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How to Choose Between Cross Country Car Shipping Companies

Selecting the right vehicle transporter is critical when shipping your car across state lines. With so many cross country car shipping companies online, it can take time to make an informed decision. But ensuring a smooth and successful car shipping experience is easier than you think. In this guide, we will discuss different types of vehicle shipping services and key factors to consider when choosing between cross country car shipping companies.


If you’re trying to decide the best way to ship a car cross-country, it’s essential to understand the different methods available and their respective pros and cons. Additionally, several factors can influence the cost of shipping. Let’s explore these aspects in more detail:

Open Transport Car Shipping

example of cross country car shipping companies that offer open auto transport

Open auto transport is the most common and cost-effective method of shipping vehicles. With this method, your car is loaded onto an open-air trailer by itself or alongside other vehicles. While this option provides efficient transportation, it does expose your vehicle to the elements and potential road debris. Open transport suits most vehicles, especially those regularly driven and of low value.


  • Cost-effective
  • Wide availability
  • Convenience and flexibility
  • Faster transit times
  • Frequent departures
  • Efficiency for standard vehicles


  • Exposure to elements

Enclosed Transport Car Shipping

Enclosed auto transport means simply shipping your vehicle in an enclosed trailer or container. This method provides a higher level of protection and is ideal for luxury cars, classic vehicles, or high-value automobiles. Enclosed transport protects your vehicle from the elements and potential damage during transit.


  • Enhanced protection
  • Ideal for valuable vehicles
  • Secure and safe environment
  • Protection against road debris
  • Customized handling and care
  • Preservation of vehicle condition
  • Peace of mind


  • Higher Cost


Several factors play a role in determining the cost to ship a car to another state. It’s important to consider these factors when obtaining quotes and planning your car shipping logistics:

  • Distance: The distance between the pickup and delivery locations significantly determines the shipping cost. Longer distances will generally result in higher prices.
  • Vehicle Size and Weight: Larger and heavier vehicles may require more resources and specialized equipment for shipping, which can affect the cost.
  • Vehicle Type: The shipment type can also impact the cost. For example, larger vehicles like trucks or SUVs may require more space on the carrier, potentially increasing the price.
  • Season and Demand: Seasonal fluctuations and the demand for car shipping companies can influence pricing. High-demand periods, such as during the summer or holiday seasons, may increase prices.
  • Additional Services: Additional services such as expedited shipping, door-to-door delivery, or insurance coverage may incur extra costs. Discussing these options with the service provider and considering your specific needs is important.


Choosing between cross country car shipping companies requires some research and due diligence. It’s essential to consider various factors to ensure a reliable and hassle-free car shipping experience. Here are some key considerations to include in your evaluation process:

  • Experience: Consider a transporter’s experience first and foremost. Look for companies and transporters with a proven track record and a track record of successful vehicle shipments. An experienced service provider is more likely to have a thorough understanding of the logistics involved in car transportation and can handle any potential challenges that may arise during the process.
  • Customer Reviews: Read customer reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the experiences of other individuals who have used the services of the carrier. Pay attention to any recurring issues or red flags mentioned in the reviews. Reputable cross country car shipping companies have positive reviews and a track record of delivering vehicles safely and on time.
  • Insurance Coverage: Verify that the shipping company provides adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. Ensure their insurance can cover the value of your vehicle in case of damage or loss. For total peace of mind, consider purchasing a uShip Protection Plan.
  • Licensing and Certifications: Check if the shipping company is appropriately licensed and registered with the necessary authorities. Look for certifications such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) license, ensuring safety regulations compliance. Valid licensing and certifications indicate that the company meets industry standards and operates legally.
  • Transparent Communication: Evaluate the communication practices of the shipping company. Reliable cross country car shipping companies have clear and prompt communication channels to address any inquiries or concerns you may have. Open and transparent communication
    helps build trust and ensures you’re well-informed throughout the shipping process.

Using a reputable online marketplace like uShip can provide several benefits in your search for cross country car shipping companies:

  • Wide Network of Carriers: uShip connects you with a vast network of carriers who ship nationwide. This extensive network offers you more options and flexibility when choosing between cross country car shipping companies.
  • Competitive Pricing: Through uShip, you can receive competitive bids from different carriers, allowing you to compare prices and choose the most cost-effective option for shipping your vehicle.
  • Customer Reviews and Ratings: uShip provides customer reviews and ratings for carriers, helping you make an informed decision based on previous customers’ experiences. This feedback can give you valuable insights into the reliability and quality of the carrier’s services.
  • Streamlined Process: uShip simplifies finding and booking with cross country car shipping companies. The platform provides a user-friendly interface, facilitating accessible communication with carriers, obtaining quotes, and managing the ins and outs of your car shipment.

