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Shipping A Car Across Country: Costs and Saving Tips Guide

Shipping A Car Across Country: Costs and Saving Tips Guide

The Fastest & Easiest Way to Ship a Car Cross-Country

Transport car across country

Transport a Car Cross-Country with the Experts

When you need to transport a car across country, you need a long distance car shipping company that you can rely on. When driving is not an option due to excessive distance, shipping a car across country may be the most convenient way to go.

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Transport car across country

Transport a Car Cross-Country with the Experts

When you need to transport a car across country, you need a long distance car shipping company that you can rely on. When driving is not an option due to excessive distance, shipping a car across country may be the most convenient way to go.

Direct Door-To-Door Service Anywhere in the Country

Our advanced network of certified carriers can provide you with safe and reliable door-to-door car shipping service anywhere in the country.

Cross-Country Car Shipping Services

Whether you are relocating for work, moving to a new state, or need to move your vehicle across the country for another reason, you may be considering cross-country car shipping services. To help you make the right shipping decision, let's explore the basics of cross-country auto shipping, including the process, timelines, cost factors, and tips for successful transport. We also highlight the importance of relying on car shipping experts like RoadRunner Auto Transport for your cross-country auto transport needs.

Table of Contents

  1. The Basics of Cross-Country Auto Shipping
  2. What is Cross-Country Car Shipping?
  3. What's Important to Know about Cross-Country Car Shipping
  4. How Long Does Cross-Country Car Shipping Take?
  5. Is Cross-Country Car Shipping Door-to-Door?
  6. Cross-Country Car Shipping Cost Factors
  7. Cross-Country Car Shipping: Trust the Experts & Top Tips
  8. Top 10 Tips for Cross-Country Car Shipping
  9. Contact RoadRunner Auto Transport for Your Car Shipping Needs

The Basics of Cross-Country Auto Shipping

As people continue to relocate for work, family, or simply starting a new chapter in their lives, the need for long-distance transportation, particularly for vehicles, has become more common. Cross-country car shipping is a convenient solution to safely transport vehicles over thousands of miles without adding unnecessary wear and tear on them. Let's explore the basics of cross-country auto shipping, including its definition, important points to consider, the cost factors, and more.

What is Cross-Country Car Shipping?

Cross-country car shipping refers to the transportation of vehicles across long distances (usually across multiple states or coast-to-coast) using specialized auto carriers. Instead of driving the vehicle yourself or hiring a driver, professional auto transport companies will ship cars across country in their trucks and deliver it directly to your designated location. These companies typically use open or enclosed carriers and have options for customers with unique needs, including classic cars, luxury vehicles, and even motorcycles.

What's Important to Know about Cross-Country Car Shipping

When considering cross-country auto shipping, it's essential to understand several key aspects:
  • Vehicle Preparation: Before shipping your car, you should take steps to prepare it for transport. This includes removing personal belongings, disabling alarms, checking fluid levels, and noting any existing damage. Some carriers may also ask you to keep your gas tank at a specific level (usually less than half) to reduce weight.
  • Carrier types: You can choose between open and enclosed carriers for your cross-country shipment. Open carriers are more common and less expensive but offer less protection from the elements. Enclosed carriers provide better protection but come at a higher cost. Your decision depends on the type of vehicle you're shipping and your budget.
  • Insurance coverage: Most car shipping companies are required to have insurance to cover potential damages during transportation. However, it's essential to verify the terms and coverage limits of that insurance, as well as how it works with your personal auto insurance policy.
  • Scheduling: Make sure to book your car shipment in advance to ensure there's enough space on a carrier and you can count on accurate shipping timelines. This is especially important during popular seasons like holidays or summer break.

How Long Does Cross-Country Car Shipping Take?

Your delivery timeline will depend on factors such as distance, weather, traffic, and carrier schedules. On average, cross-country vehicle shipments can take between 7-10 days. You should expect shorter transit times if you're shipping between highly populated locations and longer times for more remote destinations. It's essential to work with your auto transport company to determine the estimated transit time for your cross country vehicle shipping.

Is Cross-Country Car Shipping Door-to-Door?

