ship cars to another state

How to Transport a Car to Another State – What You Should Know

When learning how to ship a car to another state. You will need to know the distance you are traveling, if you want door-to-door service, and how the type of vehicle you have can affect the cost. 

Depending on your moving state, consider an alternative option, like driving your car to the new state. Since there is a lot to think about when shipping your vehicle to another state, we broke down everything you need to know in detail to help you prepare to ship your car to another state.

open car carrier to ship cars to another state

What Type of Transport Do You Need?

There are two types of state to state auto transport services to choose from when shipping your car to another state. 

Open Car Carrier

An open car carrier is the more affordable option of the two to transport your car to another state. However, when choosing an open carrier, your car will be exposed to the elements when traveling to a different state. With open transport, there will be a risk that your car can become damaged due to road debris or severe weather, like dents or paint damage.

While there is a slight risk for your car to become damaged en route to your new state, most people tend to choose an open trailer because it is cost effective compared to an enclosed carrier transport. 

Enclosed Carrier Transport

An enclosed auto transport is much more expensive when compared to an open car carrier. Although it costs more to use this option, some movers choose to ship their car using enclosed carrier transport because it protects your vehicle from damage due to road debris or severe weather. 

Enclosed carrier transport is especially recommended for a classic car or a luxury car to keep them completely safe, and it offers you peace of mind.

Choose a Transport Company

Once you have chosen which transport works best for your car, you must select an auto transport company. To narrow down the best transport companies, you will need to collect free quotes from multiple car transport companies throughout your area. 

You should gather vehicle shipping instant quotes from chain and local companies to ensure you know all your shipping options. 

You will notice that some car transport companies are brokers, and their job is to find a spot on a truck for your car. While a broker can help you lower the cost of shipping your vehicle to a new state, sometimes, they can make things complicated as an unnecessary mediator. 

Ensure that the car transport company you choose is affordable, offers the type of car transport you are looking for, and that they ship to the state you are moving to. Some car shipping companies cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, while others can. 

You can use a moving app, such as Agoyu, to research car transport companies in your area and compare the prices and reviews of each company.

When to Book Your Shipment

After deciding on a car transport company, you should book your shipment as soon as possible. Booking your car transport early allows you to receive the lowest prices and secure your spot for the specific date you need. 

Booking at the last minute can cause the cost to go up. You can still book your car shipment at the last minute, but you will be charged expedited car shipping costs.

what does it cost to ship a car

What Does It Cost to Ship a Car

There are multiple factors to remember when determining the cost of shipping your car to another state. Some things that can affect the cost of moving my car to another state include:

  • Enclosed or open car transport services
  • Expedited car shipping services
  • Door-to-door delivery
  • Distance of your move – short or long distance
  • Time of year you are moving
  • Make and model of your car
  • Weight and size of your car

When planning your car shipment, you will notice that the weight and size of your car can significantly affect the cost of transporting it to a different state. The carrier will need to know how much space their truck requires for your vehicle transport. Vehicles like a large SUV will cost more to ship than a smaller compact car, so the shipping price can vary. 

Alternative Ways to Move a Vehicle to Another State

If you prefer not to ship your car to save some money or for other reasons, there are always alternative options to move your car to another state.

Drive the Car Yourself

Driving your car yourself is a time-consuming alternative, but it allows you to have complete control over moving your car and is the cheapest way. This is the best option if you are moving a short distance, such as from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. 

Consider asking family or friends to drive your car for you, which is more affordable than using auto shippers.

Transport by Train

Amtrak is an excellent alternative to an auto shipping company if you are transporting your car on the East Coast. Amtrak can transport most vehicles, from sedans, motorcycles, vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. 

Amtrak is affordable but may be inconvenient, as you must ride the train transporting your vehicle. You can only ship your car using Amtrak if you are present. 

Transport By Boat

Using a boat to transport your car to a new state is usually just for the international shipping process, but it can be used as an alternative if you need to ship your car to Alaska or Hawaii. This method is affordable but isn’t used unless you must get your car across the water.

packing a car

How to Transport a Car From One State to Another – FAQs 

Can I ship personal items in my vehicle to a different state?

Typically, you can keep up to 100 pounds of personal belongings in the trunk area of your car when shipping it to another state. All items must be contained in a suitcase or a single box, and there cannot be loose items left in the vehicle. 

Can you ship your car to another state with a full tank of gas?

No, you cannot have a full gas tank when shipping your car to another state. Adding a full tank of gas causes your vehicle to be heavier, which also increases the cost of shipping. Most car shipping companies require your gas tank to be a quarter full maximum. 

How do I prepare to ship my car to another state?

To prepare to ship your car to another state, you must ensure that your vehicle inspection is current. Your car should be inspected and have routine service, such as topping off your fluids, checking the battery, and putting air in your tires. 

You should remove any loose items inside your car, and be sure your gas tank is no more than a quarter full to cross state lines. You will also need an extra set of keys to give to the car shipping company to move your vehicle. In addition, you should remove any outside accessories on your car, such as decorations or tow hitches, and be sure your insurance policy is up to date.

Why is Hawaii’s car transport different from other states?

Preparing to move to another state is difficult enough, but moving to a state like Hawaii can be challenging. Hawaii’s car transport is much different than other states, as it is in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Since this state is far from the mainland, shipping your car here can be tricky. 

Your car will be loaded onto a boat to be shipped to Hawaii, but it can take between one to three weeks to reach the islands in Hawaii. 

How long does it take to ship a car?

On average, it can take one to two days to ship your car up to 200 miles and seven to nine days to ship your car cross country, (or over 2,000 miles). However, this time estimate can change due to traffic, weather, road construction, professional driver’s hours, and any detours. 

How much does shipping a car from New York to Florida cost?

Shipping a car from New York to Florida can cost between $1,150 and $1,550. However, this price can fluctuate based on the make and model of your car.

What are some of the best car shipping companies that can move my car to another state?

While you should do your own research to decide which car shipping company is best for you, we have researched some of the best car shipping companies to help get your car to your new state. Some of the best car shipping companies include:

  • ACME Car Shipping
  • Reindeer Auto Relocation
  • McCollister’s Auto Logistics
  • AutoRelocation Plus
  • Montway Auto Transport
  • ReloTrans

Many of the best providers in the auto transport industry have BBB ratings, insurance coverage, and multiple transport options, which can help make your decision easier.

Final Thoughts

When learning how to ship your car to another state, there are multiple details to know. While the ins and outs of car shipping can seem complicated, it is a simple process once you know the details. 
If you are planning to move to another state and are looking to ship your car, the Agoyu app can help you find some of the most affordable car shipping companies. Agoyu can help you compare shipping rates and reviews, allowing you to make the best decision for you and your precious cargo.

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.