By conducting thorough research, considering key factors such as reputation, experience, and customer reviews, plus utilizing a reputable online marketplace like uShip, you can make an informed decision and select between the best cross country car shipping companies.

Now, let’s discuss the different types of vehicle shipping services available.


When it comes to shipping vehicles, there are different service options available to suit various needs and preferences. Understanding these options can help you choose between cross country car shipping companies. Here are the commonly available vehicle shipping services:

Door-To-Door Shipping

Door-to-door shipping involves the carrier picking up your vehicle from your specified location and delivering it directly to the destination address. This is often considered the most convenient option as it eliminates the need to drop off or pick up your vehicle from a terminal.


  • Convenience: Door-to-door shipping saves you time and effort by handling the entire transportation process, from pickup to delivery, without additional logistics.
  • Direct Service: Your vehicle is transported from one specific location to another without any intermediate stops, reducing the risk of potential damage or loss associated with additional handling.


  • Accessibility: In some cases, specific locations may have limited access for carriers, such as narrow streets or areas with restrictions on large trucks. This can make door-to-door shipping more challenging or require alternative arrangements for pickup or delivery.

Door-to-door shipping is recommended when convenience and a hassle-free experience are top priorities. It suits individuals who prefer a seamless process without coordinating transportation to and from a terminal.

Terminal-To-Terminal Shipping

Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves dropping off your vehicle at a designated terminal or depot for shipment and picking it up from another terminal at the destination. This method may require you to arrange transportation to and from the terminals.


  • Cost-Effectiveness: Terminal-to-terminal shipping can be more cost-effective than door-to-door shipping, as it eliminates the additional pickup and delivery service directly to your specified location.
  • Flexibility: Terminals are often located in major cities or transportation hubs, providing more flexibility regarding drop-off and pickup options.


  • Additional Logistics: Terminal-to-terminal shipping requires you to transport your vehicle to and from the terminals, which may involve extra costs and arrangements.
  • Potential Delays: Coordinating with terminal schedules and availability can introduce additional transit time, especially if there are limited departures or arrivals.

Terminal-to-terminal shipping is recommended when cost-effectiveness is a priority, and you have the flexibility and means to transport your vehicle to and from the designated terminals. It can be a suitable option for individuals looking to save on shipping costs while ensuring reliable transportation.

Other Available Options

Apart from door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping, there may be additional options that cater to specific needs or situations:

  • Expedited Shipping: Expedited shipping services prioritize faster delivery of your vehicle. This option is ideal if you have time-sensitive transportation requirements, but it may come at a higher cost.
  • International Shipping: If you need to ship a vehicle overseas, specialized international shipping services are available. These services handle the necessary documentation, customs clearance, and transportation logistics to ensure a smooth international shipment.

When deciding between these options, consider the following recommendations based on different scenarios:

  • Convenience: If convenience and a seamless process are essential, door-to-door shipping is recommended.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: If saving on shipping costs is a priority and you have the means to transport your vehicle to and from terminals, terminal-to-terminal shipping could be a more economical option.

By considering your priorities, budget, and your vehicle’s specific needs, you can select the most suitable vehicle shipping service that aligns with your requirements.


Shipping your car across the country can be stress-free with proper preparation and effective communication. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth car shipping experience, including preparing your vehicle, communicating with the shipping company and driver, understanding insurance options, and addressing potential challenges.

Preparing the Vehicle for Shipping

Before handing over your vehicle to the shipping company, take the following steps to ensure it’s ready for transport:

  • Clean the Vehicle: Thoroughly clean your car’s interior and exterior. This allows for a more accurate inspection and ensures that any existing damage is visible.
  • Remove Personal Items: Take out all personal belongings from the vehicle. Carriers typically require an empty vehicle during transport for safety and insurance reasons. Removing personal items also reduces the risk of damage or loss during transit.
  • Document the Vehicle’s Condition: Before shipping, carefully inspect your vehicle and document any existing damages or scratches. Take detailed photographs from various angles as evidence of the vehicle’s condition before transportation. This will help resolve any disputes if there are any discrepancies upon delivery.
  • Effective Communication with the Shipping Company and Driver: Smooth communication with the shipping company and the driver can contribute to a seamless car shipping experience.
  • Provide Accurate Contact Information: Ensure you provide the shipping company with accurate contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses. This enables smooth communication throughout the shipping process and lets you stay updated on your vehicle’s transportation progress.
  • Discuss Specific Requirements: If you have any specific requirements or concerns regarding your vehicle’s shipment, communicate them clearly with the shipping company. Whether it’s the pickup or delivery location, preferred schedule, or any special instructions, clear communication helps set expectations and ensures a tailored experience.
  • Coordinate Pickup and Delivery Details: Coordinate the pickup and delivery details with the shipping company well in advance. Make sure someone is available at the pickup and delivery locations to facilitate the process and inspect the vehicle. If you cannot be present, designate a trusted representative to handle the process.

