Coast to Coast Auto Transport Guide

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Coast to Coast Auto Transport Guide
Coast to Coast Auto Transport Guide

Given how large the United States is, shipping your car coast to coast can prove to be a bit challenging. Not only do you have to take into consideration the amount of time that it'll take, but you also have to factor in the optimal transport method for your automobile, as well as whether or not you will need door-to-door pick up and delivery.

This all may appear to be a bit daunting of a task, especially if you have never shipped a car a great distance before, but it's not as difficult as many would think. In fact, it can actually be quite an easy process if you find the right auto transport company.

A-1 Auto Transport has a significant amount of experience in shipping vehicles coast to coast in the United States to and from every state. The experience of A-1 Auto in coast to coast auto transport means that you don't have to worry about all of the challenging factors that can exist, and, instead, can better focus your energies on other more productive aspects of your life.

The following topics are all important to consider when engaging in coast to coast auto transport:

Prepare your Vehicle

Preparing your vehicle for coast to coast shipping is crucial in order to avoid any unforeseen delays or complications that can arise at various steps of the process. Ensuring that these preparations are made now will save your stress later:

  • Clean out your vehicle of any and all personal belongings, including important documents, CDs, extra accessories that aren't built-in, and trash. Some of the items that you can leave are the ones that come standard with a vehicle, such as a spare tire and jack.
  • Leave the gas tank at least 1/4 full and no more than 1/2 full.
  • Make sure that all of the important registration documents are included in the vehicle.
  • Remove the car battery and place it securely in a mounting bracket.
  • Examine the car with the company to do an assessment of its condition so that any future scratches, dents, and so forth can be compensated
  • If your vehicle is being transported to a cold environment, such as from San Francisco to New York City in December, make sure that it contains the necessary fluids, such as coolants for the engine and transmission oil.
  • Provide a set of keys for every part of the vehicle that requires it, including the dashboard.

Length of Shipping Time

Regardless of the method that you choose, the average length of time to ship your automobile coast to coast should take between a week to 10 days. Keep in mind that this is often the "safe" number given by transport companies, as sometimes it can be shipped even faster.

However, in not wanting to be held to certain time schedules, companies will often play it safe by saying at least 7 days. Furthermore, other unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather or breakdowns in equipment, can cause some delays.

Get Insurance

While carriers should have some form of insurance, as it's a requirement under the law, in order to transport any vehicle, you should make sure that they do anyway.

Here's what you should do:

  • Make sure that they have carrier's insurance. You can either ask them to show you a copy of it before you arrange the coast to coast service or ask the driver to show you it at the pick up point. It's recommended that you make them show you a copy of it beforehand, however. Many will even have it on their website.
  • Ask about both deductibles that you may have to pay and whether or not your car will actually be insured during the coast to coast journey. If your car isn't insured, you should think about seeing if your existing plan covers transportation.

Some important tips are:

  • Any personal items that are contained in your automobile during the coast to coast transport trip won't be covered. That's why it's even more important to make sure that they're removed. Additionally, if you have many items in your vehicle that are heavy, this can cause the transport truck to exceed its weight limit, which will mean more added costs that you'd be responsible for.
  • Note that any damage to your vehicle will be evaluated at the end of the coast to coast at its arrival destination. You should make it a point to immediately check the vehicle in front of the driver to see if there's any damage that has been done to it that wasn't there before. You should file a claim as soon as possible, in which you will then be contacted by the auto transport company's insurance.

*A1 Auto Transport takes every precaution necessary to avoid having ANY damage being done to your vehicle.


Choosing the Right Shipping Method

To ship your vehicle coast to coast, there are two main options that you can choose from, which are either:

Rail Shipping

Rail shipping can be the cheaper option out of the two depending on the time of the year in which it is chosen. With rail shipping, there are two main methods, which are: boxed shipping and open carriage shipping. While it's cheaper to choose the open carriage shipping option, since your vehicle is being transported coast to coast, it's probably a smarter decision to choose the boxed option. That'll ensure that the elements on the journey don't damage it.

Truck Shipping

Truck shipping can be the more expensive option, especially during the summer months. In fact, it can increase in price by a few hundred dollars around that time. However, if you choose the trucking option for coast to coast shipping during the fall months or the beginning of the spring, it's cheaper than rail shipping.

*Door to door shipping options are usually available, depending on the auto transport company, though some conditions may prevent this from being possible, such as living in a remote area or one that is not easily accessible by a transport truck. If that's the case, a drop off and/pick up point that's close by will be arranged.

The total cost for shipping your coast to coast auto transport, no matter what option you choose, should be around $500 to $1200.

To check the legitimacy of a company, visit

A-1 Auto can help you out with the entire process and have your automobile transported coast to coast in the United States quickly and affordably! Contact us today! 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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