Best ways to ship a car across the country

Best ways to ship a car across the country


Best ways to ship a car across the country


Of course, you can drive it yourself. Actually, this is the easiest option… if the car is on the move, you have all the documents, and there’s no need to cross an ocean. But this is not always the case. If you are, say, collecting retro cars, you will definitely face a situation when the next copy of your collection will not be in the best technical condition. In addition, long journeys can also be extremely tedious. There are not so many ways of transporting cars, quite enough though. The price of the matter depends on the choice of the transporting way and your budget, of course. The average price varies from $1 dollar to $2 per mile. 

  • An open-air car carrier truck is specially designed to carry cars; it can take 6 to 10 cars at once – buying in bulk is cheaper. Unlike a train, a truck can theoretically come to any city, but that’s theoretically. In practice, it’s usually just the final destination. Associated vehicles are loaded and unloaded directly on the highway.
  • Sea transportations. Cargo containers are not available to everyone because not everyone can afford to live on the beach and buy cars only in port cities. Therefore, I will mention it for the sake of completeness, but still, this is sometimes the only choice when it comes to international auto transportation. Your car will be securely fixed and transported securely along with other customers’ cars. You just need to Google the appropriate cargo company and provide all the necessary paperwork (for customs) to them.
  • By train. This variant is very reliable (trains rarely get into an accident), but also the slowest. First, you will have to wait for the container loading (takes 1-3 weeks sometimes) because there has to be a certain number of cars available to fill the container, then the latter will be delivered, loaded, that railway trip itself will possibly include “transfers”, then 2-3 days for unloading; it still happens that the train is stuck in traffic jam somewhere in the clogged freight station … in general, you will have to settle in for a long waiting, and try meditation maybe… maybe you will even get lucky to be zen. In the meantime, you can learn a lot of new things – what an autorack is, what container types exist, etc.
  • You can hire a professional (driver service) or non-professional (someone you know, or hire a student) driver to transport your car to another city. The second option is, of course, cheaper and riskier so make sure your car is covered under warranty (accidents/theft) in advance. These options are good for relatively short distances. You can also transport your personal stuff or your pets in the car. 
  • A tow truck, as well as a car carrier, is designed to transport cars – but it offers an individual approach. A tow truck will go to any place and take your car exactly where you need it, no matter if your car is broken or without wheels. You don’t have to wait for a few days and adjust the schedule. Tow truck car transporting is way faster and more comfortable than using a car carrier truck. He can even take you as a passenger, stop where you need to, or you can have lunch, see sights, or just take a walk. In general, the tow truck is more convenient in everything, except the price.
  • The Enclosed truck variant includes an individual approach to the customer like a tow truck but additionally protects your car from road troubles: dirt, rain, snow, hail, stones, oblique glances, etc. Single car carrier can come to any place where there is a road, it does not need rails, seaports, and airfields.

In addition, there are well-established routes used by car carriers and they will not be changed for the sake of your car. It is possible to make a route of several sections, transferring the car from one car carrier to another – of course, they will not match the schedule, and you will have to sit and wait for the next one to arrive. If the final destination lies far away from their routes, you will have to get there on your own or by a tow truck. By the way, some car carriers are equipped with winches but this is rather an exception than a rule. Therefore, if the car is not on the move, it is necessary to make an appointment in advance, otherwise, loading will be impossible.

Situations when it is necessary to transport a car urgently, arise frequently. Long-awaited purchase, moving to another city, or the need to transport a beat-up car – in all these cases, a carrier company will help you. Often, to save money, car owners are engaged in transportation on their own which eventually takes a lot of effort, money, and nerves. Meanwhile, you can use the services of professionals without extra costs, learn about the price and order delivery directly on the appropriate websites. That’s where you specify an approximate budget and choose the performer by feedback. 

How to order the service

You will be required to: 

  • Place a request, indicating the main features of the car that you need to transport (make, type of body, year of manufacture, condition) and the route; 
  • Get a few offers from different transport companies; 
  • Choose the best bid judging by the comments and price; 
  • Enter into a contract of carriage and receive your valuable cargo just in time.

The cost of car shipping companies depends on the following parameters: 

  • City. If you need to move your car from New York urgently, offers will start to arrive almost immediately. Many companies will bid for your order. They will have to significantly reduce the price; 
  • Urgency. Operational work is always assessed a little higher. If possible, it is better to place an order in advance for transportation of a car or inside/outside the country; 
  • Route. Planning to transport the car, you have all the chances to save extra money. Due to the popularity of different routes, it is quite possible to place your cargo in a car carrier that goes there; 
  • Transportation way. The most expensive way to transport a car is by plane – this service is in demand for international delivery. Most often car owners reserve a seat in a car carrier or a special autorack.

Car carrier transportation advantages:

  • Delivery by car carrier has high speed – up to 500 kilometers daily;
  • All risks are minimized, especially if you order an enclosed car carrier and locate your car right behind the cab in the lower row; 
  • The cost of a car often includes insurance against any force majeure; 
  • Most companies also provide photo reports for loading and unloading a car; 
  • You can order a car carrier for 3 or more cars;

Auto- and railway delivery is appreciated by customers due to high reliability, acceptable terms, and relatively low costs. 

An undeniable advantage of transporting cars by road is the ability to get to the most remote places. However, before entering into a contract, it is better to know in advance about the associated risks and restrictions. The size and condition of the vehicle are important because not every company will carry a beat-up car.

It should be remembered that the price and duration of road transport depend on weather conditions, season, and other factors. Also, all kinds of accidents can occur on the road. In order to avoid the risks associated with damage during transportation, customers often insure their vehicles before shipment.

The price depends on the and model of a vehicle, its size, and way of transporting. If it’s on the move (i.e. whether a recovery/tow truck will be needed for loading). It is also important how popular the route is: prices will be lower on more competitive routes.

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