Things To Consider When Shipping A Car

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

Have questions about buying or selling a home?

Ask Now!
Smart Things To Consider When Shipping A Car
Smart Things To Consider When Shipping A Car

How to Ship A Car

Did you just buy or sell a home and are relocating a long-distance? Do you need to ship your cars? Are you looking for a trustworthy car shipping company?

When you are getting ready for a big move across the country, you might be thinking about what you plan to do with your vehicles. Car shipping is a great way to make sure your car is transported to your new home safely without the need for you to drive it through multiple states.

Let’s take an in-depth look into the things you should think about when shipping cars. Being prepared when it comes to something as expensive as your cars is vital. Our car shipping tips should help.

A Safer Option

Shipping a car long-distance is going to be safer for both you and the car. While there is plenty of DIY moving tasks you can do such as renting a moving truck, driving across the country will be tiring. You will have to deal with slightly different traffic laws in each state you visit. There are also interstate highways, with their higher than normal accident rates.

When you choose shipping cars instead of driving, you are handing your vehicle over to professionals experienced in auto transportation.

Protecting Your Car

While this might not be too much of a concern if you have a new vehicle, the extra miles involved with traveling across the country will add a lot of wear and tear. This will be more of a concern if you own a classic or older car.

Even if you don’t have a beloved vehicle to move, a long journey could put your car at greater risk of breaking down. Though road trips can be fun, with the pressure of a move, adding more stress on top isn’t going to be fun.

Comparing the Costs to Ship a Car

While the cost of shipping a car can seem high, it could actually be cheaper than driving. If you choose to drive, you have the gas to pay for and accommodation, eating out, tolls, and the costs of wear and tear on the vehicle.

If you add up all the driving expenses, you might discover that it will cost a lot more than you imagined. A common moving mistake is underestimating costs.

Shipping Costs Can Vary

The price you pay for shipping a car will vary depending on the vehicle. Cars that don’t run or have lowered suspensions and other modifications could cost more to transport. If you want your car moved in an enclosed trailer, this will be more costly as well. Though, of course, the biggest factor is going to be the distance you need it transported.

If you want to save some money, it might be possible to have your car picked up in a city location. Since the truck is more likely to visit a city to pick up cars to load on their trailer, you might find that this is cheaper.

If you can be more flexible on your shipping dates, you can also often save. The time of year can be a factor in the cost as well.

Choosing an Auto Transport Company

Picking The Right Car Shipping Company Is Crucial
Picking The Right Car Shipping Company Is Crucial

If you care about your car, you’ll want to make sure it is in good hands for the journey to your new home. Doing some research into car shipping companies will help you weed out those options that may not be as reliable.

Check auto transport company websites to see if they provide you with clear pricing and online quotes. Once you have found a few companies that seem to offer a good service at a good price, do further checks. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has done an outstanding job reviewing some of the best car shipping companies in the reference above.

Besides reading their reviews, you can look at the experiences of other customers. This would show you if most people experienced the sort of service you expect for your vehicle. There are independent review sites where you can read feedback, and you should also check sites like the Better Business Bureau.

Giving The Car Shipping Company a Call

If you have some questions about the services offered by one or more car shippers, you can give them a call. If their representative cannot answer all your questions satisfactorily, you can move on to another business.

Don’t Make Your Choice Entirely on Price

While it can be tempting to go for the lowest quote you get, it might not be the best choice. The cheapest option might have cut corners somewhere to lower their costs, and this could mean your vehicle is put at more risk, or you can’t get your car shipped when you want it.

A lower price company is less likely to have the best customer service too. So if you want fewer problems when shipping your car, you might have to spend a bit more on it.

Don’t Leave Car Shipping to the Last Minute

Choosing your shipping provider can take a little while, and after you have chosen, they will need some time to ship your car. It can take more than a week to ship your car across the country, but the pickup date might not be exactly when you want it.

Normally, transportation companies aren’t able to collect your vehicle on the exact date you pick, perhaps giving you a 3 or 5-day window. Since the truck will be picking up many other cars, you can’t expect that to perfectly line up with your plans.

Because of this, you need to consider the shipping time when selecting the pickup date. You want your car to be picked up before your move and arrive after you do.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transportation

The car should be in good mechanical condition, without leaks, and have a reliable battery. Make sure the fluids are topped up, and the tire pressures are good. If the car isn’t able to be driven off the trailer, you will face additional fees.

It would be best if you didn’t have a full tank of gas. Less than a quarter is about right. Not only is a full tank more of unnecessary weight, but it is also a hazard.

Also, remove any personal items and toll tags. If you only have one set of keys, get another set made.

Pickup and Delivery

Your car will be inspected by the driver for existing scratches and dents when picked up, and when it’s delivered, you should inspect it for new damage. If you are satisfied, you can drive away.

There isn’t likely to be much paperwork involved, just a bill of lading. This will act as a receipt for the vehicle and set out the terms of the shipment.

When moving to a new home, shipping cars can make some things easier. If you do a little preparation before you ship a car, it will be less to worry about on moving day.

Final Thoughts

Like any other business, carefully reviewing the car shipping company you hire is vital. The moving industry is rife with “fly-by-nighters” who look to take advantage of unsuspecting companies. Due diligence should never be left to chance when transporting one of your most prized possessions.

About the author: The above article on “Things To Consider When Shipping A Car” was written by Bill Gassett. Bill has been working in the real estate industry for the past thirty-three years. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Massachusetts. Bill loves providing trustworthy information to buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make the best possible decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester,, Credit Sesame, and others.

About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.

With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

Have questions about real estate? I'm here to help.

Get In Touch

Contact Me!

Thinking About Making A Move In 2024?
Let's Chat!