Moving across the country? Or have you purchased a new car from another state and didn’t want to drive to pick it up personally? In these cases, you’ll need to ship your car to your home or another final destination.
But alongside cost, you also need to consider time. Today, let’s explore how long it takes to ship a car and how to prep your car for efficient, streamlined shipping with minimal hassle.
When Is Shipping Your Car Necessary?
Wait a second — your car has a working engine and wheels. Why do you need to ship your car in the first place? You may need to ship your car from one place to the other, whether that's across the state or the country, in a few specific circumstances.
Firstly, if you have to move across the country, you’ll want to ship your car rather than drive it yourself. Odds are you’ll need to drive a moving van or truck to carry your stuff from place to place.
Don’t hire another driver or enlist a friend to drive your vehicle. Just ship your car to relieve stress from an already stressful experience.
Secondly, you may want to ship your car if you try to display it at a local show. Say you have an antique roadster, a sports car, or some other prime vehicle that needs to look pristine when it shows up at the event.
You may not want to risk driving your vehicle yourself, exposing it to wear and tear, and even the possibility of an accident.
Shipping your car, especially with an enclosed car hauling service from Carvaygo, is much safer and minimizes the likelihood of anything happening to your vehicle on the way to its destination.
Online Car Purchases
Lastly, if you purchase a car online, you may not want to drive to retrieve the car personally. That involves, after all, either renting a vehicle or enlisting a friend or family member to drive you to your vehicle’s pickup spot.
Shipping your vehicle to your door or at least to your city is much easier, and may even be cheaper in the long run.
Plus, you can rest assured that your car will arrive at your home or local city in good condition, rather than having to immediately depreciate its condition by driving it long distances yourself after finalizing the purchase.
What Goes Into Shipping a Car?
A lot goes into shipping a car safely and successfully. Keeping these key things in mind will help you ship your car from your current location to its final destination, like your new home, with minimal headaches and frustration.
Selecting Your Shipping Company
First, you must select the correct shipping company for your needs. Car hauling services can vary dramatically in terms of:
For example, some car hauling services only offer standard car hauling, where your vehicle will be exposed to the elements and loaded onto a multilayer truck.
Others offer enclosed car hauling services, like Carvaygo, which is ideal for luxury vehicles or sports cars you can’t bear to see dented or damaged on the road.
Do some research into a shipping company before signing on any dotted lines. Generally, your shipping company should have an excellent reputation; you can research reputations using resources like Google and Yelp.
Of course, you’ll also want a car shipping company with good prices and competitive rates. Don’t necessarily go with a company with the overall cheapest rates, however.
Those cheap rates could come with strings attached, requiring you to drop off your car at an auto transport terminal.
Speaking of transport terminals, some shipping companies may require you to bring your car to one. Auto transport terminals are essentially car lots where you drop off your car. Afterward, the car shipping company picks up your vehicle and delivers it to its final destination.
Be sure to determine whether a car hauling company also needs you to pick up your car from an auto transport terminal near your new home.
Some companies will deliver your car door-to-door. This may or may not be possible, depending on the location of your new home and the policy of the car hauling company.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Of course, you also need to prepare your vehicle for transit. Prepping your car for shipping can be as intense and involved as you like. Generally, however, you should:
- Clean the exterior and interior of your car. You don’t have to deep-clean your vehicle, but cleaning it will make it easier to maneuver and use for the car haulers if necessary.
- Ensure the tires are good to go in case the car hauling company needs to drive the vehicle into a truck or around an auto transport lot.
- Ensure the car’s oil is changed and it has been checked for mechanical issues for the same reasons above.
Once all this is done, take plenty of photos of your vehicle before the car hauling service you have contracted arrives. Taking photos is important, so you have physical evidence on hand if your vehicle is damaged when you receive it.
If the car hauling company tries to backtrack and say that a dent or scratch was already on your vehicle, you can produce photographic evidence showing that that isn’t the case. In such circumstances, you can file a lawsuit or recover an insurance payment to cover the damage.
Transporting Your Car
Transporting your car depends on the policy of your car-hauling service. Some car-hauling services will pick up your vehicle at a date and time that works for you, driving up to your door or garage to retrieve the vehicle.
Others may require you to visit your home's nearest auto transport terminal. They may also require you to visit an auto transport terminal near your new home or final destination to pick up your car.
If it’s the latter case, schedule enough time to transport your car to these destinations. You’ll also need to arrange pickup and drop-off for you.
For instance, if you have to drop your car off at an auto transport terminal so it can be shipped across the country, you'll need a way to get back home to get on the road with your moving van. Bring a friend or family member, or hire a rideshare service.
How Long Does It Take To Ship a Car?
The time it takes to ship a car varies heavily depending on factors like:
- The distance between the two points. For instance, it will take less time to ship a car from California to Nevada than from California to New York just because of the distance involved.
- The type of car hauling you've contracted. Enclosed car hauling services may be a little slower due to the extra care and attention given to your vehicle by transportation specialists.
- The weather and season. If the weather is bad, you can expect car-hauling drivers to take more time on the roads.
However, car shipping companies typically pick up vehicles (or request that you drop vehicles off at an auto transport terminal) within five days of contracting them. After your vehicle is picked up, you can expect it to take anywhere from one week to three weeks to arrive at its final destination.
Your car hauling service should be able to provide you with an estimate for your vehicle’s delivery date. Good car hauling services should also regularly update you on the status of your car shipment, so you know where your vehicle is and when to expect it to arrive.
The Bottom Line
Shipping a car can take several days to several weeks or even longer; it depends on the distance between points, the type of car you want to ship, and the car service you choose.
Picking a knowledgeable, experienced car transportation service like Carvaygo can help you get your vehicle where it needs to go ASAP.
With Carvaygo, you'll benefit from fast, efficient car hauling, whether moving the family car, a fancy sports car, or something else.
Contact us today to learn more.
Should You Ship Your Car or Drive It When You Move? | Move.org
Car Maintenance Guide: Everything You Need to Know | Kelley Blue Book
How Long Does It Take to Ship My Car? | Move.org