RoadRunner Auto Transport provides direct door-to-door cross-country car shipping services. With door-to-door service, the carrier will pick up your vehicle at your specified location and deliver it directly to your destination. In some cases door-to-door service could be limited by factors such as narrow streets, low overpasses, or local restrictions. In the instance that the carrier cannot access the specific location, they will contact you to determine an appropriate meeting spot nearby to ensure a safe place to load or unload your vehicle.
Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves having your car dropped off and picked up at centralized transportation hubs. While this option may save you money, it could be less convenient, adding additional time and coordination to your plans. When considering your shipping method, weigh the pros and cons of both options against your budget and schedule.

Cross-Country Car Shipping Cost Factors

The price of cross-country car shipment is affected by many factors. Some of the most significant ones include:
  • Distance: Generally, the longer the shipping route, the more expensive the service will be. Rates can fluctuate depending on the price of fuel, potential tolls, and the specific regions involved in the transport.
  • Vehicle make and model: The size, weight, and type of car being shipped can influence the final cost. Larger and heavier vehicles may require more space and resources, leading to a higher rate. Luxury, classic, or custom vehicles may also command premium prices due to specialized handling and transport protocols.
  • Shipping method: As we mentioned earlier, your choice of open or enclosed carrier will impact the overall price. Enclosed carriers, while offering more protection, can be significantly more expensive due to the limited number of vehicles they can accommodate. Terminal-to-terminal service will generally be more affordable than door-to-door but might not offer the same level of convenience.
  • Time of year: Demand for car shipping services varies throughout the year. Most companies experience a surge during the summer months and holiday seasons, leading to higher prices. Booking your shipment well in advance and avoiding peak periods can save you money.
Researching and comparing quotes from multiple auto transport companies will help you find the best option for your specific needs and budget. Be sure to verify each company's credentials, customer reviews, and insurance coverage before making your decision.

Cross-Country Car Shipping: Trust the Experts & Top Tips

When it comes to transporting a valuable possession like your car across the country, it's crucial to place your trust in car shipping experts. Professional car shipping companies possess the necessary experience, equipment, and insurance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free cross-country auto transport experience. Working with these professionals provides you with the following benefits:
  • Peace of Mind: When your vehicle is in the hands of car shipping experts with experience safely transporting cars across the country, you can relax. In addition, these experts are knowledgeable about the legal requirements and complexities of interstate transportation.
  • Time and Cost Savings: Driving your car across the country can be both time-consuming and expensive. Professional car shipping services are designed to save your time and reduce your overall expense by handling everything from pickup to delivery.
  • Insurance Coverage: Reputable auto transport companies are required to carry valid insurance to cover any potential damages during transportation. This ensures that your vehicle is protected financially in case of an accident.

Top 10 Tips for Cross-Country Car Shipping

Now that you understand the importance of trusting car shipping experts for your cross-country auto transport, let's dive into the top ten tips to make the process seamless and stress-free.
  • Research the Car Shipping Company: Investigate the company before finalizing the deal. Verify their USDOT number and consult online reviews. This will help ensure they're a reputable company that takes care of customers.
  • Choose the Right Transport Type: There are two primary transport types available for cross-country car shipping: open and enclosed carriers. Open carriers are more cost-effective but provide less protection for your vehicle against the elements. Enclosed carriers offer more vehicle protection but come at a higher cost. Think about your budget and how much protection you want for your car when deciding.
  • Prepare Your Car for Shipping: Before handing over your car to the car shipping company, ensure it is in good working order by checking the battery, fluid levels, and tire pressure. Remove any valuables, personal belongings, and any aftermarket parts that might not be covered by the carrier's insurance.
  • Document the Condition of Your Car: Before pickup, take high-resolution pictures of your car from all angles. Ensure that the pictures are well-lit and clearly show the current condition of your car, including any pre-existing damages. Share these photos with the carrier and keep them as evidence in case of any disputes.
  • Be Flexible with Pickup and Delivery Dates: Typically, car shipping companies provide a window of a few days for both pickup and delivery. Being flexible with these dates allows the company to consolidate shipments efficiently, lowering their costs and potentially saving you money.
  • Ask about the Insurance Coverage: Ensure that you understand the extent of the company's insurance coverage. Know the deductible, the types of damages covered, and the claims process before signing the contract.
  • Keep Open Lines of Communication: Maintain contact with the car shipping company during the transportation process. Carriers usually provide regular updates; however, it's essential to be proactive and ask questions if needed.
  • Inspect Your Car upon Delivery: Upon receiving your car at the destination, thoroughly inspect it for any damages that may have occurred during transit. If you find any issues, take photos immediately and report them to the car shipping company.
  • Be Mindful of Additional Costs and Fees: When finalizing your contract with the car shipping service, ask about additional expenses, such as terminal storage fees or expedited delivery options. This will help you avoid unexpected costs.

