How To Ship A Car From A Dealership – Tips & Tricks

Buying a car from a dealership can be exciting, but if you’re thousands of miles away from the showroom, the question of how you’ll get the car home can be daunting. Maybe you saw the car you’ve been dreaming of online, but it’s being sold in a different state. Or perhaps you’ve relocated and need your car to catch up with you. Whatever the reason, shipping a car from a dealership can be a simple and efficient process if you know what to expect and how to prepare.

Understand the Process of Shipping a Car from a Dealership

The first step in shipping a car from a dealership is understanding the process. Fortunately, it’s not complicated. It typically involves four stages:

  • Getting a quote
  • Choosing a carrier
  • Dropping off the vehicle
  • Receiving the vehicle at its destination

Each stage has its own considerations, but generally, the process is straightforward, especially if you work with a reputable car shipping company.

Consider the Cost of Shipping a Car from a Dealership

The cost of shipping a car from a dealership varies depending on factors like distance, the type of car, and the carrier. In general, though, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,500. When you’re getting a quote, make sure you understand what’s included. Some carriers will offer additional services like door-to-door delivery or insurance coverage, which can increase the cost.

Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Before shipping your car from a dealership, you’ll need to prepare it for transport. This includes:

  • Cleaning your car inside and out
  • Removing all personal items
  • Securing loose parts and accessories
  • Inspecting the car for any existing damage and taking photos

Preparing your car for shipping is essential to ensure it arrives at its destination in the same condition it was in when it left the dealership.

Choose a Reputable Car Shipping Company

Choosing the right car shipping company is crucial when shipping a car from a dealership. Look for a company with a good reputation, plenty of experience, and a proven track record of success. Research the carrier’s reviews and ratings online, and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

By understanding the process, considering the cost, preparing your car for shipping, and choosing the right car shipping company, you can confidently ship your car from a dealership, no matter where in the country you need it to go.

Research And Choose The Right Transport Company

Shipping a car from a dealership can seem daunting, but the process can be made easier by choosing the right transport company. Here are some tips for selecting the right transporter:

Different Types Of Carriers

There are two main types of carriers used when shipping a car from a dealership:

  • Open carriers: These carriers are cheaper and more widely available. The vehicles are transported on open trailers and exposed to the elements.
  • Enclosed carriers: These carriers offer more protection for the vehicle and are often preferred for high-end or classic cars. They are more expensive and less widely available.

It’s important to choose a carrier that best fits your needs and budget.

Check The Company’s Reputation

Once you have identified some potential transport companies, it’s important to check their reputation before making a final decision. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Online reviews: Look up the company on review websites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. Pay attention to comments about their timeliness, communication, and overall experience.
  • BBB rating: Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints or negative reviews.
  • Insurance: Make sure the company has proper insurance coverage to protect your vehicle in case of any damage during transport.

By doing your research and selecting the right transport company, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience when shipping your car from a dealership.

Prepare Your Car For Shipping

When shipping a car from a dealership, it is important to properly prepare the vehicle for transport. This will ensure that the car arrives in the same condition it was in when it left the dealership. The following are some tips for preparing your car for shipping:

Remove Valuables And Personal Belongings

Before shipping your car, it is important to remove all valuables and personal belongings from the vehicle. This includes any loose items such as electronics, money, important documents, and jewelry. Leaving personal belongings in the car during shipping can cause unwanted attention and increase the risk of theft. Additionally, having items in the car can add unnecessary weight to the vehicle, which can affect the transport cost.

Clean Your Car And Take Photos

Cleaning your car before shipping it from a dealership is important to document the condition of the vehicle. This process should include taking photos of the car from all angles, inside and outside. This will create a record of the vehicle’s condition before and after shipping, and can be used to verify any damages that may occur during transport. Cleaning the car is also essential to remove any dirt or debris that can scratch the car during transport. Make sure to vacuum the inside and trunk of the car thoroughly, and wipe down the exterior with a soft cloth.

