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Shipping Cars Across Country

What's in this article?
  1. What Is Cross Country Car Shipping?
  2. Cross Country Auto Transport By The Numbers
  3. Before Shipping A Car Across The Country
  4. Why Choose A1 Auto Transport For Cross Country Car Shipping
  5. Things You Should Know About Cross Country Car Transport
  6. How To Ship A Car Across The Country?
  7. Prepping The Car For Cross Country Shipping
  8. How Can Seasons Influence The Cost To Ship A Car Cross Country?
  9. Shipping In Winter
  10. Shipping In Spring
  11. Shipping In Summer
  12. Shipping In Fall
  13. Keep A Lookout For Discounts
  14. Which Is The Cheapest Method To Ship A Car Across The Country?
  15. How Much Do You Have To Pay To Ship Your Car Across The Country?
  16. Shipping Options
  17. Time Of The Year
  18. Vehicle Type
  19. Location And Distance
Car Transportation Charges

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 cross country car shipping - it’s not as complicated as it may appear on first glance.

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What is Cross Country Car Shipping?

Cross country car shipping is primarily a long-distance auto transport. The shippers ship the car cross country, from Midwest to South, or East Coast to the West Coast. The auto transport company will ship your car across any route. Cross country car shipping costs depends on the pickup and delivery location.

You might be planning on a DIY cross country transport, where you move your car all by yourself. However, professional cross country car transport will save you a lot of trouble. Moreover, auto transport companies have the right resources to ensure the car’s safety. With a professional cross country car shipping company, you can save money and prevent damage to your car.

Rather than going through the hassle of shipping the car all by yourself, you can choose a professional auto shipping company. You can use a car shipping calculator to calculate the price to ship a car across country. There are a variety of car shipping services to choose from. So, you can choose the one that is best for you.

When you need the car transported to its new location in a hurry, you don’t have the option of self-driving your car. In that case, a professional cross country vehicle shipping company can prove to be of great help. It is the most sensible option out there to reach out to a car shipping company to ship your car cross country.

With more than 20 years of experience, A1 Auto Transport will help you move your car cross country in the cheapest way possible. While you plan to ship a car and search for the best car shipping service at the most affordable price, it’s not easy to know what to expect. But our car shipping services are competitively priced. In case of any queries or to book your cross country car transport, you can contact our car shipping advisors using the phone number at the top of this page.

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 costs, 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 halfway 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 a car across 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 car transport company.
  • Cost: There are many factors that 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 auto transport carrier. Any additional cross country car shipping 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 car shipping costs is to plan ahead, be flexible, and weigh your auto transport options.
Cars Shipping Llc

Before Shipping A Car 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 cross country car shipping 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 exact pickup location, destination, type of vehicle, and general information about the auto(s) being moved.
  • Preparation: Try to find people that have shipped car cross 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 car shipping 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 feel pressured to accept a bid. The best course of action is to get cross country vehicle transport quotes from several companies and compare them against the prices and services you need. Some car shipping companies may be cheaper but require more shipping time, others may be pricier, but offer better insurance coverage and have a better safety record.

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

A-1 Auto Transport Ships Worldwide.

Get a Free, No Obligation to Buy, Auto Shipping Quote.

Get my free quote now

or call us to do it for you:

Car Transport Vehicle

Why Choose A1 Auto Transport for Cross Country Car Shipping

Shipping Car Across the Country for Over Two Decades

Once you have booked your cross country auto transport with us, you don’t have to worry about anything anymore.

Sufficient Carrier Availability

We have more than 15,000 certified enclosed and open car transport carriers across the nation to make sure we can ship a car across country within the shortest possible time.

No Up-Front Deposit Needed

No need to pay a penny until we have confirmed a carrier for the route and the shipment has been scheduled for pickup.

Online Shipment Tracking

No more worrying about where’s your car after it has been shipped. You can easily track the status of the cross country vehicle transport online 24/7 until it’s delivered.

