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How To Ship A Car To Another State: In-Depth Guide

If you need to know how to ship a car to another state, we can explain the process. Our guide shares car transport tips and the industry’s top shipping companies.

From our #1 rated provider, montway_logo


10/01/2023 01:22 PM

If you’re wondering how to ship a car to another state, you may have heard that it’s tricky. Choosing one of the best car shipping companies can reduce your stress and make the process smooth, but it’s important to first understand how long-distance shipments work.

One of the best methods to find affordable and high-quality auto transport options is by comparing car shipping quotes online. This allows you to match your cost and transport needs with leading providers that are ready to efficiently move your vehicle in a worry-free way.

Tips For Car Shipping To Another State

Our experts can help you learn how to ship a car to another state without facing any major challenges. While the process may at first seem daunting, following these three easy steps can make it a smooth and simple one.

#1 Choose Your Type Of Transport

One of the main decisions you’ll have to make when learning how to ship a car to another state is whether to pick open auto transport or enclosed transport.

  • Open carrier transport: This method typically leads to lower car shipping costs, but it leaves your vehicle much more vulnerable to environmental issues or dents caused by flying objects or road debris.
  • Enclosed carrier transport costs substantially more, but your vehicle will be sealed in a transport trailer that protects it from the elements. Enclosed auto transport is recommended for classic cars and luxury vehicles.

#2 Pick An Auto Transport Company

You’ll need to weigh costs with your auto transport service needs to determine which car shippers work best for you. Montway Auto Transport and Easy Auto Ship usually offer competitive rates for car shipping, while Sherpa Auto Transport holds a sterling customer service reputation. AmeriFreight is known for its generous discount opportunities, and uShip’s marketplace is recognized for its wealth of choices.

While all of these providers are reputable car shipping providers, certain ones may fit your needs better than others.

It’s also important to see if shippers offer the services you need. If you’re shipping a car to Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico, know that some companies only ship vehicles within the 48 contiguous states. If you’re wary of price increases mid-shipment, look for companies that offer guaranteed pricing, like Easy Auto Ship and Sherpa Auto Transport.

#3 Book Your Shipment Early

Book your car transport far ahead of time to receive the lowest prices and avoid availability issues. If you’re looking for how to ship a car to another state at the last minute, know that expedited shipping options exist. However, you’ll pay a far higher rate than if you book your car shipment well in advance.

Preparing Your Vehicle For An Interstate Move

There’s a lot to think about when you’re learning how to ship a car to another state. Many drivers get so lost in the shipping process that they forget to prepare their vehicle for the move. To make sure your car makes it to its destination safely, follow the steps outlined below:

  • Get your vehicle inspected: Shipping a car to another state can become an ordeal if certain parts stop working. To prevent delays, ensure all tires are properly inflated, fluids have been topped off, and your car’s battery is running properly.
  • Take valuables out of your car: To prevent theft, take all important possessions out of your car. While items are unlikely to be stolen on the road, it’s always best to prepare for the worst.
  • Empty your gas tank: Your vehicle should have no more than a quarter tank of gas during the move, as excess fuel adds weight to the shipment.
  • Take pictures of existing damage: Unfortunately, vehicles sometimes get scratched or dented while being transported across state lines. The best way to prove that damages happened on the road is by documenting preexisting issues. You’ll note any new damage that occurred during the shipment on the bill of lading once your vehicle is delivered.
  • Get an extra set of keys: In the unlikely event that your keys get lost or stolen during vehicle shipment, you’ll be grateful for that extra set. Don’t send your car off without holding on to an extra set of keys.

Cost Of Shipping A Car To Another State

While learning how to ship a car to another state is an important part of the process, equally essential is knowing what to expect when it comes to car shipping costs. There’s no single price for shipping a car to another state, as factors including the distance and your chosen provider determine the price of car shipping.

We’ve included auto transport quotes for a 2020 Hyundai Elantra below to help you determine how much you might expect to pay.

Car Shipping CompanyShipping DistanceOpen/Enclosed TransportQuote Estimate
Montway Auto Transport

Washington, D.C.

to Seattle (2,761 miles)

Easy Auto Ship

Washington, D.C.

to Seattle (2,761 miles)


Washington, D.C.

to Seattle (2,761 miles)


Rapid City, S.D.,

to Atlanta (1,504 miles)


You can expect a higher price for certain services, such as enclosed auto transport, expedited shipping, and door-to-door delivery. Long-distance and cross-country moves come with higher average costs, but auto shipping companies tend to charge lower rates per mile for them. Popular routes, such as ones that snowbirds use to travel from New York to Florida, generally offer more competitive rates on average.

The best way to find cheap car shipping is comparing free quotes from providers before making a decision. This can help you figure out exactly how to ship a car to another state through the most cost-effective method for your needs.

