How to Ship My Car to Another State: A Comprehensive Guide

So, you're planning a big move to a new state. Whether you're moving coast to coast or anywhere in between, a long-distance move is an exciting experience! But packing up and renting a moving truck are the easy parts. As you begin preparing for your move, you may have found yourself coming up against a roadblock—namely, “How do I ship my car to another state?”

Premium auto shipping services are a cost-effective way to transport your spare car, SUV, antique automobile, or even a boat or motorcycle. These services take the stress out of planning a road trip on top of a long-distance move and can help you save time and money in the long run. 

In this article, we'll discuss the costs, benefits and logistics of shipping your car to another state to help you decide if these services are right for you.

Here's how to ship your car to another state:

Car Shipping 101: What You Need to Know Before Shipping Your Car to Another State

A professional auto shipping company offers the safest and simplest way to transport your vehicles. With experienced movers on your side, you’ll enjoy peace of mind throughout your relocation. 

As you prepare for your move, follow these tips to ensure your vehicle shipment goes smoothly.

Schedule at Least Two Months in Advance

Determine whether you need vehicle shipping services while researching your long-distance moving company. Start this process at least two months in advance to leave yourself enough time for comparing quotes, asking questions, and securing your desired delivery date. 

Top-rated long-distance moving companies, like northAmerican, offer auto shipping in conjunction with standard moving services. When requesting an estimate, just ask your relocation specialist whether vehicle transportation makes sense for your situation.

Compare Estimates

While shopping for the service that fits your budget is a no-brainer, don’t just go with the first option you find. Instead, choose a professional and reputable company that offers auto shipping services you can rely on. The team you entrust with your vehicle should have the skills, training and experience to safely transport your car from point A to point B by your desired date.

Tailored Services

There’s no need to pay for services you don’t need! Look for auto shipping services that can be customized to align with your needs and budget. Tailored services may include flexible payment terms, delivery timelines, and pick-up and drop-off locations. 

How to Choose a Car Shipping Company

Finding a reputable and trustworthy car shipping company to work with can feel daunting, but there’s no need to let the decision add more stress to your preparations. Following a few simple guidelines can help you find a vehicle shipper you trust.

Read Testimonials and Reviews

Let each company’s work speak for itself! Check for independent reviews online and ask family, friends or coworkers about their experiences to help narrow down your search.

Ask About Coverage

Trustworthy car shipping companies carry insurance that covers any unexpected damage caused in transit. While reviewing your car shipping estimate, check the deduction and valuation and make sure the quote you're given reflects the true value of your vehicle.

Read the Contract Thoroughly

Check for hidden fees and charges that might blow your budget and ensure the contract includes a specified delivery date and time.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship My Car to Another State?

The cost to ship your car to another state will vary depending on the distance and time of year. When building your budget, compare the cost to ship your vehicle against the cost of a lengthy road trip, including gas, lodging, meals, emergencies, etc.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

As moving day approaches, you’ll need to start preparing your car for the journey. Use the following steps as a checklist to ensure your vehicle is ready to make the trip safely.

  • Check Your Tires. Your tires should be properly inflated before the vehicle is loaded onto the truck. This will help protect your car while in transit. 
  • Remove Your Belongings. Your auto shipping insurance will likely cover damage to your vehicle, but not theft or damage to the items left inside. Remove all personal items from the car (including the trunk) before moving day.
  • Disable the Alarm. There are sure to be a few bumps in the road that may cause your car alarm to go off during transit.
  • Don't Leave Your Gas Tank Full. The fuller the tank, the heavier the car, and the more it costs to ship. Ensure your gas tank is no more than half full to avoid a heftier charge. 
  • Inspect for Damages and Note Your Mileage. Give the vehicle a thorough inspection for scuff marks, scratches or other damage. Don't forget to inspect the doors, bumpers, and under the hood. Take photos of the exterior and interior for your records, including the odometer. 
  • Remove or Secure Car Accessories: Bike racks, roof boxes, and cargo carriers should be removed before transit. If the accessory won't obstruct the truck driver's view, you can opt for safely securing the item instead. If you’re unsure, check with your shipping company.

The Process of Shipping Your Car to Another State: What to Expect

Interstate relocations can feel challenging enough without surprises. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of arranging an auto shipment with North American Van Lines to ensure you can move forward with confidence.

Request an Estimate

We provide free, comprehensive quotes for all moving services, including auto shipping. Simply let us know the year, make and model, as well as the vehicle’s point of origin and destination. Once we receive the necessary information, you'll receive a no-obligation, hassle-free estimate.

Prep Your Car Before Pick up

Before pick up, you'll want to clean the inside, remove personal belongings and inspect your car for damages. You'll also want to record the vehicle’s current mileage, check your tires and remove any accessories. 

During Transit

Once your vehicle is loaded onto one of our open or enclosed car carriers, you can rest assured knowing your property is in good hands. Our movers will load, transport and unload your car securely and efficiently. We also guarantee pick-up and delivery dates, so you don't need to go without a car longer than you should. 


We proudly offer door-to-door shipping for cars, boats, SUVs and more. Once we arrive at the destination, we'll safely unload the vehicle and you can return to your regular routine. It's that easy.

Expert Tips for Hassle-Free Interstate Auto Shipping

If you find yourself asking, “How can I ship my car to another state,” we’re here to help. For over 90 years, North American Van Lines helped individuals, families and businesses transport vehicles of every size and shape throughout the U.S. and Canada. Our mission is to make every aspect of your long-distance relocation as seamless and stress-free as possible. Let’s get moving!

Request a free estimate today to find out how much to ship your car to another state.