Red BMW on the road

5 Ways to Ship a Car to Another State


Estimated reading time: 9 minutes 

If you ever want to ship a car to another state, you’ve got several options. Each of those options have their own pros and cons and the best one for you will depend on a few things. Most importantly, the distance you want to ship your car will be a primary factor. In addition, you’ll also need to consider the terrain during the journey, weather conditions, and how precious your car is. 

To help you come to a decision, let’s look at five of your options in a little more detail. 

1. Drive it yourself

One of the first things that comes to mind if you’re thinking about how to ship a car to another state is to get behind the wheel and drive it there yourself. 

It is a good option if you’re moving somewhere new. You won’t have to depend on anyone else and can drive according to your own schedule. 

You might even consider taking the opportunity to enjoy a break and indulge in a road trip. You’ll be able to let your hair down, relax, unwind, and enjoy some time with friends or family if they’re tagging along. 

While it might sound like a very attractive and exciting proposition, driving yourself does come with some disadvantages. The main one is that driving your car to another state can involve huge distances. For example, if you’re moving from San Diego or Dallas to New York or Los Angeles, the distance will be between 2,700 and 3,200 miles. 

If you were to drive non-stop it would take 40-50 hours. However, for such a long journey you need to make multiple stops. Subsequently, this will increase the time frame and you could end up taking 10 days or more to move a vehicle from state to state. Such a long journey can be overwhelming, exhausting, and also physically draining. It’s also going to become a very expensive trip when you consider the cost of fuel, car repairs, food and accommodation for at least 10 days. 

2. Hire someone to drive it for you

Another alternative is to hire someone to drive your car for you. Ideally, you want to hire a professional driver who comes highly recommended and has a good customer rating and referrals. 

One of the main benefits of this option is that you can put your luggage in the car and save on the cost of paying packers and movers. Additionally, you can enjoy professional service from the driver and possibly even ride along.

On the downside, such an option can be very expensive and you might have to pay for additional insurance as well. Finding a professional driver who is trustworthy and will take care of your car can also be an uphill task. 

3. Use a train shipping service

Did you know you could ship a car to another state using a train service? Seems like a reasonable option that shouldn’t cost too much but apart from the fare, there are also added costs you’ll have to bear. 

Firstly, you’ll have to make sure your car is properly packed and secured before it’s loaded on the train. This is to ensure it won’t be damaged during the journey. The loading and unloading and getting your car to and from the train station will all add to the cost.

In addition, when you investigate this option a little closer, you’ll realize there are only a handful of routes that allow you to ship a car as cargo.  

4. Ship it by plane

Many people choose air cargo when they want to get their belongings and personal items shipped. It’s the fastest option, particularly when long distances are involved or you’re moving internationally. 

However, there’s a big downside and that’s the cost. End to end it could cost you between $2,000 and $4,000, possibly even more. 

While this might be out of the price range of the average American and for a standard car, if your car is a collectible, rare, antique, or one-in-a-million vehicle, cost of car shipping is not going to be your first concern. In such situations, it makes perfect sense to pay the air freight charges and get your precious car delivered safely and quickly. 

5. Use an auto transport service

The final option is by far the most cost effective, fast, safe, and secure way of getting a car shipped to another state. You can arrange for it to be picked up from its current location, transported and then delivered at a new location in another state. It’s the most hassle-free car shipping option out there. 

The auto transport company you choose to work with takes care of everything that needs to be done, from loading it on the trailer, unloading it at the point of delivery, crossing rough terrain and driving through the worst weather.

Car shipping companies like SGT Auto Transport have years of experience in providing car relocation services

You’ll also be pleased to learn you can tailor the process however you want. Schedule a pick-up day and date is most convenient for you. You can also stay on top of how the car transportation service is going.   

Different car shipping options for getting a car shipped to another state

There are two main types of car shipping options when you want to ship a car to another state using an auto transport company. Which one you choose depends on your requirements, budget, convenience, and the type of car. 