Things You Should Know About Cross Country Car Transport

Shipping a vehicle just one or three miles might take 1-2 days but to ship a car across country, it can take a week to 10 days. You have to consider the pickup window that usually takes between 1-5 days. Logistical issues are largely common as a car shipping company has to deal with traffic, weather conditions, and other factors.

When you are booking an appointment for the auto transport service, keep in mind that the pickup window isn’t a part of the transit time.

You can choose from different auto transport options when it comes to shipping a car cross country. With a door-to-door car transport service, you can ship a car across country without any added stress.

How to Ship a Car Across the Country?

With A1 Auto Transport, you just have to follow six easy steps to ship a car from border to border or coast to coast-

  • Decide on the pickup and delivery location
  • Schedule the vehicle pickup
  • Research and choose the best cross country auto shipping company
  • Get the quote to ship a car across country
  • Prepare the car for pickup to ensure it is in the right state
  • Make arrangements to pick up and drop off your car

Shipping your car across country is not that difficult if you know what you are doing. A1 Auto Transport’s door-to-door transport across the country makes things a lot easier and affordable for you. If you are running on a tight schedule and don’t know how to ship a car cross country, we can take care of it for you. We will pick up your car from the mentioned pickup spot and deliver it to the destination safely. With us as your cross country car shipping partner, you don’t have to wait at the depot.

A1 Auto Transport offers open and enclosed transport. But what’s the best option for you? Both are commonly used in the car shipping industry.

Open car shipping is the cheapest way for shipping multiple cars. It is a shipping style that can accommodate up to 12 vehicles at once depending on the car weight, car size, and demand. But it also means your vehicle will remain exposed and might become dirty on arrival.

So, if you have a luxury vehicle, using an enclosed transport might be the most adequate option. However, it is expensive than open car transport. Use our car shipping cost calculator to know the estimate within just a few clicks.

Even though the open car transport is the cheapest way for shipping a car, it is not always the best option. Owners of luxury vehicles, sports cars, and classic cars should definitely consider this.

As you try to choose between open and enclosed car shipping, balance the car’s value with the enclosed transport’s expensive price tag. As only a fewer vehicles can be moved simultaneously, enclosed transport tends to be more expensive for shipping a car internationally.

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Prepping the Car for Cross Country Shipping

Before you schedule a pickup for shipping a car across country, you need to prep it. Here’s what you have to do-

Empty the Gas Tank

Check to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t have more than a quarter tank of gas prior to the transport, as you will otherwise have to pay more for the additional weight of the fuel.

Note Down any Existing Damage Before Shipping a car Across Country

It might be much easier to prove the additional damage caused by the shipping when you document the car’s pre-existing issue. Check the car along with the truck driver before and after the shipment. If you note a new damage, bring it to the notice before signing the bill upon delivery.

Get an Additional Set of Keys

In case the car keys gets lost during the shipping process, it always helps if you have an extra set of keys. Keep a minimum of added one set of keys with you throughout the move.

Take Out All Your Valuable Possessions Before the Pick Up Date

Clear the car of all expensive and important items before we get the car picked. You won't be able to use the insurance claim for personal items in your car.

Wash the Car

You can easily identify the dents and other damages when the car is clean. So, make sure that you wash and clean your car before the pickup. Clean the inside and outside of the vehicle.

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Perform Necessary Maintenance

You need to ensure that the vehicle is in good working condition. Check the tire pressure, look for leaks, and ascertain the fluids are topped off.

How can Seasons Influence the Cost to Ship a Car Cross Country?

When it comes to cross country car shipping, there are a lot of variables that can have an effect on the cost to ship your car. However, the season plays the most crucial role. So, the cost to ship your car depends on the time of the year.

Shipping in Winter

Are you planning on shipping your car during the winter? It can take longer. This is because parts of the country are more likely to have snow and ice. Also, days are shorter during the winter time.

We recommend you book your cross country car shipping in advance to make sure they are picked up on time, as many of our truck drivers go off for vacations.

