How To Ship a Car to Another State

Sometimes, you just need to move a vehicle from one place to another and don’t want the hassle of driving it there yourself. That’s where car shipping comes into play, and there are several companies just waiting for the opportunity to load up your vehicle and take it to its destination.

What You Need to Know About Car Shipping

Shipping a car is quite simple, and doesn’t take much stress or effort to do correctly. Deciding whether or not to ship a car is the most important part of the process. If you’re shipping long distances, such as cross-country or even just a few states over, shipping may be your best bet, but if you’re looking to transport a car just over a state line, you might want to consider driving it yourself. In general, though, you should consider the following when shipping a car.

  • Shipping method: You have a few choices available to you in the shipping method, which include open trailer, enclosed transport, and even rail. In general, an open trailer is the most cost effective way to ship a car.

  • Distance: The distance you need to ship a vehicle will ultimately be the largest determining factor in the price that you pay. Unsurprisingly, shipping further means paying more.

  • Shipping company: There are many, many options for shipping companies, many of which offer similar services. It’s best to choose the one that gives you the best peace of mind and ability to ship your car damage and stress free.

For more on this topic, see our detailed guide on how to ship a car.

How Much Does Auto Transport Cost?

Auto shipping costs depend on many factors, including the type of vehicle, type of shipping services, distance, and more. You may also find that shipping at certain times of year costs more, as there is higher demand for transport services.

CompanyAverage CostNotes

Auto Transport Company Overviews


Amerifreight was founded in Georgia in 2004, and has grown to become one of the largest auto transport companies in the United States. It offers services for vehicles, boats, large trucks, and anything in between.

Pros and Cons

  • Refunds for cancellations
  • Matches competitors’ pricing
  • Offers several discount programs
  • Does not offer online quotes
  • Does not offer tracking of vehicle shipments

Sherpa Auto Transport

Like Easy Auto Ship, Sherpa is a relatively new company to the world of auto shipping. The company states that it offers customer-centric care and meticulous shipping services for everything from a one-off sports car to a well-worn family SUV.

Pros and Cons

  • Quotes are guaranteed
  • Highly rated customer service
  • Nice add-ons and perks
  • Website is not very helpful
  • Cannot get online quotes

Montway Auto Transport

With 14 years of experience under its belt, Montway is one of the longer running auto transport businesses around. It sports one of the easier to use websites, and states that it is a leading employer for military veterans.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Dates can be locked in
  • Offers extra coverage options
  • Can ship to Hawaii and Alaska
  • Might take longer to schedule or pickup/deliver due to high demand.

Easy Auto Ship

Easy Auto ship hasn’t been around as long as many others, but it’s grown quickly and provides shipping services for popular used vehicle platforms like Classic Cars and Hemmings. Its services range from simple open trailer transports to complex international auto moves.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Quick shipping options
  • Very quick and easy quotes process
  • Additional damage coverage options
  • Great customer service
  • Not as established

Bargain Auto Transport

Though new to the world of auto shipping, Bargain Auto Transport has quickly established itself as a leader in the space. Its prices are typically 15 percent or more lower than its competition, and it still offers many of the same coast-to-coast shipping options.

Pros and Cons

  • Very affordable
  • Solid reviews and customer service
  • Does not offer online quotes

How To Ship A Car?

When you start the process of shipping a car, it’s important to remember that you’re only dealing with a dispatcher in many cases. This means that the company you choose is just a messenger, searching out available carriers to get the shipment done.

Your journey through auto shipping starts with getting a quote, whether it’s online or over the phone. You’ll need to have information on your vehicle available, as well as detailed information on the shipment’s departure and destination locations.

Once you’ve settled on a company and received a quote, you’ll be assigned a date with the company's carrier partners. In many cases, this date is locked-in, which means you’re guaranteed to be able to ship on that date. You’ll need to take the time to prepare your car by removing personal items and unnecessary cargo.

The carrier will arrive at your pickup location and load the truck. Your vehicle will be issued paperwork, such as a bill of lading, that states its condition and other information. Many companies offer the ability to track your shipment with GPS installed on the carrier truck, but in some cases you’ll be left to wait on your own.

When the vehicle arrives at its destination, you or the person you’re shipping to will need to perform an inspection. This is usually done with the driver, and is intended to prevent surprises with condition. If there is damage, or if the vehicle didn’t arrive as expected, this is your opportunity to work with the company to find a resolution.

You can read more on Car Shipping and see our recommendations for the Best Car Shipping Companies in 2022 here.

Golden Wrench Winners for Best Car Shipping Companies

4.9 of 5

Montway Auto Transport is a very well known name in the car shipping world. This company simplifieds the car shipping process and even includes the cost of insurance in the price. Their quote process is simple and they sustain excellent reviews within the industry.

4.5 of 5

Sherpa Auto Transport is a very trusted name in the car shipping industry. With door-to-door delivery and a large array of auto transport options available for the consumer, Sherpa is a great choice.

4.9 of 5

AmeriFreight is one of the most prominent and well known names in the auto transport industry. With coast-to-coast delivery and discounts available for military, seniors and students, AmeriFreight remains a big player in car shipping.

4.1 of 5

Easy Auto Ship is a newer player in the car shipping game, but very respected. This shipper has excellent reviews and many options to choose from, including motorcycle, classic and international shipping options.

4.1 of 5

This nationwide shipping company is based in Chicago and is one of the only options available that offers a refundable deposit, should your plans change. They have a very easy quote process in place, even though they have not been in business as long as some of the other companies in the industry.

4.0 of 5

This well known auto shipper uses a trusted network of approved carriers and can ship your car to far away destinations like Alaska and Puerto Rico. They are known for high quality service and reasonable pricing.

3.8 of 5

This very reasonably priced company is a meta-search shipping option. uShip will provide you with quotes from multiple shipping companies to find the best deal for your needs. They have good reviews and many options available.

3.9 of 5

This nationwide auto transport company offers real-time, online vehicle tracking and instant quotes for the consumer. They are known for reasonable prices and a large list of shipping options.

3.1 of 5

Ship a Car Direct maintains a large network of qualified drivers, and is able to offer very reasonable prices. The company maintains excellent ratings and review, and offer many options for consumers.

See all auto shippers »


Can I ship other items inside my vehicle?

No. Extra items inside your vehicle not only add weight, they can also end up being damaged. If a non-vehicle item is damaged during shipping, the carrier will likely not reimburse you for the costs of repairs or replacement.

Can I ship a boat?

Yes, you can. Most major auto shippers offer services for boats, RV, and other recreational vehicles. Easy Auto Ship also offers instant online quotes for these vehicles.

Can I Ship A Car That Doesn’t Run?

Absolutely, but it’s important to let your shipping company know about any operational issues your car has before booking it a ride on a truck. If the car doesn’t run, extra equipment and preparation steps will be needed to load it on a trailer, which is going to add cost to the shipping quote.

Can I ship a damaged vehicle?

Again, yes, but make sure you let the shipper know ahead of time. If the vehicle is absolutely mangled, you’ll probably be able to ship it, but special accommodations may need to be made to both load and fit it onto a trailer.

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