Review And Sign The Delivery Contract

Once you have selected the auto transport company to ship your car from a dealership, the next step is to review and sign the delivery contract provided by the company. The contract is a legal document that outlines the details of the shipping process, the responsibilities of the transporter and the customer, and the terms and conditions of the service.

Read The Contract Carefully

It is important to carefully read the delivery contract and understand all of its contents before signing it. Make sure that you fully understand the shipping process, the payment terms, and the insurance coverage provided by the carrier. Take note of any additional charges or fees that may apply, such as storage fees or cancellation charges.

If you have any questions or concerns about the contract, don’t hesitate to ask the auto transport company for clarification. It is better to ask questions upfront and avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.

Clarify All Your Doubts And Questions With The Transport Company

Before signing the delivery contract, it is important to clarify any doubts or questions that you may have with the auto transport company. Make sure to ask about the estimated pickup and delivery dates, the carrier’s insurance coverage, and the method and time of payment.

You should also confirm the pickup and delivery locations and provide any special instructions or requirements that the transporter needs to know. For example, if the dealership has specific hours of operation or access restrictions, make sure to inform the carrier beforehand.

By taking the time to review and sign the delivery contract with care, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free shipping experience for your car from the dealership.

Arrange For Pick-Up And Delivery Locations

When you have decided to ship a car from a dealership, the first thing you need to do is to arrange for pick-up and delivery locations. Before making a decision, consider your convenience and safety. Keep in mind that some dealerships have restrictions on the number of cars they can keep on their lot for shipping purposes; therefore, you need to inform them of your plan in advance. Other dealerships may require you to pick up your car within a certain time frame.

Choose A Safe And Convenient Pick-Up And Delivery Locations

When choosing the pick-up location, you should choose a well-lit and easily accessible area with plenty of space for the truck and trailer to maneuver. The delivery location should also meet these criteria, and it should be a place where you feel comfortable picking up your car. Some dealerships offer to ship the car to your home or workplace, but this may not always be the most convenient option if you are not available at those locations during business hours. You can also choose to have your car delivered to a terminal, where you can pick it up at their designated time.

If you are unsure of the best pick-up and delivery locations, you can always consult with the dealership and the shipping company to find a suitable solution. Keep in mind that there may be additional fees associated with certain delivery locations, so be sure to check with the dealership and the shipping company before making your final decision.

Inform The Dealership Of The Shipping Details

It is important to inform the dealership of the shipping details once you have arranged for pick-up and delivery locations. This includes the date and time of pick-up, the name and contact information of the shipping company, and any special instructions or requirements for the shipping process. Providing the dealership with clear instructions and information can help ensure a smooth and stress-free shipping experience for both you and the dealership.

Furthermore, it is important to keep in contact with the dealership throughout the shipping process to ensure that they have all the information they need and that there are no unexpected delays or issues that arise. By staying in communication with the dealership, you can also ensure that they have the necessary paperwork and documentation to complete the sale and transfer of ownership once the car has been delivered.

Get Your Car Insured

Before shipping your car from a dealership, ensure that it is insured. You don’t want to risk any damages to your vehicle during the transportation process.

Check If The Transport Company Provides Insurance Coverage

Many auto transport companies provide insurance coverage, but it is good to double-check and verify what they cover. Some companies may have limits on the coverage they offer, and it may not protect your vehicle fully. Always read the fine print and terms of coverage before signing up with a transport company.

Ask the transport company about their insurance coverage and inquire about what types of damages they cover. For instance, some companies may only cover damages caused during transport and not damages from other vehicles or natural disasters.

Consider Purchasing Additional Insurance Coverage

If the transport company’s insurance coverage isn’t enough to protect your car, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance coverage. Many insurance companies offer coverage specifically for vehicle transportation, so it’s worth checking with your insurance provider to see if they have any offers.

Make sure to compare prices and coverage offered by different insurance companies before making a decision. Additional insurance coverage may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can provide peace of mind should anything happen to your vehicle during transportation.

