shipping a car across the country

Shipping a car across the country can be a daunting task, but with the help of a reliable auto shipping company, it becomes a much more manageable process.

What is Car Shipping Across Country Means:-

Car shipping across the country, also known as auto transport, is a service that involves transporting vehicles over long distances on special trailers. Here’s a breakdown of the service:

  • Companies involved: Car shipping companies act as brokers or carriers, arranging the transport of your car using large trucks with multi-car trailers.
  • Transport methods: There are two main methods for shipping cars:
    • Open transport: This is the most common and affordable auto transport option. Cars are secured on open trailers, exposed to the elements during transport.
    • Enclosed transport: This is a more expensive option but offers better protection from weather and road debris. Your car is placed inside a fully enclosed trailer.
  • Cost: The cost of shipping a car across the country depends on several factors, including distance, vehicle type, chosen transport method, and time of year. Generally, it can range from $0.40 to $1.70 per mile.

Whether you’re relocating, selling a car to someone in another state, or simply need to transport your vehicle across the country for any other reason, understanding the steps involved and making informed decisions is crucial. In this page, we will guide you through the process of shipping a car across the country, providing valuable information and useful tips to ensure a smooth and successful auto transport experience.

Quick things you should look for in a car shipping company

  • Years of Experience
  • Prices
  • Customer Reviews and Complaints
  • Insurance
  • Vehicle Protection
  • Hidden Costs
  • License and Registration

Don’t worry, I have looked all these factors to bring the list of top car shipping companies for across country moves. It is better to get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services. Read reviews and complaints from other customers. Be sure to understand the terms of service before booking your shipment.

AutoStar Transport Express
AutoStar Transport Express
Montway Auto Transport
Montway Auto Shipping
U Ship Auto Transport
U Ship Auto Transport
Road Runner Auto Transport
Road Runner Auto Transport
AmeriFreight Auto Transport
AmeriFreight Auto Transport

Our Top Picks For Shipping a Car Across the Country

Disclosure: Many or all of the companies featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which company we write about and where and how the company appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

AutoStar Transport Express

17+ Years

Overall Rating: 4.9

Montway Auto Transport

Crestline Auto Transport
16+ Years

Overall Rating: 4.7

uShip

Making Transportation Fast and Safe
21+ Years

Overall Rating: 4.7

A1 Auto Transport

a1-autotransport
30+ Years

Overall Rating: 4.2

AmeriFreight Car Transport

20+ Years

Overall Rating: 4.2

Some Top Rated Car Shipping Companies for Cross Country Moves

AutoStar Transport Express

Our Rating: 4.9

4.2

4.8

5.0

X.X

Why We Selected It?

We choose AutoStar Transport Express for their variety of shipping options and reliable reputation for on-time delivery. You can transport all kinds of vehicles across the country with this company.

  • Services: AutoStar Transport Express specializes in nationwide car shipping, offering both open and enclosed carrier options for kinds of vehicles or anything on wheels(running or non-running).
  • Customer Focus: They emphasize customer service and have a positive reputation for personalized attention.
  • Carrier Network: They maintain a high standard by working with 20,000 vetted carriers.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Transport all kinds of vehicles including running and non-running. Motorcyles, busses, trucks and oversized machinery.
  • Luxury and exotic car transport experts
  • Capacity. to transport Oversized vehicles and heavy machinery
  • Caribbean auto transportation facility
  • International shipping to Nigeria, Puerto rico and Hawaii
  • Carrier Insurance Coverage.
  • Offer Discounts For Student, Military and Senior citizen.
  • 17 years in the industry and 20000 auto haulers/carriers across the country
  • Customer support in English and Spanish

Cons

  • No 24/7
  • Do not offer guaranteed pickup

Summary

Autostar Transport Express is the one of the top car transport companies because of its great service, diverse services, and customer support. They specialize in nationwide car transportation using a network of pre-vetted carriers or car haulers. They offer both open and enclosed car carrier options. They also offer door-to-door and terminal to terminal car transport options for individual car owners, dealerships, online car selling and auctions sites.

