Moving to another state is hard work even without having to worry about how to move your car from one state to another. Your personal moving out of state checklist must be overflowing with important and urgent tasks you should complete by the time your interstate movers arrive on the day of the move.
In case you’re moving to a neighboring state and you only have one personal vehicle, then you may decide to transport your car on your own by driving it to the new home. Ultimately, few things offer more fun than an exciting old-fashioned road trip!
However, if you’re moving long-distance across the country and plan to cross multiple states until you reach your final destination, then it’s important to know that the most popular, most cost-effective and safest option is to ship your car via a professional auto transporter.
Read on to learn how to transport a car from one state to another, including details about the cheapest way to ship a car to another state.
Hire an auto transporter to move your car to another state
Without a doubt, the best way to transport your car to another state is to hire a car transport company to do it for you. Even though your first reaction is likely to be, “Oh, no, hiring a professional car shipper is too expensive, I can’t afford it!”, the good news here is that hiring professionals to take care of this specific relocation job is often regarded as the cheapest way to move a car to another state. But why?
Because of the fierce competition in the auto shipping industry, most car shipping companies will fear that they may lose your business to their competitors. As a result, they will try to offer you the best possible price for transporting your vehicle across the country. And ultimately, that’s a very good thing for you as a consumer of that service.
By using professional car shipping services, you’ll get the peace of mind that your own vehicle will be in good hands throughout the transit. Below we’ll give you the steps to finding a dependable auto shipper, but now, let’s say a few words about your vehicle shipping options:
Option 1: Have your car shipped by an open-air truck
This car shipping method is the most common one as it is the cheaper of the two. You must have seen big trucks transporting two or three rows of cars on specialized open-air trailers along the highways. Those trailers are very similar to the ones used for the transportation of new cars to various car dealerships across the country.
Make sure you ask your car shipper exactly how your car will be transported to your new home. The big plus of having your vehicle moved in an open-air truck is the lower cost, of course, but there’s one major disadvantage as well – this way your car will be exposed to the elements – that is, at the mercy of the weather until it reaches its destination.
Option 2: Have your car shipped by an enclosed truck
However, if you’re really concerned about how the weather conditions may affect your car during the transport (possible damage is never out of the question), then you might want to consider paying more for using the enclosed truck option.
Usually, enclosed transport is the preferred method of transporting expensive or valuable cars – classic, vintage or sports ones. So, if you wish to have that extra peace of mind that your automobile will be as safe as it can be on the road, then speak with your car transport company about getting that extra layer of protection for your vehicle.
However, you should make sure that your vehicle shipper will provide adequate insurance regardless of the car transportation method you choose.
How to choose a reputable car transportation company
Now that you know the best way to move a car to another state, let’s take a look at the detailed steps to finding yourself a trustworthy auto shipper. Keep in mind that you’re looking for
EXPERIENCE – long years in the auto shipping business is an extra assurance that your car will get shipped quickly and hassle-free),
REPUTATION – good reputation in the form of positive customer reviews and ratings will be an indication that you’ll be dealing with a trustworthy car transport company that will make sure it does its job in a highly professional manner,
AFFORDABILITY – you’re looking for a good auto shipper that also offers affordable rates. After all, it’s the balance between high-quality services and reasonable prices that will determine how successful a car transportation company is in the end. And how useful it is for you.
One thing is clear: you don’t want to make the rookie mistake of driving thousands of miles across the country, through unknown territories and unfamiliar roads. Just a quick example: the move distance between New York City and Los Angeles is 2,800 miles. 2,800 miles mean more than 41 hours of straight non-stop driving in your car – something that is extremely difficult to plan and do on your own.
So, you need the best auto shipper you can find in your area – how do you find that company?
Step 1. Fill in our car shipping calculator. The idea here is to get in touch with top-rated car shipping companies that are properly licensed by the U.S. Government.
Step 2. Select the brand and the model of your car on the next page, then specify the shipping method you want (open-air or enclosed) and mark down the condition of your vehicle – running or not running. Finally, you only need to enter the shipping date, your name, and contact info.
