shipping your car to or from alaska

Shipping Your Car to or From Alaska: A Comprehensive Guide


Shipping a car to or from Alaska can be an exciting part of a move or adventure, but it requires careful planning and preparation. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the unique challenges of Alaskan car shipping and ensure a smooth journey for your vehicle.

Key Highlights

  • Plan ahead: Alaska’s remoteness and extreme weather require careful planning for car shipping. Choose the right method (land, sea, or air) based on your budget and urgency.
  • Prepare your car: Gather documents, clean and inspect your car, remove valuables, and follow the shipping company’s instructions.
  • Expect variations in cost: The final cost depends on distance, method, vehicle size, fuel prices, and seasonality. Booking in advance (especially during peak summer) can help secure better rates.

Understanding the Alaskan Landscape

Alaska’s remoteness, extreme weather, and limited infrastructure necessitate special considerations:

  • Remote Location: Greater distances often require longer routes and specialized handling.
  • Extreme Weather: Freezing winters and unpredictable storms can impact shipping schedules and potentially damage vehicles.
  • Limited Infrastructure: Fewer roads and ports compared to the lower 48 states require careful planning and route selection.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

The ideal shipping method depends on your needs and budget:

  • Land: Cost-effective for shorter distances, but the slowest option and susceptible to weather delays.
  • Sea: More affordable for longer distances and accommodates larger vehicles, but has longer transit times and limited port options in Alaska.
  • Air: The fastest option, ideal for urgent needs or high-value vehicles, but comes with the highest cost and size/weight restrictions.

Selecting a Reputable Car Shipping Company

Do your research to choose a reliable company:

  • Experience: Prioritize companies with a proven track record of shipping to and from Alaska.
  • Reputation: Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge customer satisfaction.
  • Transparency: Ensure clear communication, detailed quotes, and no hidden fees.
  • Specialization: Look for companies with expertise in Alaskan car shipping.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Get your car ready for its journey:

  • Gather Documentation: Keep vehicle registration, insurance papers, and shipping documents readily available.
  • Clean and Inspect: Thoroughly clean your car and document any pre-existing damage with photos.
  • Empty and Secure: Remove personal belongings and valuables, and secure loose items in the trunk.
  • Follow Instructions: Adhere to the shipping company’s specific preparation guidelines.

Understanding Costs

Several factors influence the total cost:

  • Base Shipping Fee: Determined by distance, chosen method, and vehicle size.
  • Fuel Surcharges: Fluctuations in fuel prices can impact the final cost.
  • Insurance: Protect your car with comprehensive shipping insurance.
  • Terminal Handling Charges: Fees associated with loading and unloading your vehicle.
  • Seasonality: Shipping during peak season (summer) often comes with higher rates.

Booking the Shipment

Once you’ve chosen a company and prepared your car, consider these factors when booking:

  • Scheduling Flexibility: Choose pickup and delivery dates that work for you.
  • Transit Time: Consider how long you’re willing to wait for your car to arrive.
  • Confirmation: Double-check all details with the shipping company to avoid surprises or delays.

Tracking Your Shipment

Many car shipping companies offer real-time tracking so you can monitor your car’s progress. This allows you to stay informed and take action in case of any delays or issues.

Receiving Your Car

Upon arrival, properly inspect your car for any damage or discrepancies. Document any issues and report them immediately to the shipping company following their claim procedures.


By understanding the unique aspects of Alaskan car shipping and taking the necessary steps to prepare, you can ensure a secure and stress-free journey for your vehicle. With careful planning and the right information, you can navigate this process with confidence.


How long Alaska car shipping take?

The shipping time depends on your chosen method:

  • Land: This is the most time-consuming option, typically taking weeks depending on the distance.
  • Sea: Expect longer transit times than land, ranging from several weeks up to a month or more.
  • Air: If speed is a priority, airfreight is the fastest option, with deliveries possible within days. However, availability and costs can vary.

Is there any limitation on what type of vehicle can be shipped to Alaska?

Generally, most cars can be shipped to Alaska. However, some exceptions might exist for oversized vehicles, vehicles that don’t run, or those with specific modifications. It’s always best to confirm with your chosen shipping company to avoid any surprises.

How early should I book my car shipment to or from Alaska?

Booking well in advance is recommended, especially during the peak summer season. Ideally, start planning a few months ahead to secure availability and potentially get better rates.

What’s the average cost of shipping a car to or from Alaska?

The cost can vary depending on several factors, including distance, chosen shipping method, vehicle size, fuel prices, insurance options, and terminal handling fees. Due to Alaska’s remoteness, expect a wider range in costs compared to shipping within the contiguous United States. Getting quotes from multiple car shipping companies is recommended to compare prices and find the best deal.

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