How to ship a car: All you need to know about it

Learn how to ship your car in 3 quick, simple, and easy steps

How to ship a car pick-up
How to ship a car calculator
How to ship a car pick-up
How to ship a car delivery

There are several reasons why you might be wondering how to transport a car. You might have bought your dream car online and need to get it home. Perhaps you’re relocating because of a promotion or a new job. There may be some of you who are heading south for the winter.

How to ship a car in 3 easy steps

All it takes to ship a car is three easy and simple steps: First, you have to get a quote from an auto transport company and book your shipment. Second, your car will be picked up from the desired location. Third, your car will be transported and delivered to you.

Whatever the reason, knowing how the process works will put your mind at ease and is the reason why we’ve created this auto transport information page. We’re going to share all the details, so you’ll appreciate how easy, stress-free, and smooth the process is.

Step 1

Get a quote and book your order

how to ship a car step 1

If you want to know how to ship a car, getting a quote is the first step in the process. Contact us today to get your free instant quote. Use our instant online quote calculator, and all it takes is just a couple of minutes of your time. Alternatively, you can speak directly with our shipping advisors at (864) 546-5038 or use Live Chat.

When you contact us to find out how to move a car, we’ll ask for some simple details. You’ll need to provide the city and state where you want your vehicle to be picked up, the city and state where you want us to deliver your vehicle, the make, model, and year of the vehicle. You also need to let us know whether it is running or not, how you’d prefer to ship your car, and when it will be ready for pick-up. In the auto transport industry, this is known as the First Available Pick-up Date.

When you’re choosing how to ship a car, you get to pick from open car transport and enclosed auto transport. The most common and economical way to ship your car is open car transport. The carrier uses an open trailer to transport your car, but this does leave it exposed to the elements. Don’t worry about this because it’s a very safe and secure method that  80% of our customers use.

Choose enclosed auto transport, and your vehicle will get the maximum protection possible as it will be transported in a covered trailer that protects your vehicle from dirt, debris, moisture, salt, and the weather. Such extra protection does come at a higher price. On average, it costs between 30% and 40% more than open car transport. When owners of luxury, antique, custom, classic and antique vehicles are wondering how to transport a car, enclosed auto transport tends to be their service of choice. 

An essential part of how to ship your car is getting a quote. The quote you receive from us is all-inclusive. In other words, the price includes all taxes, fees, and full insurance coverage. Work with us, and you’re dealing with a transparent company that puts you under no further obligation to take the process any further. You make no upfront payment, and all our services are door-to-door, which is the ultimate in convenience.

Something else you should know when you’re working out how to transport a car is that we have a price match promise. It works like this. We’ll do our utmost to meet your expectations if the price you get is not what you expected. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if the price you get from one of our direct competitors is better because we’d appreciate the opportunity to match it.

As soon as you’ve got a price that you’re happy with, you move on to the next stage in the process of how to transport a car which is making a booking. You do this in one of several ways. The easiest way is to click on the link in the email we sent to you. You can also schedule your booking directly by calling (864) 546-5038. Finally, you can book using our Live Chat service or by email.

When you’re working out how to move a car, another important consideration is how you will pay for the auto transport service. We offer two payment options to choose from. 

  • Option #1: Discounted Price

We take a small partial payment from your credit or debit card when we confirm your booking. Upon delivery of your car, you pay the outstanding balance. Final payments can be made to the driver in cash, with a money order or cashier’s check. 

  • Option #2: Regular Price

We take the total amount when we confirm your booking. You can pay with cash, credit or debit card, or via PayPal. This payment secures your place on the auto transport trailer, and there is nothing left to pay upon delivery of your car.

With your booking confirmed, it’s time for us to work our magic. We’ll find the best possible auto transport carrier for your needs. We have an extensive network of trustworthy, reliable, and thoroughly vetted carriers we can call on. We’ll soon be able to find one that meets your requirements. We’ll contact you to let you know when we’ve found a suitable carrier so that we can confirm the details, let you know more about how to ship your car, and confirm your pick-up date. You’ll also receive an email with the carrier’s contact details.

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how to ship a car step 1

When you get in touch to find out how to ship a car, your quote will be valid for seven calendar days. You can update your quote or get a new one at any time.

If you’re wondering how to transport a car at the last minute, you’ll be pleased to learn we can guarantee a pick-up date.

This is the day your vehicle is ready to be picked up.

Yes, you can, but we will need to know the correct pick-up and delivery city/ZIP codes.

Yes, all vehicles are covered by the motor carrier’s cargo insurance. There are, however, usually limitations that you’ll need to be aware of. When it comes to how to ship a car to Hawaii, your shipment will be subject to the ocean freight liners’ insurance limitation.

