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Shipping A Car You Bought On Craigslist

Published by Joe Webster.

Shipping A Car You Bought On Craigslist


You are excited. You are thrilled. You just can’t wait to sit behind that wheel. To get your hands on the keys, and open that car door for the first time. It’s the next step! Just have patience. But what do you do now? The car is paid for. The car is yours. BUT, it’s 1,865 miles away.


You have options to get this vehicle to your garage, that’s the great thing. Most of the time on Craigslist, shipping the vehicle is not going to be an option to purchase. Once in a while, you will see this option on Craigslist ads. But for the most part, the buyer (you!) is responsible for shipping the car. This means that you are now literally in the driver’s seat. This is the good side of having options, you have the power to safely and securely get this vehicle to you.


Any time that we (people) have options, we need to do some work. Any time that we have options, we have the chance that we will miss the best opportunity, and choose an option that isn’t best for us. This is the downside of having an option. When you have made your Craigslist car purchase, make sure to find the most reliable option of getting your vehicle home. Hopefully, you won’t have a bad experience.

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  • Go pick it up yourself.

There is nothing quite like a road trip! Go get your new car yourself! Have a friend or your spouse or girlfriend drive you to pick up your new ride. Make a little vacation out of it. This option will definitely save you a lot of headache and stress regarding the condition of your car.

  • Have a friend pick it up for you.

Uncle Joey is out of work right now, AND he only lives 120 miles from Austin, Texas where your dream car is. Have him go pick up your car! Pay for his gas, buy him a few beers, and put him up in Motel 6 a few nights. You have a trusted (hopefully) person driving your new car. Fly him home when it’s all done.

  • Find a trusted transport company

There are many different options out there now with contracting a company to you’re your vehicle. Any Google search will leave you with plenty to choose from. This is the option that will make the most sense for the most amount of people. And to be honest, with the price of gas these days, and a few nights in a motel for your Uncle Joey, it really might be the least expensive when it is all said and done.

Most of the time, you are looking right around .75/mile. (Seventy-five cents a mile). So, shipping your vehicle from Austin, Texas to San Diego, CA (1,304 miles) might run you about $1,000. You will spend anywhere from $250-500 in gas alone, depending on the type of car. So, add a few nights in a hotel, your uncle’s meals to this, and you just might be to about the same price. However, that transport company is NOT putting 1,304 miles on your car, something to consider!

Your car can be driven, towed or loaded onto a trailer.

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  • Credentials of the company you are going to choose

Make sure to do your own research on the company you want to use. You can easily do this on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Ask them to see a copy of their USDOT credentials as well. This will serve as another background check. The United States Department of Transportation issues a number to every company that ships cars.

  • Insurance

Make sure that your car is properly insured by the shipper if you are shipping it. And if you are going to drive it yourself, or have a friend drive it, don’t forget to buy insurance in your excitement on this new purchase. It needs to be very clear in your shipping contract what the limits are on their insurance policy. If your car is worth $45,000, and their limit is $25,000, you might need to purchase additional liability insurance.

  • Your car can be towed or loaded onto a trailer.

If you have your car shipped, note that it can be towed or loaded onto a trailer. It is important to know this. If it is being towed, your rear tires, etc. will be affected. This is something to take into consideration, and something to make absolutely clear with your shipper.

  • Condition pre-shipment and post-shipment

Lastly, you need to make sure that what you paid for is what you get! Make sure to get perfect pictures from the seller if you have your car shipped. You don’t want to receive a car with a broken windshield. This isn’t what you paid for. It would not be a fun way to start your relationship with this new car. The condition of the car should be the same when you receive it as when you bought it. Document, document, document this with photographs, or even video if you can.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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