The Ultimate Guide to Car Shipping Services


Moving can be stressful enough without adding the challenge of figuring out how to get your vehicle from your old to your new home. Car shipping services can make this task easier, safely transporting your car across the state, country, or even abroad. Learn about the nitty-gritty of these services and the options available with them.

What is Car Shipping?

Car shipping is the process of transporting vehicles from one location to another using specialized services. The means of transportation can range from trucks to rail services, and even ships, depending on the distance and specific requirements.

When you’re moving to a new city or state for work or personal reasons, driving your car the entire distance may not be practical. Car shipping services can handle this task, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your move.

Overall, car shipping services are designed to offer a safe, efficient, and often more convenient alternative to driving your vehicle over long distances. They handle the logistics, risk, and effort involved in the process, providing you with peace of mind.

Types of Auto Transportation

Understanding your transportation options is crucial when you’re shipping a car. Generally, there are two primary types of auto transportation: open carriers and enclosed carriers.

Open Carriers

By far the most popular and affordable means of auto shipping is an open trailer truck. These trailers don’t have walls or a roof, which allows them to carry more cars at once, usually between six and nine. 

The open structure is what makes this option more budget-friendly. However, the flip side is that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements and potential road debris. While damage is unlikely, the risk is slightly higher compared to enclosed carriers.

Enclosed Carriers

For those who own high-end luxury cars or simply want an added layer of protection, enclosed carriers are the preferred choice. These trucks come with four walls and a roof, ensuring the vehicle is shielded from any adverse weather conditions or road debris. 

Additional features such as lift gates make loading and unloading smoother and safer. Wheel straps ensure the vehicle does not shift during transport. This type of service is especially popular for transporting luxury brands like Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, and Lamborghini, where the added cost of enclosed shipping is often justified by the high value of the vehicle.

What to Expect and How to Estimate Costs

Understanding the cost of car shipping is crucial, and our long-distance moving company is committed to transparency with no hidden fees. Here’s how we break down the factors that go into determining the price:

  • Size and Weight of the Vehicle: These are significant factors in calculating the cost. Generally, a larger and heavier vehicle will be more expensive to ship,
  • Distance: The gap between the pick-up and drop-off locations naturally affects the price. Longer distances will result in higher costs,
  • Vehicle Condition: If your car isn’t running or requires special handling, you can expect the cost to be higher than usual,
  • Season and Timing: Summers and weekends are peak times for auto shipping, driving the price up. If you have a somewhat flexible schedule, you can save money by opting for weekdays and avoiding the busy summer months.

Door-to-Door and Terminal Pickup and Delivery

A convenient feature some companies offer is door-to-door delivery. The transport truck will pick up and deliver your vehicle as close to your specified addresses. However, this isn’t always doable due to location restrictions, like narrow streets or low-hanging trees. In these cases, the driver will meet you at a nearby parking lot or a designated company terminal.

The upside of picking your car up at a terminal is that you’ll pay less; terminal pickups and deliveries might be a bit more time-consuming, but they’re affordable and could help you budget appropriately.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparing the car for transport involves some simple yet crucial steps to ensure its safety and simplify the post-shipping inspection. Here’s a quick rundown of essential things you should do:

  • Wash Your Car: Clean both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. This makes it easier to identify any potential new scratches or dents that might occur during shipping,
  • Document Damage: Take photos of any pre-existing damage, like scratches or dents, for your records,
  • Mechanical Check-Up: Schedule a visit to your mechanic to make sure everything is in working order before shipping,
  • Remove Valuables and Documents: Clear out any personal items and important papers from the vehicle,
  • Disable Security Systems: Don’t forget to turn off the alarm and any anti-theft systems to avoid any complications during transport,
  • Make a Key Copy: Always have a duplicate key made, just in case the original gets lost in the shipping process.

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Cross-Country Movers

When you’re making a cross-country move, juggling a million tasks at once can become overwhelming. Professional movers can help you transport your household items and your car. They handle the logistics so you can focus on settling into your new home. 

Car shipping services offer a practical solution for transporting your vehicle during a move, a sale, or any other life event requiring such a service. Whether you opt for an open or enclosed carrier, these services aim to make the process seamless.

If you’re planning a long-distance move, why not take the stress out of the equation by hiring a professional moving company that can handle it all? It’s a decision you won’t regret. Don’t overlook the convenience and peace of mind that comes with hiring professionals. You focus on the move; let them focus on getting your car there safely.