How to Ship a Car to Another State

how to ship a carIf you’ve never shipped a car before, don’t panic.

You’re not alone, most people are fortunate enough to go through life and never have to ship their car.

Yes, I said “fortunate”.

Because if you ask 10 people about their experience shipping a car, about 3 or 4 of them will give you an real ‘earful’ about their experience.

Here are 3 Quick Tips to help you have the most pleasant experience possible:

Take your time and do your research

Your choice of car shipping companies is not something you want to make a snap decision about, so take the time you need to check out what the folks at the BBB have to say about the companies you are considering.

Word of mouth is another great source, so if your friends have moved a car before, ask them. (Just be warned about the ‘earful’)

And, nowadays, online reviews are very popular. There is a great site that is specific to this industry ( where you can read the feedback from previous customers on just about any company. (Full disclosure: we’re the top rated company there over the last 18 months, so…of course, we’re a fan)

Read the fine print

Don’t believe everything you are told by a sales rep on the phone. Most sales reps in this industry are paid on commission (full disclosure: ours too) and will, therefore…how shall we say…paint things in a slightly different light than…well…reality.

Every company must provide you with the terms and conditions for your order, and it’s imperative that you read and understand them. A lot of what you find in there may surprise you, and you don’t want the first time you read them to be AFTER a problem arises.

Keep your expectations realistic

The number one complaint that you will hear from people is “the carrier was late for (pick up/delivery/dinner etc)”.

Remember – carrier’s “offices” are on the road; and as we all know from our own experiences on the freeway, sometimes a two hour trip can become a four hour trip without warning (especially here in Los Angeles). Truckers have to deal with that everyday.

Now – carriers will always give you estimates (and the carriers we use are really great at hitting theirs) but if you try to take their estimates as more than that, or if you try to consider them (*gasp*) ‘guarantees‘, then you are greatly increasing your chances of frustration.

Stay in touch with your carrier (we always provide you their number) and notify your broker of any problems or concerns, and you should be just fine.

(Also remember – if you are looking for an estimate for car shipping, you can use our Free Car Shipping Calculator without having to provide any personal info. Enjoy!)

Auto Shipping Across The United States

Auto Shipping

All over the United States drivers see cars being transported in big auto carriers. That might seem like a convenient method of auto shipping if only you could access these services as a private customer. The truth is that you can.

The internet has made it easy to find something you want that is located a considerable distance away, even a car. The challenge of buying large items, such as a car, has always been how to transport the item long distances at a reasonable cost.

That is where auto shipping companies like Safe-Direct Car Shipping come in.  Is it possible without using a car shipping company?  Yes, you could fly in and drive out, or invite a friend to take a long road trip and drive the new car back., however, this also can become costly. Arranging for the car to be shipped saves time and effort you could put into something else, like gathering the parts and materials or purchasing some upgrades for the new car!

It only takes a minute to get a free estimate of the price you could pay for auto transport.  After indicating the type and condition of a car and how far it will travel, our online auto shipping calculator will suggest a cost, though this will be set by an agent when you decide for certain that you want to have a car shipped to your home.

Another piece of good news is that the vehicle will come directly to your home. The carrier will park out front of your townhouse, house, or condo with the vehicle and a form to sign. This is a waiver, indicating that you have completed the transaction and will not be pursuing compensation for damages to the car. Check the car over before you sign. Damages during auto shipping are rare, but they do happen, so be sure you document any damage.

Moreover, do not hand over a penny until this point. We don’t recommend that you pay any money up front, but some companies will.
Check out the quick video below for some tips on auto shipping scheduling and pick up dates.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or request a free quote online.

Free Car Shipping Quote

Auto Transport Companies – You Don’t Have to Be Scared

If you are unfamiliar to the auto transport industry, you are not alone. Luckily, there are folks who have gone before you and can confirm it can be done without issue!