Step 3. Get price estimates for having your car shipped from your current home to the new one on that date you’ve specified. In fact, getting several car shipping estimates will help you narrow down your choice and enable you to pick the offer that’s most agreeable to your moving budget.
Step 4. Take a bit of extra time and research the car shippers you’re reviewing. The price in the quotes will be a deciding factor, of course, but you’d better check the pros’ reputation as well. Access trusted reviews of car transport companies and see how customers have rated their services. If a vehicle shipper gets bad reviews and low ratings consistently, then that’s an indicator that something may be wrong and you’d be safer not hiring that company. In general, it’s a good idea to trust only companies with good reputation, high-performance ratings and the lowest number of complaints, if any.
Step 5. Don’t make the mistake of going with the very first auto shipper that comes along. Compare carefully the estimates you’ve received, check the reviews and ratings of each car shipping company, and finally – contact each one for more information. It won’t hurt to ask them for a discount and advice about what you can actually do to lower the quoted car shipping price.
How much does it cost to move a car from one state to another?
The cost to ship a car to another state will be calculated on a case-by-case basis, meaning that you’ll get to learn how much you’ll pay for the car transportation service only after you get accurate estimates by top-rated car transportation companies in your area.
Nevertheless, it can be beneficial to you to be familiar with the fundamental factors that will influence the car shipping price one way or another.
DISTANCE. The greater the distance, the higher the price of the vehicle shipping services, of course.
SHIPPING METHOD. The open-air transportation method is cheaper than the enclosed one. Get car shipping quotes for both transportation methods to see the price difference.
SIZE AND WEIGHT OF THE VEHICLE. It’s easy to guess that larger and heavier vehicles will cost more to transport.
AUTO SHIPPER. Even for exactly the same shipping service, some auto transportation companies will charge more while other professionals will charge less. This is why it’s important to be able to compare various vehicle shipping quotes instead of readily accept the very first offer you get.
INSURANCE. The cost of the insurance will surely add up but it’s often included in the car shipping estimates.
FUEL. As can be expected, the current fuel prices will influence the cost to ship your car to another state.
How to prepare your car for shipping
Before your car shipping company comes to pick up your car, you will need to have prepared your vehicle for safe transport. There are a number of important things that your auto shipper will expect you to have done. Otherwise, they will probably charge you extra for the inconvenience and the additional time that will be lost.
Preparing a vehicle for auto transport is an important step which you shouldn’t just skip for whatever reason. The task is not overly complicated so you should be able to finish it within an hour or so as long as you know what steps to take to prepare your car for shipping.
Follow this concise how-to-prepare-a-car-for-transport checklist:
Wash and clean the exterior of your car;
Inspect visually your vehicle and document any damage you notice. You’ll be able to identify possible scratches and dents more easily when your car is clean. Take photos of your vehicle, both closer and broader ones;
Remove any personal items from the car. The only things you will be allowed to leave are a child’s seat and car tools in the trunk;
Charge the car battery;
Inflate the tires to the recommended tire pressure (PSI). See the sticker in the door jam or consult your owner’s manual;
Top off all fluids;
Leave only around 1/4 of fuel in the car tank. The idea here is to reduce the overall weight, which will reduce the transportation cost;
Check whether the emergency brake functions properly;
Retract the antenna, fold the side mirrors and remove any exterior parts that can be removed safely;
Secure the hardtop if your car is a convertible;
Disable the car alarm system;
Make a note of all mechanical problems, if any, and report them duly to the auto shipper before your car is loaded up for transport.
What to do after moving your car to another state
Now that you know how to transfer a car from one state to another, let’s take a look at the 2 most important things you need to do after your vehicle gets delivered to the new address.
1) Upon delivery, inspect your vehicle carefully for possible signs of damage during transport. If you happen to find any, take photos of the damaged areas and contact your state-to-state car shipping company to inform them and inquire about what you have to do next.
2) Don’t forget that you still need to register your newly-delivered vehicle in the destination state within a short window of time. Car registration periods differ from state to state – some states will offer as many as 30 days while others will only give you 10 days to complete that task.
Contact the new-state DMV office for more information on how to register your car in the new state, including all the vehicle registration paperwork you have to bring with you to their office.
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