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An In-Depth Overview of Student Car Shipping

What's in this article?
  1. What Is Student Car Shipping?
  2. Why You Should Consider Student Car Shipping
  3. Reason No 1 – You Get To Spend More Time With Your Family
  4. Reason No 2 – It May Be A Long Drive
  5. Reason No 3 – You Save Money
  6. How To Prepare For Student Car Shipping
  7. Step No 1 – Find The Right Shipping Company
  8. Step No 2 – Get The Scheduling Right
  9. Step No 3 – Prepare And Document Your Vehicle
  10. Get Ready For A New Adventure
An In-Depth Overview of Student Car Shipping

You worked hard to graduate from high school with good grades, Now, you’re preparing for college. As the weeks wind down and you get closer to your starting date, you feel more and more excited. Finally, attending college will give you the freedom that you’ve wanted for so long. You’re taking a huge step toward achieving independence in your life and you can’t wait to start making new friends.

There’s just one thing on your mind.

Wouldn’t college be even better if you could take your car with you?

The good news is that you can. And better yet, you don’t have to deal with the long drive yourself, which is a massive positive if you’re going to college in another state. Instead, you can use a student car shipping service.

Shipping to college comes with several benefits, which we’ll describe in this article. You also need to know the process you have to follow to ship to college safely.

What Is Student Car Shipping?

Student car shipping is a special service that many vehicle transportation companies offer. It involves a carrier picking up your vehicle, either from your door or from a designated terminal, and then shipping it to wherever you need it to go. In some cases, these services ship your vehicle directly to your college. In others, they’ll ship it to a nearby terminal, where you can pick it up and drive it to your campus.

Most car carriers offer two options when shipping for college students:

  • Open transport
  • Enclosed transport

With open transport, your vehicle is loaded onto a flat trailer and secured with cables or ropes. It’s then towed from Point A to Point B. In some cases, a carrier will load multiple vehicles onto a large truck trailer. The best thing about open transport is that it’s cost-effective. You’ll pay less for it than you would pay for enclosed transport. The biggest issue is that open transport leaves your car exposed to whatever the carrier may encounter while driving. That exposure can lead to dings, dents, and scratches if the vehicle comes into contact with hail or debris.


With enclosed car transport, carriers offer more protection for your car. College students can feel more confident that their vehicle will arrive unscathed because it’s loaded into an enclosed trailer and locked up. That means no exposure to the elements and less chance of thieves breaking into the vehicle. However, this higher level of service comes at a cost, especially if you want your carrier to pick your car up from your door. Expect to pay more with enclosed transport than you would for an equivalent open transport journey.


Why You Should Consider Student Car Shipping

What are the benefits of shipping? College students may feel like they could handle the journey themselves. Many may even want to make a road trip out of it, enjoying a few days of driving before they start their collegiate careers.

If that sounds appealing to you, nothing is stopping you from doing it.

But there are several reasons why you should consider a student car shipping service.

Reason No. 1 – You Get to Spend More Time With Your Family

Let’s assume you’re going to college in a different state. That may mean that your journey from home to college is over a thousand miles. If you complete that journey yourself, you’re going to have to do it over several days and, more importantly, do it on your own. Family members can’t come along for the ride because they’ll have no way of getting back home.

By using a student car shipping service, you get to spend more time with your family. You can rely on the carrier to ship vehicle to another state. That leaves you free to enjoy a little extra time with your family and perhaps to even share your first journey to college with them.

Reason No. 2 – It May Be a Long Drive

Estimates state that about one in every 25 adults has fallen asleep at the wheel while driving. Furthermore, about 1,500 people die each year as a result of accidents caused by sleeping drivers.

Why are we sharing these statistics?

Think about how long your journey from home to college is going to take. If you’re moving to the other side of the country to study, you’ll have to drive for several thousand miles to reach your destination.

That’s exhausting work.

It’s also work that inexperienced drivers, which many college students are, may find difficult to complete. By relying on a student car shipping service, you remove the stress of the journey. Plus, you guarantee that you don’t become one of the sleeping at the wheel statistics mentioned earlier.

