What to Expect When Shipping Your Car Across the Country

Car shipping is a common practice in the United States, especially when people are relocating to a new state. Shipping your car can save you time, energy, and money, especially if you are moving a long distance. However, it is important to understand the process of car shipping and what to expect when your car is in transit.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of shipping your car, the types of car shipping services. How to prepare your car for shipping, the factors that affect the cost of car shipping, how to choose the right car shipping company, the car shipping process, what to expect during transit, and the delivery and inspection of your car.

Benefits of Shipping Your Car

There are several benefits of shipping your car across the country, including saving time and energy. When you ship your car, you don’t have to worry about driving it to your new location, which can be tiring and time-consuming.

You can also avoid wear and tear on your car, especially if you are moving a long distance. Shipping your car can also be more cost-effective than driving it, especially if you factor in the cost of gas, food, and lodging during the trip.

Another benefit of shipping your car is that it can be safer than driving it, especially if you are not familiar with the roads or weather conditions in the area. When you ship your car, it will be transported by a professional driver who is experienced in transporting cars across the country. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your car is in good hands.

Types of Car Shipping Services

There are two main types of car shipping services: open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is the most common and affordable option for shipping your car. Your car will be transported on an open trailer with other cars, which exposes it to the elements and potential damage from road debris. However, this is a safe and reliable option for most cars.

Enclosed transport is a more expensive option, but it offers more protection for your car. Your car will be transported in an enclosed trailer, which protects it from the elements and potential damage from road debris. This is a good option for high-end or classic cars that require extra protection during transit.

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Before you ship your car, there are a few things you need to do to prepare it for transit. First, you should clean your car inside and out, which will make it easier to inspect for any damage before and after transit. You should also remove any personal items from your car, including electronics and valuables, as they will not be covered by insurance during transit.

You should also document any existing damage to your car before transit, including dents, scratches, and other cosmetic damage. This will help you identify any new damage that occurs during transit and file a claim with the car shipping company if necessary. Finally, you should make sure your car is in good working condition, including checking the battery, brakes, and tires, and ensuring that there are no fluid leaks.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Car Shipping

The cost of shipping your car will depend on several factors, including the distance, the type of transport, the season, and the size and weight of your car.

Longer distances and enclosed transport will generally be more expensive than shorter distances and open transport. The season can also affect the cost, as peak seasons for car shipping, such as summer, can be more expensive than off-peak seasons.

The size and weight of your car will also affect the cost, as larger and heavier cars require more space on the trailer and may require additional equipment for loading and unloading. Finally, the location of pickup and delivery can also affect the cost, as remote or hard-to-reach locations may require additional fees.

Choosing the Right Car Shipping Company

When choosing a car shipping company, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable and reliable company. You should read reviews and check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they have a good reputation.

You should also ask for shipping car quotes from several companies and compare their prices, services, and insurance coverage. Make sure to ask about any additional fees or surcharges, such as fuel or toll charges, and confirm the pickup and delivery dates and times.

The Car Shipping Process

Once you have chosen a car shipping company and prepared your car for transit, the car shipping process will begin. The car shipping company will arrange for the pickup of your car at the agreed-upon location and transport it to the destination.

During transit, you can track your car’s progress using the car shipping company’s tracking system. You can also contact the driver or company if you have any questions or concerns.

What to Expect During Transit

During transit, your car will be exposed to the elements and potential damage from road debris. However, the car shipping company will take steps to protect your car, including using straps and wheel chocks to secure it to the trailer.

You should also expect delays or changes in the delivery schedule due to weather, traffic, or other unforeseen circumstances. Make sure to stay in contact with the car shipping company and be flexible with your schedule.

Delivery and Inspection of Your Car

Once your car arrives at the destination, you will need to inspect it for any damage and sign the delivery receipt. Make sure to take photos of any new damage and file a claim with the car shipping company if necessary.

You should also check the mileage and fuel level of your car to ensure they match the pre-transit levels. Finally, you should contact your insurance company to confirm that your car is covered during transit and after delivery.


Shipping your car across the country can be a convenient and cost-effective option for relocating. However, it is important to understand the process of car shipping and what to expect during transit. By following these tips and choosing a reputable car shipping company, you can ensure that your car arrives safely and on time at its destination.

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