The Process of Shipping A Car Across the Country

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The Process of Shipping A Car Across the Country

Having a car delivered from one side of the country to the other may seem like a stressful and challenging endeavor, but it’s really not as painful or difficult as you might think. The main problem our customers talk about is paralysis by analysis. They start their search online and are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of companies, services, and websites available on the subject. It can be pretty intimidating.

The good news is that you’re in the right spot! Let’s pull back the curtain and unravel some of the mystery of the confusing world of auto transport–it’s not as complicated as it may appear on first glance.


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car across the country.


Cross Country Auto Transport By the Numbers

  • Mileage: The shipping distance across the U.S. is between 2,500 and 3,400 miles from coast to coast, depending on which cities are the point of origin and destination. Using conservative estimate and current fuel prices, that works out to several hundred dollars in just the cost of gas alone. Factoring in a solid week of driving on top of food and lodging expenses, you can easily spend over $1,000 on moving your car half way across the country, much less from one coast to the other. The potential wear on the vehicle and how the additional miles will affect its performance should also be considered.
  • Dealerships: For major American auto manufacturers, moving cars across the country and to states throughout the U.S. is just a necessary cost of doing business. (This process of putting consumers in touch with products is called logistics). With millions of cars rolling off of production lines, destined for thousands of different dealerships, a safe and efficient method of delivery is important to the health and productivity of the industry. The auto transport industry is intimately tied to the general auto industry and as both flourished alongside each other and expanded their reach, that tie grew closer. Even that brand new car at your local auto dealership with no miles on it was probably moved a long distance by a transport company.
  • Cost: There are many factors which affect the final cost of having a car moved across the country, and distance is only one of them. For coast to coast auto transport, it’s fairly common to see price quotes that are around $1,000 and up. This number assumes a standard sized sedan and open container transport. Any additional service such as enclosed container shipping, express transport, large or oversize vehicles and special instructions will increase the cost. Some easy ways to help reduce the cost are to plan ahead, be flexible and weigh your options.

Before Shipping An Auto Across the Country

Before having your car moved across the country, there are some steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible. Here is a basic guide to help you get started, make an informed decision and have the best experience possible while saving some money.

  • Information: Before you even search for companies online or in person, it’s important to have the necessary information a cross-country auto shipper will need in order to give you an accurate quote. This includes basic things like location, destination, type of vehicle and general information about the auto(s) being moved.
  • Preparation: Try to find people that have had a car shipped across the country before embarking on the search alone. You can find information and research about the industry at sites like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. One source that all customers should consult are the company safety records for auto transport companies.
  • Compare: Now that you know what you’re looking for and what you need, it’s time to compare prices and services. Shipping your car across the country is a big investment in its own right and that involves a lot of trust, so take your time in weighing your options and don’t fell pressured to accept a bid. The best course of action is to get quotes from several companies and compare them against the prices and services you need. Some companies may be cheaper but require more shipping time, others may be pricier, but offer better insurance and have a better safety record.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be sure to find a trustworthy and affordable company to move your car across the country.


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car across the country. We will save you money, guaranteed!


Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with 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, Inc., 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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