Moving can get complicated, especially if you’re relocating to an entirely new state. If you’re moving to another state, you’ve already thought of how you’ll get your belongings from one location to another. But have you thought about how you’ll get your car to your new location? Car transportation from state to state can be accomplished in many ways, and you must understand your options ahead of time. Whether you are going to be driving the car yourself or you’re interested in interstate car carrying, let’s delve into the details to help you feel more prepared. Although our team at Alliance doesn’t move cars, here’s a guide that you can follow. 

#1. Collect All the Information

transferring a car from one state to another

Depending on where you’re moving, transferring a car from one state to another might be best through a service. Even though you won’t need a ton of information before you begin to gather quotes, it’s always good to be prepared. Different car transportation providers might require different information, but generally speaking, collect the following information:

  • The make, model, year, and operability of your car;
  • The ideal shipping time frame;
  • The pickup and delivery location;
  • The type of shipping option such as door-to-door or open vs. enclosed transport;
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN);
  • Basic contact information such as your email address and phone number.

#2. Research Your Options to Move a Car to Another State

If you are interested in exploring your options, you can make sure that you choose one that makes the most financial and logistical sense.

Hiring a Professional Auto Transportation Company

car transport from state

Finding a car shipping company is undoubtedly the least stressful way to go about this process. They will handle everything for you which can significantly reduce your stress during an already stressful moving process. Before choosing a company, make sure to gather at least three different quotes to compare prices. Here are some qualifications that the company should have:

  • Licensed and insured for any interstate moves. You can verify this information through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website and find the U.S. DOT number;
  • Strong ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB);
  • Recent online reviews that are positive.

Asking Your Movers

In some cases, the professional moving company that you hire might be able to move your car on your behalf. While you’re collecting quotes from companies, make sure to ask whether they offer transportation services. In the case that they don’t, they can still connect you with an auto transport service with good reviews. 

Hitching a Car to a Truck

ship car state to state

State-to-state vehicle transport can also be accomplished by hitching your car to a moving truck using a car trailer or tow dolly. If you’re interested in this option, reach out to the truck rental company to see if this is possible. However, keep in mind that this can make driving the truck more difficult, so if you’re already uncomfortable, it might not be suitable.

Hiring a Professional Driver

state to state vehicle transport

Professional driving companies, also called concierge transportation companies, can also handle the task of moving your car across states. If needed, many of these companies also offer pet transportation services, stopping as needed for bathroom breaks along the way. As you can imagine, this is a more expensive option and it will put some mileage on your car. If you’re looking to reduce stress, though, it can be a great option. Of course, always make sure that these companies have pre-vetted drivers and that their services are covered by insurance in the case of an accident. 

Driving Yourself

If you’re feeling up to it, another simple way to get your car from one state to another is driving it yourself. Even though this is the most time-consuming option, it gives you the most control over the process. This is especially ideal if you are moving a short distance as it won’t be too stressful or expensive. Even if you are driving across multiple states, you can still take advantage of this option. Make sure to plan and factor in plenty of rest stops. Longer drives can even be broken into multiple days with overnight stops in between, allowing you to rest and recover before hitting the road again. 

#3. Prepare Your Car for the Move

how are cars transported

Regardless of the approach that you take for state-to-state car transportation, you’ll want to make sure that your car is properly prepared. Even though it doesn’t need to be in absolutely perfect condition, there are a few basic things that you should put on your to-do list ahead of time. Here are some requirements for you to consider:

  • Leave some gas in it: Your gas tank doesn’t need to be full but you also don’t want it to be empty. Ideally, you’ll make sure that you have about a quarter tank of gas before the moving truck shows up. In some cases, the carrier might need to drive it around before unloading or loading it on or off the tow dolly;
  • Take out personal items: Auto transportation companies will ask that you take out your personal items from the car before it’s shipped. Some companies allow you to keep your things inside, but there are weight limits to keep in mind as well as packing instructions that you’ll need to follow; 
  • Carefully inspect your vehicle: Regardless of how careful a truck driver is, your car can become damaged. Make sure to carefully look over both the interior and exterior of your vehicle, taking videos and photos to capture its condition. Once the move is over, you’ll be able to easily determine if and where any damage occurred;
  • Fasten the seatbelts: While in transit, your vehicle will vibrate and shake. This could cause the metal connectors to become loose and cause damage such as breaking a window. 

#4. Conduct Your Move

The next step in transferring a car from one state to another is executing the move. If you’re going to use a shipping company, you’ll want to coordinate with them ahead of moving day so you know how the process is going to work. The company will likely let you know when they will be able to meet you to pick up your vehicle. You or another representative should meet with the driver and go over a few things before the process continues. At this time, here is what we recommend:

  • Go over the vehicle: Even though you’ve already done this ahead of time, it’s important to do so again with the carrier. You’ll be able to explain anything noteworthy about the condition of your car and identify any damage. This conversation can help protect both parties in the case that the vehicle is damaged during transit. Of course, everything should be documented throughout this process;
  • Sign the bill of lading: A standard legal form called a Bill of Lading is used in many logistics services such as car transportation. This will outline the specifics of the shipping agreement and take note of any existing damage. As the car owner, you’ll need to sign this before the driver leaves and once again when you receive your vehicle. 

So how long does it take to ship a car to another state? Keep in mind that the answer to this depends on the overall distance being covered. Several factors in play can dictate how long a shipment takes such as traffic, accidents on the road, or weather conditions. If possible, track your vehicle via GPS which is typically offered as part of the shipping service. If the process takes longer than anticipated, don’t panic. You can always call the company directly and ask for an update. 

How to Save on Shipping a Car?

how long does it take to ship a car to another state

If you opt to ship your car from state to state, there are still ways that you can save money along the way. Even though some prices are going to be fixed, there are a few opportunities for you to cut back on costs:

  • Be flexible on dates: In the same way that being flexible about airplane tickets can reduce costs, the same is true for shipping a car. 
  • Choose open transport: Even though open-carrier shipping comes with a bit more risk versus enclosed shipping, it can save you a significant amount of money
  • Gather multiple quotes: Shopping around with multiple companies is the easiest way to find the best rate. Don’t go with the first company that you contact.
  • Pay in cash: In many cases, auto transporters offer cash discounts. Bring this up when you’re discussing quotes.
  • Opt for terminal-to-terminal shipping: Some companies offer shipments between two central locations instead of door-to-door shipping. If you opt for this route, make sure to consider the time it will take you to drop off and pick up your vehicle from these terminals. 
  • Keep an eye out for discounts: Even though car transport discounts aren’t too common, they’re offered in some cases. For example, some companies offer military discounts or senior citizen discounts. 


State-to-state car transportation doesn’t have to be a hassle! Finding the right company to assist you will go a long way in reducing your stress. If you’re looking for an out-of-state moving company that can assist you with other aspects of your move, our team at Alliance Moving & Storage can help. Even though we don’t offer car transportation, we are happy to assist you with everything else moving-related. We are a trusted moving company that prides itself on our honest, hardworking, and trustworthy team. Contact us today for a free quote.