Whether relocating cross-country or taking an extended road trip, shipping your vehicle can be a convenient alternative to driving it yourself. However, there are several important factors to consider when arranging a cross-country car shipment Car Transport Across the U.S..
This article will provide an overview of the different transportation options, potential costs, and things to prepare for to help make the process as smooth as possible.
The two primary transportation methods for shipping a car across the country are enclosed auto transport and open auto transport.
Enclosed transport, where the vehicle is fully enclosed in a metal truck carrier, protects against various weather conditions and other potential road hazards but generally costs more.
Open transport involves strapping down the vehicle directly to the deck of a transport truck where it is exposed to the elements. While less expensive, open transport leaves the vehicle more susceptible to debris, rain, and other environmental factors during transit.
Some carriers may offer an enclosed drop-off and open pickup to try and find a balance between protection and cost.
Time in Transit
Most professional auto transport companies are able to deliver a vehicle across country within 7-10 business days.
However, factors like truck capacity, route, and volume of shipments can impact delivery times, so asking for estimated arrival dates is important.
Oversized or high-value vehicles may take slightly longer as they are shipped individually versus in groups. Being flexible on the drop-off end dates can help avoid additional storage or redelivery fees if there are unforeseen delays.
Common Cost Considerations
|Most carriers charge per mile, typically $2-4 per mile depending on vehicle size.
|Additional fees if pickup/drop-off locations require significant route detours.
|Oversize Vehicle Surcharges
|Fees for large SUVs, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. that take up extra space.
|Enclosure or Protection Upgrades
|As mentioned before, enclosed transport provides more protection but costs more.
|Delivery/Pickup Date Restrictions
|Special request fees for arrival dates like weekends or holidays.
Total transportation costs usually range from $1,000-3,000 depending on the above factors like distance, vehicle size, and any additional services. Getting quotes from multiple carriers helps find the best rate.
Online estimators can provide a preliminary cost projection before directly contacting transport companies.
Vehicle Preparation – Car Transport Across the U.S.
Prior to dropping off a vehicle for transport, there are a few important preparations to make. Thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior is recommended, as transported vehicles tend to collect more debris on the road. Remove any loose items from the passenger compartment, trunk, and any other exterior areas.
Check that gas level is around half a tank to avoid running out of fuel during transit. Inspect for and repair any existing dents, scratches or mechanical issues so they mistaken as damage occurring during transport. Finally, fill out any required inspection forms detailing the pre-existing vehicle condition.
Additionally, consider emptying and securely sealing the fuel tank on older vehicles to prevent potential fuel leaks at high altitudes or temperatures. Disconnecting battery terminals can help avoid draining if the vehicle sits for extended periods.
Notifying your insurance company of the upcoming transport move allows coverage continuation. Communicating any special delivery/access instructions like gate codes to the transport company also eases the final step.
What to Expect Day of Delivery
Upon arriving on the scheduled delivery date, the driver will perform an inspection with you to note any existing damage prior to unloading. Photographing or videoing this process provides documentation in case future issues arise. Have your license and registration ready for vehicle check-in.
Once the vehicle is lowered from the transport truck, a test drive is usually done with the driver to ensure no mechanical problems developed in transit. Delivery times can vary, so being flexible on the arrival date is important as trucks may arrive earlier or later than originally estimated.
Car Transport Across the U.S. – Parting Words:
Arranging vehicle transport across long distances requires some coordination but allows owning relocation or trips hassle-free.
With the right preparation and carrier selection based on needs and budget, the vehicle delivery process tends to go very smoothly.
Don’t hesitate to ask the transport company any other questions beforehand to ensure a satisfying shipping experience.