June 9th, 2023

How to Ship Your Car To & From Alaska

Equip yourself with our comprehensive guide to navigate the process of shipping your car to and from Alaska. Unravel the intricate steps, from choosing the right shipping company to understanding Alaska's unique challenges, for a smooth and hassle-free experience.

How to Ship Your Car To & From Alaska

Understanding the Process

Embarking on the journey of shipping a car to or from Alaska requires a thorough understanding of the process involved. This process, while seemingly daunting, is made less complicated by car shipping companies who ensure the safe and efficient transport of your vehicle. These companies coordinate the different modes of transport needed to get your car from its starting point to its final destination, alleviating much of the stress associated with this task.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Research plays a pivotal role in choosing the right shipping company for your needs. A variety of factors should be considered, including company reputation, customer service, and, importantly, experience in shipping to and from Alaska.


While pricing is an important factor in your decision, it should not be the only one. Many factors influence the cost of shipping, including the type of vehicle, the distance to be traveled, and the time of year. Make sure to request quotes from multiple companies to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Insurance Coverage

Ensure the company you choose has adequate insurance coverage for any potential damages during transit. Understanding the extent of coverage, as well as any potential exclusions or deductibles, is crucial for peace of mind during this process.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparation is a key aspect of the shipping process. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for transport will reduce the likelihood of delays or issues along the way.


Your shipping company will require certain documentation, including proof of ownership and an up-to-date registration. It’s advisable to have these documents prepared in advance to streamline the process.

Vehicle Inspection

Before your vehicle is loaded for shipping, it will be thoroughly inspected for pre-existing damage. Remove all personal items from the car, as they are not covered by shipping insurance. Also, your gas tank should be no more than a quarter full to reduce the vehicle’s weight for transport.

Shipping Methods

Shipping your car to and from Alaska can be done via two main methods: open transport and enclosed transport.

Open Transport

This is the most common and cost-effective method, where your car is shipped on an open-air carrier. While your vehicle is exposed to the elements, the risk of damage is minimal.

Enclosed Transport

In this method, your car is transported in a fully enclosed trailer, offering more protection. This method is often chosen for luxury, classic, or highly valuable vehicles, and is typically more expensive.

Delivery and Pick-Up Options

Different delivery and pick-up options are available, each offering varying levels of convenience and cost.

Door-to-Door Shipping

For the ultimate in convenience, your vehicle can be picked up from your home and delivered to your destination of choice. This service can be more expensive but can save you time and hassle.

Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping

A more affordable option, your vehicle is dropped off at and picked up from designated shipping terminals. While this method may require more coordination on your part, it can be a good choice for those on a tighter budget.

Navigating Alaska’s Unique Challenges

Shipping a car to or from Alaska presents unique challenges due to its geography and climate. Winter weather conditions can lead to delays, and remote locations may not be serviced by all shipping companies.

Planning for Delays

The harsh Alaskan winters can affect shipping schedules, so it’s advisable to plan for potential delays. Additionally, consider that the shipping route includes a leg through Canada, which can further complicate the timeline.

Remote Locations

Some areas of Alaska are only accessible by ferry or plane. Ensure that your chosen shipping company can service your particular location, and be prepared for possible additional costs.


In conclusion, shipping a car to or from Alaska requires careful planning, research, and preparation. Selecting a reputable shipping company, preparing your car for transport, understanding the different shipping methods, and considering delivery and pick-up options are essential steps. Additionally, being aware of and prepared for Alaska’s unique challenges can ensure a smoother process.


Q: Can I pack personal items in my car during shipping?
A: Generally, personal items are not allowed in the car during shipping due to insurance restrictions and potential safety hazards.

Q: How long does it typically take to ship a car to or from Alaska?
A: The duration varies depending on many factors, including the starting location and destination, but it generally takes about 2-3 weeks.