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From the Moving Blog 6/2/16:

How to Ship Your Vehicle

If you are like many people who are in the process of an interstate or international relocation, you may have considered driving your vehicle for part or all of your journey. However, moving your car can be costly both in terms of mileage accrual and vehicle wear and tear. In this post, we'll walk you through the best way to ship a car for an interstate or an international relocation.

Car Shipment - Interstate Relocation

Once you've decided that shipping your vehicle is the way to go, your next step will be to choose a transport vehicle. Depending on your destination and chosen mode of transport, you can expect the transport to take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. You have two basic options for shipping your vehicle domestically:

Open Carrier: As the name suggests, this type of carrier will leave your vehicle exposed to the elements during its journey. As such, it is best to choose this option for older vehicles, short trips, or travel when mild weather is predicted. Transport by open carrier is typically the most affordable option for shipping your car.

Closed Carrier: A closed carrier, as its name implies, shields your vehicle on all sides from the elements and other vehicles in an enclosed trailer. While this option will be more expensive, your car will not share a space with other vehicles or items and will not be exposed to the elements. This is the better option for safeguarding your vehicle's value. For affordable auto transport options in the domestic U.S. check with

Car Shipment - International Relocation

For an international relocation, by far the most common mode of transport is by sea. Your car will be loaded into a shipping carrier and then onto a vessel for transport. An international vehicle shipment typically requires more advance planning for these reasons and others:

  • You must complete required customs declaration forms and often pay fees.
  • You need to arrange for shipping insurance if your current insurer does not provide this.
  • You will need to prepare your vehicle for transport by cleaning it, noting any existing damage, removing personal items and exterior attachments (racks, spoilers, et al) and taking photos prior to transport.

Other Vehicle Transportation Options

In addition to mode of transport, you often have some additional options that can save you time or money as your needs dictate.

  • Pick-up and delivery options: You will save more money with a terminal-to-terminal option, but a door-to-door option is far more convenient.
  • Scheduled or open pick-up date: A scheduled pick-up will start your vehicle's journey on a predefined date. If your departure is flexible, an open pick-up date will fit your car in when there is extra room on a carrier.
  • Self-towing: UHaul and other truck rental companies have affordable options for towing your own vehicle behind your rental truck. Going the DIY route can be way cheaper than paying a company for transportation.

By doing your research and knowing your options, you can select the shipping company that best meet your time and cost needs for your move.