Ultimate Guide Of New Car Shipping Including Cost

Car shipping can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are many moving parts to the process and as such, lots of decisions to make as you progress. Car shipping prices depend on a number of different factors that we’ll discuss below, but it’s important that you understand the full car shipping process before making any decisions.

Choose auto transport company

You’ve found the car of your dreams, but it’s 3000 miles away. You want to drive it home, but you’re 3000 miles away. You need to find a reliable auto transport company that can get your car safely to your driveway. We recommend you start your search by checking out our guide to the best car shipping companies. We’ve vetted every company on that list to guarantee they are trustworthy and reliable.

They’re not all the same, but some of them offer unique services that might be better for your unique situation or your budget. Take your time to get several quotes and see which one is best for you.

Compare car shipping quotes

Car shipping is expensive, but not as expensive as moving. Car shipping cost may be several hundred dollars, at least, but it’s worth the price to avoid the hassle of driving your car across the state or country.

Auto transport rates can be unpredictable. One major factor is the size of your vehicle. Another is where you’re shipping it to. Every season, time of day, and altitude will change the rate. To better understand rates, let’s discuss the different methods for shipment.

Shipment method

When transporting your car from one state to another, it is common for auto transport companies to use two methods: enclosed transport and open transport.

Enclosed transport

If money is no, well, not an object, then you might want to consider enclosed auto transport for your car. With this method, your car rides in the enclosed trailer of a semi-truck with a handful of other cars. It’s the safest way to travel that’s made for you if you’re willing to spend the extra money.

Unlike open transport, this method keeps your car safe from rain, snow, hail, and debris. It’s also more expensive than open transport, so we usually recommend it for deluxe and exotic vehicles only.

Open transport

Open auto transport trailers are primarily used to transport many cars at once. They typically have two open metal shelves, which hold eight or nine cars securely. If you’ve seen one on the freeway, it’s likely because they’re transporting lots of cars.

These trailers don’t have walls or roofs, so your car will be exposed to the elements. Though these trailers are cheaper, they are not as safe as enclosed carriers, so you should only use them for shipping an old beater car or a new commuter vehicle.

Contact with the seller or dealer

You’ve got all your shipping quotes down, the company you want to ship with, and the shipping method. Now you need to coordinate with the person or dealership that sold you the vehicle. They may need a few things from you:

  • Your car keys
  • A photocopy of your driver’s license
  • The car registration and title and/or proof of car insurance

When the delivery driver comes to pick up your car, it’s important that you share these things with the dealer. Let them know in advance about the date and time that the driver plans to come to get the car so they can be there to meet them.

Bill of lading

When your driver arrives, they’ll ask for a signed bill of lading from the seller. This document details how the car is being shipped and what condition it was in at pickup. In order to receive the car keys, the seller must sign the bill of lading.

Before you sign the bill of lading, it’s a good idea to ask the dealer to call you. If you’re satisfied with the information, give them the go-ahead to sign and hand over the keys. The truck driver should then load up your car and head out. Be sure to get a copy of the bill of lading for your records.

Ship your car instead of driving

One good reason to fly or drive yourself to get your car is that it might be cheaper. Another good reason is that you might want to test drive the new car before you purchase it.

To make sure you and your new car are protected, we recommend getting your car shipped. Shipping is also a lot less time-consuming and will save you from adding miles to the odometer.

Shipping is usually cheaper than driving. We’ve found that the difference in pricing between driving and shipping can be as low as a few hundred dollars. The cost for a road trip can also be sometimes even higher than the cost of shipping. When you factor in the hotel, food, and gas costs for a road trip, the cost of driving is usually within a couple of hundred dollars of the cost of shipping the same distance.

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