wikiHow to Ship a Car Across the Country

Shipping a car across the country is easy when you are prepared. people are now able to transport cars across the country easily. Whether you are moving and need to bring your vehicle with you, or have just bought a car on eBay, transportation is now largely available. People and dealers are selling cars online which allows buyers to purchase a vehicle from anywhere in the country and then ship it.


  1. Image titled Ship a Car Across the Country Step 1
    Create a checklist. There are a few major things to do before handing over the keys of your car to a vehicle transport company. Thus, it is good to create a checklist first and then move down every step, especially when you are moving your car across the country.
  2. Image titled Ship a Car Across the Country Step 2
    Search for car transport companies. Since you will be moving your car across the country you will need a shipping company that can deliver nationwide. It is a good idea to choose a company that is both a carrier and a broker. As a carrier the company has trucks traveling certain roads all the time which often means a quicker delivery of your vehicle across the country. If they don't serve the route you need, then they will find a carrier from their network to pick up your vehicle.
  3. Image titled Ship a Car Across the Country Step 3
    Contact a few car shipping companies. Research and contact a few companies. Ask them questions regarding their services and rates. Obtain quotes from all of them. Compare the services they offer and the prices they are asking you to pay. If there is a big difference in some rates, consider this a red flag. Car shipping rates are affected by many variables and they can fluctuate often, yet they should be close when it is for the same vehicle and route. Rates vary based on gas prices, miles, make and model of the vehicle, modifications to the vehicle and seasonal changes.
  4. Image titled Ship a Car Across the Country Step 4
    Choose a company and verify its legitimacy. Make sure you are safe when you are transporting your car across the country. Verify the company's licenses, ratings and insurance policy. Check their USDOT number and BBB rating. It is a good practice to also read reviews of what other customers are saying about the company policies and practices. This is the best way to make sure the company you have chosen is going to deliver what they have promised, and most importantly your car in the same condition it was picked up.
  5. Image titled Ship a Car Across the Country Step 5
    Prepare your car for shipping. It is important to have your car's interior and exterior cleaned before pick up to make the inspection easier. The truckers always inspect a car before loading it onto the trailer and mark down any scratches and damages your car has. You should also go over the inspection with the trucker. This way you will be sure that everything is marked correctly when you sign the Bill of Lading and the inspection report. Preparing your car for shipping across the country also means removing any loose parts such as ski and bike racks, rear spoilers, spare tire and all other covers and modifications you can remove.


  • Make sure your battery is fully charged and disable the car alarm or give proper instructions to the driver how to do it in case it goes off.
  • It is important to check your car's condition thoroughly. Check the interior very well.
  • Leave only about a 1/4 of a tank of gas, not more.
  • Check what is going on under the hood. Check for any leaks: oil, transmission fluid, breaks fluid.
  • Be ready for the unexpected. Things happen even to the most experience transporters.
  • Always ask questions when you are not sure of something. Most companies have Q & A boards where you can ask your question or look for answers.
  • Test drive the car and if you can get it checked by an auto technician.


  • Always read your Terms and Conditions / Contract with the carrier / broker and make sure you understand all information.
  • Do not ever hire a car moving company only because it offers the lowest price.
  • If you don't understand something, ask or check the FAQ section on the car transport company's website.

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Categories: Cars & Other Vehicles