Auto Transport Services in South Carolina

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Safe And Reliable South Carolina Car Shipping Services By A-1 Auto Transport

There is plenty to do in terms of recreation in South Carolina. From kayaking in the Atlantic to swimming in any one of the state’s lakes to hiking on the various lush green trails throughout the state, South Carolina is a well-visited state that offers a slower pace of living, which appeals to many people. The cost of living is fairly low here, which makes it an attractive option for relocation. There are several larger cities, but many of the towns in the state are still fairly rural, which makes a car a necessary resource in this state.

Table of Contents

  1. South Carolina Cost & Time To Ship Your Car Examples
  2. Using South Carolina Car Transport Companies
  3. Long Distance Auto Transport to/from South Carolina
  4. International Auto Transport from/to South Carolina
  5. Cheap Car Transportation Options in South Carolina
  6. Shipping Luxury and Classic Cars in South Carolina
  7. South Carolina Special Discounts
  8. Safety Measures
  9. South Carolina Auto Shipping Video
  10. How to Request a Price Estimate
  11. South Carolina Auto Transport Companies Directory
  12. South Carolina Vehicle Registration
  13. New South Carolina Residents
  14. South Carolina Vehicle Registration Process
  15. Registration for Foreign Vehicles
  16. Provisional Vehicle Registration in SC
  17. Vehicle Registration Transfer
  18. South Carolina Car Registration for Military Members
  19. Fees for Vehicle Registration
  20. Ordering a Duplicate South Carolina Registration
  21. South Carolina License Plates
  22. Replacing a lost South Carolina License Plate
  23. Other South Carolina Resources

Cost & Time To Ship Your Car Examples

Shipping To/FromCostDistanceEstimated Time
In Transit
Columbia to Atlanta$215215 miles2 – 4 days
Nashville to Columbia$442442 miles2 – 4 days
Charleston to Miami$445593 miles2 – 4 days
New York to Charleston$571761 miles3 – 5 days
South Carolina to Illinois$624832 miles3 – 5 days
Oklahoma to South Carolina$6321054 miles4 – 6 days
South Carolina to Texas$7221203 miles4 – 6 days
Phoenix to South Carolina$10252050 miles6 – 8 days
South Carolina to Oregon$10582644 miles7 – 9 days
San Francisco to South Carolina$10712678 miles7 – 9 days
Columbia to Seattle$11282820 miles7 – 9 days

*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and what type of vehicle you are shipping.

Using South Carolina Car Transport Companies

When you are looking to book South Carolina car transport services, keep a few key tips in mind.

  • Find the nearest depot: Because there are a number of rural areas in South Carolina, you might find out where the transport company of your choice has a depot. In some cases, you might need to pay even more for delivery or drive to a nearby big city to get your car.
  • Prep your car for driving once you’ve picked it up: Once you’ve picked up your car, do a thorough check on it to ensure that it is good to go for driving. If you’ve established yourself in South Carolina, then you might get it checked out by a mechanic, just to be sure it is in good working condition.
  • Research your shipping company: When you choose a South Carolina auto transport company, do your research to determine their record of customer service as well as their ability to offer the type of transport services you are looking for.

Visit the South Carolina Department of Transportation website for more information on South Carolina and the plentiful opportunities in which it can offer those visiting or relocating to the state.

Long Distance Auto Transport to/from South Carolina

Driving your car to your new location might seem like the easiest option, but most people find it time-consuming and expensive. Shipping your car with an auto transport company can save time, effort, and unforeseen expenses. Though you may have several options in moving your car to or out of South Carolina, it is important to know your needs and to consider whether you should use an open or an enclosed carrier.

The car shipping cost may vary depending on the shipping options you choose and your expected time-frame. You should first think of a place for the pickup and delivery, as well as your preferred pickup and delivery dates.

Express deliveries are more expensive. If you can be flexible, then you may want to schedule your shipment during the cold season for a more affordable price. Talk to us if you have any questions.

International Auto Transport from/to South Carolina

A1 Auto Transport’s services are a simple way to avoid the numerous pitfalls of international auto transport. All you have to do is call our office and explain your situation. Our personnel will go through all your options, so you can choose the best one. Once you both come to an agreement, you’ll set the pickup date, prepare the necessary documents, and that’s it.

Simply sign the contract our driver will give you and send your car on its way. We’ll get it to and past the border, deal with customs, pay the necessary taxes, and get it safely to your desired location.

