In this article, we would like to help you find out the difference between them and understand what kind of transportation services suit your needs and budget as there are several factors you have to consider before making a final decision. So let’s take a closer look at all possible ways of transportation, and check their pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
Are you ready to get all you need to know about state-to-state car towing?
Quick links to navigate this article:
How to get your car moved from state to state? Tow dolly vs carrier shipping
Types of trailers used for vehicle towing and car shipping
State-to-state car towing & shipping costs
The most popular state-to-state moving routes
Top cheap state-to-state car towing
How To Get Your Car Moved From State To State?
Tow dolly vs Car Carrier shipping
So what is state-to-state car towing?
State-to-state vehicle shipping is usually rather time-consuming. Besides planning the whole trip, buying tickets, packing household items you also need to check several shipping companies, their license, and the details of shipping for each company since they vary a lot.
If you are short of time you can avoid all this by getting your quote with us and we will send you a few offers from the best available companies. The only thing you will have to choose in such a case is whether to use an auto transport service or a tow dolly.
What is tow-dolly auto transportation?
A tow dolly is a type of trailer that elevates the front wheels of the vehicle (Wikipedia). While towing, only a pair of wheels are lifted, so the vehicle is still under the effect of wear and tear. Also, varying from state to state, there are weight restrictions you may not be aware of.
Putting your car on a tow dolly may also be quite difficult especially if you have rear-wheel drive, as you have to make sure that the wheels are fully secured and the car won’t suddenly get off the trailer while transportation.
That’s why this type of transportation using for moving vehicles for a rather short distance.
And what I should use when need to move my car long-distance?
Long-distance car shipping is done with the car entirely loaded on a special car trailer (car hauler). This type of vehicle shipping allows transporting vehicles of any weight and condition and requires a minimum of effort from your side: just meet the driver at the pick-up, give him the car key and then meet him again at the drop-off location.
It’s the best way to ship vehicles long-distance, or even overseas from the mainland.
For more detailed info on long-distance transportation, you can check cross country auto transportation guide.
Let’s look at some pros and cons of each shipping method.
State-to-state car shipping: Pros and Cons
Safer and more effortless
No wear and tear
Suitable for any kind of vehicles
Perfect for a long-distance move
A rather high cost of shipping
State-to-state Tow Dolly transportation: Pros and Cons
Great for short-distance vehicle towing
It May be difficult to set up
Risk of vehicle wear and tear
High chances of vehicles damage
Not suitable for inoperable or heavy vehicles
Types Of Trailers Used For Vehicle Shipping And Towing
As long-distance car towing and car shipping are different kinds of vehicle transportation services, trailers that are needed for it are also different.
Types of trailers used for state-to-state car shipping
Depending on the size and weight of the vehicle, different sizes of trailers can be used for its transportation.
First of all, trailers used for vehicle shipping can be enclosed and open. Enclosed trailers are usually used for shipping brand new, classic, exotic, show cars and motorcycles. Open car haulers are more commonly used for long-distance auto transport. They are very easy to arrange and are cheaper than enclosed. Open trailers are divided into 4 main types:
Usual car hauler
That moves up to 13 vehicles at a time depending on their size (usually it can only be sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans, and small buses);
Such car haulers could be open and enclosed.
Open car hauler
This one is used in 95% of car shipments. You can see them near the dealerships as it’s a cheap and affordable way to transport a car. And exactly this type of trailer would be offered to you for shipping some usual car long distance.
Enclosed car hauler
The main difference from the open one is having a soft or hard cover on the trailer. This cover protects the vehicle from any possible damage that could be got during the transportation process. In most cases, such trailers are rather small and allow to haul fewer cars than an open trailer. It causes higher shipping rates.
That’s why enclosed car haulers are used only for shipping luxury, exotic or classic cars.
Which is mostly used for moving large vans and buses, pickup trucks with utility beds, pontoon boats, ATVs, and UTVs;
Step-deck or Drop deck truck
It has two deck levels: an upper deck which is 11 feet long and a lower deck which is 37 feet long, and it is used for the same freight as flatbed trailers, but the height of the load may be up to 10 feet for lower deck and 8.5 feet for the upper deck;
It is used for shipping heavy and military equipment like cranes, bulldozers, tractors, and so on.
