July 27th, 2023

The Foolproof Guide to Safely Shipping Your Car

Looking to ship your car across the states? Our comprehensive guide outlines everything you need to know for a safe and secure vehicle transportation process. We cover choosing the right transport service, the importance of preparation, the intricacies of insurance, and key factors affecting shipping costs. With our foolproof guide, rest assured your prized vehicle will reach its destination in pristine condition.

The Foolproof Guide to Safely Shipping Your Car

Introduction Whether you’re moving across the country or buying a vehicle out of state, shipping your car can be a significant aspect of the process. You might wonder how to ensure the safe transportation of your vehicle. Thankfully, this guide lays out the steps to help you ship your car safely within the United States, ensuring it arrives without a scratch.

Understanding Auto Shipping Services Auto transport services offer two main types of shipping: open and enclosed transport. Open transport is the more common and cost-effective option, where your car is transported on an open-air carrier along with several other vehicles. However, this leaves your car exposed to weather and road debris.

On the other hand, enclosed transport provides shelter for your car in a fully covered trailer, protecting it from outdoor elements. This option is usually more expensive but offers greater security, particularly for luxury, classic, or exotic vehicles.

Selecting the Right Transporter Choosing the right transporter is crucial in ensuring your car’s safety. Do thorough research on potential companies, considering factors such as their track record, customer reviews, insurance coverage, and accreditation from relevant transport authorities. Make sure to select a company that suits your specific needs and budget.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping Preparing your car for transport is an essential step. Start by cleaning your vehicle inside and out. This makes it easier to spot any existing damage and keeps your car in good condition during transport. Remove all personal items from the car, as they might not be covered by the transporter’s insurance. Also, check your car’s tire pressure, battery, and fluid levels, and ensure there are no leaks. Document any pre-existing damage with photos for reference upon delivery.

The Shipping Process Once you’ve selected a transporter and prepared your vehicle, it’s time for the shipping process to begin. You and the carrier will complete a Bill of Lading, a critical document that outlines the condition of your car before shipping. Always keep a copy of this document as it serves as a legal record and will be used to assess any potential damage upon delivery.

Delivery and Inspection Upon arrival, you or a designated person should be present to receive your car. Together with the driver, conduct a thorough inspection, comparing the vehicle’s condition with the Bill of Lading. If you notice any damage, make sure to note it on the delivery report before signing it. This documentation is necessary for any potential insurance claims.

Insurance Matters Understanding the transporter’s insurance policy is vital. Ensure that it covers potential damage during transit. If you find their coverage insufficient, consider purchasing additional insurance for peace of mind.

Understanding Cost Factors Various factors influence the cost of shipping your car. These include the distance of transport, the type of vehicle, the type of transport (open or enclosed), and the season. Usually, longer distances, larger vehicles, and enclosed transport come with higher costs. Additionally, summer months tend to be busier, which may increase the price.

Conclusion Shipping your car doesn’t have to be a daunting process. By understanding the different shipping services, preparing your car, choosing a reliable transporter, and knowing what to expect during delivery and inspection, you can ensure your vehicle’s safe journey to its new home.


  1. Can I ship personal items in my car?
    While it may seem convenient, most auto shipping companies discourage or even prohibit shipping personal items in your car. These items may not be covered by the transporter’s insurance and could add extra weight to the vehicle, affecting transport costs.
  2. What if my car is damaged during shipping?
    In case of damage, immediately report it to the carrier and your own insurance company. Make sure you have the delivery report and photographs as evidence. The shipping company’s insurance should cover the cost of repairs.