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How to Ship a Car to Another State (Guide) 1 year ago

Shipping a car to another state is a great option when driving your vehicle all that way is too far or inconvenient. Our guide will help you understand how to ship a car to another state, how much it could cost, and how to prepare your vehicle for shipment.

In This Review:

Shipping a Car to Another State

Choose Your Transport Type

One of the first things you’ll need to do when researching how to ship a car to another state is choose how you want your vehicle transported. There are two transport options to choose from: open auto transport and enclosed auto transport.

  • Open auto transport: This is the cheapest way to ship a car, as car carrier trucks can hold between eight and 10 vehicles at a time. The car hauler can pick up and drop off many cars along the same shipping route. However, open carrier shipping does leave your car exposed to the elements and road debris.
  • Enclosed auto transport: Shipping your vehicle in an enclosed carrier is more expensive, but it provides more protection. It’s recommended for shipping luxury cars or antique vehicles.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want your car delivered via door-to-door transport or terminal-to-terminal shipping.

  • Door-to-door transport: Shipping your car door-to-door means the trucker will pick your vehicle up and drop it off as close to your chosen addresses as possible.
  • Terminal-to-terminal transport: With this shipping method, you drop your vehicle off and pick it up at more centralized locations, known as terminals.

When you book with Sherpa Auto Transport, you’ll have door-to-door shipping, as most customers prefer its convenience.

Choose an Auto Transport Company

Once you’ve decided how you want your vehicle transported, it’s time to choose a car shipping company. The best car shipping companies have good reputations in the auto transport industry and vet the carriers they work with.

At Sherpa, we make sure each car carrier is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and maintains a high safety rating with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Each carrier we work with has at least $100,000 in cargo insurance coverage per shipment and at least $1 million in liability insurance.

Finding the best shipping rates is also key. When researching auto shipping companies, use a car shipping calculator or other online tool to receive free quotes. Sherpa offers locked-in prices, meaning the quote we give you for car transport services is the final price you’ll pay.

Book Your Shipment Early

Some car transport companies offer expedited shipping, but it will cost more. For your peace of mind, it’s best to book your shipment at least two weeks in advance to avoid availability issues or higher prices.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Interstate Transport

When shipping a car to another state, there are several steps you’ll need to take to get your car ready to transport.

  • Remove belongings from your car: Though the risk of theft is very low, you should remove all personal items from your car.
  • Take care of routine maintenance: To prevent possible shipping delays, make sure your tires are properly inflated, your car’s battery has charge, and all fluids have been topped off.
  • Don’t fill up: A full tank of gas will add to both your vehicle’s weight and the shipping price. Your car shouldn’t have more than a quarter tank of gas when it’s shipped.
  • Make an extra set of keys: It’s unlikely that the truck driver will lose your car keys, but it’s good practice to keep a spare just in case.
  • Inspect your car for existing damage: When the trucker comes to pick your vehicle up, check for dents, dings, or scratches. Take pictures of existing damage to show the car shipping provider in the event your vehicle is damaged during the shipping process.

Typical Auto Transport Costs

The cost to ship a car to another state will depend on the auto transport services you choose, but the tables below show what you might pay per mile. The best way to learn what you’ll likely pay for vehicle transport is to get car shipping quotes online.

Shipment Mileage Price per Mile
0 to 500 miles $1.32 to $2.75
501 to 1,000 miles $0.88 to $1.55
1,001 to 1,500 miles $0.70 to $1.23
1,501 to 2,000 miles $0.60 to $1
2,001 to 2,500 miles $0.53 to $0.84
2,500+ miles $0.48 to $0.74

Popular Auto Transport Routes

If you’re shipping a car to another state, here’s what you can expect to pay per mile along popular routes. Again, a car shipping calculator might give you a more accurate estimate.

Routes Price per Mile
New York City to Los Angeles $0.56 to $0.72
New York City to Miami $0.98 to $1.20
Los Angeles to Miami $0.48 to $0.66
Los Angeles to New York City $0.48 to $0.71
Miami to New York City $0.65 to $1.20
Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles $0.49 to $0.69
Chicago to Los Angeles $0.61 to $0.88
New York City to Houston $0.80 to $1
Los Angeles to Atlanta $0.48 to $0.74
Chicago to Phoenix $0.68 to $0.92

The ranges above are for an operable vehicle shipped on an open carrier. Because auto transport costs are affected by market factors and shipment details such as the type of vehicle you have, the price ranges above can give you an estimate but not your final cost.

Factors that Affect Car Shipping Costs

When you ship a car to another state, shipping distance is the biggest factor contributing to your car shipping costs. Long-distance and cross country vehicle shipments cost less per mile but more overall. Other factors include:

  • Time of year: Expect to pay more for vehicle shipping in January and the summer, when demand for car shipping services increases.
  • Vehicle size: Larger and heavier vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are costlier to ship.
  • Vehicle operability: If your car is inoperable, it will require more time and labor to load onto the carrier truck. This increases the price of your auto transport.
  • Delivery method: Door-to-door transport is more convenient but more expensive than terminal-to-terminal delivery.
  • Type of vehicle: Alternative vehicles such as ATVs and RVs cost more to ship than standard sedans.
  • Type of transport: Enclosed carrier shipping is a good option for shipping a luxury or classic car, but it can cost up to 50% more than open auto transport.
  • Fuel cost: As gas prices rise, so does the price to ship a car.

Why You Should Choose Sherpa Auto Transport

At Sherpa, we know the ins and outs of how to ship a car to another state, as we ship vehicles anywhere within the Lower 48 states and Hawaii. We’ve established an excellent reputation in the car transport industry, holding an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The customer reviews section of the BBB’s website give us an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Price Lock Promise

When shipping a vehicle to a new state, make sure you’re getting the best price possible. Our Price Lock Promise means you won’t pay more than the price quoted for your shipment. If the shipping price changes, we’ll pay up to $300 of the difference.

Clean Car Guarantee

If your car gets dirty during the shipping process, we’ll reimburse you up to $20 for a car wash. Send us a copy of your bill of lading and a receipt for a car wash and we’ll issue a reimbursement.

Shipping to Another State FAQs

How long will it take to ship a car to California?

Depending on where you’re shipping your car from, it can take between two and 10 days to ship a car to California.

Can I put stuff in my car when shipping it?

Most providers don’t allow you to ship personal items in your car, in part because heavier cars cost more to ship. Sherpa Auto Transport and the car carrier cannot be held responsible in the event of theft.

How much will it cost to ship my car?

The best way to figure out how much you’ll pay for an auto transport is to use a transport company’s car shipping calculator or online tool for an instant quote. When shipping with Sherpa, you can expect to pay between 48 cents and $2.75 per mile.