Montway Auto Transport

Our Rating: 4.7

4.7

4.5

5.0

4.2

Why We Choose It?

We selected Montway Auto Transport because it offers a convenient and affordable car shipping solution, making them a good choice for those looking for a straightforward and reliable car shipping across the country.

  • Services: They offer transport for cars, motorcycles, sports vehicles nationwide and can even handle international shipping in some cases.
  • Customer base: Montway caters to both individual customers and those shipping cars for military relocations (PCS). They provide discounts for active military, veterans, and dependents.
  • Reputation: Montway has a positive reputation with an accredited BBB profile and generally favorable customer reviews. They are known for:
    • Large carrier network: Over 30,000 carriers to ensure they can find a transporter for your route.
    • Competitive pricing: Get a free quote on their website or by phone.
    • Variety of shipping options: Open or enclosed transport to fit your budget and needs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Transport all kinds of cars across the country.
  • Free vehicle shipping insurance.
  • Guaranteed pickup dates.
  • Carrier vetting.
  • Multiple discounts.
  • 24/7

Cons.

  • Not Suitable for All Vehicles: No shipping services for recreational vehicles (RVs) or personal watercraft.
  • No Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: Montway only offers door-to-door transport, which might be less flexible for some customers who prefer drop-off options.

Summary

Montway Auto Transport is a trustworthy and affordable option for car transport, offering nationwide coverage, various transport options, competitive pricing, insurance coverage, and positive customer reviews.

U Ship Auto Transport

Our Rating: 4.1

4.5

X.X

X.X

4.4

Why We Choose It?

We choose uShip for their online marketplace connecting you with multiple auto transport providers, fair pricing, a range of shipping options, and 24/7 customer support. Compare prices and choose the option that best suits your needs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pricing control.
  • Market place to connect with multiple car shipping providers

Cons

  • No carrier or broker vetting process.
  • Instant quotes may be more expensive.
  • Slow customer service.

Summary

The company has a vast network of over 41,000 service providers on their marketplace, including carriers and drivers.

Roadrunner Auto Transport

Road Runner Auto Transport

Our Rating: 4.0

4.0

1.7

4.0

2.3

Why We Choose It?

We choose Road Runner Auto Transport because it is a reliable and reputable auto transport company that offers a wide range of services to meet the needs of its customers. With experienced drivers and modern carriers, the company ensures safe and efficient transportation of vehicles at competitive pricing.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fast and reliable payment options.
  • Affordable pricing.
  • Basic liability coverage.
  • Real-time tracking services.

Cons

  • Lackluster customer service & communications.
  • No terminal-to-terminal shipping.

Summary

Road Runner Auto Transport is a U.S. based auto transportation company that provides both open and enclosed carrier services to individuals and businesses. They have been in operation since 2005 and have a reputation for reliable and efficient service. They offer nationwide coverage and competitive pricing.

AmeriFreight Auto Transport

Our Rating: 3.8

4.7

4.5

X.X

X.X

Why We Choose It?

We choose AmeriFreight for their range of services, commitment to customer satisfaction, and transparent communication throughout the shipping process.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Exceptional carrier vetting.
  • Many discount opportunities.
  • Top Rated Customer Services.
  • Gap coverage (up to $2,000)

Cons

  • No guaranteed pricing after the initial quote.
  • No international shipping.

Summary

AmeriFreight is a highly rated car shipping company that offers open and enclosed transport services. They have a professional team that provides reliable, affordable, and quality auto transport services across the United States. AmeriFreight offers door-to-door auto transport services and has an excellent track record for delivering cars on time and in excellent condition. They also provide a variety of discounts to their customers.

What is Cross-Country Auto Transport Means?

The term “cross-country car shipping” refers to moving a car from one end of the country to the other. A car can be shipped across the country from north to south, east to west, or any other route that spans a lot of the country. The vehicle is picked up, loaded onto a trailer, and delivered to the chosen location. While it is possible to ship a car across the country in many ways, it is most reliable, fast, easy, and affordable to ship your car across the country with an auto transport companies listed above.