Step 2

We pick up your vehicle

how to ship a car step 2

How to ship your car step #2 is the pick up of your vehicle. The carrier assigned to your shipment will contact you a few hours ahead of time to let you know they’re on their way. You will need to confirm that commercial vehicles can access the pick-up location. Before they contact you, check whether there are any restrictions, overhead power cables, or low-hanging branches that will impede the carrier’s truck and trailer.

Don’t be too concerned if there is a problem, because you can easily arrange a more suitable location. You may, for example, know of a nearby street that’s wider where you could meet. A pick-up where you work or at a nearby parking lot might also be more suitable.

Upon the carrier’s arrival, you both check your vehicle for any existing damage, such as dents, scratches, or dings. You record these on the Bill of Lading and then sign it to confirm you’re happy with the information. You’ll be given a copy of this vital document for safe-keeping. When you receive your vehicle, you’ll need it to compare the condition of your vehicle. 

All the necessary documentation is now complete. You’re almost ready to move on to the third step in how to ship a car. But, before that happens, you’ll be able to watch the carrier load your vehicle onto the auto transport trailer. Then they’ll be on their way. 

At any time throughout your car’s journey, you’ll be able to check on its progress. You’ll receive regular updates by email, Live Chat, or phone, and you can also check in with the driver.

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how to ship a car step 2

It is recommended that you wash your vehicle before it is shipped. This allows you to make an accurate evaluation of your vehicle’s condition at the time of the pick-up. Another recommendation is that you remove your toll transponder and any personal belongings.

Yes, it is possible to change your First Available Pick-up Date. You can do it by phone, Live Chat, or email before or after booking.

A Bill of Lading is an important document because it serves as a receipt for freight services. But that’s not its only role. It acts as a record of the condition of your vehicle. The Bill of Lading is also filled out with the pick-up and delivery locations, the type of car being shipped, and the freight amount being paid for services rendered.

Auto transport trailers typically have two levels. You can request a top load placement, which means your vehicle is loaded on the second level, where it will be better protected.

Step 3

You receive your vehicle

how to ship a car step 3

How to ship a car is not a long, drawn-out process, and before you know it, the carrier will be getting in touch to let you know they’re just a few hours away from the delivery location. This is merely a courtesy call. However, they’re also informing you so you can make sure you’re available to receive your car. Don’t worry if you know you’re going to be busy because it is possible to make alternative arrangements. You can nominate a third party to act on your behalf. The only stipulation is that they have to be 18 years of age or older. The third-party could be a work colleague, neighbor, relative, or friend.

When your vehicle is unloaded, the driver will ask you to check the condition of your vehicle and compare it with the Bill of Lading. If you chose the Discounted Price payment option, now is when you hand over the final payment to the driver. You can pay in cash, with a money order or cashier’s check.

how to ship a car step 3

You can track your vehicle throughout the shipping process by phone, email, or Live Chat.

Customer feedback on how to ship a car with SGT Auto Transport

Check out what makes us one of the best providers of auto transport services

Rachel M.
5.0 out of 5
Found this company through Uship. They had very good communication, were easy to get ahold of, and my car delivered very quickly. Recommend it!
12/09/2020
Martha W.
5.0 out of 5
From pick-up to delivery the transport of my vehicle was seamless. Communication and updates from SGT and the driver were outstanding!
12/23/2020
Paul H.
5.0 out of 5
Everything went exactly as planned, the cost was as agreed upfront, the pick up and delivery were on time.
12/4/2020
Harman Biring
5.0 out of 5
Absolutely amazing service from start to finish. The whole process was extremely easy and efficient. Fastest delivery as well as the best price.
12/27/2020
Daniel Weisman
5.0 out of 5
Fantastic. Amazing communication. On time. Early delivery.
10/28/2020
Gaetan E
5.0 out of 5
Very good service! Will totally use them again. They shipped my car from LA to Vegas in 1 day.
12/08/2020
Jody Rohlederjk
5.0 out of 5
This was my first experience shipping a car and I have to say SGT was excellent. Once the driver was dispatched, great experience there as well.
12/22/2020
Brat Delivery
5.0 out of 5
Excellent drivers. Helpful and friendly. Good customer service. Helpful support staff in getting shipment listed. Would definitely use again.
12/22/2020
Josh B.
5.0 out of 5
Everything was pretty straightforward and easy. They were extremely thorough in documenting the condition of my car before and after.
12/8/2020
Doug Shephard
5.0 out of 5
SGT transport did a great job. They arrived and delivered exactly when they said. It was effortless communication. Highly recommend.
12/18/2020
Ian H.
5.0 out of 5
A+ customer service and even better shipping!
12/22/2020
Ron Conner
5.0 out of 5
I had a very positive experience with dispatchers John and Ivy. I asked them to beat the best rate I could find on my own, and they did.
11/30/2020
Want to know the cost of shipping a car with us?
Wait! Did you know that...
You can always revise your First Available Pick-up Date if you're not sure of the exact date after booking.
You can always Call or Chat with us if you don't want to get a quote using our online calculator.
Call (864) 546-5038