin and destination, such as import/export permits or certificates of origin.

It is important to note that international car shipping can be more expensive than domestic shipping due to the additional paperwork and regulations involved. The cost will depend on several factors, including the distance of the shipment, the type of shipping method, and the value of your car.

When shipping a car internationally, it is also important to consider the logistics of transporting your car from the port to the final destination. You may need to hire a local transport company to deliver your car to your door, or you may need to arrange for alternative transportation if your car cannot be driven legally in the destination country.

Overall, It is important to ensure that your car meets the environmental and safety standards of the destination country. Some countries have strict regulations regarding emissions and safety features, and your car may need to be modified or upgraded before it can be legally driven on the roads.

Top Quality, Great Communication at Affordable Prices at Ship A Car, Inc.

Top Quality, Great Communication at Affordable Prices at Ship A Car, Inc.

At Ship A Car, Inc, we take pride in offering our customers top-quality car shipping services at competitive prices. We understand that shipping a car can be a significant expense, which is why we work hard to provide the most affordable rates in the industry.

We never compromise on quality, even with our low prices. We partner with only the best carriers in the industry to transport our customers’ vehicles. Our carriers are carefully selected based on their safety record, experience, and reputation. We also ensure that they are fully insured and licensed to operate, giving our customers peace of mind that their vehicle is in good hands.

At Ship A Car, we know that every customer has unique needs. That’s why we offer a variety of services to meet those needs. We provide both open and enclosed transport options, as well as door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping. We also offer expedited shipping for customers who need their cars shipped quickly.

Our commitment to excellent customer service is paramount at SAC. Our team of dedicated customer service representatives is always available to answer any questions and address any concerns. We provide regular updates on the status of each shipment, so our customers always know where their vehicle is and when it will arrive.

We are also committed to transparency and honesty. We provide our customers with all the information they need to make informed decisions about their shipment, including a detailed breakdown of all costs and fees.

Lastly, at Ship A Car, we strive to be the best in the industry by providing high-quality car shipping services at affordable prices. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction has earned us a reputation as one of the best in the business.

Contact Ship A Car


In conclusion, the cost to ship a car across the country depends on various factors such as the make and model of the vehicle, the distance travelled, the delivery time frame, the transport type, the vehicle condition, the location, and the time of the year. It’s recommended to consider these factors when choosing a car shipping company and selecting the best transport option for your vehicle.

To get the best value for your money, it’s advisable to choose an open car transport service if you own a standard vehicle and are shipping between major cities. However, if you own a classic, vintage, luxury, antique, expensive, or modified car, you might want to consider enclosed auto transport for added protection. It’s also important to factor in the delivery time frame and the vehicle condition to determine the cost of shipping.

Overall, when shipping a car across the country, it’s recommended to choose a reputable and reliable car shipping company that offers competitive rates and high-quality services. By taking the time to research your options and considering the factors that affect the cost of shipping, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.

Q: How do I choose a car shipping company?

A: When choosing a car shipping company, consider factors such as their reputation, experience, and customer service. Look for reviews and ratings from previous customers and compare quotes from multiple companies.

Q: How much does it cost to ship a car with Ship A Car, Inc.?

A: The cost of shipping a car with varies depending on several factors, including the distance of the shipment, the type of transport requested, and the make and model of the vehicle. However, they offer some of the most competitive rates in the industry and work hard to keep their prices affordable for their customers. The cost to ship a car across the country depends on factors such as the distance travelled, delivery time frame, transport type, vehicle condition, and location. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more.

Q: How long does it take to ship a car across the country?

A: The length of time it takes to ship a car across the country depends on factors such as the distance travelled, delivery time frame, and transport type. On average, it takes 7-14 days.

Q: Is my car insured during transport?

A: Most car shipping companies provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transport. However, it’s important to check their coverage limits and consider purchasing additional insurance if needed.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare my car for shipping?

A: To prepare your car for shipping, you should remove all personal belongings, disable the car alarm, and ensure the car is in good condition for transport. You may also need to provide a spare key and necessary documents.

Q: What types of vehicles can Ship A Car ship?

A: Ship A Car, Inc. can ship a wide range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, and RVs. They have the expertise and resources to safely transport any vehicle, regardless of size or shape.