9 Simple Ways for How to Move a Car to Another State

Moving isn't something that makes it to top of anyone's list of exciting things to do. It can not only seem pretty overwhelming, it can get even more complicated if you have a vehicle to move as well.

Fortunately, there are several ways that are available that cater to you needs, budget, and distance. Here we go over all the most common ways to transport your car across state lines, along with some handy tips for proper prep so you can be certain that it will go smoothly.

drive the car yourself

1. Just Drive It Yourself

For those moving, especially if a short distance, driving the car yourself is the most straightforward and potentially the cheapest option. It allows you total control over your move which is great, but it can become far less practical for longer distances due to the time, effort, and costs involved with those long road trips.

ask a friend to drive car for you

2. Phone a Friend (Ask a Buddy)

Sometimes a good friend you trust can be all you need. Especially if it's not that long of a distance. Just like driving it yourself, it is the most straightforward and potentially the cheapest method with the exception that you may need to throw you buddy some pocket change to get drive-thru or a hotel if it takes more than a day.

hire professional driver

3. Hire a Professional Driver

If you're unable to make the drive yourself, or just don't want to, you can hire a professional driver. Keep in mind that this option still adds mileage to your car. However, a driverww offers the convenience of having your vehicle delivered directly to your new home without taking your own time to do it. In these cases, some of these "Drive away" services even allow for pet transport, making it an excellent choice for those also concerned with moving their pets.

trailer your car

4. Trailer Your Car

Using a trailer to ship your car offers a balance between some safety and being cost effective. When you opt for a car trailer, your vehicle is loaded onto a long trailer with all four wheels off the ground. So, it remains stationary and secure on your trip. What's great about it is that this method prevents the car from accumulating mileage and wear and tear since it is not in contact with the road. You may consider however, experience with towing a trailer is recommended.

tow car with tow bar

5. Tow Your Car

On the other hand, using a tow bar, tow dolly, or other tow methods presents a more accessible and often more affordable option for moving a car to another state. In this case you are towing a car with another car. Yo can do so by using a tow bar, you can hitch your car to a moving truck or another vehicle capable of towing. This method is cost-effective and suitable for those already renting a moving truck. However, it requires some experience and comfort with towing vehicles as it would a trailer. Also known as flat towing, it involves a tow bar, allows all four wheels of the car to remain on the ground.

use auto train

6. Ship Your Car by Train

There's always shipping your car on a train. For example, on the East Coast, Amtrak's Auto Train offers another alternative for car transportation between specific states. However, this auto train usually runs only throughout the eastern seaboard, and you usually need to be a passenger on the train itself as well.

ship car on boat

7 Ship By Boat

For certain geographical locations, such as moves to or from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or Alaska, shipping by boat is the only option. But services like Matson, Crowley, and other popular overseas companies do this. We have shipping agreements with these to do this for you, usually at a cheaper cost.

use the moving company car shipping

8. Use a Moving Company

You may not know it, but some moving companies ship cars provide vehicle transportation services. This can simplify your moving process by bundling the move of your household goods and your car. However, this convenience might come at a higher price, and less attention to detail as car shipping is usually an add-on and not their primary service.

ship car to other state with auto transport company

9 Hiring an Auto Transport Company

An auto transport company can move your car without adding mileage or wear and tear.

Hiring an qauto transport company is a popular and efficient method for moving a car to another state, especially if you are looking to avoid the hassle and risks associated with the other vehicle transportation options named above.

This service involves a professional company taking the responsibility of shipping your vehicle from one state to another using specialized car carriers. Here's a detailed look at what this process entails:

Benefits and Services

  • Professional Handling: Auto transport companies specialize in the safe, reliable, and fastest ways of shipping vehicles. Auto transporters use trained professionals and the right equipment to ensure your car is handled with the most care possible.
  • Door-to-Door Service: Reputable companies offer door-to-door pickup and delivery, making the process convenient for you. This means they will pick up the vehicle from its current location and deliver it directly to your new address, or as close as possible depending on if the truck fits or is allowed in that area.
  • Insurance Coverage: Auto transport companies carry insurance for the vehicles they transport. This offers you peace of mind, knowing that your car is protected against any the unlikely chance that there's damage during transport.
  • Multiple Transport Options: You can choose between open carrier car shipping and enclosed transport. Open-air is more cost-effective and is the most common auto shipping method. Enclosed transport provides more protection as it's sealed from the outside world which is is ideal for luxury, classic, or other high-value vehicles.

How to Choose an Auto Transport Company

  • Research: Look for companies with good reputations, positive customer reviews, and the necessary licenses and insurance.
  • Quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services. Be wary of quotes that seem too low, as they may indicate hidden fees or lack of coverage.
  • Contract: Read the contract thoroughly before signing. Make sure you understand the terms, including the insurance coverage and the company's policies on delays and damage claims.

In summary, hiring an auto transport company can alleviate much of the stress associated with moving a car to a new state. It offers a blend of convenience, safety, and reliability that is hard to match with DIY options. By doing your homework and choosing a reputable service provider, you can ensure that your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and within a reasonable timeframe.

Preparing Your Car for Transport

Regardless of the method chosen, preparing your car for transport is crucial. Ensure the car is clean, has only a quarter tank of fuel, check fluid levels, and document its condition with photos. Remove personal items and disable alarms to prevent any issues or delays during transport.

Avoiding Scams and Managing Risks

When choosing car shipping companies as your way of moving your car to another state, be sure that they are reputable and have the all the proper insurance and licenses. Obtain a binding quote to avoid unexpected costs and thoroughly inspect your vehicle upon arrival for any damage【10†source】.


The best method for moving a car to another state depends on various factors, including distance, budget, and your own preference. By considering the pros and cons of each way to ship a car across state lines and preparing your vehicle properly, you can be sure it will be a very safe and efficient process. Whether you're looking for the most cost-effective way to do this, or the most convenient solution, there's something available to meet your needs.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.