Track Your Car During Shipping

When shipping your car from a dealership, it’s important to stay informed about the whereabouts of your vehicle throughout the process. Fortunately, most auto transport companies offer real-time tracking information so you can keep track of your car’s progress every step of the way. Here’s what you need to know about tracking your car during shipping:

Ask The Transport Company For Real-Time Tracking Information

Before you ship your car, it’s important to find out what kind of tracking information the transport company provides. Ask if they offer real-time tracking information and how you can access it. Some transport companies provide tracking information through a mobile app, while others may provide updates via email or text message. Whatever the method, make sure you know how to access the tracking information so you can stay informed about your car’s progress.

Be Aware Of Any Delays Or Issues And Contact The Transport Company Immediately

While most car shipments go smoothly, there may be times when unexpected delays or issues arise. If you notice that your car is not moving along the expected timeline, or if there are any other issues with the shipment, it’s important to contact the transport company immediately. Some transport companies offer customer service support 24/7, so you can get in touch with a representative any time of day. By staying on top of any delays or issues, you can ensure that your car arrives at its destination safely and on time.


1. What do I need to prepare before shipping my car from a dealership?

Before you ship your car from a dealership, there are a few things that you need to prepare. Firstly, you should arrange for the transportation of your car with a reputable car shipping company. It is important to choose a reliable company that specializes in transporting vehicles to ensure the safe and secure delivery of your car. You should also inspect your car thoroughly before it is shipped and take note of any damages, dents, or scratches. Additionally, you should remove any personal belongings from your car and ensure that the fuel tank is only a quarter full. You should also inform the dealership and the transportation company about any modifications or customizations made to your car so that they can take extra care during transportation.

2. How do I choose a car shipping company to transport my car from a dealership?

When choosing a car shipping company to transport your car from a dealership, you should consider a few factors. Firstly, you should make sure that the company is licensed, insured, and bonded. This will ensure that your car is protected during transportation and that you will be compensated in case of any damages or loss. You should also verify the company’s reputation by checking customer reviews and feedback. It is also important to check the company’s experience, routes, and services offered. You should request a quote from a few different companies to compare prices and services. Additionally, you should ask the company about their tracking and communication methods. A reliable company should be able to provide you with real-time updates on the status of your car’s transportation.

3. How long does it take to ship a car from a dealership?

The duration of car shipping from a dealership depends on various factors such as the distance, route, and mode of transportation. If you are shipping a car within the same state, it may take 1-3 days for delivery. Shipping a car to another state may take 3-7 days. The duration may also depend on the type of transportation chosen. Shipping a car through an open trailer may be faster and cheaper, while enclosed trailers may take longer and cost more. Additionally, the duration may also be affected by weather conditions, traffic, and any unforeseen circumstances during transportation. It is important to discuss the expected delivery time with your car shipping company and plan accordingly.

4. How much does it cost to ship a car from a dealership?

The cost of shipping a car from a dealership depends on several factors such as the distance, route, mode of transportation, and the type of car being shipped. The cost may also depend on the season and demand for car transport services. On average, it may cost anywhere between $500-$1500 to ship a standard car within the same state, while shipping to another state may cost between $700-$2000. Shipping a luxury or expensive car may cost more due to the need for extra security and protection. It is important to request quotes from different car shipping companies and compare prices and services offered before choosing one.

5. What should I do if my car gets damaged during shipping from a dealership?

In case your car gets damaged during shipping from a dealership, you should take action immediately. Firstly, you should inspect your car thoroughly upon delivery and take pictures of any damages or issues. You should also notify the car shipping company and the dealership immediately about the damage. Most car shipping companies offer insurance coverage for any damages or loss during transit. You should file a claim with the car shipping company as soon as possible and provide evidence of the damage. The car shipping company may arrange for repairs or compensation for the damages. It is important to read the terms and conditions of the insurance policy carefully before signing up for car shipping services.