Cheap Car Transportation Options in South Carolina

A1 Auto Transport offers several cheap transportation options within the state of South Carolina, as well as towards/from other states. For a customized plan, we recommend you speak to our staff directly. Here are a few things you can discuss:

  • If you’re looking for the cheapest transportation service, request using one of our open carriers. Their price is lower thanks to their larger number and carrying capacity.
  • Tell our employee your ideal pickup and drop off locations and ask if there are any terminals nearby. It’s cheaper to take your car there than to have the truck go all the way to your home.
  • Finally, ask about our seasonal offerings and discounts. They’ll save you a considerable amount of money.

Shipping Luxury and Classic Cars in South Carolina

Antique and classic car shipping requires precision and expert handling, as does transporting luxury and exotic vehicles. Our clients usually want white glove services, so for this purpose, we recommend our enclosed carriers.

Besides the professional drivers, enclosed carriers protect automobiles from flying road debris, from the elements, and from other risks found in normal open auto transportation. Unexpected problems, like liquids falling from vehicles placed above your own on the trailer are avoided. The limit of our insurance policy is also raised, so despite the bigger cost, due to the value of luxury and antique cars, it’s usually worth it.

South Carolina Special Discounts

Au1 Auto Transport has several seasonal offerings everyone can use. Information on when these is available over the phone. Also, if you’re a student, a senior, or part of the US Military, your shipping costs will be lower. This is thanks to our special discounts for these 3 groups of citizens.

Auto Transport Safety Measures in South Carolina

Accidents rarely happen in the auto transport industry. By following specific routes and adhering to some basic safety measures, our drivers avoid potential accidents long before they can happen.

Cars are fixed in place on our carriers, so they can’t move. They’re further protected by beams and bars. Enclosed trucks cover them completely, so not even the smallest pebble can reach them.

However, in the unlikely situation where your vehicle does get damaged, you can get your money’s worth thanks to our insurance policy. From the moment you leave it with us, the automobile becomes our responsibility. If anything happens, we’ll make sure you’re compensated.

Services And Information


A-1 Auto Transport 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.


How to Request a Price Estimate

Although calling may help us put together a better transport situation for you, if you’re just looking for a general price estimate, our online form will work just fine. Follow the instructions in our “Quote Calculator” and complete every field.

If your budget is low or you’re located in a difficult to access area, by calling us directly we may be able to provide you with a solution. Some of our clients may qualify for special discounts which are only disclosed over the phone. There may also be carriers or terminals nearby which you can use to lower your costs.

South Carolina Auto Transport Companies Directory

DARLINGTON

Careys Auto Transport

When you need a South Carolina shipping company that provides affordable rates, Careys provides a solid transport option.

1017 Pocket Road, Darlington, SC

843-393-6148

BLUFFTON

T&J Auto Transport

Moving in or out of South Carolina? T&J offers transport of all types, from enclosed and temperature control to open-air, which is the most budget-friendly option.

PO Box 1163, Bluffton, SC

843-757-6750

South Carolina Vehicle Registration

You may complete your vehicle registration with the South Carolina DMV either in person or by mail. New residents and those who have recently purchased a vehicle must accomplish the registration fast. You must present your insurance certificate, vehicle title, registration fees payment, and the receipt of your vehicle’s property tax payment. The transfer of license plates to a new vehicle from a previous one is permitted, and provisional permits for vehicle registration are provided for certain circumstances.

New South Carolina Residents

New residents have forty-five days to get a certificate for a SC vehicle registration, which will be valid for two years.  To proceed with the registration, your vehicle’s property tax must be paid for at the county auditor prior to registering.  Don’t forget to obtain an original receipt for a paid automobile property tax and submit your one-time payment fee of $250 for the IMF.

After securing your receipts, prepare to title and register your car, which may be completed simultaneously.

The two ways the SCDMV allows you to register are:

  • By mail,
  • In person.

In person registration

To complete a registration in person, drop by the SCDMV in your locality and submit:

  • Your filled-out application form for registration and title certification for Mobile Home/Manufactured Home or Motor Vehicle (Form 400)
  • Your vehicle insurance company’s name. The South Carolina DMV office will electronically verify your coverage. Remember to have your billing address updated with your auto insurance company prior to registration.
  • A receipt for the car property tax you paid for.
  • Payment of applicable SC car registration fees

Registration via mail

 If you opt to complete your registration by mail, you must send the paperwork in the aforementioned list and include a money order or check to the mailing address stated in the 400 application form.