Your two car shipping options are:

1. Open car shipping

Open car shipping is the most common method of shipping your car to another state. It’s also the most budget-friendly option. An open trailer is essentially a large flatbed with no sides or top, so there’s no protection from the elements. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most secure, safest, and affordable ways to ship a car to another state. 

2. Enclosed auto transport

Enclosed car shipping is where your car is placed inside a trailer that’s enclosed on all sides. It’s often used for exotic or rare cars that have significant value. This option reduces the risk of damage to the car during transit.

Your car is protected from all outside elements and there will often be added security measures in place should someone attempt to enter the trailer. 

This option is more expensive than open shipping, generally between 30% to 40% more. 

Different types of car shipping services for shipping a car to another state

Once you’ve decided on the type of car shipping option, you’ve then got to choose the type of car shipping service you want to use. You have a couple of options, aside from the standard car shipping service.

1. Guaranteed pick-up

This is a great option if you’ve a time constraint on your car shipping. It’s a service that can guarantee your car will be picked up for transport within 24 hours of the specified shipping date. 

2. Express auto transport

Express auto transport is a last-minute service for those occasions when time is of the essence. You can get your car shipped super quick and it will be picked up in 1-2 business days. 

How much does it cost to ship a car to another state?

One of the biggest concerns for people thinking about shipping a car to another state is how much it might cost. Ideally, you want an auto transport company that will cater to your auto transport needs and not burn a hole in your pocket. 

There are a few factors that can drive the cost of state to state car transport up:

  • Distance: The longer the distance between pick-up and delivery, the higher the cost. 
  • The type of carrier you choose: As we’ve already mentioned, an enclosed carrier is more expensive than an open carrier. An enclosed carrier protects the vehicle from debris, dirt, and the weather. In addition, they also provide extra security if you’re shipping a classic car or other high-end vehicle. 
  • Time frame: If you need your vehicle picked up or delivered within a certain time frame, this can drive up the cost of shipping. 
  • Type of car: The size and type of car you want to ship also determines the cost to ship a car to another state. A high-end sports car with an exotic paint job will be more expensive to move than a basic sedan or SUV. Similarly, large vehicles such as vans or trucks will take up more space than a smaller car and so cost more.  

How long does it take to ship a car?

You’re probably wondering how long the whole process takes when you want to ship a vehicle state-to-state. If you want to know how long it takes, the distance between the pick-up and delivery location are what you need to know first. 

If you want to transport a vehicle from one state to another, the distance could be anywhere between 1,000 miles to 3,000 miles. For example, shipping a vehicle from Oregon to California is a distance of more than 3,000 miles. Assuming an experienced trailer driver is able to drive 300 miles a day, it should take them at least 10 days to reach the destination. This is just a rough estimate as there are several things that could happen on the way.

For example, the time of year, weather, road conditions, extra stops, and transportation methods all affect the time it takes to ship a car from one state to another.   

How to ship a car to another state in three simple steps

Let’s finish up by showing you how simple the auto transport process is. All it takes is three quick and easy steps.

Get a quote and make your booking

Look for a reliable and trustworthy auto shipping company that has credible customer reviews. Share your requirements and get a quote. The auto transport company will need details of the pick-up and drop off locations, whether you want open or enclosed shipping, and details about your car. 

If you’re happy with the price, make your auto transport booking. 

Pick up your car

You’ll get a call shortly before your car is due to be picked up. When they arrive, you’ll both give your car a visual check for any dings, dents, or damage. Anything you find will be recorded on the Bill of Lading. Once this is signed, your car will be loaded and the driver will head out on the road. 

Your car is delivered

You’ll be notified again when the driver is near the drop off location. When they arrive, check your car for any damages and sign the Bill of Lading. 

Get an instant quote for shipping your car to another state!

If you’d prefer to speak with a representative simply call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option .

If you like the price you’re given, click to make your booking or confirm the details with the SGT Auto Transport representative.   

Get a quote banner