July 1st, 2023

How to Ship Your Car To & From Michigan

Navigate the labyrinth of car shipping with our in-depth guide. From choosing the perfect shipping company to prepping your vehicle, our article serves as your compass in ensuring a hassle-free experience when shipping your car to or from Michigan.

How to Ship Your Car To & From Michigan

Understanding Car Shipping: The Basics

Let’s embark on this journey by demystifying the process of car shipping. You first need to grasp a basic understanding of the shipping process. Many companies offer door-to-door service, meaning they’ll pick up your vehicle from its current location and deliver it right to your doorstep. Car shipping companies utilize a variety of transporters, with the most common being open and enclosed trailers. Open trailers, while more affordable, expose your vehicle to the elements. Conversely, enclosed trailers offer additional protection, albeit at a higher cost.

Determining Your Shipping Needs

Next, you must evaluate your shipping needs. Different circumstances will call for varied shipping methods. For instance, a family moving to Michigan might require a different approach than a classic car collector transporting a prized vehicle to a Michigan auto show.

Choosing a Shipping Company

Once you’ve nailed down your needs, it’s time to select a shipping company. Investigate several companies, examining their reputations, pricing, and services. Trusted consumer review websites, such as the Better Business Bureau, offer an unbiased look into companies’ performance and customer satisfaction. However, don’t let cost be your sole decision-making factor. A low-cost provider could end up costing more in the long run if they provide subpar service or damage your vehicle.

Prepping Your Car for Shipping

Now that you’ve chosen your shipping company, you need to prepare your vehicle for transportation. Firstly, perform a thorough cleaning of the car, both inside and out. Not only does this allow you to accurately assess any pre-existing damage, but it also reduces the risk of inspection issues upon arrival.

Removing Personal Items

Next, remove all personal items from the vehicle. Most shipping companies prohibit the transportation of personal items in a vehicle due to liability issues. Plus, excess weight from personal belongings could lead to extra shipping fees.

Documenting the Vehicle’s Condition

Finally, document your vehicle’s condition by taking detailed photos. These images will serve as evidence of your vehicle’s pre-shipment state should any disputes arise about damages incurred during transport.

The Shipping Process

With your car clean and ready, it’s now time for pickup. Ensure you or a designated representative is present to oversee the loading process and sign the bill of lading, a legal document outlining the car’s condition and confirming shipment.

Post-Shipment Procedures

Upon arrival at your Michigan destination, you’ll need to inspect your vehicle immediately for potential damage. Compare its current state to the photographs taken before shipment. If you notice any discrepancies, report them immediately to the shipping company. Timely reporting increases the likelihood of a favorable resolution.


Shipping your car to or from Michigan doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By understanding the shipping process, accurately determining your needs, meticulously choosing your shipping company, and carefully preparing your vehicle, you can ensure a stress-free shipping experience. Remember, your engagement doesn’t end when your car is picked up; it’s crucial to inspect the vehicle upon arrival and report any issues promptly.


  1. What factors affect the cost of shipping a car to or from Michigan?
    Several factors influence the cost, including the type of vehicle, its condition (operable or non-operable), the transport method (open or enclosed trailer), and the shipping distance. Seasonality may also impact prices.
  2. How long does it take to ship a car to or from Michigan?
    Shipping times vary based on the origin and destination points, the time of year, and the shipping company’s schedule. Generally, coast-to-coast shipments can take 1-2 weeks.