Insurance Options And Necessary Documentation

When it comes to car shipping, insurance and protection options, necessary documentation is essential for a worry-free experience. Understand the coverage provided by cross country car shipping companies and review policy details. If required, consider additional protection, like the uShip Protection Plan. Gather all the necessary documentation, including vehicle registration, insurance information, and any specific paperwork requested by the shipping company or authorities. Proactively preparing and organizing the required documents streamlines the process and prevents delays or complications during shipping.

By addressing these crucial aspects, you can guarantee a smooth and secure car shipping experience.

Highlighting Potential Challenges And How To Address Them

Although rare, certain challenges may arise during car shipping. Here are some potential challenges and how to address them:

  • Potential Delays: Understand that unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions, traffic, or mechanical issues can cause delays in the transportation process. Maintain open communication with the shipping company to stay informed about any potential delays and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Damage or Loss: While rare, there is a slight risk of damage or loss during transit. This is where thorough documentation and protection come into play. Document the vehicle’s condition before shipping, and in the unfortunate event of any damage or loss, promptly notify the shipping company and your insurance provider to initiate the claims process. Those who purchase a uShip Protection Plan can work directly with uShip to handle all disputes.
  • Communication and Updates: Stay in touch with the shipping company throughout the transportation process to receive timely updates on the progress of your vehicle. Address any concerns or questions promptly, ensuring that you’re well-informed and confident in the status of your shipment.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful car shipping experience, from adequately preparing your vehicle for transport to maintaining effective communication with the shipping company and addressing potential challenges along the way. Remember, proactive preparation and clear communication contribute to a smooth and hassle-free car shipping process.

When it comes to shipping your vehicle across the country, uShip stands out as a leading online marketplace that connects you with reliable and reputable vehicle shipping services.


uShip is your trusted partner for vehicle shipping because of our extensive network of feedback-rated carriers, competitive pricing, and easy-to-use platform. With uShip, you gain access to a wide range of cross country car shipping companies, ensuring a seamless and secure delivery experience. The platform’s competitive pricing assures cost-effectiveness, while customer reviews provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered.

Here are some of the benefits of working with uShip:

  • Nationwide network of carriers
  • Competitive and instant pricing
  • Reliable and trusted service
  • Streamlined shipping process
  • Convenient online platform
  • Transparent customer reviews
  • Enhanced shipping options
  • Peace-of-mind guarantee


closeup of car on open trailer

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing a vehicle shipping company for your cross-country transport needs, it’s crucial to make an informed decision. By considering factors such as reputation, experience, insurance, customer reviews, and the convenience of a reputable online marketplace, you can ensure a successful car shipping experience.

We encourage you to visit uShip, the leading online marketplace for vehicle shipping services. With its wide network of carriers, competitive pricing, and emphasis on reliability, uShip is your trusted partner in finding the right vehicle shipping solution. Experience the convenience and peace of mind that uShip offers, and make your car shipping process efficient, safe, and hassle-free.

Visit today to get started on your car shipping journey and make the smart choice for your vehicle transportation needs.


How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

The cost of auto transport can vary depending on several factors, including the distance of the shipment, the size and type of the vehicle, the chosen transport method, and the current market conditions. Create a free listing on uShip for a more precise estimate.

How long does it take to ship a car cross-country?

It can take a couple of days to a couple weeks, depending on the distance, carrier availability, time of year, and current road conditions.

What are the best vehicle shipping companies?

Determining the best vehicle shipping companies depends on customer reviews, reputation, and services offered.

How can I check the reputation of a vehicle shipping company?

You can check a service provider’s reputation by reviewing their uShip carrier profile, plus researching their online reviews and ratings.

What insurance options are available for car shipping?

Any reputable company should carry insurance to cover potential damages during transport. For ultimate peace of mind, we recommend purchasing a uShip Protection Plan at checkout.

Is door-to-door shipping better than terminal-to-terminal shipping?

The choice between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping depends on your budget, shipping needs, and personal preferences.

Can I ship personal belongings inside the car during transport?

It’s generally recommended not to ship personal belongings inside the car during transport because of liability and safety reasons.

How do I prepare my car for shipping?

Prepare your car for shipping by cleaning it, removing personal items, documenting its condition, and ensuring a low fuel level.

What documents are required for car shipping?

Required documents for car shipping typically include proof of ownership, registration, and insurance.

Are there any risks involved in shipping a car across the country?

While car shipping is generally safe, there can be potential risks, such as minor damages or delays, which can be mitigated with a reputable shipping company and adequate protection.

Looking for cross country car shipping companies? Start your free listing today and see how much it would cost to ship your vehicle.