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The Ultimate Guide to Car Shipping: Tips, Costs, and Choosing the Right Service

Shipping a car can be a daunting task, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. There are many factors to consider, from selecting the right car shipping service to understanding the costs involved and preparing your car for the journey. At HZ Auto Transport, we’re committed to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for our clients. This guide is designed to walk you through the essential steps and share valuable tips to ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and on time.

Understanding Car Shipping

The concept of car shipping might seem complicated initially. Essentially, it’s the process of moving a car from one location to another, usually by using specialized auto transport services. The need for car shipping arises in various scenarios – you may be moving cross-country, buying or selling a car online, or transporting classic or luxury vehicles.

The shipping process itself is usually straightforward. Once you’ve booked a service with a company like HZ Auto Transport, your vehicle is loaded onto a transport carrier and then delivered to your specified location.

Diving Deeper into Car Shipping Costs

Understanding the various factors that influence car shipping costs can help you budget more accurately and potentially save money. Let’s explore these factors in greater detail:


The distance between the pickup and delivery location is one of the most significant determinants of car shipping costs. As a rule of thumb, the farther the distance, the higher the cost will be. This is because longer distances involve more fuel, more driving hours, and sometimes even overnight stays for the drivers, which all add up to higher costs.

However, it’s important to note that the cost per mile usually decreases as the distance increases. For example, shipping a car across the country might be expensive, but on a per-mile basis, it could be more cost-effective than transporting a car over a shorter distance.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of your vehicle can also have a considerable impact on the shipping cost. Larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks take up more space on the carrier and are heavier, which means they require more fuel to transport. As a result, shipping a larger or heavier vehicle can be more expensive than shipping a smaller or lighter one.

Type of Transport

When shipping a vehicle, you have two main transport options to choose from: open and enclosed transport.

Open Transport:

This is the most common and affordable type of auto transport. Your vehicle is transported on an open carrier, often alongside several other vehicles. However, your car is exposed to the elements during transit, making this option less suitable for high-value, classic, or luxury cars.

Enclosed Transport:

Enclosed transport offers more protection as your vehicle is shipped in a fully enclosed carrier. This protects your vehicle from weather, dust, debris, and other potential damages. Given the extra protection, enclosed transport is more expensive than open transport. This option is ideal for high-end, luxury, antique, or specialty vehicles.

Time of Year

The time of year can also influence car shipping costs. Demand for auto transport services typically peaks during summer and early fall, often leading to increased rates. This is due to several reasons, including more people moving and buying cars during this time. Conversely, rates may be lower during the winter months, but weather conditions could potentially lead to delays. If you have flexibility in your schedule, you could potentially save money by avoiding peak seasons.

Choosing the Right Auto Transport Service

When it comes to selecting an auto transport service, there are a few key factors you should consider:


Check online reviews and ratings to ensure the company you choose is reputable and trusted.


Not all auto transport companies offer the same services. Some specialize in certain vehicle types or routes. At HZ Auto Transport, we provide a range of services to cater to various needs, including open, enclosed, and expedited transport.


Ensure the company offers sufficient insurance coverage for your vehicle during the transport process.


While cost should not be your only determining factor, it’s essential to get a fair and transparent quote before making your decision.

Preparation Tips for Car Shipping

Proper preparation is crucial to a successful car shipping experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Clean Your Car: 

This will make it easier to conduct a thorough inspection before shipping.

Remove Personal Belongings: 

It’s recommended to remove all personal items from your vehicle before shipping, as these are not typically covered by transport insurance.

Disable the Alarm: 

To avoid unnecessary interruptions and battery drain, ensure your car alarm is turned off.

Check Tire Pressure and Fluid Levels: 

Your vehicle should be in good operating condition with no leaks and properly inflated tires.

HZ Auto Transport: Your Trusted Car Shipping Partner

Choosing a reliable and efficient car shipping service is vital. At HZ Auto Transport, we pride ourselves on our commitment to customer satisfaction and our wide array of services to cater to every need. We offer competitive pricing, a team of highly experienced professionals, and a simple, streamlined shipping process.

Your vehicle is not just a means of transportation – it’s an investment. That’s why we treat each vehicle with the care and respect it deserves. For more information about our services or to receive a quote, contact us today.

Shipping a car doesn’t have to be a stressful process. With the right information and a trusted partner like HZ Auto Transport, you can navigate the journey with ease and confidence.

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