How to Transport a Car to Another State?

How to Transport a Car to Another State?

While moving home interstate, transporting the car can be a concern as you want it to reach the new home safely. And you also need the least expensive way to transport the vehicle.

Assuming that you are moving cross-country let me suggest you two options to transport a car to another state.

Option 1: Drive it yourself.

Option 2: Hire a professional car coming company

Drive it yourself

This is the most straightforward option to transport a car to another state. But this is not a safe, cheap, and convenient option as most people think. If your moving schedule is tight and you are not fond of driving thousands of miles, driving the car yourself will be a troublesome attempt.

Moreover, consider the gas prices, toll charges, and other expenses. If you have to drive for two days or three, hotel plus food expenses are extra. Even if you boast of being a passionate driver, spending days on the road can exhaust you. In addition, wear and tear during the drive and an unexpected breakdown can take your toll.

The moral is that driving the vehicle yourself is not an ideal way to transport a car to another state. 

And that leaves you the second option – hire an auto moving company in your area.

A car shipping company is: 

  • Safe
  • Convenient
  • And surprisingly affordable

Fortunately, there are many car moving companies in the US, serving across the length and breadth of the country. While most people are aware of moving companies for homes and offices, they don’t know much about car movers.

We are gonna discuss here how to transport a car to another state by hiring a vehicle mover.


  • Hiring car movers help in moving multiple cars at the same time.
  • The cars are safer when moved by professional auto movers.
  • Shipping a car is less stressful.

As we’ll cover everything related to car moving, this will be more like a handy guide for you and we are sure you’ll learn the in and out of auto moving.

How much does it cost to ship your car?

Car shipping cost is based on the following factors:

  • The weight of your car
  • The distance you want to transport the car
  • The type of your car
  • The time of year you are moving
  • The season and weather conditions
  • The type of car moving you want
  • The origin and destination locations of your car
  • The route the moving carrier takes

Is enclosed moving better than an open hauler?

Auto moving companies transport cars in two ways:

  • Enclosed trailer
  • Open hauler

The car moving cost is greatly determined by your choice of car moving service. An open hauler can move multiple cars at a time and hence it is cheaper. This is the most preferred mode of transporting cars to another state. As many cars are moved in one truck, it is easier to book a berth for your car.

An enclosed trailer is safer as it secures your vehicle from external hazards and dirt. However, it is costlier and only a few cars can be moved at a time. This means the waiting time to transport your car will be higher. Enclosed trucks are the best bet for antique, classic, and exotic cars.

An enclosed trailer will deliver your car faster than an open hauler as it has got a few cars to deliver and hence need not make multiple stops on its trip.

What should my car shipping company be like? 

Picking a car moving company to transport your car to another state is the most crucial part of moving. The vehicle mover needs to be reliable and professional and you should be relieved of worry about damages, late deliveries, or overcharges. It is important you scrutinize multiple car movers in your area to narrow down to a couple of them with whom you can discuss car moving quotes and decide which one suits you the best. 

The car mover you pick needs to be:

  • Experienced in moving all types of vehicles
  • Licensed and registered with the US Department of Transportation and must have a USDOT number
  • Reputed in moving vehicles through multiple states
  • Reliable with positive online reviews
  • Free from scams and have a clean track record

What should I do for a fair car moving quote? 

Just like home moving quotes, there is no fixed menu for a car moving quote and it is greatly influenced by multiple factors, such as distance, features, moving company, moving season, and many other factors. Contact as many car movers as you can in your area. Analyze the different car moving quotes you receive and decide which one suits you the best. 

Ensure the car moving quote you pick is transparent and is free from all hidden costs. 

When should I move my car?

The moving date is crucial and your car should move on a day near to your home moving date. Decide a day within the week of your home moving. As you inform the car mover that the vehicle is ready for pickup, the company will arrive within 2 to 4 days and may deliver it at the new home within a week, based on the distance, climate, and the route taken. 

Always book a slot a week in advance as there may be vehicles lined up for moving, especially in summer, which is the moving season. Some car movers are flexible to accept requests on short notice but it is always safe to maintain a ‘1-week’ gap. 

What should I do before the auto mover arrives at the home for the car pick up?

Once you inform the car shipping company of the date to pick up the car, you need to keep it ready. Normally, the car mover will specify what you need to do and what you shouldn’t. To help you, we’ve got a list of things to take care of.

  • Check your fuel gauge and ensure that it is no more than one-quarter full.
  • Empty all items from your car for easy moving. The company will demand the vehicle to be kept light weighted. 
  • Remove all valuables, including those that don’t add weight to your car, such as important documents in the glove compartment and standalone GPS devices.
  • Check your car’s tires to ensure that they are inflated and in good condition.
  • Check your car’s battery to ensure that it is fully charged.
  • Confirm the car is properly insured.

In addition, you need to have a copy of all keys. If you have just one key, hand it over to the car moving company as the US Department of Transportation needs the driver of the car to have one copy of the key for every lock. While the driver has one set of keys, you can keep the original ones. 

