There are a couple of options so you don’t have to put extra miles on your vehicle.

If you’re making a long-distance move to a new apartment and don’t feel like driving your current vehicle all the way there, you have a few options.

You could sell your current car now and then buy a new or used car when you arrive in your new town. The issue with this option is that you’ll have a lot of extra work to do both before and after your move. It’s also quite possible that you end up without a car for an extended period if you choose this option. Choosing to sell and then buy could also end up costing you more than five thousand dollars in the difference of the values of the cars.

You can also choose to sell your current car and then make use of public transportation and/or ride-shares. Over time, this will continue to add up. You’ll also suffer the inconvenience of taking the bus or a ride-share multiple times each day.

cars on a car carrier

Why you should ship your car

Shipping your car to your new city will allow you to both have your own car, as well as save both time and money that you would lose selling/buying. Typically, shipping your car will cost between $800 and $2,000. This depends on the distance of your shipment, when you’re shipping your car and the shipping options that you select. Also, shipping your car means you’ll get it back fairly quickly.

How long will it take to ship your car?

The amount of time it will take to ship a vehicle will depend on a few things. The first and most important is the distance of your shipment. A cross-country shipment can take between 10 days and three weeks. For example, if you ship a car from Boston to Los Angeles, the estimated shipping time from a quote calculator is 12 days for a shipment in August 2021.

The reason for a disparity in the time frame is that demand for shipping at a particular date is pretty difficult to estimate. For the most accurate idea of how long a car shipment will take, you should always get a quote from any car shipping companies that you’re considering. The quote calculators on any auto transport companies’ websites are always kept up to date with the most current information.

How to ship a car

Shipping your car will involve a small amount of work on your end but it will still be quite simple. You’ll need to plan your shipment in advance, select a car shipper and prepare your vehicle for the shipment. If you are wondering how to ship a car, read the following steps!

1. Plan ahead

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Planning your car shipment is the first and most important part of the auto transport process. Without the right planning, you’ll not get the shipping dates that you desire, and you’ll likely end up overpaying, as well.

You should plan your car shipment six to eight weeks before you want your vehicle picked up. The main reason for this is that to get your preferred shipping dates, you should book your shipment three to four weeks in advance. If you plan to do that, you’ll be giving yourself at least two or three weeks to plan your shipment and shop around for the company that works best for you. It’s important to note here that pickup and drop-off dates for auto transport are estimates. When you book a shipment, there will be two-to-three-day windows for both the pickup and drop off of your vehicle. This is due to things like traffic and weather causing slight delays during transport.

2. Choose a car shipping company

When you’re choosing a car shipping company, you’ll have several companies to choose from. You might think they’re all equal or at least similar and the company with the lowest quoted price is the way to go. That usually is not the case. As with almost anything else, the cheapest option is almost always the lowest quality when it comes to shipping a vehicle.

That’s why it’s also important to research any company that you might be thinking of using for your shipment. Online reviews will give you a good picture of a car shipping company’s past customer service. You can read these reviews on sites such as and Google.

Once you’ve narrowed your search by using reviews, give the remaining companies a call and ask them any questions you might have. Here’s a list of questions that you could ask any prospective car shipping companies. After that, you’ll need to pick one company to book with. Do your best to book your shipment at least four weeks in advance to help ensure your spot, as well as the potential for a lower price.

3. Get ready for your car shipment

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Once you have your car shipment booked and scheduled, you’ll need to do three things to prepare. This includes removing any personal items, cleaning the outside of the car and making sure there’s about a quarter tank of gas in the vehicle. It will only take two or three hours to get these things done.

Items like gloves, sunglasses and jewelry must get removed as they’re not covered by the car shipping insurance. If damaged or lost during shipping, you’ll be responsible for the cost of these items. The car’s exterior must get cleaned because a visual inspection for damage will take place during the pickup. Your driver will check your car and make note of any damage that existed before the shipment for insurance purposes.

As far as the quarter tank of gas rule, your car must have at least a quarter tank of gas before it ships. The exception to this rule is if you’re shipping to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico. In the case of those shipments, your car will be on a boat for at least part of the shipment. This means your car’s gas tank cannot legally have more than a quarter tank of gas for fire safety reasons. You’ll still need to have enough gas in the car for it to drive onto and off of the car carrier several times. So, exactly a quarter tank is ideal in those cases.

4. Prepare to go without a car during your shipment

The amount of time that you’ll be without your car will depend primarily on how far you’re shipping. In most cases, that amount of time will range between one and two weeks. During that time, you’ll not have the vehicle that you’re shipping. Thus, you’ll need to arrange other transportation. This could include public transportation, carpooling, taxis and/or ride-shares, such as Uber and Lyft.

5. Receive your car

Receiving your car will be as simple as making sure that you’re at the agreed-upon delivery location during the delivery window. If you can’t be there, you may have someone you trust there who has a valid driver’s license and who is over the age of eighteen. Upon delivery, you’ll need to look over the car to make sure that there’s not any damage from the shipment. After this, you or they will need to sign the bill of lading.

cars on car carrier

Ways to save money when you’re shipping a car

There are a few great ways for you to save money on your car shipment. The first is to ship during less busy times of the year if you can. Non-peak times include the fall, winter and early spring. The exception to this is shipping right before or after holidays, such as Thanksgiving.

When you ship a car you could choose several upgrade options for your shipment, as well. This will include enclosed auto transport and top-loading. Although these options have their benefit, you should skip them if your primary concern is keeping costs as low as possible.

Finally, you should schedule your shipment as far in advance as possible. If you try and schedule your shipment the same week as the actual pickup date, you might be able to do so. But your shipment will likely cost a bit more due to the late notice and lower carrier availability.

Ship your car to reduce stress on moving day

Shipping your car to your new apartment in another state will help you focus on the rest of your move. It will save you the stress of having to drive hundreds or thousands of miles right before you have to move in. Thankfully, shipping a vehicle is easy.

You’ll need to ensure that you take your time to plan your shipment, choose a car shipping company that’s right for you and prepare for your shipment. Finally, don’t forget that the cost of shipping a car gets determined by several factors. The two most important factors are the distance of your shipment and when you’re shipping your car. If your primary concern is saving on your shipment, you should try to ship during off-peak months. You should also forego any premium upgrade options for the shipment.

Source Google News