Shipping Cars State to State

Shipping cars state to state is no easy task and there are quite a few factors that could make or break your experience. 

Some of these factors aren’t apparent at first glance, like choosing a company that will care about the safety of your car during the shipping process. There are also rules about what can be professionally transported across state lines, which could affect what kind of service you choose. 

So, you need to know your way around this process or how to find a reliable company to help you move your car to another state. This way, you arrive at your destination on the other side of the country with your car intact.

Schedule Coast-to-Coast Auto Transport in Advance

It’s vital to decide when the right time is to ship your car. Ideally, you want to allow for at least a week before your car will be transported. The extra time can help you gather all the requirements and prepare your vehicle before the shipment date.

Additionally, scheduling your car shippers weeks or months in advance could help you save money because vehicle shipping costs vary based on seasonal demand. So if you book early, you’ll secure a car carrier and an affordable rate.

To help you further cut car shipping costs, consider booking the transport during low seasons, which is from December to February. Keep in mind that if you’re shipping a car to another state or from a region prone to snowy winter conditions, your car transport services could experience delays.

Peak season runs from June to August and the great weather across the country means faster shipment deliveries. However, the demand is also high so the average costs of a car shipping company may be higher, with less availability. 

So, if you’re working on a budget to transport a car, then scheduling during months with lower seasonal demand and booking in advance is the best course of action.

Research the Best Auto Shipping Company

Once you have a set of dates for shipping a car,  it’s time to find out which shipping company will help you get the job done. Since there are many state to state auto transport companies that transport vehicles from the East coast to the West coast or vice versa, you’ll have to do your research to determine the best one for your needs and budget. Some auto transport services only operate out of major cities and may not have the right equipment for the shipping method you need.

For example, if you are shipping a classic car, you may want to use enclosed transport for extra protection against weather conditions and damages. Or they may not deliver to all delivery locations

To narrow down your choices, begin by checking the car transport companies in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). Car shipping companies must have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and motor carrier (MC#) number to prove that they’re a legitimate, registered auto carrier. 

Next, head to review sites like Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp to get a sense of what other, previous customers think about their experience with the auto shipping company. 

These experiences can give you a detailed insight into how the delivery was processed and scheduled, as well as the condition of the car when it arrived. For example, Guardian Auto Transport has a 4.95-star rating, with customers highlighting the detailed customer service, smooth, on-time deliveries, and transparent updates and troubleshooting when trusting us with their car transport needs.

Finally, finish off your in-depth research by scouring mentions of your potential auto shipping companies on social media. How they conduct themselves when replying to users should give you a taste of what you can expect if you book your auto shipment with them. This will help you determine the best car shipping company for your situation. 

Vet Auto Transport Companies Online

Being selective when choosing a coast-to-coast auto transport company helps you minimize, if not eliminate, problems and issues during the process.

After compiling a shortlist of vehicle shipping companies to choose from, you need to vet them further by connecting with their customer support and asking questions. Talking to their staff is a great way to gauge the quality of service once you hire them as your auto transporter.

Consider posing the following questions:

  • Do you offer a free no-obligation quote? You don’t want to get tied up with a car transport company that provides free quotes with strings attached.
  • What’s included in your quote? You want to know if the company will demand transport costs that aren’t included in the quote.
  • How do you calculate rates? You want a company that’s transparent with its rates and breaks down every item in its car transport quotes.
  • What are your payment methods? Find a company that offers the payment method you’re most comfortable with.
  • What goes into the car shipment process? Let them explain to you what takes place during a car shipment and what you should expect.

The goal of asking these questions is to see if vehicle transport companies can offer you the best car shipping rates that match the level of service they provide and the promises they’re making before you request a no-obligation quote. They should either provide a quote from an agent or a car shipping calculator to be clear about their rates.

Gather Vehicle Transport Quotes

You want to find a car shipper that offers reasonable prices in their state to state car shipping services quote. However, “cheap” prices don’t necessarily mean that you’ve landed a good deal. 

Car shipping prices may be a factor in influencing your decision as to which car transport service to go with, but they shouldn’t be the main one. In fact, a low shipping price that is too low should be a red flag because they’re indicative of unreliable or poor-quality service.

You could end up paying more for cheap car shipping services if you don’t take other variables into account like the safety of your car. Not only should a quote be affordable, but a company should have solid customer reviews and a transparent process.

To help you get the most out of your vehicle shipment, consider the following factors that go into building coast-to-coast car shipping quotes:

  • Terminal-to-Terminal Service vs. Door-to-Door Service — The former is more affordable because it requires you to bring your car to the terminal yard of the car carriers to the nearest terminal location for pick up. The latter is more expensive because the company will pick up your vehicle from your home and deliver it to your desired destination.
  • Open Transport vs. Enclosed Auto Transport ServicesOpen auto transporters are the most cost-effective way to ship a car. On the downside, the car transport truck exposes your vehicle to potential damages during the shipment. On the other hand, enclosed car shipping service protects your vehicle from damages that it may incur along the way. For this reason, it is also the more expensive transport method of the two.
  • Insurance Coverage — If your car is damaged during the shipment process, it is covered by the insurance provided by the company.
  • Shipping Fees — Determine how much the company is charging by the mile based on their quote. Costs are lower if the company is shipping multiple vehicles via auto transport carriers to the same location as yours.
  • Policies — Find out if you’re eligible for refunds and when this could happen. This ensures that you are covered if the company fails to deliver your car.
  • Discounts — Most state-to-state car transport companies offer a military discount for military members, student discounts, and senior discounts. Ask for other discounts that apply to you so you can cut down on the cost to ship a car.

Prepare Your Car Before Transport

Once you’ve decided on a company, you want your vehicle to be in top shape before you move it out for transfer.

Checking your car will help to eliminate potential problems you might encounter along the way. For example, if you notice that your car sustained damages during the trip, but don’t have proof that the damage wasn’t there before transporting, you can’t request compensation.

There are three ways to prime your car before shipping:

  • Remove personal items from the car — Most companies recommend leaving personal items out because they might get lost along the way.
  • Inspect for damages — Know if your car has been damaged or not before the delivery. Take photos of it for documentation purposes. This will come in handy if the car shipped incurs damage during the trip.
  • Empty your car — To decrease your car’s weight and lower the costs, don’t fill the gas tank.


Transporting vehicles coast to coast is an involved process. However, choosing the right vehicle transport company can make all the difference. The auto shipper you choose should have experience in both the car shipping state and in the destination state so that weather and routing considerations are already known. Moving a car from one state to another safely and efficiently is what makes a professional car transport service stand out from an average one.

Make sure you choose the best auto transport company that will keep your car safe while shipping your car cross country. Shipping cars from state to state is best done by professionals at transporting cars long distances.

Guardian Auto Transport is a trusted name in coast-to-coast auto transport service for both open and enclosed carrier transport. The reason for its rave company reviews is the car shipping company’s ability to provide complete insurance and door-to-door car delivery service for a hassle-free experience. 

Guardian doesn’t charge upfront nor do we levy cancellation fees, so you don’t have to worry about extra costs if plans change. To learn more about how Guardian can help you as you ship a car across the country, reach out to us over email or call our phone number. Our live booking agents can assist you and provide you with a no-commitment quote.