Car Shipping Guide: Safe and Cost-effective Solutions

Posted by Ben Davidson about 11 months ago

A car is one of the most valuable assets owned by someone besides the home. Whenever you send a vehicle from one place to another, you tend to invest money and time for successful transportation. 

It is the case if you choose a reliable road transportation company that you can trust. Moving a vehicle from one region or country to another is a difficult task, and you must find an experienced, reputable carrier for handling your car shipping.

This article is aimed to guide you on how to choose the best car delivery company for your car, which is safe and cost-effective. 

Although many people prefer to drive their cars by themselves, it is not the case when you are shipping across the country. When you purchase a new car abroad, you need the services of transporting the car to send the car to you or to send the car to another country.

The transportation of cars abroad entails many things such as various laws and taxes, and other import duties related to the delivery of the car. Therefore, it is vital to deal with companies that understand the technical know-how of the whole system so that you can get your car delivered at your preferred location. It means that you will protect your investment.

This article will begin with a summary of what a car shipping is, and the advantages of delivering your car with an experienced and reliable carrier, as well as the qualities of an excellent car delivery company.

What is Car Shipping?

Car shipping can be described as a professional vehicle transporting a vehicle by hiring a truck or other car to move the car from place to place at a certain distance. 

Unlike driving your vehicle from one place to another, car shipping implies that your vehicle will be loaded or transferred on a particular truck and sent to a destination with a reasonable level of warranty.

Automobile transportation has been studied as one of the safest methods of transporting cars and has been recommended by most car experts and companies, especially if the vehicle is sent over long distances.

Auto-shipping companies offer specialized services that solve car transportation problems throughout the year. They are usually equipped with qualified specialists who are trained to ensure that the vehicles are transported in excellent condition throughout the entire transportation process.

Your vehicle is carefully loaded onto the truck by attaching it to the trailer of the truck. You are sure that your vehicle will arrive at your destination safely and on time with their reliable service. 

The only question is to choose the right road transportation company to ship your car. How can you know them? 

Why Should You Choose Car Shipping?

There are different opinions on why you should choose shipping your car against driving your vehicle yourself. 

Although you can save money by driving your car to your destination, you tend to waste time and expose yourself to all the related road difficulties. It can only be possible at a short distance. 

Some people believe that driving their car is better than hiring a shipping company because of the high costs of professional transportation services, and they prefer to save money. 

There is no doubt that you will save some money, but there is a danger associated with driving the car alone.

There are also advantages in hiring the right transportation service car to handle both the short and long-distance driving of your car. 

Below are a few reasons why you should consider a transport company to transport your vehicle:

Cost of Car Shipping Could Be Worth It

The cost of delivering the car may seem excessive, but when you think about it, you will realize that it is not always the case. 

If you are considering driving for some time, for example, the cost of buying gas, the cost of service to ensure excellent road access, the need to stay on the road, meals during the trip, and other related emergency services on the road. 

Besides all these costs, do not forget that you will still have to take a day off to complete this task - it can be one or two days, depending on the distance you have to travel to your new destination. 

If you spend so much time and money, you may not be able to track your expenses and eventually pay more than if you use a shipping company.

Better Safety

Apart from the various costs associated with long journeys, it is not recommended to take on such a mission to move your car to another country. While long trips can be enjoyable for some people, they can also be unsafe in most cases.

You can expose your car to problems like adverse road conditions, wildlife, unexpected breakdowns, reckless driving from other drivers on the road, severe weather conditions, and criminal elements on the road. Using a shipping company can avoid all these dangers.

Depending on the mode of transportation you choose, your vehicle will be protected from foreign elements such as weather, dust, scratches, and more. 

When you move your car over long distances or drive a new car, we strongly recommend using road transport. Research has shown that it is cheaper than any other method you might think.

Best For Luxury Car Protection

If you desire to preserve the value of your car, it is not recommended to drive it over long distances. Considering the cost of the car, as well as what expenses for repairs may be, you may want to avoid such a thing.

Driving such a luxurious car can result in damage to the car, which can be expensive or difficult to repair. Luxury cars should not only be transported by transport services but should also be carried in a closed truck to ensure maximum protection of the vehicle. 

Saves Time

Transport services can transport your vehicle as soon as possible. If you have a short time frame to get the car to your destination, car shipping companies are the best answer. 

To travel by car, depending on the distance, you may need to take a few breaks to rest before continuing your travels.

Also, if the car experiences a flat tire, breakdowns, or strange engine noises on the road that will make you spend time keeping the car in running condition. If there is a lot of traffic on the road, you will also be delayed. 

These and many other unforeseen problems can cause delays on the way. It can also cause stress.

