How to Move Your Car Across Country in the USA?

How to Move Your Car Across Country in the USA?
7 min read

Embarking on a cross country move is a monumental task, and ensuring the smooth transport of your vehicle is a crucial element of this journey. In this comprehensive guide, we'll unravel the intricacies of move car across country, offering insights, tips, and a step by  step approach to make this significant undertaking as seamless as possible.

A cross country move marks the beginning of a new chapter, and the safe transport of your vehicle is a pivotal aspect of this transition. In this guide, we'll delve into the complexities of moving your car across the country, exploring various methods, understanding associated costs, and providing a roadmap for a successful journey.

Why Opt for Moving Your Car Across Country?

1. Convenience in Long-Distance Moves

The practicality of driving your vehicle across the country may not align with the broader scope of your move. Opting to move your car becomes a sensible choice, saving time and energy that can be better directed toward settling into your new environment.

2. Preserving Your Vehicle's Condition

Extended drives, especially over vast distances, expose your vehicle to wear and tear. Choosing professional car moving services ensures that your vehicle arrives at its destination in the same condition it left. This is particularly crucial for vehicles with special considerations, such as vintage or high-value automobiles.

Selecting the Right Method for Moving Your Car Across Country

1. Open Transport: Balancing Cost and Exposure

Open transport is the most common method for moving cars across the country. Vehicles are loaded onto open carriers, providing a cost-effective solution. However, exposure to the elements is a consideration, making it suitable for cars that can withstand weather conditions.

2. Enclosed Transport: A Shield for Precious Cargo

For those prioritizing protection, enclosed transport is the preferred choice. This method involves moving your car in an enclosed carrier, shielding it from weather and road debris. Although pricier, it provides an added layer of security, making it ideal for high-value or delicate vehicles.

Choosing the Right Cross Country Car Moving Company

1. Researching Reliable Companies: A Crucial Step

Not all car moving companies offer the same level of service. Thorough research is key to finding a reputable company with a track record of safe and reliable cross-country car transport. Customer reviews, industry reputation, and proper licensing should all be considered in your decision-making process.

2. Obtaining Quotes: A Financial Starting Point

Getting quotes from multiple car moving companies is an essential step in understanding potential costs. Consider factors such as distance, vehicle type, and chosen transport method when obtaining quotes. Be cautious of quotes that seem significantly lower than the average, as they may hide hidden fees or subpar service.

Understanding the Costs of Moving Your Car Across Country

1. Distance Traveled: The Core Cost Factor

The primary determinant of the cost to move your car across the country is the distance it needs to travel. The longer the distance, the higher the cost. Understanding this mileage metric is crucial in estimating and budgeting for your car moving expenses.

2. Vehicle Type: Size and Weight Considerations

The size and weight of your vehicle also impact the overall cost. Larger and heavier vehicles take up more space on carriers, affecting the moving capacity. SUVs, trucks, and other larger vehicles generally incur higher moving costs compared to compact cars.

3. Time of Year: Seasonal Price Fluctuations

Similar to other industries, the car moving business experiences seasonal fluctuations. Summer is often considered the peak season, with higher demand due to more people moving. Winter, on the other hand, may see lower prices as demand decreases.

4. Moving Method: Open or Enclosed Transport

The choice between open and enclosed transport methods also influences the cost. Open transport is more cost-effective, while enclosed transport provides enhanced security at a higher price. Evaluate your budget and the level of protection your vehicle requires to make an informed decision.

5. Additional Services: Enhancing Your Moving Experience

Car moving companies often offer additional services that can impact the overall cost. Services like expedited moving or door-to-door delivery may come with additional charges. Assess your priorities and budget to determine which additional services, if any, are necessary for your specific situation.

Getting Quotes and Estimating Costs

1. Obtaining Comprehensive Quotes

When obtaining quotes, ensure they are comprehensive and transparent. Understand what is included and excluded in the quotes. Some companies may offer additional services that could impact the overall cost, so be clear on the specifics before making a decision.

2. Insurance Coverage: Protecting Your Investment

Insurance is a critical aspect of moving your car across the country. While most reputable moving companies provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit, it's essential to understand the extent of coverage. Consider additional insurance if needed, especially for high-value vehicles.

Budget Friendly Tips for Moving Your Car Across Country

1. Plan Ahead: Time is Money

One of the most effective ways to save on moving your car across the country is to plan well in advance. Last-minute bookings may incur higher costs, so give yourself plenty of time to research, obtain quotes, and choose the right moving company.

2. Flexible Timing: Off-Peak Advantage

If possible, consider moving your car during off-peak seasons or less busy times. This could result in lower prices, as demand is generally lower when fewer people are moving.

3. Choose Open Transport Wisely

While enclosed transport offers superior protection, opting for open transport can significantly reduce costs. If your vehicle can endure exposure to the elements without significant risk, this may be a cost-effective choice.

4. Terminal to Terminal Moving: A Budget-Friendly Option

Choosing terminal to terminal moving over door to door delivery can also save you money. While it requires you to drop off and pick up your vehicle at designated terminals, the cost savings can be substantial.

Hidden Costs and Red Flags to Watch Out For

1. Lowball Quotes: A Potential Warning Sign

Be cautious of quotes that seem unusually low compared to the market average. Such lowball offers may indicate hidden fees, subpar service, or even a potential scam. Prioritize reputable companies with transparent pricing.

2. Hidden Fees: Scrutinizing the Fine Print

Carefully review the terms and conditions of the moving agreement to identify potential hidden fees. Some companies may charge extra for fuel surcharges, expedited moving, or additional services. Being aware of these fees in advance helps you budget more accurately.

3. Lack of Insurance Coverage: A Risky Proposition

Ensure that the moving company provides adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. A lack of insurance or insufficient coverage could expose you to significant financial risks in the event of damage or loss.


Moving your car across the country is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration. By understanding the costs associated with car moving and being aware of potential pitfalls, you can navigate this journey with confidence. Let your vehicle be a companion on this adventure, and may the road ahead be filled with smooth travels and new horizons.

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