Instant Car Shipping Cost

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How to ship a car?

The advent of sites like eBay motors and Craig’s List have made it easy to find specific vehicles all over the country. However, what happens when your dream car is located in Seattle and you live in Charleston, South Carolina? Of course, one option is to fly to Seattle, pick up your car and drive it back. That is if your schedule permits the several days away from home that it will take to drive cross-country. Fortunately, you can still buy that dream car without taking all of that time and adding unnecessary miles to the odometer by having your vehicle shipped. This is also a good option when you want to get your car to your new home on the opposite coast without having to make a long road trip.

How to ship a car from coast to coast

The first step to shipping your vehicle across a long distance is to contact a shipping company. You’ll need to decide if you want your vehicle on an open carrier (as you see on the highway with new vehicles heading to market) or in a closed carrier. While closed carriers keep your vehicle away from the elements en route, such transportation is significantly more expensive, as much as 80 percent more than you’ll pay for an open carrier. Unless you have a rare or ultra-expensive vehicle that you only plan to use at shows, the open carrier should suffice.

Next, you’ll need to decide whether you want terminal or door-to-door service. With terminal delivery, the freight company drops off the vehicle at a warehouse or receiving station near your home and you go to pick up the vehicle there. With door-to-door service, the vehicle is delivered right to the address you give, such as your home or office.

How much will it cost to ship my vehicle?

A variety of other factors come into account when determining the price of transport. These include the size and weight of the vehicle, the distance, whether you pay with credit card or check/cash (credit card is often more expensive), the current price of gasoline or diesel fuel, whether you ask for any special requests and whether you need expedited service. Expedited shipping costs more, since the carrier is not able to consolidate your vehicle with others being shipped to the same area. Shipping your vehicle in the summer, the peak season for vehicle transport, will also up the price. In general, you can expect to pay between $400 and $2,000 to ship a four-door sedan coast to coast.

Popular and well-regarded vehicle transport companies include…

  • Uship
  • Montway Auto Transport
  • Ship-a-Car Direct
  • Amerifreight

How long will it take?

The average delivery time for your vehicle depends on the distance you are shipping it. Weather, traffic and highway construction all affect your delivery time. On average, a short (fewer than 500 miles) transport will take between one and three days. Expect a cross-country transport (2,000+ miles) to take one to two weeks.

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Car Shipping Tips

Tips for a successful transport

1. Clean out your personal items from the vehicle. Virtually all transport companies require that you remove any personal items from the vehicle, including the glove box and the trunk. They simply don’t want to be responsible for these items, and their insurance does not cover them. You may have to delay your transport if the carrier arrives to find your vehicle loaded with boxes.

2. Take your vehicle to your mechanic before it is shipped. You want to make sure that there are no fluid leaks from your vehicle. You don’t want to be responsible for any damage done to the vehicles being transported with yours due to an oil, transmission fluid or other fluid leak.

3. Don’t top off the tank. A full tank of gas is a fire hazard when you’re shipping your vehicle. The optimum amount of gas is just enough to get you to the gas station when you accept delivery of your vehicle.

4. Wash your vehicle. This may sound counter-intuitive, since your car, truck or SUV is about to be loaded on a carrier where it will be exposed to the weather, road dirt and bugs. However, a clean car is easier to inspect. Your carrier will want to walk around the vehicle with you before it’s loaded to make sure that you know what damage (if any) is already present on the vehicle before it is shipped.

5. Check about insurance. Some, but not all, personal vehicle insurance policies will cover your vehicle while it is being transported. It’s a good idea to ask your agent. In addition, take to the carrier about their insurance coverage. Some transport companies only carry liability insurance (which generally will not cover your vehicle). Others carry cargo insurance, which covers any damage to the items they are transporting (like your car).

Ship Car Across Country

Shipping your vehicle across the United States doesn’t have to be a big chore. Set yourself (and your vehicle) up for success by doing your homework well in advance of the departure date, interviewing at least two transport companies, having your mechanic give your vehicle the once over, and making sure that you only have a minimal amount of fuel in the tank.

To learn more about shipping your car, SUV or truck long distance, reliably and affordably, contact (Insert company name) at (insert contact info).