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Can You Ship a Car by Plane Across the Country?


Driving isn’t always the best option if you need to move your car from one place to another. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives, such as transporting a car by airplane. In this post, we’ll examine this option. We’ll look at it from both sides, as in the pros and cons, and provide all the information you’ll need to help you decide whether you want to transport your car by plane.

Why you might want to ship a car by plane

Transporting your car by way of air freight is going to cost significantly more than it would if you were to ship a car by land or even sea. When people think about how to ship a car, transport by air could be a viable option if your budget allows. There are several reasons why you might choose to ship a car by plane:

You own a rare or expensive car

The most common reason someone might want to transport their car by plane would be if they were shipping a highly valuable or rare car. In most instances, the cost of shipping a car by air would far exceed the value of the car itself. However, if the car is extremely rare, exotic, or very valuable, shipping it by plane would be a viable option. 

Important note: There is a more affordable option and that’s enclosed transport services. Your valuable vehicle would be transported in an enclosed transport trailer which is quick, secure, and safe. An enclosed trailer also provides the best protection against the elements, and you can enjoy a door-to-door car shipping service. 

You want to ship a car as quickly as possible

It’s a common misconception that air freight is much quicker than regular car shipping with a truck. However, it’s not as quick as many people think. For example, it takes time to locate a plane to transport the shipment and you’ve also got the issue of getting your car to and from the airport.

Important note: Here at SGT Auto Transport, we offer an expedited shipping service for people who want their cars shipped as soon as possible. Auto transport with a truck and trailer is widely available and you can expect a car shipping service to be arranged within 24 hours if necessary.  

You want to ship a car overseas

One final reason why people might choose to ship their car by plane is that they need to ship their car overseas. Shipping by plane is far more expensive than shipping by sea, but the shipment is certain to arrive faster. However, on the flip side, you’ve still got to locate transport to get your car to the port or airport.

Important note: SGT Auto Transport can help you ship your vehicle to any port within the United States.   

The pros and cons of shipping a car by plane

The answer to the question “Can you transport a car on a plane?” is an indisputable yes, but there are pros and cons. You must weigh these up before you decide whether it’s the right option for you.

Air freight can be quicker than transport via a truck or ship, depending on the destination. However, there are instances when it’ll take just as long as any other method. 

Another reason people choose to ship by plane is that they think other forms are dirtier or more hazardous than shipping by plane but that’s not true. Whatever form of shipping you use you can be confident your car will be handled with the utmost care, and it will reach its destination in the same condition as when it was collected. In addition, there is the option of enclosed auto transport. Your car will be totally protected from the elements, traffic, and road grime. 

When it comes to the speed of the service or guaranteed delivery dates, options are available via truck transport. If you want to make sure your car is delivered on a certain day, truck transport is an option. For fast deliveries, you can request express car shipping. 

Let’s compare the benefits of air, sea, and truck auto transport in a convenient table.

Shipping by truckShipping by boatShipping by plane
Cheapest optionCheaper than plane transportSafest option
More widely availableThe standard for overseas shippingIn some cases,it can be faster
Far more convenient You might be able to ship personal belongings with the car

How much will it cost?

In most cases, the cost of shipping a car by plane will far exceed the value of the car, unless it’s an expensive, rare, unique, or classic car. 

The actual cost of shipping a car by air will depend on several things, for example, the weight, the make and model, and the distance the vehicle needs to be transported.

If you want to know the exact cost of shipping a car by air, the best thing to do is request a quote. Most companies will give you a quote, free of charge. All you’ve got to do is provide some information about your car and where you wish to ship it. Once you know the actual cost, you’ll be able to make comparisons with other forms of car shipping. 

Useful tips for transporting a car by airplane

As with most methods of shipping, there are rules you’ll need to follow if you want to ship your car by air. The rules for airfreight are very strict, and you’ll need to adhere to them if you want the experience to be a smooth one. 

Firstly, your vehicle will need to be running if you want to ship it by air. Most air freight companies won’t allow you to ship any personal belongings or extra parts in the car, so you’ll need to remove these first. In addition, there are usually limits on the amount of gas you’re allowed to leave in your car. In most cases, the air freight company will insist that the car’s gas tank is no more than 1/8 full.

You must ensure any and all leaks are fixed, as they could result in the vehicle being refused for shipment. Batteries can remain connected if safe, however, alarm systems must be deactivated. 

When you deliver your car to the airport, you’ll have to hand over your registration and title documents. If the car is under lease or financed, you’ll also need to provide a notarized statement from your creditor or lessor. 

When your car arrives at its final destination, you’ll need to provide some form of ID before you can take it away. This is for your own protection as you don’t want the car to be handed over to someone else. 

Make sure you do your research

Not every car shipper is going to be able to offer shipping by air freight and you may find you’ve only got a few options. However, that doesn’t mean you should go with the first company that offers the service.

Best practice is to do some basic research about any auto transport company and make sure they have the expertise to back up their claims. In addition, they’ll need to demonstrate ample experience in the part of the world where you’re shipping to.   

Ask lots of questions

You’re bound to have lots of questions for any shipping company you contact. There’s nothing wrong with this, in fact, it’s a good thing. Whatever questions you have, don't be afraid to ask them. Shipping a car by plane is a complex and expensive undertaking so all your concerns should be addressed before you finalize the arrangements. 

One final thing to remember is that you might have to wait a few days before you can take your car home with you. For an international shipment, for example, you might have to wait for your car to be cleared through customs. 

Want to learn more about shipping a car across the country? Learn all you need to know here. 

However, if you’re ready to make your auto transport arrangements, please give us a call at (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option. 

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