8 Rules to Follow When Transporting a Car Across the Country


Transporting a car across the country is a process that most people believe it’s a stressful and complicated process. Truth is, if you choose the right car shipping company, the process should be easy and stress free. In order to have a smooth process, there are a few things you should know and do before getting your car picked up. Here are some things you should do to prepare to ship a car across the country:

The first thing most people want to know about is the cost of transporting a car across the country.

The cost will vary depending on multiple things.

  1. The first thing is location. The cost of vehicle shipping across the country depends on where the car is coming from and going to. Direct routes are routes that are from a bigger city to another bigger city. For example, a car going from New York City to Los Angeles, will cost less to ship than a car going from West Virginia to the middle of Oregon. The main reason is because it is more convenient. Drivers prefer going from a big populated city to another, rather than a small town where it would be hard for them to find a job going back.
  2. The second thing is the demand of a driver. For example, if Los Angeles has many cars going to the east coast, the demand of a driver goes up. The price for auto transport across the country from Los Angeles then would be higher, since drivers have the choices of cars. On the other hand, if the demand for a driver is higher in Los Angeles, then prices from the east coast will be cheaper, since there will be less car shipping from the west coast.
  3. The third thing is the vehicle itself. Smaller vehicles will cost less to ship across the country than bigger vehicles. Pick up trucks, and family sized SUVs will cost more. It is also based on weight and total height. The best thing to do is check in with your car shipping company, give them all the details and modifications of your car, and get the right cost to transport a car across the country.

The second aspect of shipping a car across the country that customers often worry about is safety.

Car Transport Across the Country

The right car shipping company, like TCI LOGISTICS, will make safety a high priority as it should be. Shipping a car across the country is no different than shipping to a nearby state. If the moving company chosen is the right one, your vehicle will always be safe regardless of the distance. Your vehicle’s safety depends directly on the vehicle shipping company you choose to handle your car moving needs across the country. Companies like TCI LOGISTICS will do background research on the drivers that are asking to transport a car across the country and make sure they are highly qualified. Reviews are a great way to see how companies filter the drivers.

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Another topic that is important to touch when talking about moving a car is insurance.

Most companies like TCI LOGISTICS, will include full insurance in the price quoted to ship a car across the country. Those companies will also have a backup insurance just in case the driver’s insurance falls through. Companies like TCI LOGISTICS understand that customers are looking for the best experience possible, but the process can also bring some issues. If any damage is noted upon delivery, your shipper will assist you fix the damage hasslefree. Insurances are in place to protect the customer, so make sure your car transporter includes insurance in the cost.

The best way to move a car across the country is following some rules.

8 Rules to Follow When Transporting a Car Across the Country

Here are some ideas in order to improve your car transportation needs:

  1. Company - find the best company to handle your car transportation across the country - TCI LOGISTICS, for example will help you find the best driver and the best way to transport your car.
  2. Details - give the right details to your shipping agent in order to get the right quote.
  3. Communication - make sure to communicate with your company and have the driver’s information so you are ready when the driver arrives.
  4. Clean - wash your car. Clean the inside. Take pictures. Make sure the vehicle looks good for that inspection.
  5. Be prepared to meet the driver - drivers are often coming with their big open car hauling trailers. They can’t fit into neighborhoods for multiple reasons. If a driver asks you to meet in a parking lot nearby, be ready to assist.
  6. Safe - The best way to transport a car across the country is safe. Do the inspection. It doesn’t matter if you are in a hurry, an inspection of your car is essential. Remember, your car is about to be transported across the country, you want a good inspection done.
  7. Relax- relax and let TCI LOGISTICS handle the rest.
  8. Delivery - Upon arrival, make sure you have the funds ready, unless already paid, do the same inspection, and enjoy your new home!


On the other hand here are a few misconceptions about shipping a car across the country:

  • Items inside the car - your car is not allowed to have anything inside. Drivers will typically make exceptions and allow up to 100lbs inside the trunk/ cargo area of the vehicle. Anything more will need to be discussed with the transporting company, and may affect the price.
  • Timing - just because it may take you three days to drive across the country, shipping a car typically is standard with drivers - it takes them 7-10 days for delivery. Of course, every driver is different and have different schedules, if you need a quicker delivery, ask your agent, and they might be able to assist you. The cost will also depend on your timing and flexibility. Remember, drivers usually have eight other vehicles with your vehicle, that is eight other schedules they need to work around.
  • Empty drivers - drivers are never empty when moving a vehicle across the country. Customers often say they can wait until an empty driver passes by. That is a misconception. Drivers go to locations with a plan and cars already booked. Empty drivers are rare to find.
  • Price increase - drivers are not allowed to increase their costs. There are a couple of scenarios where the cost to ship a car might increase. One of them is luggage. Some customers put over 100 lbs inside the vehicle and do not tell the car transporting company - drivers do not like surprises as they will go through weigh stations and must follow DOT rules. Another scenario that can affect the cost of moving a car is the vehicle’s condition. If the vehicle is not operable, then winches are needed. Drivers with a winch will ask for a higher price. Once your price is set with shipping company, and there are no surprises, drivers are not allowed to ask for a higher price upon delivery. They also have a signed contract with the company you chose to assist you.
  • Safety - All vehicles are strapped into place and barely move throughout the transport. Cars do not bounce around the entire trip, and shipping will not cause any mechanical damages to your vehicle. Therefore, drivers are not responsible for mechanical issues.
  • Weather - drivers are not responsible for the weather conditions throughout the country. Your vehicle might arrive a little dirty. This is completely normal when it comes to open car transportation. However, if your car is too dirty to the point you cannot do the inspection, contact your service provider for help.
  • Communication - drivers are trained to call a day before pick up and before delivery. They will also call an hour before the actual pick up and delivery to make sure someone is able to receive the car. If you cannot receive your car, make sure you have a family member or a friend ready to receive it for you. Drivers will typically not call throughout the trip, as they are paying attention to the road. Make sure to call your service provider to get an update.
  • Location - if your neighborhood is smaller, or downtown of a bigger city, it is likely that the driver will ask you to meet in a parking lot nearby. They are driving semi trucks, with vehicles on their open car hauling trailer, they have to worry about trees, other cars, children and their own safety. Communicate with the driver and the process will be easier.

Moving a car across the country isn’t easy. There are steps you have to take in order to secure the best driver to ship your vehicle. The best way to transport a car across the country is by choosing the right shipping agent to handle your shipping needs. As you see, the cost of transportation, the safety of your vehicle and the hassle free process is mostly up to the shipping companies. Make sure to choose the right one, don’t just focus on the cost. Focus on reviews, on feedback, and on knowledge. Good luck!

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