Call Now: (800) 886-7135

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Shipping Your Car


At one point, you’ll have to have your car transported – maybe it’s an old car and you don’t want the slightest scratch on it, maybe you’re moving to a new state and your vehicle is just not the ‘long drive’ type, maybe you just feel safer having it shipped. Whatever the reason, we at All American Trucking and Transport can help you. We offer a wide range of services that guarantee the safe transport of your car, truck, motorcycle, and other vehicles from California to anywhere in the country.

The Cost Factors of Shipping Your Car

Now one of the first questions that people always ask about our services is the cost. There are many factors that affect the prices of transporting vehicles. The first thing to consider is there are two main ways to ship a car – Open Car Transport and Enclosed Exotic Car Transport. There is a clear difference between their prices, and we’ll discuss them later.

In general, here are the main considerations when it comes to shipping costs.

  • Vehicle size and type – the size of your vehicle is one of the biggest factors that dictate pricing. It determines how much space is needed in the carrier and how much weight will it add. The bigger vehicles generally cost more to transport. Compact cars, for example, are cheaper to haul than SUVs or minivans.
  • Transport distance – basically, the farther the destination, the more expensive it is to transport your car. The increase in price is brought on by toll fees, gas charges, man hours especially for overnight trips, and other charges for leaving the state. Deliveries to hard-to-reach areas cost more than those to major metropolitan places too.
  • Seasons – there’s usually a spike in bookings during summer. This means prices also go up. During winter, prices drop too.

Open Car Transport is cheaper than Enclosed Transport. Compared to its alternative, open carriers are two-level trailer trucks that can usually transport more vehicles. This means the operational cost of every Enclosed Car Transport trip is more expensive.

Of course, the added security of enclosed carriers is also a consideration. Although vehicles are already very safe when they are transported via open carriers, enclosed trucks offer that extra protection from the weather and other external elements.

The Shipment Process

The shipment process also raises some mostly logistical questions. We will be there to help you through the whole course, from pick up to delivery.

After booking with us and setting a schedule, our team of experienced professionals will get the car at the appointed time and place. Before strapping it in, we meticulously survey the vehicle to mark down every little scratch and dent and note them down.

We then share the report with you to get your approval of our assessment. This is very important, and we will not proceed with the shipment until this step is complete. This document will serve as protection for both you and us.

We don’t take a deposit of the payment. If you’re paying by credit card, you will be charged when the car is successfully delivered and the service is complete.

During transit, your car is safely secured to the carrier with the help of strong straps that don’t harm the paint job. We keep tabs on the trips our carriers make to ensure we know what’s happening with your car at all times.

Drivers deliver cars between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM seven days a week. They will contact you to set up a two to four-hour delivery window. They’ll call you within an hour of their arrival.

Upon delivery of your car to its destination, we visit the report again to make sure no damage was taken during the transportation. You or your representative must be present to further check the vehicle. Once cleared, the shipment is completed.

In extremely rare cases where damage is believed to be taken during transit, all our carriers have insurance coverage amounting to at least $100,000. We will help you with your claim, as we have been doing for our clients since 1994.

The Preparations on Your End

Some preparations should be made on your end to ensure that your car is delivered in the best condition it can be.

Thoroughly cleaning your car is always a good idea. Before shipping it is an absolute must – both its exterior and interior.

If you plan on going for the open trailer service, a good coat of wax at the car wash can help as an added layer of protection. Keep in mind that in transit, your vehicle will be exposed to road debris, dust, and the elements, so getting it fully detailed is not recommended. We suggest you do the detailing after shipment so you can make the most of its sparkling condition.

You can check for preexisting scratches and dents on your own, so you already have an idea when we do our assessment. While you’re at it, you can also look at your car’s tire pressure, hoses for leaks, and whether the alarm is disabled. This is also the best time to note down quirks of your car that will allow us to transport it better.

Leaving only about a quarter of your gas tank filled will lessen the weight of the car during shipment while still having enough for on and off-loading.

Carriers usually allow up to 50 lbs of personal items in the trunk during shipment, but these items are not covered by transport insurance. We don’t recommend shipping anything valuable or breakable. If the weight of the items exceeds 50 lbs, the driver may either charge you with an additional fee, or simply ask you to leave the items. Plants, liquids, and firearms cannot be shipped in vehicles across state lines. These items will be confiscated by the Department of Transportation.

The All American Trucking and Transport Edge

If you’re planning on shipping your vehicle from California to any part of the US, we are the best choice. All our delivery dates are guaranteed, and we never require a deposit. We stay in touch with all our drivers throughout their trips. Most of all, we always treat your car like our own and take the highest level of care when handling them.

Give us a call to learn more. You can also check out our other services.

Get Your Quote