Whether you've just bought a hard-to-find car from out of state or you are moving across the country, sometimes it's necessary to transport an automobile. There are several transport options available to help you achieve this and several considerations to undertake before you do.
There are two ways to transport a car across the country if you don't want to drive it yourself: You can hire someone to drive it for you, or you can hire an auto-shipping company. Hiring someone to drive it for you may be cheaper, especially if you hire a private party who is headed in that direction anyway, but you should take into account the wear on your vehicle and the risks involved in hiring a stranger. Auto shipping saves the mileage on your vehicle and provides a little more peace of mind.
The average cost to ship a car across the country is between $700 and $900, but the actual cost will depend on the distance between the two points. The farther away your destination is, the more it will cost. If you hire a private party to drive your vehicle, you might make some arrangement with them to pay for gas while they cover the rest of their expenses, or set a flat fee. It's all up to you and the person you hire.
Get quotes from multiple companies, but don't stop there. Also check out consumer complaint boards and the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are complaints pending for damaged vehicles, poor customer service or raising the cost after an estimate was given.
Once the shipping company has your car, your only recourse will be what is contained in your shipping agreement. Read your contract carefully, including all clauses, before signing it. It should spell out the pickup date, delivery date, total cost and what the company will do in instances of delays and damage to your vehicle.
Remove all personal effects from your car, and receive everything promised by your shipping company in writing. At the time of pickup, make sure you agree with the auto condition report (the report that details any preexisting damage to your car like dings and scratches) and that you have a copy of the auto-shipping insurance policy and know how to make a claim if your car arrives damaged.