Top Companies For Car Shipping To Another State

If you’re looking for a combination of excellent prices and superb standards, we recommend checking out Sherpa Auto Transport and Easy Auto Ship. Each of these providers is known for its quality auto transport services and can ship a car to another state smoothly and efficiently.

Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport has made a name for itself by offering some of the highest standards in the vehicle shipping industry. The company has a sterling rating average of 4.91 out of 5.0 stars from customers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an average score of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars from reviews on Google. Sherpa Auto Transport also holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB.

What really sets Sherpa Auto Transport apart, though, is its Price Lock Promise. While many auto transport companies will quote drivers an initial rate but raise prices mid-shipment, Sherpa Auto Transport will stand by its originally quoted rates with guaranteed pricing.

Keep in mind that Sherpa Auto Transport doesn’t offer car transport services in Alaska, Puerto Rico, or international locations.

Sherpa Auto Transport
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 888-202-7706 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Locked-in shipping rates through the Price Lock Promise Vetted network of reliable and friendly carriers Strong customer service ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Offers a Clean Car Guarantee Cons Slightly higher prices than competitors Does not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping

Sherpa Auto Transport has many strengths, from excellent customer service to the added security of the Price Lock Promise.

Easy Auto Ship: Best For Locked-In Rates

It’s worth checking Easy Auto Ship out if you’re looking for an auto transporter that can cover nearly any auto shipping need. The company moves vehicles nationwide and offers shipping services abroad. It ships everything from boats to RVs to motorcycles and even offers expedited transport.

Like Sherpa Auto Transport, Easy Auto Ship offers guaranteed pricing. This means your rates won’t go up even if extra costs are incurred during the shipping process. While Easy Auto Ship receives a slightly lower 4.6-star average customer rating on both the BBB and Google, the car moving company’s flexibility and below-average rates please the vast majority of vehicle owners.

Easy Auto Ship Best For Locked-In Rates
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 844-825-6207 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Guaranteed pricing from quotes Inexpensive car shipping rates Simple and streamlined booking process Free rental car if shipment takes more than two weeks Cons No 24/7 customer assistance No way to track shipments

Our team rates Easy Auto Ship 4.3 out of 5.0 stars and recognizes it for having the Best Added Benefits for 2022. The company is highly rated, and customers consistently praise Easy Auto Ship for its affordability, guaranteed car shipping quotes, and easy shipping process.

Should I Ship Or Drive My Car?

A road trip may sound like the most exciting method for how to ship a car to another state, but it’s not always the best strategy. While driving may make sense for some car owners, we’ll list a few downsides to driving your vehicle during a long-distance move.

  • Driving takes time: Moving to another state is already pretty time-consuming, and driving hundreds or thousands of miles just adds to the time lost. Shipping your car allows you to settle into a new routine much more quickly than if you add a road trip.
  • Shipping keeps your car safe: While damages can occur mid-shipment, a road trip leaves your car far more vulnerable to car accidents, mechanical breakdowns, and adverse weather conditions.
  • Driving adds miles to your vehicle: A road trip from Los Angeles to New York City adds about 2,800 miles to your car’s odometer. Your vehicle becomes more vulnerable to wear and tear as the miles pass by.
  • The costs add up on the road: While many assume that driving their car is the cheaper option, the price difference may be less than you’d expect. Between paying for gas, staying in hotel rooms, and eating out for every meal, you might spend more on your road trip than you’d like.

It may be smart to drive yourself if you’re moving to a neighboring state, but car shipping can be a smart choice for long-distance moves. Before making a final decision, consider the time spent on the road, potential costs, and possible damages that could occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to ship a car to another state?

If you’re wondering how to ship a car to another state cheaply, you’ll want to consider open transport shipping with terminal-to-terminal delivery. These practices can reduce vehicle transport costs, as can comparing instant quotes from providers.

How much does it cost to ship a car to another state?

Expect to pay somewhere between 50 cents and $2 per mile when you ship a car to another state. Your exact cost will largely depend on the time of year, your drop-off and pickup locations, and factors specific to your vehicle. The longer your shipment, the less per mile you’ll likely pay.

Can I put stuff in my car when I ship it?

Most providers will not let you put personal belongings in your car when you ship it. Montway Auto Transport lets customers ship up to 100 pounds of personal items in their vehicles, though none of it will be covered by the cargo insurance policy.

How long does it take to ship a car?

The exact time frame for shipping a car varies based on the distance traveled. It’ll almost always take somewhere between three days and a week between the pickup date and drop-off. Short-distance moves will likely take less time, while shipping a car to Hawaii or Alaska could take longer.

How We Rate Auto Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
  • Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
  • Reputation: It’s important that a car shipping provider is able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.

*Data accurate at time of publication