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Auto Transport Companies

Why Consider Auto Shipping?

Your movedate is fast approaching and you're getting busy packing, sorting and consolidating all your household items. But there's one more thing that you need to take care of

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How to move your car?

Unless you're planning on selling your car and buying a new one after moving, you'll need to figure out a way to ship your existing car. And depending upon how far you're moving, driving it to your new house might not be an option.

The solution is professional auto transport, sometimes called car shipping, and it can be the answer to many different moving dilemmas.

What it involves is pretty simple—auto transporters move cars via truck to save your car the extra mileage and the hassle of driving long distances.

Here are just a few of the reasons you might consider car shipping companies:

  • If you plan on driving a moving truck to your new home and don’t have an extra driver or need a second set of eyes to navigate
  • If you’re concerned that your personal car might not make the trip.
  • If you’ve purchased a car that’s currently located in another state.
  • If you’ve contracted full-service movers to move all of your belongings and are flying to your new home.

Whether you’re moving to the next state over or across the country, paying for professional auto shipping does cost more than if you drive it yourself. However, you’ll be saving multiple days in transit (and the energy it takes to drive there).

After all, who really wants to unpack their new home after days on the road?

To help you decide if professional auto transportation might be a big help during your next move, we’ve outlined what to expect and how to find the most reliable auto transport company near you.

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How Does Auto Shipping Work?

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The way auto shipping works is pretty simple.

The first step to starting the auto shipping process is getting and comparing auto shipping rates and a few auto shipping companies. Although there are several ways to find car shippers, we've tried to make the process easier with out Auto Transport tool. Simply add some info about the car you need shipped and the origination and destination and get connected to the auto shippers instantly.

Now before you start talking and booking anyone for your move, it's important to check a few things.

  • Check Auto Transport Reviews

    Make sure to check auto shippers reviews and ratings to confirm you're hiring a reputable company. We pre-screen all our companies to make sure they are great BBB ratings, valid licenses and excellent reviews by auto shipping customers, but do your due diligence as well.

  • Check Auto Shippers Experience

    Do a thorough background check on the car shipper to make sure they have extensive experience in the industry and good track record. Only use shippers that have had experience shipping the type of cars that you're shipping.

    This becomes even more important when you're moving luxury cars like Mercedez, Ferrari, Lambhorgini or Rolls Royce, or any antique cars. If you're moving any of these type of cars, ask your shipper about an enclosed car shipping rate. (Read more about Enclosed Auto Transport below).

  • Check if they are a Broker or a Carrier

    Many auto shipping companies you'll speak to are brokers. Which means that they'll book the job and then another trucking company will be contracted to pickup and deliver your car. Although it's always better to work directly with a car shipper that handles everything themselves, if you find yourself talking to a broker make sure to do additional checks. Especially reviews and ratings of the carrier they'll be assigning to your move.

Different Types of Auto Transporters

Depending upon the type of car you're moving, there are two main types of auto shipping options to choose from. The first, Open Air Auto Transport. This is the most common type of car shipping.

I'm sure you've seen those large trailers on the highways carrying different cars. The one's that you always drive behind wondering what will happen if these cars come lose? Imagine the seen from Will Smith's Bad Boys movie.

These trucks are known as open-air auto shippers. The name is obvious as in this type of auto shipping, your car is exposed to the outside elements and it's out in the open.

The second option is called the Enclosed Auto Transport. Like the name suggests, in this type of transport, your car is in an enclosed trailer, safe from the outside elements. This option is generally used if you're shipping more expensive cars like luxury cars or antique cars.

Typically enclosed car shipping rates are higher than the other option. So make sure you check what kind of service does your shipper offer and what kind of rate they're providing to you.

Now that you've compared some car shipping rates and companies, it's time to see how the process will actually work.

  • Step 1: Make a Down Payment

    Most car shipping companies require a down payment to secure the dates of your auto transport. Note that some might even ask for the full amount upfront. Ask your car shipping company for details on when you’re expected to pay and what forms of payment, including major credit cards, are accepted.

  • Step 2: Clean Out Your Car

    If you're tight on space, it might be tempting to use your car as spillover storage during your long-distance move. Unfortunately, the extra weight increases auto transport company costs—and liability. That’s why most companies require that your vehicle is completely cleaned out before being transported.

    Be sure to remove all personal items, tools, and paperwork before handing over the keys.

  • Step 3: Get an Inspection

    Once your schedule pick-up date arrives, a representative of your car shipping company should perform a full inspection of your vehicle. Together, make sure to carefully check for any scratches or dents, and ensure that the report accurately describes your vehicle’s condition before signing.

    It’s important to go over the inspection sheet with a fine tooth comb because, in the event that damage does occur during auto transport, this record is how the insurance company will decide what’s covered.

  • Step 4: Confirm Your Delivery Date

    Most auto shipping companies will provide a window of delivery that spans three to five days. Be sure to confirm any schedule constraints and contact numbers in case you’re not home when they come by.

  • Step 5: Reinspect Your Car Again Once It’s Delivered

    When your vehicle has safely arrived at your new home, it’s important that you perform a second, careful inspection before signing release documents. Check for damage, missing items, and even fuel levels, taking your time to cover every inch both inside and out.

    Once you're confident that your car is in the expected condition, it's time to complete the final paperwork and payment.

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How To Find the Lowest Price Car Shipping Rates

To find the cheapest and most reliable auto shipping company near you, it’s important to shop around. We suggest reaching out to at least five different companies for the most accurate auto shipping quotes and rates.

Don’t have time to call five different companies to learn about auto shipping? No sweat!

MoverJunction has been a premier in the moving industry for over 10 years and is committed to working with industry professionals only. If you are in need of a car shipping company and require fast, friendly, and hassle-free customer service from fully licensed and insured providers, simply submit a request and get car shipping quotes from up to 6 of the industry’s best auto shipping providers.

As with all moving specialists you should be looking for one that has done it before. Our auto shipping network of vehicle transport companies are fully licensed, bonded and insured to protect your investment and give you peace of mind.

Why else should you use MoverJunction to find your next auto transport company?

When you use our Moving Cost Calculator (at the top of this page) to receive local auto shipping company referrals, not only can you feel confident that each provider has been screened for quality, you also save on cost!

That’s because our network allows auto transport companies to compete for your business, ensuring you’re quoted the lowest possible rate.

When to use an Auto Mover

  • Moving to another state or moving 300 miles or over

  • Buying a car online that needs to be shipped to you

  • Shipping an Antique car that needs extra care

  • Moving high-end, luxury cars

  • Moving a car that doesn't run

  • Moving long distance and want to avoid putting miles on the car

  • Sold your car to a buyer out of state and need shipping

Benefits of Car Shipping

  • Avoid expenses like gas, tolls, maintenance

  • Avoid stress of driving long distance

  • Avoid risk of accidents & traffic tickets

  • Avoid risk of damage or accidents

  • Door-to-door pick up and drop off

  • Get full insurance coverage

  • No unnecessary miles

  • Choice of Enclosed or Open Air Transport

Moving Guides

Read some articles written by our industry experts to guide you to your move

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