Shipping Your Car Across the Country: A Guide

Complete Information About Shipping Your Car Across the Country A Guide

When it comes to shipping your car across the country, there are a few things to keep in mind. Read on for a complete guide.

According to statistics published by the National Association of Realtors, Americans are on the move, with over 8 million people relocating since the beginning of 2020.

If you’re about to join this trend, you’ve got lots to think about. You need to hire movers, pack up your house, and figure out how on Earth to move that extra car.

Fortunately, there are options for shipping your car anywhere in the USA or the world. Here is a brief car shipping guide with some car shipping tips to help you start planning your move. 

What Is Car Shipping Exactly?

Also known as auto transport, car shipping simply means moving your car a long distance without driving it. 

Shipping your car makes sense if you want to avoid clocking up unnecessary mileage, or if you don’t have time to drive it yourself. 

Likewise, if you’re moving across the country and you don’t want to drive or you have a second car with no one to drive it, you can arrange for a car shipping company to move your vehicle for you.

Once you’ve found a reputable shipping company, you decide on a date for shipping, and they pick up your car at a designated location at that time. They load it onto a truck, deliver it to your destination, and drop it off at your chosen location. 

There are a few different options available for shipping a car:

By Road

This is the most common and affordable way to get a vehicle across the country or to another state. You can choose between a regular open car transporter to move your vehicle or an enclosed container.

You can get more enclosed car transport information here. 

By Rail

Moving a car by rail costs a little more, but it’s also safer and faster than road transport. You’ll find it a little more difficult to find companies offering this service and might need to take additional insurance for the journey.

By Boat

Most imported vehicles arrive in the USA by boat, and it makes sense to move your car this way if you’re emigrating to another continent. If you’re moving from the mainland USA to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, or US Virgin Islands you’ll need to move your car like this, too.

Unless you have a one-of-a-kind vehicle, it’s often not feasible to move your car overseas by boat. 

By Air

It rarely makes sense to move a car in an airplane. It’s an expensive process and it’s also complicated to find enough space available on an airplane for a car. 

This is the fastest and safest way to move a vehicle if you can pull it off.

Steps Involved in Shipping Your Car

There are a few things to consider before you ship your car. Step one is deciding whether it’s worth the effort and expense. This is especially relevant if you’re moving overseas.

Typical costs for this undertaking amount to between $1,000 and $2,000 per vehicle, plus you’ll need to pay the following costs:

  • Agent fees
  • Destination charges
  • Import fees
  • Taxes

Then, once the vehicle arrives, you’ll need to navigate consumer protection laws or regulatory issues concerning your car’s components and safety features.

For instance, if you’re moving to the UK, they drive on the other side of the road. This means your American-made car has its steering wheel on the wrong side.

National moves involve a lot less red tape and hassle, but you should follow this process when arranging it all: 

Compare Your Options

Thanks to the upswing in relocations, you’ll find a surprising number of car shipping companies to choose from. Be sure to research each one thoroughly.

Be sure to talk to a few companies and ask as many questions as you need to regarding pricing and procedures.

You should also glance at online customer reviews to gain an impression of how reputable each company is. 

Time Your Move

April to September are the peak car shipping months, and you’ll pay more to move your vehicle at this time. Rather save money by booking your move outside the busy season, when demand and prices are lower.

You can also save on your moving company costs if you move during quieter times.

Flexibility will stand you in good stead if you want to save on your vehicle shipping costs. Book as soon as possible, but give the transporter a range of dates to choose from.

Expedited shipping can cost a lot more. Rather stick it out without your car for a few more days when you arrive. You could save hundreds of dollars this way.

Costs of Shipping a Car

Most car shipping companies charge per mile for their services. Other factors that affect the cost of shipping your car include its size, any non-standard modifications, and whether you choose open or enclosed shipping. 

Which Vehicle Should You Ship?

If you have two vehicles, you’ll pay less to ship the smaller one and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable journey driving the larger car to your new home.

Calculate your costs carefully, though. You’ll pay a lot more for fuel to drive a large car across the country. 

Are You Ready to Get Going?

Once you’ve made the arrangements for shipping your car, you can focus on all the other things involved in masterminding your move. 

The earlier you start planning, the better. You’ll find an available mover more easily and reduce stress by giving yourself plenty of time to pack. 

Browse our blog for more helpful information on a wide range of topics that might interest you.

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