bbb logo
  • Need Assistance? Call Us 800-251-9024

Choosing the Right Vehicle Shipping Method: Guide to Different Ways to Ship a Car

Moving to a new city, purchasing a vehicle from a distant seller, or simply relocating for an extended period may require you to ship your car across long distances. In such situations, choosing the correct vehicle shipping method becomes essential to ensure your prized possession arrives safely and on time.

Fortunately, several ways to ship a car are available, each catering to different needs and budgets. This comprehensive guide will explore the various car shipping methods, their advantages and drawbacks, and how to make an informed decision based on your specific requirements.


10 Different Ways to Ship a Car to a New Destination

If you need to transport your car somewhere across the country safely, there are many ways to accomplish the task. Discover the top ten ways to move your vehicle through greater distances below.


1.     Open-Air Carriers


Open-air car carriers are the most common and cost-effective method for shipping cars. These carriers are typically large trucks with multiple levels where cars are parked and secured for transport.

The vehicles are exposed to the elements during transit, as the carriers lack protective enclosures or covers. While open transport services are more affordable, they may disclose your car to weather conditions, road debris, and potential scratches from nearby vehicles.

However, it remains a popular choice for standard vehicles and short to medium-distance shipments.

Ways to Ship a Car: Open Carrier

2.     Enclosed Carriers


Enclosed car carriers offer a premium solution for car owners seeking maximum vehicle protection during transit. These carriers have fully enclosed trailers with walls and roofs that shield cars from external elements.

Enclosed transport is ideal for transporting luxury cars, classic vehicles, or high-value cars that require additional protection against weather, dust, and debris. Although it comes at a higher cost than open-air carriers, there are many advantages of enclosed transport for luxury vehicles, such as peace of mind and added security for your vehicle.


3.     Door-to-Door Service


Door-to-door car shipping is a convenient option that allows your vehicle to be picked up from your current location and delivered directly to your desired destination. This service eliminates the need to drop off or pick up your car from a terminal or shipping hub.

While door-to-door shipping offers added convenience, it may be subject to limitations in certain residential areas due to narrow streets or local restrictions. In such cases, the shipping company will coordinate with you to determine the closest suitable drop-off or pick-up location.

Discover the 6 benefits of door-to-door car shipping to determine if this way of shipping a car is ideal for you.


4.     Terminal-to-Terminal Service


Terminal-to-terminal car shipping involves dropping off your vehicle at a designated shipping terminal and picking it up at the destination. This method is often more cost-effective than door-to-door service but requires you to arrange transportation to and from the airports.

Terminal-to-terminal shipping is best suited for individuals who can manage drop-off and pick-up logistics or for those residing near the terminals.


5.     RORO (Roll-On/Roll-Off) Shipping


RORO shipping is a commonly used method for shipping cars overseas. Specialized vessels with built-in ramps allow vehicles to be driven onto the ship at the port of departure and driven off at the destination port.

RORO shipping is efficient and cost-effective, especially for operable vehicles. However, it may not be suitable for cars with additional belongings or modifications, as the vehicles are typically not allowed to carry personal items during transit.


6.     Container Shipping


Container shipping involves transporting your car within a container, much like RORO shipping but in a secure, enclosed space. This method provides added protection and allows you to include personal belongings or parts for the vehicle.

Container shipping is recommended for valuable or vintage cars, as it provides an extra layer of security and protection during long-distance shipments.

7.     Expedited Shipping


If you require your car to be delivered urgently, expedited shipping is the answer. Expedited car shipping services prioritize your vehicle for quicker pick-up and delivery.

While this option may be more expensive, it benefits individuals with time-sensitive needs or tight relocation schedules.


8.     Terminal-to-Door or Door-to-Terminal Service


Some car shipping companies offer a combination of terminal-to-door or door-to-terminal service. This hybrid option allows you to drop off your car at a terminal and deliver it to your specified address at the destination or vice versa.

This flexibility balances convenience and cost, making it a popular choice for many customers.


9.     Local Towing or Driveaway Services


Local towing or driveaway services can be economical for short-distance shipments or moving within the same city. Local towing involves using a flatbed tow truck to transport your car to the desired location.

In contrast, driveaway services include hiring a professional driver to drive your vehicle to the destination. While these options may not be suitable for long-distance moves, they can be excellent for short relocations or moving within the same state or city.

Ways to Ship a Car: Local Towing Service

10.  DIY Car Shipping


DIY car shipping is an option for adventurous souls who prefer a hands-on approach. This method involves driving the car to the destination or having a friend or family member do it for you.

While DIY car shipping may be a fun and cost-effective choice for some, it requires careful planning, sufficient time, and consideration of fuel costs, accommodations, and potential wear and tear on the vehicle.


How Do I Choose the Right Vehicle Shipping Method?

Choosing the correct vehicle shipping method depends on distance, budget, level of protection needed, and time constraints

Understanding the various ways to ship a car, including open-air and enclosed carriers, door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal service, RORO and container shipping, expedited options, and DIY alternatives, allows you to make an informed choice that aligns with your specific requirements.

Whether you prioritize cost-effectiveness, convenience, or vehicle protection, a car shipping method is suited to your needs, ensuring a smooth and secure journey for your valued vehicle to its new destination.


Find Many Reliable Ways to Ship a Car with the Nation’s Most Trusted Transport Company


Elevation Transport Services offers numerous ways to ship a car that matches your time, budget, and safety concerns. We are regarded as one of the most reliable transport companies in the nation, that specializes in vehicle transport services in a secure, safe, and efficient manner to all countrywide destinations. 

Beside auto transport, we also offer boat transport, heavy equipment transport, motorcycle transport, and transport of various all-terrain vehicles.

If you wish to enquire about vehicle shipping, contact Elevation Transport Services today for an instant free quote.

author avatar
Antonie Meeker
This entry was posted in Car Shipping. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

truck running in a rural area