January is our peak time since it is the time many relocate to warmer parts of the country. So, you might see a rise in the shipping cost. If you want to save some dollars, you can ship your car in February, when the rush is a little low.

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Shipping in Spring

The best time to ship a car is spring. You get to enjoy low rates for major cities until the end of the month. After March, the prices again start to rise as it starts to get warm and people start moving back up north to enjoy a cooler climate.

In the summer months of April and May, bookings increase, which leads to more expensive shipping costs.

Shipping in Summer

Demands for cross country car shipping start piling up during the summer. People take vacations to escape the warm weather. It is also the time when companies transfer their employees to a new location. So, the rates from auto shippers can be much higher.

The prices are generally stable during the summer months and don’t fluctuate frequently.

Shipping in Fall

Fall is the time when car shipping demand starts dropping. So, the shipping cost also starts to drop with it. But the cost can increase a little in September as students ship their cars to schools and colleges. It can slow down in the following months and the costs start going down.

Keep a Lookout for Discounts

We often offer cross country shipping discounts to our customers. A few common discounts you can take advantage of are-

  • First-Time Shippers - Are you shipping your car for the first time? You can make the most of the first-time shipping discount for any delivery locations.
  • Student Discounts - If you are a student and want to transport your vehicle to your school or college, you can use Student Discounts with no hidden fees.
  • Senior Discounts - We know that seniors have to fend for themselves with a fixed income and have to adhere to a budget. This is the reason seniors should take advantage of the senior discounts to save a few dollars.
  • Military Discounts - Car shipping companies recognize your services for the country by helping you move with your frequent move and providing you with great auto shipping discounts.

Which is the Cheapest Method to Ship a Car Across the Country?

Terminal-to-terminal combined with open auto shipping services can be the cheapest mode of shipping your car across the country. With open transport, trailers can carry up to 12 cars at a time. So, you can save a great deal of money on fuel and transport. Since terminal-to-terminal service does not require the shipping carrier to stop often, you can enjoy faster shipping.

But terminal-to-terminal shipping might not be the optimal option. Even though it is cheaper, it is more difficult to find since many terminals are closing because of the lack of demand. In the end, terminal-to-terminal shipping can cost you more. You might have to pay an additional storage fee that gets added the longer the vehicle sits in the parking lot.

Door-to-door shipping process can be the more favorable choice. It is expensive but if you book in advance, you can lock premium prices. Moreover, you might be eligible for a special discount.

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How Much Do You Have to Pay to Ship Your Car Across the Country?

There are a plethora of reasons that can influence the cost of shipping your car across the country.

Shipping Options

Firstly, you have to decide on the carrier type. There are two options - open carrier and enclosed carrier. The open carrier is the most common and affordable option. While an enclosed carrier protects the car and can cost you a little more.

You will also find terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door shipping options. The former is more affordable than the latter.

Time of the Year

Summer is the busiest time for transport companies as people are likely to travel more. This is because June and July are the two main vacation months. Many people also travel during the winter. But the cost can be low during the fall. So, the weather is a factor that can affect the shipping cost.

Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle can influence the shipping price. Transporting a sedan will cost you a lot lesser than transporting your truck or SUV. The primary factors here are weight and size. Quite naturally, a larger car will take up more space and can impact fuel consumption.

Location and Distance

The distance can play a significant role in deciding the cost of shipping the vehicle. So, the further the car travels, the more you have to pay for fuel consumption and mileage. The distance can have an effect on the time it will take to ship a car cross country.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Gas Do I Need to Have in My Car During Shipping?


Can I Ship a Car with Low Ground Clearance?


How Long Does Cross Country Car Shipping Take?


Can I Put Personal Items in My Car?


How to Get a Quote for My Cross Country Vehicle Shipping?


Is Cross Country Car Transport a Door-to-Door Service?


Is Cross Country Car Transport a Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping?


How to Pay for Cross Country Car Transport Service?

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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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