A Beginner’s Guide to Ship Your Car To Another State

3 Mins read

Long distance driving isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – especially when it’s a coast-to-coast drive. The United States is one big chunk of land. A drive to another state can either mean 3 hours or 18 (see more). Neither of which sound too inviting. 

This is why for people (like us) who are not at all excited about driving hundreds of miles to get to a different state, a better alternative is available: Car shipping.

Sure, we can always travel by plane to another state but how about our sweet ride? Nothing beats the feeling of being able to drive your own vehicle in new places. Having something familiar close by in an unfamiliar environment is the perfect recipe for adventure. Fortunately, there are car shipping companies that can make this a reality. Instead of driving your car to another state yourself, you can hop on a plane and have your vehicle follow you shortly after using car shipping services.

However, not everyone has shipped their automobile to another state before, so you’re probably riddled with questions as to how all of this works. Well, it’s your lucky day because we’re in the mood to show you the ropes on the car shipping process.

Here are 3 things you should know about shipping your ride:

There Are Several Factors That Will Affect Your Shipping Fees And Charges

The first thing you need to know about car shipping is how pricing works. As much as possible you would want to get the best deal so that shipping your car out becomes more advantageous than driving it to the destination yourself. In order to get the best prices, you need to understand what factors affect the rates, as seen here:

Here’s a summarized version:

  • Shipping Date – When you choose to ship your car matters. Like any other industry, car shipping has peak and off seasons as well. When the holidays roll around, expect higher costs on shipping as more people tend to travel to other states during these times of the year. In order to get the best value for your money, book as early as possible. This allows you to take advantage of lower effective rates compared to when you book too close to the day you need to get your car delivered. 
  • Carrier-Type – The type of carrier that will be hauling your car to another state will also affect how much you will be paying for the transfer. There are generally two types of carriers: Open and close. Open carriers tend to be cheaper since this type can carry more vehicles at the same time, spreading the costs evenly among clients who are looking to ship their vehicles on the same day to the same destination. 
  • Distance & Weight – As expected, the distance to be covered during delivery and the weight of the “package” will significantly affect your shipping fees. The farther the destination state is, the more you will have to pay for the delivery. The same way, the more your car weighs, the higher your shipping fees would be. There’s little you can do about the distance, but you can still make your vehicle lighter than normal by reducing the amount of gas you carry in the tank before the shipment date and removing anything unnecessary from your car’s interior. 
  • Delivery Destination – Lastly, you can choose where your vehicle should be dropped off. Normally, you would need to pay a premium for door-to-door delivery and pay less for terminal pick-up. If you’re on a budget, just have your car delivered to the pick-up point and come get it yourself. 

You Need to Get Your Paperwork Ready and Updated

Before you ship your car, make sure that you have all the necessary documents on hand. These documents and permits also need to be up-to-date so you avoid running into trouble with the authorities. Car shipping companies would ask you for a copy of relevant documents prior to the shipment date, such as your car registration, your driver’s license, latest emission tests, and sales tax receipts among others. Make sure to have this ready and available so you can experience a swift and hassle-free shipment process. 

Hold On To the Bill Of Lading Until the Shipment Is 100% Completed

When you ship your car, the car shipping company in-charge of the delivery will give you a document to hold on to, referred to as the bill of lading. This piece of document serves as acknowledgement that the company has received your vehicle and will deliver it to the destination on or before the agreed upon date of delivery. Keep this document safe until the car has been delivered to you in the same condition as when you’ve left it in the company’s care. Should anything go wrong, this document will serve as valid proof of your shipping agreement with the company and can help you take legal action or file insurance claims faster later on. 

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