Out Of State Car Accident: Getting Your Car Home

Getting in an accident is terrible. From personal injuries and medical bills to your car insurance policy and spikes in fees from the auto accident, you already have a lot to deal with whether you are the at-fault driver or it’s a no-fault accident.

Unfortunately, getting in an out-of-state car accident can be even worse. Not only are you far from home, but you have to call your insurance company to deal with insurance claims and injury claims and figure out how to get your car home ASAP.

Not sure what to do? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s explain how to get your car home after you’re involved in an out-of-state car accident case.

Why You Should Ship Your Car After a Car Accident

In a nutshell, it’s your responsibility.

If you’re involved in a car accident, especially out of state, you are responsible for moving your vehicle if it is inoperable or totaled. After a horrible car accident, your car might not be able to be driven safely. It may be completely unusable and little more than a hunk of junk in worst-case situations.

Many leave their vehicles on the road for a bit after an accident. However, you can't do that if your home is in another state. You need to get your vehicle shipped back home so it can be taken to a junkyard and examined for insurance payouts ASAP.

That’s where car shipping services come in. With the right car shipping service, you can bring your car back to your home state and get the insurance payout you need to get a new set of wheels in no time.

There’s a lot to consider, from the type of auto transport right for your car accident case to the different state your car crash happened in. Fortunately, Carvaygo may have the right option for you — visit our site to learn more.

If you don’t take care of shipping your vehicle, you could be liable for littering or other offenses.

Risks of Trying To Transport Your Vehicle on Your Own

  • Dangerous
  • Potentially Worse Damages
  • Difficult


Of course, you should never try to transport an inoperable or totaled vehicle by yourself. There are lots of risks to doing this.

Driving an inoperable or damaged vehicle after a car accident can be very dangerous. Maybe the steering column doesn’t work as well as it should, or one of the tires has lost pressure. Alternatively, perhaps the engine has a significant issue, and it could catch fire or explode without warning.

The bottom line is that you should never drive a damaged or inoperable vehicle after an accident, especially out of state, where you might have to move the car for a significant distance.

Potentially Worse Damages

In addition, transporting your vehicle on your own may lead to potentially worse and more expensive damages. For instance, you could get into another accident, damaging not just yourself and your car but also another vehicle or a rental truck.

Essentially, you expose yourself to higher costs and a greater risk of bodily harm by trying to transfer your vehicle on your own.


You also can’t forget the inherent difficulty in driving an inoperable or totaled vehicle after getting in a car accident. It’s tough to drive a damaged vehicle no matter what; driving one for possibly hundreds or thousands of miles from out of state back to your home state is almost impossible.

How To Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipment After an Accident

All in all, it’s always best for motorists to rely on a car shipping service or towing company to move their vehicle rather than driving it yourself. A car shipping service has the specialized equipment and personnel needed to safely move inoperable vehicles from place to place. Plus, they have special tools to move cars without essential mobile functions, like steering or braking capabilities.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can adequately prep your car for shipping after an accident:

  • First, be sure to find a worthwhile car transportation company. Some auto transport companies handle damaged or totaled vehicles; others, such as Carvaygo, do not handle inoperable cars. Therefore, you may need to look into multiple auto transport companies and get quotes to determine which is suitable for your budget and needs
  • Try to hire an auto transport company with great reviews and a reputation for reliability
  • Examine your damaged vehicle and determine whether it can move, what its capabilities are (i.e., can you steer the vehicle? Is it able to roll? Are the fluids still in the car?), and whether it’s relatively easy to move on to a trailer or flatbed. Give this information to your chosen auto transportation company.
  • Remove all the personal items in your car. The last thing you want is your wallet, keys, or other personal items to be lost in a junkyard after you move your vehicle to a distant location.
  • Then drain any fluids if it’s possible to do so safely. Some of these fluids can be emptied on the road, while others may need to be emptied into distinct containers and disposed of safely. If you can’t drain the fluid yourself, tell the auto transport company, and they’ll be able to do it for you.
  • Once this is all done, you can oversee the damaged vehicle being loaded into a truck or trailer and send it on its way.

Generally, you must prepare your vehicle for shipment after an accident so that the salvage or transportation company doesn’t run into any major surprises.

What Makes a Car Unsalvageable?

Generally, a car is "unsalvageable" when your insurance company determines that it would cost more money to repair the vehicle back to working condition than it would be to furnish you with a new car. This usually occurs if there is significant external damage to the vehicle or the accident significantly impacts the vehicle's frame.

However, knowing whether a car is unsalvageable can be challenging if you don’t have experience appraising vehicles. Contact your insurance company after taking photos of the crash and damage and listen to their recommendation.

Remember, unsalvageable is not the same thing as inoperable. An inoperable vehicle cannot drive on the road without assistance (such as a car that can no longer accelerate when you push down on the gas pedal). An unsalvageable vehicle cannot or should not get repaired.

Dealing with Insurance

As mentioned above, you must contact your insurance company ASAP after being involved in an out-of-state car accident. Tell them:

  • What happened
  • The damage to your car
  • How can they get the police for more information

Contacting your insurance company is essential, so you don’t face unnecessary fees. Furthermore, your insurance coverage may increase your premiums even higher if you don’t tell them about an accident at the earliest opportunity.

More importantly, telling your insurance company lets them appraise your vehicle quickly. They can determine whether it is unsalvageable (and thus should be sent to a junkyard or salvage company) or if it should be repaired (and thus should be sent to a repair center or car manufacturing plant).

You’ll also want to consider the laws of the state where you had your accident, any property damage you may have caused or sustained, and whether you need to take legal action. On top of wrecking your motor vehicle, you’ll have to deal with car accident claims, bodily injuries, and medical expenses after an accident. Car accident and personal injury attorneys aren’t hard to find. Depending on your injuries and situation, you may want to go to a law firm or law office for assistance with personal injury protection or for dealing with your auto insurance policy.

Once you have this information, you can tell it to the auto transport company you’ve hired. That way, they know where to bring the wreck.

What if You Have an Out-of-State Car Accident?

An out-of-state car accident just makes the process a little more complicated. But the overall steps are the same.

  • Try to find an auto transport company that is local relative to the accident site.
  • Contact your own insurance company immediately so you can tell them where to bring the vehicle.
  • Get a hotel or other accommodations instead of returning home right away. Remember, you are responsible for moving your totaled or inoperable vehicle.
  • If the car gets towed to a junkyard or auto storage facility, in the meantime, you can give that information to the auto transport company to move it back to your home state.
  • In some cases, your insurance company may recommend that you bring the car to a location in your current state rather than your home state

Don't forget to contact someone or arrange other transport accommodations for yourself. If your vehicle is inoperable or totaled, you won't be able to drive it back home.

Bottom Line

All in all, getting your car home after experiencing an out-of-state car accident is vital. While Carvaygo doesn’t ship inoperable vehicles now, we can help with any car shipping needs you might have.

Are you moving to a new town or state? Or have you purchased a new vehicle from out of state and want to bring it home? We can help. Contact us today for more information.

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