Shipping a Car after Purchase: What You Should Know

Car Shipping

Buying a car can be a difficult process, especially if you’re looking for something particular. For this reason, many people look outside their local areas and end up buying a vehicle out of state.

This alone already comes with a few extra steps, such as more taxes and inspection requirements. However, in the end, it can be completely worth it when you get your dream car!

But once you’ve purchased it, how do you get that vehicle to where you are? Well, there are shipping services available.

Are you looking into shipping a car after buying it? Then you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about how to ship a car.

Car Shipping Cost

ship car after purchasing

Before we discuss how to ship a car after purchasing, let’s first take a look at the options and possible costs associated with them. That way, you can make a better decision for your personal situation and have a better idea of how much money you’ll need to spend.


Of course, you can expect to pay more the further you have to ship your car. But what many people aren’t aware of is that the longer the distance, the more cost-savings you’ll get.

Auto-shipping companies will charge by the mile, but the higher up your mileage gets, the cheaper it is (per mile). So if you’re shipping from coast to coast, you won’t have to worry too much about racking up your bill because anything over 2,000 miles or so will be cheaper.

Open vs Enclosed Haulers

If you’re on a budget, an open hauler will do the trick. It’s also the better choice if you’re on a strict timeline and need more availability from drivers.

However, the caveat is that your vehicle will be subjected to the outside environment. While the best drivers can do everything in their power to protect your car, there’s only so much they can do.

So if you want peace of mind, opt for enclosed haulers instead. They’re more expensive and have less availability, but they’ll protect your new purchase a lot more effectively.

Speed of Shipping

Speed of Shipping

Your choices for speed of shipping are economy, standard, and expedited.

Expedited services allow for same or next-day pickup, which means you’ll have to pay a premium for this service. However, it ensures that you’ll get your vehicle quickly.

Otherwise, economy and standard shipping have more affordable price tags. If you can wait, then these might be better options for your wallet.

Time of the Year

As with any industry, supply and demand will cause auto shipping prices to fluctuate. The season to avoid is summer since this is the peak season where everyone wants to transport their vehicles.

Winter is also not optimal since daylight hours are scarce, the weather is not as good, and drivers take time off for the holidays. This means there’s a scarcity then as well.

Spring and fall are both better options. They’ll offer lower prices and better availability, so if you can wait, these times can be much better for auto shipping.

Shipping a Car After Purchase

Now that you understand what affects pricing, we can tackle the real question at hand: shipping a car after you’ve bought it. Below are the steps you can expect to take.

Request a Quote

First off, never book a company without requesting a quote. In fact, it’s in your best interest to get several estimates so you can compare them. This will help you decide which companies are affordable and which are pulling off shady business practices.

A trustworthy auto shipper will make it easy and simple to request a quote. For example, they might have a cost calculator where you take a minute to fill out and receive an instant quote at the end.

These estimates will clearly state which type of service you’ll receive, when the available estimated pickup and dropoff times are, and how much you can expect to pay.

Schedule a Pickup Time

Let’s say you’ve compared quotes and there’s a company where you like what you see. Then, the next step is to schedule a pickup time for your vehicle.

Once you’ve agreed on a time, the agent will then go over what needs to be done to prep the car for pickup. You can pass this information to whoever’s handling your vehicle in the state you purchased it in.

Usually, you’d go over the pickup inspection with the trucker, but since you’re not there, you’ll have to give this responsibility to someone out of state.

Your Car in Transit

Car in Transit

Once the car’s been inspected, your delegate will sign the Bill of Lading and the vehicle will be loaded onto the truck.

While it’s in transit, you’ll be able to get updates whenever you wish. This can be done either through the website or by contacting the driver directly.

Receive Your Car

Once your car arrives, you’ll then inspect it again with the driver. If there are any new damages, the auto shipping company will handle them with their insurance.

Otherwise, you’ll sign a new Bill of Lading. And then, you’re free to drive off with your new vehicle. Congratulations!

Shipping a Car Is Easy

You might be apprehensive about shipping a car after you’ve purchased it. But hopefully, this article has put your mind at ease about the whole process.

Not only do you now know about what to expect for the process, but you also have a rough idea of what services are more expensive than the others. This will allow you to plan better and select the services that are right for your needs!

Navigating Legal Requirements

When you purchase a car from out of state, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal and regulatory differences that may affect the process. Different states have varying requirements for taxes, emissions, and vehicle inspections, which you must address before your new car can be registered. Ensure you research or consult with a legal expert to understand what specific documentation, such as title transfer and temporary registration, is needed to comply with your state’s laws. This preparation prevents any legal hurdles during the shipping or registration of your new vehicle.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Selecting a reliable auto shipping company is vital for ensuring your car arrives safely and on time. Look for companies with positive reviews, proper licensing, and insurance coverage. It’s beneficial to choose a company experienced in handling out-of-state purchases, as they’ll be familiar with the logistics and legal nuances of transporting vehicles across state lines. Getting referrals from the dealership or previous customers can also guide you towards a reputable shipper, making the process smoother and more secure.

For more auto articles, make sure you check out the rest of our blog now!

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