Contact RoadRunner Auto Transport for Your Car Shipping Needs

If you're interested in effective, efficient, and reliable car shipping services, RoadRunner Auto Transport has got you covered. Our team of experienced shipping professionals are able to provide you with the highest level of vehicle shipping service, at the best possible rates.

Establishing Initial Communication

Having a dedicated team attending to your inquiries plays a vital role in choosing your shipping partner. With RoadRunner Auto Transport you can instantly chat with our customer support team to address your questions and concerns. We make it easy to get in touch with us and address anything that may come up during your relocation.

Benefits of Shipping With RoadRunner Auto Transport

RoadRunner Auto Transport specializes in various logistics services satisfying the diverse needs of customers. Some of our core services include:
  • Advanced Carrier Network: RoadRunner Auto Transport has a vast network of shipping professionals, utilizing over 15,000 certified carriers to simplify your transport from pick-up to delivery.
  • Transportation Management System (TMS): RoadRunner's TMS helps streamline and automate vehicle transportation planning, execution, and monitoring for a seamless relocation.
  • Top-Rated Auto Shipping: We have thousands of 5-star reviews for exceptional vehicle shipping services across all major review platforms. When you ship with RoadRunner, you get over 30 years of vehicle shipping experience on your side.

Tips to Enhance Your RoadRunner Auto Transport Experience

Optimizing your experience with RoadRunner Auto Transport requires clear communication and understanding of our processes. Here are some tips for a seamless process:
  • Pre-book Shipments: Provide accurate shipment details ahead of time to ensure a seamless process.
  • Plan for Seasonal Fluctuations: Communicate with your RoadRunner representative to accommodate sudden changes in volume or demand during peak seasons.
  • Track Shipments: Utilize the tracking tools provided by RoadRunner to closely monitor your shipments and make necessary adjustments promptly.
  • Give Feedback: Share your concerns or positive experiences to help both parties improve their processes and maintain a strong business relationship.
These tips will help ensure your logistics process is efficient and hassle-free.

Variations in Service Offerings

No two shipments are the same, and RoadRunner Auto Transport understands that. That's why we offer a variety of services, tackling specific needs and industry requirements. RoadRunner specializes in managing auto shipments for businesses and individuals, providing services tailored to each specific shipments needs. To further enhance your experience, we are committed to continually expanding and adapting our services in response to customer feedback and market changes.
Ready to get started? Contact RoadRunner Auto Transport today.

Common Cross-Country Car Shipping Questions

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

The cost to ship a car across the US depends on several factors such as the distance between the pickup and delivery locations, the type of vehicle being shipped, the method of transportation, and the time of year.
On average it can cost anywhere from $500 to $1500 to ship a car across the US. It is recommended to get quotes from multiple car shipping companies to compare prices and services.

What is the best way to ship a car across the US?

The best way to ship a car across the US is to hire a reputable auto transport company.
Additionally, consider whether you want open or enclosed transport, and whether you would like to take advantage of top-load service if shipping on an open carrier. Finally, make sure to properly prepare you car for transport by removing personal items, documenting any existing damage, and securing any loose parts or accessories.

How do I ship a car across the States?

