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Car Shipping Guide: Video

Welcome to, the last stop for all your moving needs. Shipping your car or truck to another place because of a move or online sale can be a challenge. It would be so much easier if I could just put my vehicle in a box and take it to the post office, but auto shipping is much more complicated than that. We’ll begin by going over domestic auto shipping, including open air and enclosed trailers. Then we’ll talk about international auto transport, using Roll-on Roll-off and container services. Then we’ll wrap up with the preparations required to ship your vehicle.

First Up, Domestic Shipping. When sending your car across the country, you’ll have two main options: Open air or closed trailer transport. The most common option for domestic auto shipping is the open air trailer. Who hasn’t seen those huge open air trailers loaded with cars driving down the highway? By choosing this option your vehicle will be securely placed on a trailer and driven to its new location.

Now, if your vehicle is your baby, and you don’t want it exposed to the elements on an open-air trailer, then you may consider shipping your auto in a closed trailer. With this option, your auto will be placed on a trailer within an enclosed area. Your auto will receive the best level of protection available, but as you can probably imagine, it’s also the pricier option.

Now that you know how to ship a vehicle within the country, let’s look into international auto shipping. Shipping your vehicle internationally is a bit more complicated than shipping your vehicle domestically. Since your vehicle will have to be transported by ship, there are some restrictions you have to know before your auto can set sail.

For instance, many countries will not allow you to bring in autos that are more than five years old. So that old minivan might have to stay behind. Also, there could be restrictions on the size of the engine, and the location of the steering wheel. Once you know you can ship your vehicle overseas, you can decide between two options: Roll-on Roll-Off service, or container service.

The first is roll on roll off service, which is the more common and cheaper option. Your auto will be rolled onto or driven onto a ship. Then it will be secured with braces onto an interior deck, well protected from the weather. Upon reaching the destination, the vehicle will be rolled off or driven off the ship.

If you want your vehicle to be even more protected, you can choose container service. Inside the container, the auto will be secured to wooden blocks and strapped into place to keep it from moving. With this option, your auto will be stored in an individual shipping container, and loaded onto the ship.

A-1 Auto Transport Ships Worldwide.

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Whether you’re shipping your auto domestically or internationally, there are several things you need to do before your vehicle can be shipped.

First, wash your vehicle for accurate inspection. Since the vehicle will have to be inspected before it’s shipped, have it washed and cleaned to ensure accurate inspection.

Second, remove any personal items, since autos will not be able to ship with personal items inside, go through the vehicle, including the trunk, and remove any valuables, documents, and other items.

Third, leave less than a quarter gallon of fuel in the gas tank. Extra gasoline in the engine can leak out in transit. Ship your auto with a minimal amount of fuel, ideally a quarter gallon or less. Keep some extra gas on hand when you pick it up so that you can make it to the nearest fueling station.

Fourth, remove or protect any loose parts. Remove the antenna and any detachable parts. For parts that can’t be removed, like spoilers, fog lights, and side mirrors, wrap them with a protective covering.

Fifth, ensure the car is in good working condition. You’ll probably want to drive your vehicle upon its arrival. Make sure the battery is charged, the fluid levels are good, and the tires are properly inflated before shipping.

By now, you should be an expert in auto shipping. There’s just one thing though, finding a company to move your vehicle. That’s where comes in! We’ve already done the work for you, to find reputable auto shippers that will give you the best estimates and shipping service. Fill out the quick form on our website, and get free quotes from up to seven auto shippers. Then you can compare and save.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by telephone or email at One of our experienced customer service representatives will be happy to serve you, one on one.

We wish you, and your vehicle, a successful relocation., for all your moving needs.

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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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We ship to locations in all 50 states and countries across the world.

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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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