Shipping a Car Across the Country

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

The car shipping cost is influenced by numerous factors, including the size, model, and condition of the vehicle, along with the total travel distance and chosen transport type. Generally, car shipping prices for short distances range from $600 to $900, while longer distances can go up to $1,600. source

The average cost of shipping a car across the country

SedanSUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)
HatchbackCoupe
ConvertiblePickup Truck
MinivanCrossover
Sports CarElectric Vehicle (EV)
Hybrid VehicleCommercial Vehicle

Prices are based on small sedans. The prices can fluctuate based on the season, market fluctuations, and the type of transport.

The factors that affect the cost of car shipping

Distance: The most important factor that determines how much you’ll pay.

Vehicle specifications (model, make, height, length, etc.)  Larger vehicles cost more because they take up more space on the truck, so fewer vehicles can be loaded at once.

Condition of the vehicle:  A vehicle that doesn’t run, roll, or brake will cost more than one that does.

Transport type (door-to-door or terminal to terminal shipping, enclosed or open, expedited shipping) If you are trying to ship a car across the country, enclosed shipping and expedited shipping will cost more. Be sure to choose the appropriate shipping method for your vehicle.

Season of the year: Shipping during the summer is usually more expensive than during the winter because demand is higher during the summer.

Drop-off and pickup locations: Shipments to or from major metropolitan areas typically cost less than those to or from rural areas

For an accurate quote on shipping a car across the country, we suggest contacting the top cross-country car shipping companies listed above.

Recommended: Learn more about how much does it cost to ship a car.

Ship a Car Across Country

How Do I Ship My Car Across the Country?

The following steps will help you seamlessly transport a car across the country.

  • Select a pick-up and delivery location for your car.
  • Plan the pickup and delivery dates
  • Select a reputable auto shipping company
  • Get multiple quotes
  • Place your order and get your car picked up after signing bill of lading.

How Long Does it Take to Ship a Car Across the Country?

  • Short distances (within a state): 1-2 days
  • Long distances (cross-country): 8-12 days on average, potentially longer depending on factors mentioned above.

The transit time shown up above can be affected by the weather, traffic conditions, etc.

Here are a few other things to consider when estimating delivery time:

  • In some cases, it may take a day or two longer to deliver your car if it has to be shipped over the weekend.
  • The stops the driver needs to make for other pick-ups/drop-offs before reaching the delivery location.
  • According to the law, drivers can drive up to 70 hours a week. They must stop after they reach the daily driving limit. This allows them to rest, which, consequently, contributes to safer transportation.
  • During the shipping process, vehicle pickups and deliveries take quite a bit of time, sometimes up to an hour or longer.
  • Conditions of the weather and traffic.

Tips for a faster car shipping experience:

  • Book in advance: Especially if you need your car delivered by a specific date, booking your transport well ahead of time gives the company more flexibility to find a carrier for your route.
  • Be flexible with pick-up and delivery dates: Having some flexibility in your schedule can make it easier for the transport company to find a carrier that works for you.
  • Consider open transport: If you’re not too concerned about protecting your car from the elements, open transport is generally the faster and more affordable option.

What is the cheapest way to ship a car across the country?

When it comes to finding the most cost-effective method to ship a car across the country, a combination of open transport and terminal-to-terminal services often proves to be the cheapest option. Open trailers, with their capacity to carry multiple cars at once, help reduce transportation costs, fuel consumption, and maintenance expenses. By opting for terminal-to-terminal service, the frequency of carrier stops decreases, resulting in faster delivery times. However, it’s important to consider some downsides. The closure of many terminals due to low demand has made them harder to locate and potentially more expensive than door-to-door services. Terminal storage fees can also accumulate if your car remains at the terminal for an extended period. Nonetheless, taking advantage of the off-season and making advance bookings can further enhance affordability, potentially unlocking special discounts along the way.

It is usually more cost-effective to ship your car across the country using terminal-to-terminal services combined with open auto transport. The reason is that open trailers can carry up to ten cars at once. As a result, they can save a lot of money on transportation, fuel, and oil. Plus, terminal-to-terminal service reduces the frequency of stops by carriers, enabling faster shipments.