Clean the car before you hand it over to the auto mover as a clean car will make it easier to spot chips, dings, dents, scratches, and other cosmetic damages.

Take photos of your car from different angles

When you feel the car is ready to hand over, click photographs from different angles as this will help you while checking for damages after the car reaches the new home. Do not forget to mark the date and time on the photos.

Write down all scratches on the car along with the date and time. This helps you know whether new scratches have happened while handling the car.

What else should I do before handing over the car? 

Take out all personal items from the car. Ensure no valuable item is left behind as the car moving company will not be responsible for any loss. Confirm that no chargers, extra covers, keys, photographs, spare tire covers, hubcaps, and grill covers are left behind.

You also need to remove items that may fall off during the transportation, which includes radio antennas, bikes, luggage, or ski racks. If your car is a convertible one, confirm the top is secure in place. Specialty items such as fog lights, ground effects, and spoilers need to be secured or removed.

It is also important that car tires are properly inflated as the driver may need to drive the car at some point of the move. 

Confirm that no leaks are there in the engine compartment as the car needs to be transported cross country. In addition, also ensure that the gas tank is filled up to just 1/4th as it will decrease the weight and there is less stress during the journey. However, the tank must have a little gas as the driver might require driving the car while loading and unloading the truck. 

While you hand over the car to transport to another state to the chosen auto shipping company, disable or remove the alarm that may distract the driver if accidentally goes off on the road. You also need to fold the side mirrors to prevent them from getting damaged after hitting somewhere. In addition, do not forget to top off oil and fluids to brakes and power steering for smooth functioning and also deactivate the automatic toll pass which otherwise may deduct cash while crossing toll gates on the route.

Should I note down the mileage?

Normally, genuine movers will not take out your car from the truck unless it reaches the dropping destination. However, if your assigned mover is unprofessional or naive, the guys may go on a joyride in your car. Note the car mileage in advance and click photos and mark both date and time on them to keep a tab on the car.

What essential documents are required to transport a car to another state?

While the documents you need to provide a car shipping mover may vary with each company, the common documents include: 

  • Vehicle registration and title: This proves your ownership of the car that is being shipped.
  • Photo identification: Acceptable forms of photo identification include a driver’s license or passport.
  • Car insurance: Although most auto transport companies offer insured services, proof of insurance may also be required.

What should I do after the car reaches the new state? 

After you transport the car and move to the new state, it will be delivered within a week or two. While the mover may insist you be personally available to take over the vehicle, it is not mandatory. Anyone above 18 years of age can be your representative and can accept the car after signing all relevant documents. 

While good auto movers do door delivery, a few car movers have specific locations where the car will be delivered. 

Once you receive the car at the new home, check for the damages and ensure it is the same as you shipped. Someone who knows the vehicle will be the right person to accept the keys. Do not accept the bill of lading or sign a document until you confirm the vehicle’s condition. If the vehicle is not in good condition, file for an insurance claim but you need the photographs as proof of damages. Also, get the driver signed approving the damages which will strengthen the case for the claim. 

How to renew my license and register the car? 

After you receive the car, contact the local DMV to update some important information concerning your vehicle. This information includes:

  • Driver’s license: Update the license to reflect your new state of residence on it. The duration to complete this task varies from state to state. Normally it is between 10 to 30 days.
  • License plates: You need to register the car within a certain number of days, which is typically longer, between 30 and 60 days. Check to see if the old plates need to be surrendered.
  • Inspections: Depending on the state to which you are moving, there may be certain requirements. For example, California requires that most vehicles pass a smog check.
  • Car Insurance: Notify your auto insurance company about your move as it is necessary to adjust your coverage.

Is vehicle registration done online? 

While many vehicle moving-related changes can be done online, a driving license update demands a personal visit to the DMV office. Many tasks related to vehicle registration and insurance update can be done online, but that depends upon which state you are in. Have every required document ready and upload wherever required to make the process easier.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How much does it cost to move a car interstate?

The moving cost is based on many factors including the vehicle type, the distance it needs to cover, the moving type, the company, the moving time, and many more. Roughly, an auto mover may charge about $600-$1,000 for a four-door sedan and $800-$1,070 for a small van, pickup, or SUV. The auto shipping company in your area will be the best to give an amount.

Are there any other ways to move a car to another state?

Auto transport companies aren’t the option to move your car interstate. You can hitch a car to the moving truck using a tow dolly or car trailer. Hiring a driver for your car is another option to transport a car to another state.

How crucial is the date in the car moving?

Moving dates are crucial in many ways. Summer is the moving season and it is costly to hire an auto shipping company during this time. Winter is off-season and it is easier to book a berth for your car. While it is cheaper for both enclosed and open car transport, the chances of your vehicle getting covered up in snow are higher in open transport. Enclosed transport is best chosen in winter but it may be costlier than open haulers. Similarly, the moving trucks will be greatly affected by heavy snow on the route, which may prompt moving companies to take safer but deviated routes that may take a longer time to deliver your car.