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How to Ship a Car

If you're moving to another state and don’t want to drive or have your car towed, here's how to work with a reliable auto transport service.


  • Step 1: List your auto shipping requirements List your shipping requirements, including your budget, your pickup and delivery dates and locations, and the approximate travel mileage involved.
  • Step 2: Research companies online Go online and research auto shipping companies. At these sites, you can request quotes from brokers and car shippers.
  • Step 3: Compare bids Compare shipper bids. Look for a reputable company. Select a shipper that has a fair dispute settlement program -- even among the best, problems sometimes arise.
  • TIP: Consider using an open carrier, instead of a closed one, or a multivehicle carrier.
  • Step 4: Check references, certificates, and safety record Check the shipper's insurance certificate and safety record at the Department of Transportation website. Contact the Better Business Bureau in the company's locale to see if there have been complaints and how they were handled.
  • Step 5: Prepare your car for shipping Prepare your car for shipping. Remove your valuables, clean your car, and take photos of the exterior and interior from a variety of angles. Leave no more than a half-tank of gas in your car.
  • Step 6: Inspect your car upon delivery Inspect your car thoroughly, inside and out, upon delivery. Compare your car's condition with the photos. Write up any damages on the bill of lading and ask the driver to sign it. Keep a copy of the bill for later reference.
  • FACT: A 1965 Volkswagen bus that was stolen in 1974 was found in 2009 in a shipping container at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

You Will Need

  • A computer with internet access
  • A camera
  • Sharp eyes

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