A car crossing mountains in Montana

6 Things to Consider When Shipping a Car to Montana


There’s a lot about Montana that might make you choose to live there. There’s Yellowstone Park that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Montana is also home to numerous craft breweries, has a low cost of living, low crime rates, and a booming jobs market. The state’s low population density also makes it a safe place for families. 

Whether you’re moving there for business or to make it your new home, taking your car with you saves quite a few bucks.

But, is driving your car there the best option? Depending on where you’re driving from, it could be an expensive challenge. After all, Montana is a state that’s defined by its diverse terrain ranging from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains. Furthermore, if you’re moving from a southern state such as Texas, Florida, or California, that’s several thousand miles you’ve got to cover. 

A far better option is to ship a car to Montana and the process is easier than you think. In this post, we’ll examine some of the things you need to consider when it comes to shipping a car to Montana.

How the car shipping process works

The car shipping process is a very simple one. All it takes is a few simple steps. 

1. Find the best auto transport company

There are many different car shipping companies to choose from. This makes it critical that you select the best one. Several factors have to be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Reputation for honesty and good service
  • Insurance coverage should be provided
  • Good customer reviews as these reveal a lot about a company
  • The company should be licensed

2. Get your quote

Once you’ve found a few likely candidates, it’s time to request some quotes. Check that the quote goes into detail and covers all aspects of the cost of car shipping to or from Montana. Check how long the quote is valid as they can change due to price changes. 

You can request a quote from SGT Auto Transport right here on this website. 

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3. Schedule your pickup

The next step is to schedule a pick-up date and location with the company of your choice. It should be a location suitable for you and the car shipping company. There should be no parking restrictions, low-hanging branches, or overhead power lines. 

4. Wait for the delivery

You should make sure you’re available at the time your vehicle is delivered. However, if for some reason you’re busy, you can nominate a third party to accept delivery of your car. However, they must be 18 years old or over. 

5. Confirm the condition of your vehicle

When your vehicle is delivered, you or your representative must inspect it to confirm it’s in the same condition as when it was picked up. You can check the condition against the Bill of Lading

What does it cost to ship a car to Montana?

Several factors affect the cost of shipping a car to and from Montana. The final price is determined by the following:

  • Type of vehicle: This is one of the most significant factors that affect the price. A heavy or oversized vehicle will cost more than a smaller sedan. 
  • Distance traveled: This is one of the biggest variables and as you might expect, a long trip will cost more than a short trip. 
  • Rural vs. urban location: If you live in one of America’s more urban areas, you’ll pay less for your auto transport service. This is because areas with high population densities make it easier for carriers to organize their schedules. 
  • Type of car shipping service: You have the option to choose an open car shipping service or one that’s enclosed. Open car shipping is more widely available which makes this service cheaper. However, with an open carrier, your car is exposed to traffic grime and the elements. The other option, enclosed car shipping, is the preferred method for owners of valuable, rare, or antique cars. This is because cars are transported in enclosed trailers which protects them on all sides. Enclosed car shipping usually costs around 30% to 40% more. 
  • Time of year: Summer months and the holidays are more expensive if you want to transport a car. Car shipping rates often rise during the fall, when many people move down south to warmer locations. 
  • Condition of vehicle: If your car doesn’t run, it will cost more to ship it to Montana. 
  • Shipping time frame: If you’re making your auto transport arrangements last minute or want your car shipped quickly, you should expect to pay more for your car shipping service. 

What are the options for shipping your car to Montana?

You have many different options when it comes to shipping your car to the Big Sky Country. There is the option of driving your car and this can be a viable option for short distances. 

You could also hire a professional driver to drive your car to Montana. One of the biggest downsides is that it can be expensive.

Shipping by rail is another option, but you have the inconvenience and cost of getting your car to the station and then picking it up again.  

For long distances, shipping your car is the better option and one that is often overlooked. The process is simple to arrange. It’s a convenient service because your car is shipped from door-to-door. When it comes to the cost, it’s more affordable than many people think.    

How long does car shipping to Montana take?

The time it takes to ship a car to Montana could be up to 6 days, depending on the pick-up and delivery locations. On average, an auto transport driver can cover around 500 miles in one day. However, some factors can affect this timeline. For example:

  • Location: Carriers find pickups and deliveries that take place near a metropolitan area or along a major interstate are easier and quicker to do. 
  • Weather: The weather is a big influence on the speed at which a carrier can transport a vehicle. The flow of traffic can be affected by bad weather such as snow, ice, thunderstorms, hail, hurricanes, and tornados. 
  • Highway issues: A driver’s progress can be hampered by detours, road construction, and heavy traffic. 
  • Driver’s hours: For the safety of truckers and other road users, the Department of Transportation sets a limit of 70 hours per week for the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to be on the road.  

Registering your car in Montana

If you’re moving to Montana and taking your car with you, one of your first ports of call should be the local county treasurer's office. This is where you register a car in Montana. 

You have up to 60 days to get in-state vehicle registration. If you can’t get to the office, it is possible to register your vehicle online. 

Proof of insurance and the car’s title are required if it’s a new purchase. For cars from out-of-state, you’ll need to provide the car’s old registration. 

Registration fees vary depending on the county, the vehicle’s age, weight, and its type. The period of registration can be one or two years at a time. However, if your vehicle is more than 11 years old, it can be permanently registered. 

As well as the registration fee, you must also pay county option tax, all other registration fees, and special plate fees.    

Preparations to make when you ship your car to Montana

  • Vehicles should have no more than 1/4 tank of fuel.
  • All loose parts of the vehicle must be removed or secured.
  • The keys should be made available.
  • Address any engine or mechanical problems.
  • Clean your car inside and outside and record the condition.
  • Disable anti-theft devices, alarms, toll tags, and parking tickets.
  • Remove all personal belongings.
  • Check the radiator, battery, and tires.     

If you’re ready to make the arrangements to ship your car to Montana, give our shipping advisors a call at (864) 546-5038. Alternatively, use our Live Chat option. 


How much does it cost to ship a car to Montana?

The cost to ship a car to Montana could be anywhere between 53 cents per mile to over $2.30 per mile. The actual cost depends on several factors such as distance, time of year, shipping choice, vehicle size, delivery time frame, delivery location, and whether your car runs.

What is the cheapest company to ship your car?

There are some cheap auto transport companies you can choose to ship your car. However, what you should remember is that cheap is not necessarily the best. Companies might cut corners in order to slash their prices. 

Is it cheaper to ship a car rather than drive?

In most cases, you’ll save money if you choose to ship your car rather than drive it. 

What is the best way to ship a car to Montana?

The best way to ship a car is with an auto transport company like SGT Auto Transport. You can rely on the best service, value-for-money prices, safe shipping methods, and services that run on time. 

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