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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 auto 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 auto 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 shipping 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 services 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 transport 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 Cross Country Car Transport Services

No two shipments are the same, and RoadRunner Auto Transport understands that. That's why we offer various services, tackling specific needs and industry requirements. RoadRunner manages auto shipments for businesses and individuals, providing services tailored to each shipment's needs. To further enhance your experience, we are committed to continually expanding and adapting our services in response to customer feedback and market changes.
Door to Door Car Shipping offers unparalleled convenience for individuals transporting their vehicles nationwide. This service eliminates the need for the vehicle owner to drive to a central hub or meet-up point. Instead, the shipping company picks up the vehicle directly from the customer's specified location and delivers it to the doorstep of their new destination, making the process hassle-free and straightforward.
Hawaii Car Shipping is a specialized service that caters to the unique challenges of transporting vehicles to and from the Hawaiian Islands. Given the geographical isolation of Hawaii, this service relies on maritime shipping solutions to bridge the distance. It ensures that vehicles are securely transported across the Pacific Ocean, providing peace of mind to vehicle owners moving or sending their cars to Hawaii.
Motorcycle Shipping is tailored to meet the specific needs of motorcycles being transported across long distances. This service considers motorcycles' unique dimensions, security requirements, and sensitivity. Specialized equipment and procedures ensure that motorcycles arrive at their destination safely, without damage, whether they are shipped alone or with other household belongings.
Military Vehicle Shipping addresses the specific requirements of military personnel who often face relocations across the country or overseas. This service often includes understanding military timelines, procedures, and the need for timely and secure transport of personal and service vehicles. Military vehicle shipping may offer specific accommodations or discounts in recognition of the service members' contributions.
These variations in cross-country car shipping services highlight RoadRunner's flexibility and commitment to meeting diverse customer needs. Whether you're moving a family sedan, a prized motorcycle, or a military vehicle, there's a tailored solution available.
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. Getting quotes from multiple vehicle shipping companies to compare prices and services is recommended.

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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Over 30 Years of Reliable Cross-Country Car Transport Service

Shipping a vehicle cross-country has never been easier.

Frequent Carrier Availability

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

"The driver was professional and courteous. Very pleased with my entire experience with RoadRunner Auto Transport."

Sally D.

Atlanta, GA

5 stars
google reviews

"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
transport reviews

"I couldn't have been happier with the service provided by RoadRunner to transport my car from CA to NY"

Deborah B.

Long Beach, CA

5 stars
better business bureau reviews
Average Cross Country Car Transport Price Estimations Based On Mileage
This table shows average price estimations for cross country car shipping based on distance. The prices per mile decrease as the distance increases, which is a common pricing structure in the car shipping industry.
Average Price Per Mile
Sample Distance
Sample Price
0-500 miles
250 miles
500-1,000 miles
700 miles
1,000-1,500 miles
1,000 miles
1,500-2,000 miles
1,750 miles
2,000-2,500 miles
2,400 miles
2,500-3,000 miles
2,700 miles
3,000-3,500 miles
3,200 miles
The following price per mile averages listed above reflect current market conditions as of March 2024
These rates are estimated and are subject to change due to seasonality, cost of fuel, exact locations, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Open transport is the most common car shipping method. There are two types of open-air transporters. The Majority of shipments are be made with 8-10 car carriers. Smaller carriers which hold 2-3 cars are used for shorter more local moves. There is broader network of carrier availability for open-air carriers since they are used more often. We suggest choosing enclosed shipping methods when shipping classic, luxury or exotic vehicles. Enclosed transporters guarantee maximum protection from exposure to any open-air elements on the road. We suggest booking your enclosed transport in advance since there is limited carrier availability. Read more about the difference between open and enclosed transport

When determining your car shipping cost, there are a few factors that we take into account in order to provide you with an accurate price quote. The mileage between the origin and destination is the biggest factor that contributes to your total rate. In addition to the distance of your relocation, another factor is the type and condition of the vehicle being shipped. The final factor is the date that your vehicle will be ready for transport. There are also additional options, such as enclosed carrier and top-load service that can be added to your shipment at the time of booking for a higher level of service. Read more about how much it costs to ship a car.

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.

Top load service is when your car is placed on the higher deck or level of an open auto transport trailer. This is considered to be preferable to the bottom load because the cars on the lower deck are at risk of possibly having fluid from the cars above leak on them.

Yes, through our advanced network of specialized carrier nationwide, we can ship vehicles of any size. However, you will need to call for a specialized rate quote based on the dimensions of the oversized vehicle you would like to ship. Our online quote calculator will not be able to generate a quote for you because pricing via the calculator is based only on standard and unmodified vehicle sizes and specfications.

Door-to-door car transport is the full service delivery of your vehicle directly from the door at the pickup location to the door at the delivery location. Our drivers do their best to get as close as physically and legally possible to the pickup and delivery locations, but in certain instances there may be restrictions preventing them from being able to safely reach your door. Our transporters need ample space to maneuver and load/unload your vehicle. If your street is too narrow, or if there are hazards such as low lining trees or power lines, drivers may ask that you meet them at a location nearby where they can safely load or unload your vehicle, such as a large parking lot or shopping center nearby.

Yes, there must be someone present to release and accept the vehicle, provide keys to the driver and sign the initial and final inspection reports. This person can be anyone over the age of 18 that you trust with releasing or accepting your vehicle.