One of the most common confessions we hear when we speak to new customers is that they have never shipped a car before but have read a bunch of horror stories on-line. But the truth is that thousands of cars are successfully shipped each week, from many different auto transport companies, – the success stories just don’t tend to get posted.

auto transportHere is what one of our actual customers had to say about her experience:

Safe-Direct was our broker (organizes the shipment initially) and C&D Auto Transport was our carrier (truck who drove our car across the country): 

These days, we all don’t have a lot of change laying around so $795 to ship a car was a gamble to us and we’re glad it paid off. Out of the dozens of quotes I received, Safe-Direct gave me one of the cheapest quotes. I read numerous reviews about auto transport brokers & carriers before choosing Safe-Direct (the broker). 

At one point, I had high hopes for a website called, but it was confusing and the quotes were much higher. Other reviewers of U-Ship noted that the website charged brokers/carriers too much, which made customer’s final costs high. So I wouldn’t use U-Ship, just pick up the phone and call Safe-Direct directly. 

Anyways, I chose Safe-Direct because the emails from Jason were very clear and helpful. One of his emails included links to informational, short youtube clips about shipping a car from Safe-Direct’s owner. I watched them all in a matter of minutes, and most of my questions were answered by the videos. 

I called Jason’s direct line and he was very helpful. I wanted the car to be picked up on the May 25th (hooray, it was picked up by the carrier on May 25th). But I didn’t want it to be delivered to our destination until we arrived on June 4th (about ten days later). Both Jason and the carrier’s dispatch assured me it shouldn’t be a problem. 

When our car was picked up by C&D, I overheard the driver saying that they were going to be at the destination on Wednesday, May 30th. So it was going to take just five short days to go from CA to FL. So as long as your car is picked up, it seems like they ship cars very fast. 

We flew into FL late night on June 4th and rented a car for one day. The neighborhood where we were staying had small, windy roads and we didn’t want to wait in some parking lot for the delivery so we decided to meet them instead. The next day we met C&D outside of their yard in Miami where our car was probably stored for a couple days. We handed over the cashiers check for $600 (the rest of the total balance; $200 ish was paid via credit card to Safe-Direct at the time of booking) and we got our car & key. The car turned on perfectly and has been driving just fine. 

Here are some tips: 
-Watch all the videos Safe-Direct sends you 
-When Jason or whomever sends you a secured link in a quote email, make sure you fill it out immediately in order to get set up with a carrier. 
-For the pickup, try a big parking lot if your neighborhood’s roads are small. We chose what we thought was a big parking lot, but the turn into the lot was deemed difficult by the driver. So the carrier just stopped on Ocean blvd (not too busy of a 2 lane road) blocking one of the lanes and loaded the car from there. It was not much of a problem and they were finished loading within ten minutes. 
-We had an air bed mattress and a small box in our trunk. The driver didn’t open our trunk upon pick up and it was all there upon delivery. 
-Try to have just a tiny amount of gas in the tank upon pickup. The lighter the car is, the better it is for the carrier. 
-However, upon delivery make sure you map out a nearby gas station to fill up ahead of time. 
-Keep in contact with the carrier company. Make sure you have several phone numbers for them. We spoke and texted with Yoe (she was like the dispatch for C&D – carrier company). We were always able to reach her on her cell. We updated her a few days before, the day before, and the day of our arrival and desired “delivery time.” 
-Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have your car picked up and delivered at an airport, so plan on renting a car or arranging other transportation if you are flying and will be shipping your car. 
-I was most unsure about C&D, the carrier, since they had a few negative reviews online. However, everything turned out fine. So try not to worry. 
-Write a review when all is said and done 🙂 

I would highly recommend both the Safe-Direct and C&D Auto Transportation companies based on my experience. They both delivered on their promises and we paid what we were quoted. Best wishes! 

Thanks for the helpful feedback, Pamela! That should help calm some first-time fears. But if you still have questions, like Pamela said, “…just pick up the phone and call Safe-Direct…!”

Car Shipping Reviews – Customer Karen R. says “Use with confidence”!