However, terminal-to-terminal shipping is not optimal. As many terminals are closing due to lack of demand, they may be cheaper, but they are harder to find. As a result, terminal shipping can be more expensive than door-to-door shipping. Add terminal storage fees that get steadily more expensive the longer your car sits there, and you’ll end up paying more than for door-to-door services.

Even cheaper shipping services can be found between late fall and late spring (the off-season). If you book your shipping in advance, you’ll also be able to lock in premium prices. You might also be eligible for special discounts.

Shipping a car across the country offers many benefits

You’ll save time, energy, and money, it’s safer than driving, and so much more:

Shipping options are numerous: There are a variety of options for cross-country car transport, depending on your needs. A cheap way to ship a car across the country is open car shipping. If you have a high-value vehicle, you can also opt for enclosed auto transport. 

Reduces time, energy, and costs: When it comes to transporting a car across the country, a car shipper does all the work for you. A shipping advisor will secure the most affordable rate and arrange everything for you. It’s easier than it sounds to ship a car cross-country.

Carriers with a lot of experience: The best car shipping companies carefully vet all the carriers that they work with and only work with experienced, reliable, professional, and trustworthy cross-country car shipping carriers.

Multiple cars can be shipped across the country: More households are owning more than one car. This won’t be a problem if you want to ship them across the country. It is an important benefit for dealerships, as well as for those who regularly exhibit at US auto shows.

Personal possessions are allowed: With cross-country car shipping, you can ship up to 100 pounds of personal belongings with your car. You must, however, place them in a box or suitcase in the trunk of your vehicle.

Safer than driving: A road trip might sound fun, but long hours behind the wheel can be stressful, exhausting, and dangerous. Car transport across the country is cheaper, quicker, safer, and more convenient than driving. Plus, you’ll save money and wear and tear on your vehicle.

How Seasons Affect Shipping Costs

Shipping your car during a particular season can affect the cost of transportation based on how many people are on the road as well as weather conditions. Read on to understand more.

Car Shipping in Winter: Winter can present unique challenges for car shipping due to inclement weather conditions. Snowstorms, icy roads, and other winter-related obstacles can impact the shipping process and result in delays or disruptions. Carriers may need to take extra precautions and allocate additional resources to ensure safe and timely delivery. These additional measures can lead to higher shipping costs during the winter season. It’s important to account for potential weather-related delays and communicate closely with your car shipping provider to manage expectations.

Car Shipping in Spring: The best time to ship your car is in the spring. As March ends, rates are still low. As the weather gets warmer, people start going back up north and prices rise. April and May are busy months, and you can expect rates to go up.
things tend to slow down and rates tend to drop.

Summer Car Shipping: Summer is the peak season for car shipments due to various factors such as vacations, office relocations, and school breaks. The increased demand during this time can lead to higher rates for car shipping. However, the competitive nature of the industry may also force prices down as carriers vie for customers. With people seeking to transport their vehicles for different purposes, the summer months witness a bustling car shipping market. It is crucial for individuals to plan ahead and explore multiple options to secure the best rates and services for their car shipments during this busy season.

Shipping a Car in Fall: The weather starts to cool down in the fall, and fewer people are shipping their cars. This lowers the cost of shipping. Rates may rise in September when college students are shipping their vehicles to school.
In October and November,

FAQ’s

How long does it take to ship a car across the country?

The shipping time can vary depending on the distance, route, and any unforeseen circumstances. On average, it takes around 7 to 14 days for cross-country car shipments.

Can I ship personal belongings inside the car?

It’s generally recommended not to ship personal belongings inside the car. Car shipping companies focus on transporting vehicles and may not be liable for any damages or losses to personal items.

Is my car insured during transportation?

Most reputable car shipping companies provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transportation. However, it’s advisable to check the details of the insurance policy and consider additional coverage if needed.

How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

The cost of shipping a car across the country depends on various factors, including the distance, type of transport, vehicle size, and additional services. Request quotes from different companies to compare prices.

Can I track the progress of my car shipment?

Many car shipping companies offer tracking services that allow you to monitor the progress of your shipment. You can stay informed about the location of your car throughout the transportation process.