There are a few steps to follow when shipping a car across the states:
  • Choose the right auto transport company: Research and choose a reputable auto transport company with experience in long-distance shipping. Check reviews, insurance, and licensing before making a decision.
  • Choose the type of transport: Decide between open or enclosed transport. Open transport is more common and cost-effective, while enclosed transport offers more protection for your vehicle.
  • Get a quote: Get an instant car shipping quote quote online or by calling (888) 777-2123 and find out the price and carrier availability for your specific route.
  • Prepare your car for shipment: Clean your car, remove any personal items, and take photos of any existing damage.
  • Pick-up and delivery options: Decide on a pick-up and delivery location. Try to ensure that the carrier will be able to access both the pick-up and delivery location.
  • Insurance: RoadRunner Auto Transport offers the most comprehensive coverage options available in the industry. Ship with the peace of mind knowing your vehicle is safe and sound.
  • Review the contract: Carefully read and review the contract before signing. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions and ask questions if anything is unclear.
  • Track your shipment: Track your shipment online 24/7 with the RoadRunner Transport Tracker.
  • Delivery and inspection: Once your car arrives, inspect it for any damage and note any issues on the delivery form.

Is it cheaper to ship a car than drive?

Transporting a car through a professional car shipping service can be more expensive than driving it yourself, especially for short distances. However, there are several factors to consider, such as the distance, time, fuel costs, wear and tear on the car and your own time. Depending on the circumstances of your move, you will also need to consider air fare, lodging, and anything else associated with a return trip. If you're planning a long-distance move or you have a luxury or classic car that requires special handling, it may be cheaper and safer to use a professional car shipping service.
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With over 25,000 certified open and enclosed carriers nationwide, we offer the most convenient cross-country auto transport options.

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Pay nothing until a carrier is confirmed for your route and your shipment has been scheduled for pickup.

Online Shipment Tracking

Track the status of your cross-country vehicle transport online 24/7 and stay informed until your vehicle is safely delivered.

Shipping car across country

"5 star service! I would recommend RoadRunner to anyone looking for professional shipping service at a fair price."

Ian C.

Jacksonville, FL

5 stars
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"I was able to get a quote and book within a few minutes. Simple and convenient experience - thank you RoadRunner!"

John T.

Houston, TX

5 stars
shopper approved reviews

"Everything with RoadRunner went smooth and seamless. They gave me a great rate and provided excellent service!"

Owen A.

Hartford, CT

5 stars
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"From the time of quote to the pick up of my vehicle and the delivery there was a very good communication."

Andres M.

Oakland, CA

5 stars
better business bureau reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the vehicle shipping process.


Yes, we can ship vehicles that are in non-running/inoperable condition. When inoperable cars are shipped, a special auto carrier is required that makes use of a winch which is connected to your car and slowly and safely pulls your vehicle onto the carrier. There is an additional fee for inpoerable vehicles because of the special equipment and extra work involved with securing the vehicle onto the transporter. You can select the inoperable option on the online booking form or inform your shipping agent if you make your reservation by phone so that the proper arrangements can be made to accomodate a non-running vehicle.

You may transport personal belongings in your car, as long as their total weight does not exceed 100 pounds and they are stored in the trunk or back seat (below the window line). Please keep in mind that personal belongings are not covered by insurance if they are reported as damaged or missing.

The transit time for your shipment is based mostly on the mileage between the pickup and delivery location. Generally, every five hundred miles will add one day to the transit time - so for a 1,000 mile transport, the transit time would be 2-3 days. Check out our estimated transit times for a detailed view of approximate delivery times.

To get a quote for shipping your vehicle, you can either use our instant online car shipping quote calculator above or you can call (888) 422-7584 to receive a quote from one of our car transport pricing specialists. In order for us to calculate your quote we will need to know the location you are shipping from and to, the type of vehicle you would like to ship, and the date your vehicle will be ready.

No, we just need the vehicle and keys.

We will need the address for the locations that your vehicle will be picked up from and delivered to, along with the name and phone number of the contact person at each location. We will also need the date that your vehicle will be ready and the year, make, and model of the vehicle(s) that will be transported.

Make sure your car has been completely cleaned, both inside and outside. This is particularly important because this will help the driver conduct their inspection in order to assess any pre-existing damage on your vehicle. You will also want to make there are no additional personal items in the vehicle unless you intend to ship those with the vehicle (remember those items must total less than 100 pounds combined and be kept below the window-line of the vehicle). Be sure to inform the driver of any special circumstances concerning the vehicle. Finally, make sure there is a quarter tank of gas in the car at the time it is picked up for shipment.