You will not be able to achieve your daily activities; you will not be able to make up for the lost time during this period because you will be behind the wheel. 

You can save time by hiring a car transportation service. To deliver your vehicle to your destination, they only need a receiving and delivery window (1 to 5 days from the scheduled date). In this way you can enjoy safety and time.

Top Qualities of An Excellent Car Shipping Company

Choosing the right transport company is vital to enjoying stress-free car delivery. There is no crime in conducting background checks on any company that you want to entrust to the delivery of your car. 

Remember that they will be responsible for your car, take care of it during the journey, and handle it at its final destination.  

The choice of a reliable car carrier is non-negotiable. Some consumers make the mistake of choosing the lowest-priced service and eventually regret it.

Ignoring other essential qualities of a transport company and focusing only on price is dangerous on your side. 

There have been many situations where consumers and carriers have had serious fights because companies have failed to deliver as promised. 

A reputable company protects the name they created a long time ago and delivers to the customer's satisfaction. 

Having a car delivered to a state or country by a road carrier means that you trust them to do the job, so you must make the right choice. 

Below are a few qualities of a good car delivery company:

Relevant Licenses 

It is one of the qualities you should be looking for in a reliable road transporter. A reputable road carrier must be licensed and insured. 

Does the company have a license for international activities? If the company will carry out transportation abroad, the carrier is expected to have a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) license.

It is the United States agency that regulates and monitors international shipping and regulates the activities and services of international shipping companies. If a company does not have an FMC license, there is a high chance that it will not be able to process most of the necessary international documents, such as customs clearance, as well as to issue a Bill of Lading (HBL).

Another license worth checking out about your potential transport company is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company should strictly adhere to business ethics following standards. 

Also, make sure you have checked the company profile on the FMCSA platform. From here, you will know the level of safety of the company to deal with this service.

Years of Experience

When it comes to delivering cars, experience is essential. Check the number of years the company has been operating to see if they can handle the transportation of your type of car. The years of experience of the company mean that they would have sent many cars and have numerous customers and referrals to prove their ability to transport vehicles without problems.

Available Variety of Services 

A reputable shipping company should offer a variety of services. If a carrier limits its delivery method to a certain type, and it is not ready to adapt to your individual needs, you should look for another way.

For example, some ports can not handle RoRo freight, so the company must be able to offer container shipping services as an alternative. 

Companies that have been operating for a long time must have experience in providing a wide range of services.

Transparency in Service

Before considering a car delivery company, make sure you go through their website to learn more about them. The honesty and openness of a company play an essential role in deciding who to give the job to.

It is expected that a company operating for a reasonable number of years will have a well-optimized platform where consumers will be able to visit and read about their services - what they offer, how they promised to deliver these services, and more.

There are no hidden secrets in business, especially when it comes to a service that requires a person to entrust a valuable item to a service provider.

A reliable company will provide all the necessary information about its activities, share information content that is beneficial to customers, and show that they understand how to conduct business professionally. 

When viewing the company's website, ask the following questions:

  • Is there a direct quote request?

  • Does it contain a simple call to action?

  • Does the platform have a blog section where information about their services is posted?

  • Do they speak directly about their shipping rates?

  • How easy is it to view the site from all devices?

These and many other questions need to be answered before a decision can be made.

Be A Partner to Reputable Licensed Motor Carriers 

Some services require carriers to work with other licensed road carriers to complete the delivery process. In some countries, expats are not allowed to provide certain services. In such a situation, a partner may be required for the transport company to satisfy the customer.

Most reputable companies cooperate with FMCSA-licensed road carriers for the international transport of vehicles and make sure that everything is done following expectations.

Costs To Ship A Car

A few factors determine how much it costs to ship your car. Factors such as distance traveled, type of service required, tax and duty assignments, as well as the model and made of your car. 

Transporting your car more than 1 - 500 miles costs $1 per mile depending on the type of car. 

It means it will cost you $250 to drive 250 miles. As distance increases, the price decreases. 

For example, transporting a car 1,000 miles reduces the price to $0.75 per mile or $750 in total. The cost of driving from coast to coast can be reduced to $0.40 per mile. 

Other factors include the time it takes for ships to arrive at a destination and the amount of transport moving along that particular route.

Road transport companies can offer very favorable rates for the delivery because of the level of return traffic from a particular country. The size of the vehicle being transported is also a determinant of delivery costs. A lower rate will be charged for an average sedan car, as opposed to a long wheeled Land Rover.