Shipping a car across the country is something most people only do once a lifetime (if at all), so the process is unfamiliar. A great way to gain confidence about it is to read one of our car shipping reviews from an actual customer.

car transport reviewsOur customer Karen R. left feedback for us after she transported her car from California to Maryland. She even had a false start with another transporter before finding us. Here is what she says about the experience:

Needed to move my SUV across country from CA to MD. Had used another transport service for move from MD to CA and was very dissatisfied. Had to sign an upfront contract and pay an upfront deposit for service with that company. They did not keep me informed and contacting them was difficult (long hold times, etc.) 30 days past my original pick up date, they finally did find a carrier but when the carrier contacted me for pick up directly, I was asked for several hundred dollars over contracted amount. Obviously, hadn’t been notified of this in advance by the transport service.

Dealing with Safe Direct was an entirely different experience. Selected them by the Transport reviews and ratings. No upfront signing of a contract, no deposit until a carrier was assigned. Company provided very informative video links explaining all aspects of transport process. David, who was my contact person, kept me well informed throughout via email or telephone.

When no carrier had picked up my transport five days after my initial available date, David worked with me to make sure my vehicle was picked up within the time parameter I had provided.

I did end up having to ‘sweeten the deal’ somewhat to make my transport more attractive to a prospective carrier and also had to be willing to adjust my drop off destination somewhat, which amounted to my being willing to drive a little over an hour to a nearby destination. However, I did not feel manipulated into paying more than my estimated amount by Safe Direct because David was very forthcoming with information on the trips in my time-frame that had been picked up, the rates agreed to, etc.

After a carrier was assigned to me, David was accessible in case I had any problems and followed up after my transport was complete.

The carrier that ultimately accepted my transport (M&T Transport) turned out to be very professional and in the end, actually delivered my car early to my destination! They also were very good about keeping in contact with me about the status of their arrival and most importantly, my vehicle was delivered to me in the same excellent condition it was picked up in.

I would definitely recommend Safe Direct and plan to use them again in the future based on this experience.

How’s that for informative feedback?!  Thanks, Karen!!

If Karen’s experience inspires any questions about car shipping, please give us a call. Our friendly representatives are happy to explain the process and the quotes are free!


Auto Transport Reviews that really help

Here’s a great recommendation from an auto transport review site. Not only was the customer happy, but also he raised some good points about the transport process. Of course we love hearing auto transport reviews when a customer is pleased with the service and that is exactly what many potential customers want to read when they are doing their research on us. But car shipping reviews can also be very informative and help first-time shippers gain more insight into the process. All of the most common shipper concerns were mentioned in Charlie’s feedback, so let’s take a closer look…

“I have a friend in the industry so I knew the general issues, the fact that you have to find a market price to get someone to take your car, etc. Tom helped me understand his pricing proposal.”

We’ve all gotten used to a fair amount of belt-tightening, coupon-clipping and bargain hunting, but looking for the cheapest price on your transport may lead to misunderstandings about pricing in the transport industry. The cheapest quote you get may not be the best bargain, as it might not be priced to confirm a carrier immediately (or in your time frame). It is important to be aware that carrier availability is regular, but not always available “on demand” for a budget-friendly price. Your needs may require a pricing adjustment so it’s important to find a representative – like ours – who takes the time to assess your situation and suggest your pricing options.

“Tom helped me understand … the logistics in that my first available date was the last day I was in town. He worked to get my neighbor’s information if he was the person that gave the keys to the carrier.”

As mentioned earlier, carrier availability is regular but it is not always immediate or “on-demand”. (And that’s true no matter how much notice you give us when you place your order.) It’s always a good idea to allow for some flexibility – either with your timing or with your pricing. In Charlie’s case, he needed his car up to his last day in town. Some customers can make their cars available a day or two before their “drop-dead” deadline. Or some customers have a friend or family member as a back-up, like Charlie did. Or some customers prefer to let a better price point be their “back-up”.  Let us know where you can be flexible as well as your restrictions so we can help you troubleshoot your move.

“The carrier…allowed me to send a couple boxes in the trunk.”