South Carolina Vehicle Registration Process

You must register your newly purchased vehicle – used or brand new – within a forty-five day period from the date of purchase. South Carolina vehicle registrations are valid for two years from the exact month you registered the vehicle initially in the state.

SC dealership purchased vehicles

The dealership is known to forward vehicle registration paperwork to the South Carolina DMV for you after your purchase.

Vehicles purchased from or gifted by a private individual

 Your vehicle’s property tax must be paid for with the auditor in your county prior to registration. Do not forget to secure an original receipt for the paid car property tax during registration.

You may register in person or by mail; both options require the same paperwork. If you plan to send them via mail, you must send all the necessary documents to the mailing address stated on Form 400.

For in-person registration, you must drop by the SCDMV in your area and present:

  • Your filled-out application form for registration and title certification for Form 400.
  • A certificate of vehicle insurance. You must provide your car insurance company’s name, for which the South Carolina DMV office will electronically verify your coverage.
  • Receipt for the car property tax you paid for.
  • Payment of applicable SC car registration fees

You must complete Form 400’s Section G to apply for an IMF exemption if your vehicle was given to you as a gift.

Registration by mail must be completed by adhering to the standard procedures and by sending all the necessary paperwork, together with a money order or check, to the mailing address listed on the form. You may want to opt for in person registration if you are pressed for time and need to secure South Carolina license plates as soon as possible.

Registration of leased vehicles

For leased vehicle registration, the lessor must complete Form 400’s Section 4.

Registration for Foreign Vehicles

If you are a foreigner staying indefinitely in South Carolina and driving a vehicle from another state, you are exempt from applying for an SC vehicle registration as long as:

  • Your vehicle is presently registered in your state of origin
  • You have no leased property in SC
  • You don’t drive your vehicle in SC beyond 150 days

Provisional Vehicle Registration in SC

Certain situations may warrant a provisional 45-day registration permit. You must get a 45-day Provisional Plates Application form, submit it to the DMV office in your locality, and pay a $5 fee.

Always remember to keep the following in our car while you drive with a provisional plate:

  • Your car’s title or sale bill,
  • If applicable, the rental contract.

You will need to present either one or both of these papers if you are stopped by law enforcement officers for purchase date verification.

Vehicle Registration Transfer

Drop by any SCDMV location for an existing license plates transfer and submit:

  • You insurance company’s name. The SCDMV will verify your vehicle insurance electronically with them.
  • For used vehicles, the title that was signed-over to you:
    • You must present a sale bill if your title doesn’t include the purchase information and odometer reading.
    • You may get a duplicate if you are unable to locate the title.
  • For newly-purchased vehicles, present a Manufacturer’s origin certificate.
  • A completed Form 400.
  • SC vehicle registration and IMF payment fees.

South Carolina will permit you to process a transfer of license plates between vehicles on the purchase date. Until the registration of the plate with the new vehicle has been completed, you must always have with you:

  • The plate’s registration certificate;
  • Sale bill.

You will need both documents if stopped by the police.


South Carolina Car Registration for Military Members

SCDMV exempts South Carolina residents who were disabled during their military service from submitting license plate payment fees. If you opt to take advantage of this waiver, you must follow the procedure listed under “vehicles purchased from or gifted by a private individual.

Additionally, you must provide supporting paperwork from the Veterans Office to the Veterans Affairs Administrator in your county, along with a 37 MV form or License Plate for Military Members Application form.

If you are eligible to obtain a license plate for the handicapped, your disability status will be reflected on your special handicapped war veteran license plate. If you are a South Carolina resident and was a POW, you may apply for a license at no extra cost. This advantage covers:

  • The Vietnam War;
  • The Korean War;
  • World War II;
  • World War I.

You must fill out and submit the License Plate for Military Members Application form, along with the standard vehicle registration prerequisites. If you need additional information, contact the SCDMV in your locality.

Resident service members stationed outside of SC

For service members stationed out of state, vehicle registration may be completed by mail. You must follow the procedure listed under “vehicles purchased from or gifted by a private individual.”

Non-SC resident military members stationed in SC

Military members who are not residents of SC but stationed in the state, are exempted from vehicle registration with the SCDMV. You can drive your vehicle with your non-SC registered plates so long as you have a current car registration and you bring your vehicle insurance with you.

Fees for Vehicle Registration

Below is the list of fees for vehicle registration in South Carolina:

  • $40: Passenger vehicles,
  • $38: vehicle owners aged 64 years,
  • $36: car owners who are disabled or aged 65 years or older,
  • $10: Motorcycles,
  • $40: RV’s,
  • $10: Transfer of license plates,
  • IMF: 5% of the sale price (capped at $500). You must pay this one-time payment fee during your initial registration.
    • Note: Owners with gifted vehicles are not required to pay for the IMF. Instead, you can complete Section G on the registration application form.
  • $250 IMF: (required of new SC residents during their initial registration in SC)

Fees for late car registration

  • $10: 46 days -60 days,
  • $25: 61 days – 75 days,
  • $50: 76 days – 135 days,
  • $75: Greater than 135 days.

Payment methods

 SCDMV offices allow payments made via:

  • Cash,
  • Debit and Credit Cards,

Vehicle inspections in South Carolina

There is no legal requirement in South Carolina to impose emissions testing or safety inspections.

Ordering a Duplicate South Carolina Registration

For stolen, damaged, or lost registration certificates, you may apply for a duplicate either in person at the DMV office in your area, or online via the South Carolina DMV Public Services portal.

Online

To apply for a duplicate registration via the Public Services webpage, you must have an excellent registration status with the SCDMV, and have a Discover, Visa, or MasterCard credit or debit card to use for the payment fee.

On the online portal, follow the necessary prompts and provide your plate number.

In person

Fill out Form 3090 or a duplicate registration application form and submit it to the DMV office in your locality.

South Carolina License Plates

During registration, you will be provided with a list of options for the type of license plate you want. Below are the categories:

  • Sports
  • Military
  • Universities and colleges
  • Organizations

Replacing a lost South Carolina License Plate

For stolen, lost, or damaged license plates that are barely readable, you will be responsible for having them replaced as soon as possible. You may request for a replacement plate online as long as the SCDMV has your current billing address and you’re applying for the same type of license plate.

The online portal will require you to enter:

  • Your South Carolina vehicle registration certificate.
  • Your MasterCard, Discover, or Visa card number to pay for the $6 replacement fee for each plate that needs replacement.

Other South Carolina Resources

South Carolina.gov – official government website for the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina Wikipedia Page – everything you need to know about the state of South Carolina.

University Of South Carolina – The University of South Carolina is home to more than 200 years of history and tradition, rising from a single building in 1805 on what would become the heart of the campus, the Horseshoe. The 11 buildings that now make up the Horseshoe frame a lush lawn that is an irresistible gathering place.

South Carolina On Craigslist – local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, personals, services, local community, and events.

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 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.

Reviews from Customers in South Carolina

  • Thank you Joe and the A1 Auto Transport team! It was a satisfying, honest and professional experience. The car was picked up on time and delivered to South Carolina as promised. They didn’t charge extra either.

    Joe made sure I was informed throughout the transport and explained the entire process, so I knew what to expect. The driver brought the car to my home, encouraged me to inspect it, and asked for payment only after. He called a day before to let me know he’d arrive, and also a couple hours earlier, so I’d be prepared. I had no problem with the drop off location, since it was in front of my home.

    I didn’t have to pay a deposit until the truck actually picked up my car. I was also informed of it beforehand. I’ve heard stories of companies asking for a deposit before picking your car, so they may leave with your money without ever showing up. Not the case with A1.

    I received another call from Joe after receiving my car to ask if I was satisfied with the service. Yes, yes and yes!! Thank you Joe for an awesome delivery!

    - Julia H.
  • My experience using A1 Auto Transport went well. I had to take my car from New York to South Carolina. I thought of several options, even driving it myself, but the cost and convenience of auto transport won me over.

    I called A1 after reading some reviews, and it was a good choice. Joe detailed the entire process and gave me several cost and transportation options. He answered every question which convinced me he wasn’t some amateur.

    Since I had to be in South Carolina by the 30th, I drove part of the way and left his team to handle the rest. They let me know when the car will arrive 24 hours prior, and it arrived in great condition. The stuff I left in it was still there.

    - Nicholas R.

Auto Transport Services in South Carolina

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