Reason No. 3 – You Save Money

Let’s say you’re thinking about driving your car to college. That means you need to have enough money to pay for the fuel you’ll need during the journey. But the costs don’t end there. If you’re driving over a long distance, you’ll need money for food. You may also have to pay for hotel rooms along the way. The cost of the journey mounts up fairly quickly.

Compare that to a service offering shipping and transport. College students can expect to pay between $800-$1,000 for that type of service. When you add up the various costs involved with driving yourself, you may find that student car shipping saves you money, especially if you find a company that offers student discount auto shipping. Plus, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vehicle is in the hands of professionals.

How to Prepare for Student Car Shipping

Your shipping company handles most of the hard work for you when you’re shipping a car to your college. Still, there are a few things you need to take care of to ensure the journey goes as smoothly as possible.

Step No. 1 – Find the Right Shipping Company

How do you find the right company to ship? College students should do all of the following when researching a potential carrier.

  • Find the company’s Motor Carrier Number (MCN) and check it on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s database. All legitimate shipping companies have an MCN.
  • Check the company’s reviews online using Google and social media. Finding out about other clients’ experiences can tell you a lot about what you can expect if you work with the carrier.
  • Quiz your potential carrier about their insurance coverage. At the very minimum, the company should have insurance that holds them liable in cases of neglect causing damage to your vehicle.

It’s also worth asking the company about its experience and the equipment it uses when shipping. Ideally, you’ll work with a transportation business that has a proven track record and can highlight the equipment it uses to ship your vehicle safely.


Step No. 2 – Get the Scheduling Right

Scheduling is trickier than you may think. You need to ensure the carrier has enough time to get your vehicle from Point A to Point B in time for it to arrive when you start college. Plus, you need to schedule an appropriate time to pick your car up.

That last point is extremely important.

Many college students make the mistake of scheduling their pick-up date on the same day as their college start date. That’s often a mistake. Your first day at college involves meeting new people, taking part in orientation sessions, and moving into your new dorm. Scheduling a vehicle pick-up on the same day adds more stress. It’s often a better idea to schedule the arrival of your car for a date when you know that you won’t be running around doing other things all day.

When it comes to the amount of time the journey requires, you have to consider the FMCSA rules for transporting property. These include an 11-hour driving maximum, which only applies if the driver has had 10 consecutive hours away from driving beforehand. Plus, property-carrying drivers must take a 30-minute break for every eight hours of driving. Combined with the length of the journey, these rules can add to the time it takes to transport your vehicle.

The point is that you need to schedule your delivery several weeks before you go to college. Give the transportation company plenty of time and book your pick-up date for a day when you know you won’t have a ton of other things going on.


Step No. 3 – Prepare and Document Your Vehicle

Preparing your vehicle involves removing all personal and loose items from it. Most shipping companies aren’t liable for the loss, theft, or damage that may occur to items left inside your car. You assume the risk for anything inside the vehicle.

It’s also a good idea to leave a quarter of a tank of gas in the vehicle. This provides enough fuel for the carrier to drive your vehicle onto any loading bays or trailers. But it also means your vehicle isn’t carrying unnecessary additional fuel, which can add to your costs if your carrier uses weight as a factor when determining its price.

Take time-stamped photographs to document your vehicle. It’s a good idea to clean it beforehand, which makes any existing scuffs or marks easy to find. You can then use these photos as evidence if you have to raise a dispute with your carrier. Many transportation companies also ask you to disclose information about mechanical issues, such as leaks, before they pick your car up. Note that you may be liable for any damage a mechanical issue causes to the carrier’s equipment if you don’t disclose it.


Get Ready for a New Adventure

Going to college gives you your first taste of true freedom. By having a car available, you extend that freedom and achieve true independence. You just need to ensure your car arrives at your college in good shape.

That’s where A1 Auto Transport can help.

We offer safe and reliable vehicle shipping for college students throughout the United States. We even offer international services, meaning students who are preparing to study abroad can bring their cars with them. If you’d like to learn more about our student car shipping services, get a quote from us today. Or, call us directly and save up to 20% on the cost of transporting your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my 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.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to 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!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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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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