Moving to a new state will almost always mean that you’ll also have to move your personal vehicle too. Luckily, that vehicle of yours can move on its own… unless the move distance is too great, in which case you may not have any good options but to hire a long-distance car shipping company to transport your car for you.

The following 5 tips for shipping a car to a new state will prepare you mentally for your specific role in the upcoming car shipping task. It’s not easy to trust your prized car to complete strangers but you’ll definitely feel better when you know that you’re actually using one of the best car transportation services in the country.

How to ship your car to another state? Read on to find the right answers.

1. Make up your mind: Driving your car or having it shipped?

If you’re unsure whether to drive your car across the country to the new home or have it shipped to that new residence, then there are a few factors to consider before you reach the best decision in your unique set of relocation circumstances.

That’s right, the dilemma may be real: should you drive your own car until you reach the destination OR should you hire a top-rated car shipper to transport your vehicle for you?

Factor #1. Distance

The driving distance from your current home to the new one will most likely prove to be the deciding factor that should lead to the successful resolution of that dilemma of yours.

You’re moving to another state so the distance will be great – the real question is HOW GREAT? Is it a few hundred miles? Is it roughly a thousand miles? Or is it a few thousand miles?

Did you know that it would take you roughly 42 hours to drive from California to New York? Such a road trip can be done in 4 days with 3 nights of lodging along the way.

Are you physically, mentally and financially ready to spend 4 days on the road, in your car, driving, driving, and again – driving?

Factor #2. Cost

Needless to say, the cost of driving across country vs. the cost to ship your car with an auto shipper will play a major role in your decision which way to go.

If you do decide to drive your own car to the destination city in a new state, then you’re going to need to pay for fuel, vehicle servicing prior to the car trip, meals and lodging along the route, road tolls and parking fees, unexpected expenses, etc.

If you’re shipping your car to another state, then you’ll only need to know how much your long distance car shipper will charge you for the service. So, how much is to ship a car to another state? Read on to learn more about it.

Factor #3. Weather and time

First of all, there are the seasonal considerations – are you moving in the summer when the weather is usually favorable? Or are you preparing for a winter move when the weather conditions can be rather adverse for even contemplating a cross-country drive on your own?

Also, take into consideration the time constraints you may have. Are you in a hurry to get to your new home? If yes, then shipping your car with a reputable and experienced car shipping company while you catch the plane to the new residence will definitely be the fastest way to end the state-to-state car shipping saga successfully.

2. Learn the cost to transport your car to another state

Are you willing to drive your personal vehicle hundreds or thousands of miles across multiples states only to realize that the car trip cost you more than you would have paid to hire an affordable car transport company?

The moment you’ve made up your mind to ship your car to another state, you will want to know how much that exclusive service will cost you in the end. And once you do, you will be able to set up and adjust your moving budget accordingly.

The price to ship a car to another state will depend on several critical factors:

  • Move distance. Of course, the bigger the distance between Point A (where your current home and vehicle are located) and Point B (the final destination point of your car), the higher the cost will be.
  • Vehicle characteristics. You may not realize this but the size, weight, make and model of the car you want shipped to a new state will affect directly the shipping cost. Larger, heavier and more expensive cars will cost more to be transported quickly and safely to another part of the country.
  • Auto shipper rates. Shipping a car to another state is a specialized transportation service that only properly licensed auto shipping companies are allowed to provide. And as you can easily guess, different car shipping companies charge differently for the same job. And if that is true, then why should you pay more to one car shipper when another company can do it for less? Exactly! So, as you will see below, the trick is to hire an affordable car transport company that will still offer you a high-quality service.
  • Insurance. You’re going to need to purchase the right type of coverage for your prized vehicle while it’s being transported from one state to another. The car shipping company you’ve chosen will help you arrange the proper car shipping insurance.

How much does it cost to transport a car from one state to another? Use our free car shipping calculator to get accurate quotes from the best long-distance car shipping companies near you.

3.  Find the best car shipping companies in the country

You shouldn’t just trust any auto shippers to transport your car to another state. It’s your own car, you love your car, and you’d hate to see any type of damage inflicted upon it due to incompetent handling from the car transport company you happened to select.