This is an interesting point, because we don’t actually recommend shipping personal belongings in your vehicle. We can’t, because technically our license doesn’t allow us to accommodate that. But in practice, some drivers will overlook a box or a bag of non-valuable items left in the trunk. You definitely don’t want to try to cram your vehicle with the contents of your bedroom, or all of your favorite computer equipment, or your grandpa’s violin collection. A driver can’t overlook that, for a few reasons. If it affects the weight of their load, it requires them to charge you more or make you remove items. Hundreds of pounds of additional weight can also increase the chance of undercarriage damage to your vehicle. Not to mention that items left in the vehicle can’t be insured (because technically they aren’t supposed to be there.) In this case, Charlie and his driver took a risk. But even if you are willing to chance it, ultimately it’s the driver’s decision.

Thanks to Charlie for the great recommendation and food for thought! As you read car shipping reviews, consider the issues and expectations other customers have especially if they match your concerns. Please give us a call or shoot us an email if you have any questions about any auto transport review or our comments here. Happy shipping!

Why Gas Prices Affect The Cost to Ship a Car

If you’re concerned about the rising cost to ship a car, you are not alone.

Let’s face it, we are ALL getting hammered at the gas pump these days. I have slowly watched my friendly neighborhood gas station’s prices go up 50 cents per gallon over the last month or so.

It’s killing me, I know it’s killing you.

But imagine if you drove an 18 wheeled Car Carrier that only got 5 or 6 miles to the gallon.

Brother, that will make your operating costs soar and your profit margin *shrink*.

So what we are seeing nowadays is the cost to Ship a Car slowly rising as well. Nothing drastic, maybe 50 dollars here, perhaps 100 there.

It’s not the Car Carriers trying to gouge you in any way, they are merely adjusting their prices to accommodate their increased operating costs.

As gas prices come down, the cost to ship a car will come back down as well.

It’s why we always recommend that you check your price closer to the actual date that you move your car.

I know the prices we quoted last month are no longer getting cars moved, and by next month, if prices come down, you could end up paying more than you need to for car shipping.

Be patient, we are all in the same boat.

Free Car Shipping Quote


Car Shipping (without the Headache)

car shippingThe process of car shipping may not be as easy as you think, but it doesn’t have to be a headache either. Car shipping is something that most people have never done before, so when it comes time to ship a car there are many questions that need to be answered.

We have created this blog to give you ongoing information that will hopefully answer all your car shipping questions.

The way the car shipping process starts for most people is through and online search. What you will get when looking on google or bing or other search engines are the names of literally hundreds of car shipping companies.

We recommend a couple of key things to look for when checking out these companies:

  • What is their BBB Rating and are they accredited?

The reason this is so important is that there are too many fly by night companies out there. They may create a pretty website and make some nice promises over the phone, but eventually they are going to show their true colors and when they do, their previous customers will have no choice but to turn to the BBB.

In order for them to have a good BBB rating they will need a low volume of complaints, but most importantly, they will need to demonstrate that they address and resolve those complaints with their customer. Otherwise they will end up with an “F”. (as if F-orget about this car shipping company).

  • We are Rated ‘A’ as well as Accredited.

The next thing that is a great idea while doing your research on car shipping companies is to look for their Auto Transport Reviews.

  • Look at Transport Reviews or Transport Rankings.

More and more these days, websites are created that are venues where people can go to share their experience with a particular car shipping company. And reading another person’s experience can be a good indicator of what your experience with that company may be like.

If the site allows for responses from the company, then we DEFINITELY recommend reading those too. If the company’s response is “this customer is wrong and here are all the reasons why blahblahblah” then do you really want to be the next customer they blame their poor service on?

Read reviews and you’ll see what we mean.

  • We are 5 Star Rated by both Transport Reviews & Transport Rankings.

But of course, the biggest thing to look for in a Car Shipping Company is a customer service representative that will help you through the process of shipping your car.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most knowledgeable customer service staff in the car shipping industry.

We don’t do pressure sales, because that doesn’t benefit either of us. Our staff will help you understand the process of shipping your car and will do their best to make your move go as smoothly as possible.

When you are ready, you can find out what we are talking about by calling:


or online: