Will Car Dealerships Ship Cars: What to Know Before You Buy and How to Get Started

Will Car Dealerships Ship Cars?

Technology has changed the way we buy and sell goods, including cars. In today’s digital age, you can purchase a car online and have it delivered right to your doorstep. However, not all dealerships offer shipping services, and many people wonder whether car dealerships even ship cars to begin with.

Dealerships across the world face the same dilemma – providing a satisfactory solution to customers who live far from the dealership. Even within the same country, there are often transportation challenges. Fortunately, many dealerships now offer car shipping services that cater to customers looking to buy vehicles that are out of state or even out of the country.

Why would a dealership ship a car?

There are various reasons why dealerships consider shipping cars, one of them being the increase in demand for online car sales. Another reason is due to their location. Being in a remote area where there is a lack of local clientele, a car dealership has to broaden its customer base by offering shipping services to buyers out of their area.

Dealerships that offer shipping services can cater to customers’ needs even when they are not physically present at the dealership. There is no need for the customer to travel to the dealership and conduct the purchase in the traditional way, as everything can be done online nowadays.

How does car shipping work?

Shipping a car is not as simple as mailing a package. Car shipping services require a lot of specialized equipment, meticulous planning, and coordination to ensure that the car arrives at its destination safely and on time.

The first step to shipping a car is to choose a reliable car shipping company. The dealership usually recommends a transportation company they’ve worked with and often have positive feedback. A reputable auto shipping company will take care of all the logistics of the shipment. They will coordinate pick-up and delivery dates and arrange the necessary permits and paperwork for interstate shipping.

Car dealerships package the car with care, including padding the vehicle for shipping, draining fluids and ensuring appropriate plate registration before delivery. Dealerships will also keep clients informed throughout the shipping process.

In conclusion, car dealerships do ship cars – some have shipping services that extend to far-away places, and some even ship cars across international borders. Shipping a car can be expensive, but it saves customers time and brings convenience. It’s important to choose a reputable and experienced shipping company to ensure the car is delivered safely and on time. But if you are looking for a remote dealership with distinct vehicle purchase options, be sure you check if they offer shipping services.

1. Introduction

Car Dealerships During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way businesses operate globally, including car dealerships. The traditional model of potential buyers visiting showrooms has ceased due to the imposed lockdowns and social distancing measures. In this context, there has been a significant shift towards online purchases, and accordingly, car dealerships have adopted new strategies to cater to the needs of their customers. Many car dealerships have implemented virtual test drives and online financing options to attract potential buyers.

Shift Towards Online Purchase

With the pandemic causing changes in consumer behavior, many customers have turned to online channels to buy their vehicles. This shift has seen dealerships increase their online presence. According to AutoTrader, online searches for cars in the U.S. went up by a staggering 62% in April 2020 compared to the previous year. The same trend was observed in other parts of the world, with car dealerships leveraging digital platforms such as social media, Instagram, and YouTube to market their cars. Customers can now browse dealerships’ websites, view images of the car, and even take virtual test drives to evaluate their preferred cars before purchase.

Car Dealerships Shipping Cars

As the shift towards online car buying continues, many customers are now wondering if car dealerships ship cars. For customers who find their preferred car from a dealership that is far away or located in another state or even country, shipping the car becomes a concern. The good news is that most car dealerships offer shipping services. Shipping costs vary based on the distance to be covered, time taken, and type of car, among other factors. Dealerships mostly use reliable car shipping companies or freight carriers who are experienced in shipping cars to safely transport vehicles to customers. Some dealerships may also offer free shipping for vehicles purchased from their locations.

Below is a table showing some of the popular car dealership chains and their shipping policies:

| Company Name | Shipping Policy |
| Carvana | Free shipping for orders up to 100 miles; fee-based service for distances above 100 miles |
| AutoNation | Offers shipping services to customers within a 500-mile radius of their dealership locations |
| CarMax | Ships cars for a fee to locations within 300 miles of their dealership locations |
| Vroom | Free shipping for all orders |
| Penske | Offers shipping services for a fee to customers within a 300-mile radius of their dealerships |

With the evolving consumer behavior towards online purchases, car dealerships have had to adapt to offer shipping services for their customers and ensure convenient, hassle-free, and safer delivery of cars purchased.

2. Car Dealerships Shipping Trends

Car dealerships have been exploring shipping options as a way to expand their customer base and increase sales. While traditional brick-and-mortar dealerships still play a significant role in the industry, the trend towards online car purchases has created a new market for dealerships that can offer shipping options.

Increased Demand for Online Purchases

With the rise of online shopping, customers are looking for convenience and flexibility. This has led to an increase in demand for online car purchases, and in turn, a need for car dealerships to offer shipping services. Customers no longer want to be limited to local dealerships, and shipping allows them to access a wider selection of cars. This has also opened up opportunities for dealerships to tap into new markets, such as rural areas or regions where there are no local dealerships.

Another factor contributing to the increase in online car purchases is the pandemic. With social distancing guidelines in place, customers are hesitant to visit physical dealerships. Offering shipping options provides customers with a safer and more convenient way to purchase a car without having to leave their home.

Competition among Car Dealerships

As more car dealerships start to offer shipping services, competition in the industry has increased. Dealerships must find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and offer unique features that appeal to customers. This can include offering free shipping, faster delivery times or specialized packaging to ensure the car arrives in pristine condition.

Car dealerships must also invest in technology and staff that can handle the logistics of shipping a car. This includes coordinating with shipping carriers, preparing the necessary permits and paperwork, and ensuring the car is properly packaged for transport. Dealerships that can streamline this process and offer a seamless shipping experience for customers will be more likely to succeed in this competitive market.

3. Pros and Cons of Car Dealerships Shipping


Car dealerships shipping cars have numerous advantages for both buyers and sellers. Here are some prominent pros of car dealerships shipping:

  • Greater Selection: One of the most significant benefits of car dealerships shipping is that it widens the options for buyers. This is because they can easily purchase a car from anywhere in the country or beyond without worrying about the distance. This can also help in getting the desired model for a better price.
  • Convenience: Another advantage of car dealerships shipping is that it saves the buyers from the hassle of traveling long distances to get their desired cars. This is especially beneficial for those in remote areas who cannot visit dealerships easily.
  • Better Deals: Car dealerships shipping often results in more competitive pricing for buyers. Buyers have multiple options to choose from and can factor in the shipping price to make their final decision. This creates a more competitive environment for car dealerships, driving the prices down.
  • Efficiency: Shipping cars between dealerships also saves time and hassle for sellers. It eliminates the need for traveling to sell or purchase the cars, reducing the time and money spent by the seller.


While car dealerships shipping offers many benefits, there are also some drawbacks that buyers and sellers should be aware of:

  • Extra Costs: One of the biggest disadvantages of car dealerships shipping is the extra cost associated with it. Shipping adds an extra fee to the cost of the car, which can exceed a few thousand dollars sometimes.
  • Third-Party Negligence: Shipping cars through third-party shipping companies can sometimes result in negligence or damage to the vehicles. This can cause problems for buyers and sellers, leading to a series of legal and financial complications.
  • Delivery Times: Shipping cars across long distances may take some time, which can lead to impatience and frustration for buyers. Prolonged delivery times can also cause some inconvenience for sellers who have to wait before they get paid for their cars.
  • Limited Test Drives: Another disadvantage of car dealerships shipping is that buyers have limited access to test drives. They may have to buy a car before they get a chance to see it, which can be risky and may lead to unsatisfactory purchases.

4. How to Ship a Car from a Dealership

Choosing the Right Dealership

When considering shipping a car from a dealership, it is important to choose a dealership that has experience in car shipping. Some dealerships may have their own shipping services, while others may rely on third-party shippers. Research the dealership’s shipping process and consider their customer reviews before choosing one. It is also important to consider the dealership’s location, as shipping costs can vary depending on distance.

Getting a Quote and Signing the Contract

Before the car is shipped, the dealership will provide a quote for the shipping costs. It is important to read the contract carefully, as it will outline the terms and conditions for the shipment. Ensure that the contract includes insurance coverage for any damages that may occur during transport. Once the quote and contract are agreed upon, the buyer will typically be required to provide a deposit before the car is shipped.

Preparing the Car for Shipping

Before the car is shipped, it is important to prepare it for transport. This includes removing any personal belongings and securing loose parts. The gas tank should also be less than halfway full to reduce weight. The dealership will typically handle the rest of the preparations, such as securing the car onto the trailer and protecting it with covers.

Picking Up the Car and Inspecting It

When the car arrives at its destination, the buyer should inspect it for any damages that may have occurred during shipping. Take photos of any damages and report them to the dealership immediately. It is important to also check the car’s mileage to ensure that it matches the mileage on the contract. Once the buyer is satisfied with the condition of the car, the final payment can be made.

Will car dealerships ship cars?


In today’s digital age, customers are no longer limited to shopping for cars in their local area. With the rise of e-commerce, car dealerships are now able to expand their reach and sell cars to customers across the country. However, many customers are hesitant to purchase a car from a dealership that is not located near them. One of the biggest concerns for these customers is whether or not the dealership will ship the car to their location. In this article, we will explore whether or not car dealerships ship cars to customers.

Car Shipping:

While not all car dealerships offer shipping services, many do. Dealerships often partner with third-party shipping companies to transport vehicles to customers in different parts of the country. Before purchasing a car from a dealership, it is important to check if they offer shipping services and how much they charge for this service. Some dealerships offer free shipping to customers who live within a certain distance, while others charge a flat fee or a variable fee based on the distance traveled.

Factors to Consider:

If you are considering purchasing a car from a dealership that offers shipping services, there are several factors to consider. First, you should research the shipping company that the dealership partners with to ensure that they are reputable and trustworthy. You should also inquire about insurance coverage for the vehicle during transport and any additional fees that may be associated with shipping the car.


In conclusion, while not all car dealerships ship cars, many do offer this service to customers. Before purchasing a car from a dealership, it is important to inquire about their shipping services and associated costs. Consider partnering with a reputable shipping company and ensure that the vehicle is properly insured during transport. With these factors in mind, purchasing a car from a dealership that ships cars can be a convenient and efficient way to expand your car-buying options.


1. Do car dealerships ship cars across state lines?

Yes, many car dealerships offer shipping services for their customers across state lines. Shipping a car can be a convenient option for those who are unable to pick the car up themselves, or for those who want to avoid the long drive and potential wear and tear on the car.

However, it’s important to note that not all car dealerships offer shipping services. It’s always a good idea to confirm with the dealership before making a purchase whether or not shipping is available and what the cost may be.

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

The cost of shipping a car from a dealership varies depending on several factors, including the distance the car is being shipped, the make and model of the car, and the shipping method used. The cost can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

It’s important to get a personalized quote from the dealership or shipping company as the cost can vary greatly. Some dealerships may offer free or discounted shipping as part of a promotion or special offer.

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

The length of time it takes to ship a car from a dealership can vary depending on the distance being shipped, the availability of the shipping company, and the shipping method used. Many dealerships and shipping companies will provide an estimated delivery time based on these factors.

Generally, shipping a car within the same state can take a few days, while shipping across the country can take up to two weeks. It’s important to communicate with the dealership and shipping company about any time constraints or scheduling conflicts to ensure a smooth delivery process.

4. What happens if the car is damaged during shipping from the dealership?

If a car is damaged during shipping from a dealership, it’s important to first document the damage with photos and notify the dealership or shipping company immediately. Many shipping companies offer insurance to cover any damages incurred during transport, and the dealership may be able to assist with filing a claim.

It’s important to thoroughly review the dealership’s policy on shipping and delivery, including any insurance coverage offered. While rare, accidents and damage can occur during transport, so it’s important to be prepared and informed.

5. Can I track the shipment of my car from the dealership?

Many shipping companies offer online tracking services for car shipments, which allow customers to monitor the status and location of their vehicle throughout the shipping process. Dealerships may also offer updates and tracking information, and will likely communicate directly with the customer about any delays or issues.

It’s always a good idea to confirm with the dealership or shipping company whether or not tracking services are available and how to access them. Tracking can provide peace of mind and help customers anticipate their car’s delivery date and time.