Things you Should Know to Move your Car to Another State

Posted Moving Essentials / June 30, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

When making a relocation plan, you might struggle with finding the best way to move your car to another state. As challenging as it sounds, it can be organized with a few simple steps. One of the options is to hire a professional auto transport company so you don’t have to worry about whether your vehicle will be transported to its new destination without damage.

Consider Using Professional Services to Ship Your Car

When using professional services, you’re paying to have your car loaded onto a large enclosed or open-air truck bed. The amount you’ll spend depends on what your beginning and end destinations are, the size of your vehicle, and what kind of truck you choose.

Keep in mind that when you have to choose a moving company, the best course of action is to look up online reviews to avoid moving scams. Also, make sure to check if the company you want is licensed. You’ll see that by looking up for their USDOT number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

A Direct Way to Choose the Shipping Option: Ask for Free Quotes

If you need to move your car, look at all the options first and then decide which way you should go. Think about how long you’ll be able to go without a car at your new home and how much you can spend on car shipping. Don’t forget to contact a few companies and ask for a free quote so you can choose the most suitable option for your finances.

Prepare Your Car for the Interstate Move

Whether you are planning to tow your car or use professional services, your first step should be to prepare the vehicle. You can contact the auto transport company or a rental company you’re getting the hitch from, and see which requirements they have, but in general, these are some basic things you should do.


How to prepare your four-wheeler for shipping:

  • Look for and take photos of any existing damage to your vehicle;
  • Check your fuel gauge – it should be no more than one-quarter full;
  • Make sure your tires are inflated and in good condition;
  • Remove any valuables from your car, including essential documents from the glove compartment and GPS devices;
  • Remove personal items from the car;
  • Remove or retract your car’s antenna;
  • Check if your car battery is fully charged.

Additional note: If you decide to use professional services, make sure to check for any damage, and take photos once your car arrives at its destination. Professional moving companies must have a process for covering damage claims.

The Cost of Shipping a Four-Wheeler to Another State

Even though moving companies differently calculate the cost to ship a car to another state, you’ll see that the estimates you receive will probably be similar. The cost of shipping your car will depend on a few factors:

  • The make and model of your four-wheeler
  • The value of the vehicle
  • The cost of fuel and the time of transport
  • The distance your car will travel
  • Whether you’ve chosen an enclosed or open trailer
  • The pickup and drop off locations
  • Whether your car is operational
  • The weather conditions and the season at the time of transport.

According to CostHelper, to ship your car, professionals will charge from $600 to over $1,000.

Necessary Documentation

When you decide to ship your car, auto transport companies will require you to provide certain documents. This required documentation may vary depending on the company, but these are the things you should keep in mind.

Documents You'll Need to Ship Your Four Wheeler

Car registration and title

You’ll need this when visiting the DMV, but your chosen shipper might require you to show these, as well.

Driver's license

You don’t need to present your driver’s license when shipping the car, but it’s advisable to make an appointment to get a driver’s license in your new state.

Proof of insurance

It is not required, however, it is recommendable that your four-wheeler is insured when you decide to ship it. Reliable companies, however, offer a policy along with their services.

Another Option to Move Your Car to Another State Is to Drive It By Yourself

If you are looking for the cheapest way to move out of state and transport your vehicle, driving it by yourself might sound like the best option. However, you must keep in mind that this is the most time-consuming method because, if you have no one else to drive the rental truck, you’ll have to leave it and then come back for it later.

Rent a Trailer

To get everything done in one trip, consider renting a trailer that can be hitched to the back of your car. However, this option will limit the amount of belongings you can take. You can also think about renting a car carrier that can be used to attach your car to the back of a giant truck. Last but not least, consider asking a friend or family member to drive your car. Just make sure that your car insurance covers other drivers.

Reasons to Transport a Car Instead of Driving It

As fun as it might seem to load your car with all your belongings and drive it to your new location, consider the option of transporting your four-wheeler instead of driving it. There are a few good reasons to do so.

The Pros of Shipping Your Vehicle Between States

You can move multiple cars

If, for example, you own two or more vehicles, you’ll probably be shipping at least one of them. What is the alternative? To ship both of your cars on the same trailer.

There Are No Hidden Costs

Though it might seem that driving your four-wheeler by yourself will save you more money that using professional services, that’s not entirely true. When hiring professionals, you will know in advance the overall cost of transporting your four-wheeler.

When driving it by yourself, however, you’ll need to think about additional costs. Besides fuel, you will need enough means for tolls, food, renting a room to spend the night on long-distance trips, and other expenses that can occur.

Shipping a car is less stressful

Driving a car to your new home can be a real nightmare. Moving is stressful enough without having to plan a road trip.

Your car is safer on a carrier

The interstate highways that crisscross the US are some of the most dangerous roads in the nation. However, the good news is that the truck drivers who drive auto carriers from coast to coast have a lot of experience and training. Also, while on the carrier, your car will avoid a lot of wear and tear.

Choose Wisely 

Even though going on a road trip sounds appealing, it is advisable to use professional help. Keep in mind that your vehicle is one of the most valuable belongings that you have, and it should be safely transported to any location.

Trust us; you’ll do yourself a favor if your moving to-do list includes contacting a reliable moving company that offers auto shipping, along with their moving services, and ensures the safe transport of your vehicle.

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