Cost of Shipping a Car per Mile

Below are typical routes with their cost for reference:

Typical Route



Chicago – Kansas City

510 miles


Phoenix to Dallas

1,065 miles


Pittsburgh to Phoenix

2,062 miles


Seattle to Miami

3,298 miles


Factors that Determine Car Shipping Costs

You will be able to detect fraud when you first understand how car delivery costs are determined, thus avoiding surprises in the future. The factors that determine the value of delivering a car are as follows:


The first factor is miles, although they are not the main one, as most people believe. For shorter distances, the carrier also uses the same method of receiving and unloading, despite the difference in the time the transport spends on the road.

It is for this reason that long-distance delivery of vehicles can be made at reduced prices per mile, just like a plane ticket, which may cost more depending on the distance it travels. 

Open or Enclosed Carrier

The double-decker vehicle you see every few miles on the country highway, which is loaded with 7-10 vehicles over long distances, is called an open trailer. Trailers that only carry 3 to 4 cars are also ideal for shorter routes.

Closed transport trailers, on the other hand, are smaller and can only carry 2 to 6 cars. For a shipping company to move a vehicle from one place to another and get paid for fewer cars, even if the time and miles are the same, closed trailers typically cost 40 to 60 percent more than open trailers.  

The Type, Size & Modifications Of Your Car

The trailers have maximum loads to ensure safety. A lorry, SUV, or any other heavy vehicle uses most of the permissible weight, which means that the number of vehicles that a trailer can carry may be limited.

A longer vehicle can also use more than one trailer space. It means that a shipping company moving a substantial and long vehicle must combine it with a lighter and shorter vehicle on a trailer to complement and optimize the use of trailer space.     

Condition Of Vehicle

It will require improvisation and extra time, effort, and use of additional equipment for a vehicle that is not working.

You will need to pay additional costs to the driver of the vehicle before he agrees to transport the car, which will take a lot of effort to pull, push, run, or to load it and unload it from the truck.

The Popularity of the Route

Transporting cars are more expensive to remote areas than in cities. Many carriers serve cities, and the presence of many major highways also makes it easier for drivers to work.

As a rule, more trucks move from one point to another in cities than Renault to Atlanta, as well as many daily flights from New York to Los Angeles. It is why you get a reduced price in cities rather than in rural areas.

Season Of The Year

Increased demand during peak seasons may lead to higher prices in some areas as drivers are also on holiday. 

For example, booking vehicles for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and many other major holidays can be challenging and also more expensive.

Dates/Speed Of Delivery

Conventional door-to-door delivery is available at a lower price than express delivery. A carrier that offers express delivery of the vehicle will allow you to select the pickup date, drop-off date, and the exact day interval between pickup and drop-off. All of these options will increase the price considerably.

The Cheapest Way to Ship a Car

The type of truck needed for your type of vehicle will determine the cheapest way to deliver it. 

Closed transport is likely to be the best option for delivering a luxury car. Although closed transport comes at a higher price than open transport, it does, however, protect your expensive car from the elements. 

The cheapest way to transport your car is through open transport. It is due to the increasing number of open transport on the road, and they can carry any vehicle. Open transportation is your best option if you are transporting a car that you drive every day. 

Whether you are moving or buying a new car from another state, there are different ways to deliver your vehicle to your preferred destination. There are many factors related to delivery using the cheapest option, such as season, pickup, and drop-off locations. 

Consider the questions below when searching for an affordable way to transport your car:

  • Do you prefer an open carrier or a closed truck?

  • How soon will you need a car upon arrival?

  • Do you have time to source a shipping estimate from many shipping companies to get quotes immediately?


The normal mode of delivery in the automotive shipping industry today is door-to-door delivery on an open trailer and is also a convenient way to transport a vehicle for a reasonable price. 

This option is recommended for those who want to deliver their vehicle they drive every day and people who want their vehicle delivered safely to their doorstep. 

Shipping companies are properly insured with at least $750,000 in federal government requirements, with most of them increasing it to a million on their truck. The cheapest way to safely and reliably ship a car is through an open transport system, and this has often been proven.

Terminal-To-Terminal Car Shipping

Transporting your car from terminal-to-terminal remains the cheapest way, no matter how you view them. Although not recommended, it is probably the best option for you if you have a low budget. 

This option is slower and more stressful than the door-to-door delivery option. However, most cities today have their terminals, which makes it safe for truck shippers. 

Regardless of this, your car can be in great danger because you will have to leave it at the terminal. Your car will be out of sight for a good number of days or weeks. 

This option can also take longer than door-to-door delivery since most carriers do not want to stop at the terminals. It can lead to a delay in getting time to the terminals.

To Sum It Up

Trusting your car to a shipping company to transport your car means that they are reliable and professional in providing services. 

We have discussed all that you need to know about choosing the best car delivery company for transporting your car. 

Make sure that you are looking carefully before jumping in so as not to get caught up in a car delivery scam.


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