Demystifying the Process: A Comprehensive Guide to Shipping Your Car Safely and Cost-Effectively

Worried about shipping your car?

Below we’ll go into how to ship your car safely and get the best deal from your favorite vehicle transportation company.

Let’s get started.

How to Ship Your Car Safely and Effectively

1. Choose a car transportation company

The first step to shipping your car effectively is to find a reputable car transportation company. 

Joe Webster from A1 Auto Transport states: “With the online world being littered by car transport services that aren’t legit, it stains the entire legitimate transportation industry. Always go with a reputable company that has been well-reviewed and is documented by the DOT and the FMCSA.

Start by searching for the type of vehicle transportation you’re looking for. If you have a higher-class vehicle, you’re going to want to utilize a shipping company that excels in luxury car shipping. If you have a broken vehicle, then work with a company that understands how to ship broken cars.

The next step is to vet the transportation company by checking their licensing from the DOT and FMCSA. Shady operators will attempt to seem legitimate, but truthfully they don’t operate legally and can cause you a load of trouble.

2. Negotiate the price

Negotiating the price is going to be important because you as the customer have leverage. This is why it’s important to vet your transport company, to ensure you’re working with a company that isn’t going to jack up the price at the last moment.

Always ask for the final price, for delivery and everything included. You do not want your delivery driver to show up and ask you for 2-3x the initial agreed-upon price, leaving you backed into a corner without many options.

Contact as many transportation companies as you can to get an idea of what the typical price would look like for your specific vehicle shipment. If they fail to offer a flat rate quote for you, then you’re better off looking elsewhere to ship your vehicle. 

3. Get your vehicle ready for shipping

After you’ve selected your transportation company, you’re going to need to prepare your vehicle for shipping. Start by washing the car and taking photos of the exterior. This is so you have documentation if any damage is done to the vehicle during shipment.

Remove any loose objects inside and any valuables as your valuables are not covered by the insurance. Take off any outside accessories like cargo boxes or if you have a Jeep, the wheel on the back.

You’ll also be required to have the gas tank at 1/4th of its capacity (or more or less depending on the carrier requirements). Ensure your vehicle is ready to ship to avoid delays during the handoff.

4. Hand-off your vehicle

When the delivery driver comes to pick up your vehicle, he’ll do an inspection. Ask to see the document before and ask for a copy so you know the state your vehicle was in before you gave it to the company.

Keep these documents for safekeeping, as you don’t know if you’ll need to claim a later date. It’s also a good time to take some more pictures for documentation, to ensure your vehicle was given in the condition that it was written. 

5. Pick up your vehicle 

After all is said and done, you’re free to pick up your vehicle at its destination. Double and triple-check your vehicle to ensure no damage was done. Consider tipping your drivers as well, as they often work long and hard hours transporting vehicles across the country.

If something went wrong with the transportation, either delays or damage, ask your driver if they can offer you any advice before you contact the transportation service that you used to make a claim. 


Shipping a car can initially appear to be a daunting task, filled with uncertainties and potential pitfalls. However, when broken down into its core components, it becomes clear that with the right research and approach, one can easily and confidently navigate the car transportation industry. 

From carefully selecting a trustworthy transportation company to ensuring a smooth hand-off and pick-up process, the path to shipping your vehicle safely and cost-effectively is well within reach. 

Always remember the importance of due diligence, understanding your rights as a consumer, and preparing your vehicle adequately for the journey ahead. By following these guidelines, you’re not just shipping a car; you’re ensuring its journey is carried out with the same care and precision you’d give it yourself. Safe travels to your vehicle and may it reach its destination in the pristine condition you expect.

A great transportation service that has been around for years is A1 Auto Transport. With their years of expertise, and depth of knowledge, they’ll be able to help you get your vehicle from point A to point B without any worries. 

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

We break down every information into easy-to-understand articles that cover all the categories anyone who owns a car needs to know about, such as oil , brakes , tires and etc. Our car guide is free and updated regularly for you to use as a resource, not only when you have an issue with your car but even before buying a new or used car! We also give tips on what to look for in each category or part of your vehicle.