How to Transport Your Vehicle during a Cross-Country Move


Whether buying a car online or relocating to a new state, finding a safe and efficient ride home can be overwhelming. Besides moving your personal belongings and housewares, you must also figure out a convenient way to transport your car. 

While it might seem easier to hop in and get going, it’s probably best to consider an alternative so your car doesn’t get unnecessary wear and tear. Luckily, it’s simple to transport your vehicle to your new destination via shipping. This article will explain what you need to do to ship your car from one point to another safely.


Shipping is one of the best methods to move your car from one place to another. Ideally, shipping can be done in three different ways: open truck shipping, enclosed truck shipping, and expedited.

  • The open carrier is the less expensive and most popular type. Auto manufacturers even use it to transport new cars. In this method, your vehicle is moved along with other vehicles.
  • Enclosed carriers are more expensive. They’re a good choice for exotic and luxury cars or when you’re moving your vehicle during the extreme winter season. This method helps protect your vehicle against damage. 
  • Expedited auto transport helps those customers who want their cars transported quickly, primarily within 24 to 48 hours. 

Some auto transport companies might need to deliver on their promises. Do some extra research to make sure you’re working with a reputable company, like Guardian Auto Transport, that will ensure safe and convenient delivery.

three white-enclosed trailers

Steps for a successful shipping process

Step 1: Research and Choose a Reputable Shipping Company

When preparing to ship your vehicle, it’s crucial to start by researching and selecting a reputable shipping company. Look for companies with positive customer reviews, which indicates their reliability and service quality. Ensure that the chosen company holds proper licensing and meets legal vehicle transport requirements. 

Confirm that the company provides insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. Choosing a reputable shipping company can enhance the likelihood of a secure and reliable transport process for your car.

Step 2: Get Quotes and Compare Costs

Before finalizing the process of shipping your vehicle, it’s important to gather quotes from several shipping companies and compare their services and pricing. This step allows you to decide based on your budget and specific needs. Contact different companies to obtain quotes, ensuring you understand the services included and any additional costs. 

By comparing quotes, you can select a shipping option that aligns with your financial considerations while still meeting your reliable and efficient service requirements.

Step 3: Prepare Your Vehicle

Before shipping your vehicle, it must be prepared by cleaning and documenting its condition. Cleaning your truck ensures a presentable appearance upon arrival and makes it easier to identify any pre-existing damage. 

Documenting the vehicle’s condition through photographs or notes is crucial for transparency and may be helpful in case any issues arise during shipping. Taking these simple steps helps maintain the clarity of your vehicle’s condition before it embarks on its journey, providing a reference point for comparison upon arrival.

Step 4: Confirm Insurance Coverage

When getting ready to ship your vehicle, it’s crucial to confirm the insurance coverage offered by the shipping company. Check the details of their insurance policy to ensure your vehicle is adequately protected during transit. If you have concerns or the coverage seems insufficient, consider opting for additional insurance to provide extra peace of mind.

Confirming insurance coverage is crucial in safeguarding your vehicle throughout the shipping process, offering protection against unforeseen circumstances and potential damages.

Step 4: Schedule Pickup and Delivery

Once you’ve chosen a shipping company and sorted out the details, the next step is to schedule your vehicle’s pickup and delivery dates. This involves coordinating with the shipping company to set a convenient time for them to collect your car and, later, deliver it to the specified destination. 

Clear communication about these dates ensures a smooth and organized shipping process, helping you plan accordingly and reducing potential inconveniences. By proactively scheduling pickup and delivery, you contribute to a well-organized and efficient transportation experience for your vehicle.

Step 5: Inspect the Vehicle at Pickup

Before your vehicle begins its journey with the shipping company, conducting a thorough inspection at the pickup location is crucial. Work closely with the carrier to scrutinize your vehicle, checking for any existing damage or issues. Take pictures or make notes documenting the condition of your car to create a clear record. This inspection is essential for transparency and can serve as valuable evidence in case of any disputes regarding the condition of your vehicle upon delivery. Paying attention to detail during this pickup inspection contributes to a smooth and well-documented shipping process for your car.

Step 6: Stay Informed During Transit

While your vehicle is in transit, staying informed about its progress is essential. Keep in touch with the shipping company to receive regular updates on the whereabouts and status of your vehicle during the journey. 

Maintaining communication ensures that you stay informed about any delays or unexpected developments. This proactive approach gives you peace of mind and lets you plan for your vehicle’s arrival at its destination. By staying in the loop during transit, you contribute to a more transparent and reliable shipping experience for your car.

Step 7: Inspect the Vehicle Upon Delivery

Usually, transportation service providers will inspect your car before shipping. This ensures the vehicle arrives at its new destination in the same condition as when it left. But a lot can happen on a cross-country move, so you’ll need to be available during delivery to ensure the process ends smoothly.

Make sure you watch the company unload the car. Then, inspect the car’s condition to detect any damage in the truck driver’s company before signing the final transport contract. After you sign, you won’t make any more claims, so check your car repeatedly to be sure.

Step 8: Complete Necessary Paperwork

Completing any necessary paperwork is essential as you wrap up the vehicle shipping process. Complete all required forms and provide the shipping company with any crucial documentation. 

This step ensures that all the administrative aspects of the shipping process are in order. Double-check that you have included everything needed for a smooth transaction and comply with legal requirements. By completing the necessary paperwork, you contribute to a well-organized and efficient conclusion of the shipping process for your vehicle.

Step 9: Payment and Feedback

Once your vehicle has safely reached its destination, it’s time to handle the payment for the shipping service. Make sure to fulfill the payment as agreed upon with the shipping company. This step ensures a smooth and timely financial transaction, finalizing the shipping process. Additionally, providing feedback about your experience with the shipping company is valuable. Please share your thoughts on their service, as it helps them improve and helps future customers make informed decisions. By promptly handling payment and offering feedback, you contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the vehicle shipping process.

Share your experience through feedback to assist others and improve the industry. Whether positive or constructive, your insights contribute to transparency and help individuals make informed decisions. This collective feedback fosters accountability and encourages companies to enhance their services.

Dec 8, 2019, Bakersfield / CA / USA - Car transporter carries new Tesla vehicles along the interstate to South California, back view of the trailer


Buckle up and hit the road, or let the pros handle it – transporting your vehicle cross-country is an adventure worth preparing for! Whether DIY driving or choosing a trusted shipping company, these tips have your back. So, rev up those engines and enjoy the journey to your new destination! Safe travels!

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