The good news is that when you do your homework right, you’ll be able to select one of the best cross-country car moving companies in your area. As guidance, here are the top 3 things to look for in an auto shipper:

  • Experience. Of course, professional experience is critical when you’re choosing a company to transport your car from one state to another. And yes, you want a car transporter with many years in the vehicle shipping business.
  • Reputation. Good reputation comes from the people – the customers who have used the services of a good auto shipper and have rated highly their car transportation services. Checking the online reputation of long-distance car moving companies is super easy using the free RideShipper app.
  • Affordability. You’ll want your car shipping partner to be experienced and reputable, of course, so that you can have the peace of mind that your car is in good hands. However, you’ll desperately need those professionals to also offer you affordable prices. There’s really no need to pay more than you need to, right?

To find top-rated auto shippers near you,

  • Request car shipping quotes from properly licensed and insured interstate car shipping companies in your area;
  • Specify the Pickup and Destination locations, then mark the make and model of the vehicle you need shipped to a new state;
  • Compare the received car moving quotes: check the car shippers reviews on RideShipper to see which of the companies you’re reviewing have a good reputation among their customers and great overall ratings. This is the step that will make a huge difference when looking for reliable auto shipping companies.
  • Pick the best auto shipper based on price, conditions, reviews and overall impression.

4. Prepare your car for interstate transport

The cross-country car shipping company you select will take care of every car transport detail for you until your vehicle gets safely delivered to the address you’ve specified. However, you’re still going to have to prepare your own car for pick-up by the auto shipper.

In fact, getting your car ready for interstate transport is not difficult by any means – all you need to do is follow a number of simple steps and you’ll be done with that task in no time.

Here’s a short car shipping checklist that will prepare your car for pick-up by the pros:

  • WASH the exterior of your car, either on your own or have your vehicle washed at a nearby car washer. If you have extra time on your hands, you can clean the interior of your car as well. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to complete the interior cleaning job after the move.
  • REMOVE any personal items from the inside of your car, including electronic devices and documents. Why? The car shipping insurance you purchase won’t cover damage or theft of any possessions inside the vehicle. The only thing you’re allowed to leave inside is a child seat.
  • INSPECT your entire car for any signs of damage and if you do happen to find any, photograph those damaged areas as proof. Take many photos of your car, both close-up shots and wider panoramic ones.
  • LEAVE no more than about 1/4 of fuel in the tank.
  • CHECK the car battery whether it’s fully charged and functional.
  • LEAVE the tires fully inflated and make sure they are in good condition.
  • CHECK the parking brake whether it’s working as it should.
  • REMOVE any exterior car parts that can be taken off safely. Retract the antenna.
  • MAKE SURE the trunk contains nothing but the most essential equipment and tools – a spare tire, an emergency kit, a jack, basic repair tools, etc.
  • DISABLE or remove the car alarm system.

5: Be ready for the delivery of your car

Now that you know the basic principles of how to ship a car from one state to another, let’s assume that you’ve managed to find a great car transport company to move your vehicle from the state you’re currently in to the state you’re moving to.

And if that’s the case, then let’s say a few words about what you’re expected to do right after the state-to-state auto shipper has delivered safely your automobile to the new address.

  • INSPECT your freshly-delivered vehicle for any kinds of damage that may have been inflicted to it during the long-distance haul. In most cases, everything will be fine, especially since you’ve hired one of the best interstate auto shippers in the country. Nevertheless, if you do happen to find any transportation damage, report that damage immediately to your car shipping company. Take photos of the problematic areas, then note down that damage in the condition report you’re supposed to fill out and sign.
  • REGISTER your car in the new state as soon as you find some free time on your hands. Remember that you must register your car within a given period of time as it’s not optional. The confusing part is that some states give a gratis period of 30 days while others require that you register your vehicle within 10 days of your arrival. In any way, call your local DMV office – here’s a convenient DMV office finder tool – to find out the car registration period and the documents you’ll need to have with you when you visit the nearest office of the Department of Motor Vehicles.