Some movers will move your car, and I will get to that in a bit, but most movers work closely with an auto shipping service.
An auto shipping service works one of two ways. If your car runs and it’s not extremely high-value, you might choose an open carrier, which is the least expensive option. Open carriers are like you see on every major highway. New cars are typically shipped on an open carrier. Like moving companies, auto shipping companies charge based on a formula of weight and distance. Typically, you might pay around $800 up to $2,000. If you are flexible on delivery times, you might be able to negotiate a slightly lower rate.
If your car is high-value, you can ship it in a closed container. This is quite costly, but it will protect your car from potential road damage. Some moving companies offer closed container options.
If your car does not run, it will be considerably more costly, since it will need to be loaded and unloaded onto the shipping trailer.
Before you ship your car:
- Wash, vacuum it and do a thorough inspection. Take lots of pictures, including any damage your car already has. You’ll need this on the other end.
- Remove anything personal.
- Fold in the mirrors, if they fold and lower the antenna if possible. Put the top up if it’s a convertible.
- Leave just a bit of gas in the tank to lessen the weight. You will need enough to load and unload it, though.
- Disable the car alarm.
If you aren’t worried about putting additional miles on your car and you’re okay with the idea of someone else driving it, there are individuals and services that will drive your car for you, often for a considerable savings, although you will have to pay for gas.
You can find drivers on Craigslist or Autodriveaway prequalifies drivers, but you may pay a little more than with Craigslist. However, they are fully insured against damage or theft.