Types of trailers for long-distance towing
Trailers that are used for vehicle towing can be of 3 main types:
On this truck the vehicle is loaded on the trailer with all four wheels on;
It’s a truck that lifts only two wheels of the car;
Tow dolly it’s a two-wheel trailer that is attached to another car. It will lift only the front wheels of the vehicle while the rear wheels stay on the ground.
The one-car flatbed and a tow truck are mostly used for shipping inoperable cars with the vehicles that do not run at all, being loaded on the one-car trailer.
State-to-State Car Towing & Shipping Cost
Cost to tow a car for a short and long-distance
Car towing from state to state is relatively cheaper if you are planning to use a tow dolly, but in the long perspective, it may be quite ineffective since the vehicle is subjected to wear and tear. Therefore, a tow dolly is usually used for towing vehicles for relatively short distances, and if the vehicle is going more than 1500 mi tow dolly is not the best option.
The cost for towing the vehicle on a one-car flatbed or tow truck depends on such factors as mileage and the size of the vehicle.
State-to-state towing of inoperable vehicles requires special attention and additional equipment like a winch. That affects the price quite a lot and the price may be higher for $100-$500 depending on the condition of the vehicle.
With Compare the Carrier, you can easily check the rate for long-distance car towing with taxes included and get the quote from the best companies. You will for sure have great options to choose from.
Though if you are looking for some emergency short-distance towing service it’s better to google some local car towing companies and choose one of them, it will cost more but you’ll save your time.
What affects the cost to ship a car from one state to another?
Long-distance auto transport services may be a bit pricey sometimes, but it all depends on the list of factors:
Size of the vehicle
Type of the trailer
The popularity of the route
Mileage & Size of the vehicle
Of course, the longer route is and the larger and heavier vehicle is, the more expensive the shipping will be. It can be explained by the fact that each trailer has its weight and size limit and instead of moving 2 small cars, for example, the driver can transport only one pickup truck. That is why the carrier will ask for either a double price or at least half more for a pickup than for a sedan.
Type of the trailer
The type of the trailer is also an important factor. Enclosed trailers are more expensive than open since enclosed shipping ensures that the vehicle will not be exposed to rain, snow, or other weather conditions (check here for more detailed info when you should choose enclosed trailer)
If you are shipping a vehicle with a non-standard wheelbase or if it’s a UTV, ATV, golf cart, or lawnmower the price may be higher than for moving a sedan. Usually, flatbed trailers are used for moving such vehicles since common car haulers have a standard width of ramps. But, unfortunately, flatbed trailers can only carry up to 3-4 vehicles at a time therefore their cost is higher.
As for the season, transportation during winter holidays always costs more since it is a high season for relocation. Besides that, moving a vehicle during a snowbird season will also cost more on some routes. The most popular snowbird states are Florida, Georgia, California, Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, South and North Carolinas, Nevada, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland.
The popularity of the route
The popularity of the route is another important thing to remember when planning your move. The less popular route the fewer drivers move on it and it results in higher prices. Let’s take a closer look at this factor. More details about routes’ popularity will be further in the article.
Average state-to-state car towing rates
Less Than 500 Miles
More Than 2400 Miles
$1-1.3 per mile
$0.9-1.1 per mile
$0.6-0.9 per mile
$0.6-0.8 per mile
$0.4-0.6 per mile
$1.5 per mile
$1.2-1.5 per mile
$0.9-1.2 per mile
$0.7-1 per mile
$0.6-0.8 per mile
$1.8 per mile
$1.4-1.8 per mile
$1-1.3 per mile
$1 per mile
$0.8-1 per mile
$2-2.5 per mile
$1.5-2 per mile
$1-1.5 per mile
$0.8-1.2 per mile
$0.8-1 per mile
Boats, RV, Heavy Equipment
$3-3.5 per mile
$2.5-3.5 per mile
$2-2.5 per mile
$1.7-2 per mile
$1.5-1.8 per mile
*please note these are only average shipping rate, to get exact ones click the button bellow
Get Your Exact Hauling Rate
The Most Popular State To State Moving Routes
The popularity of the route is a very important factor that affects the price of the cross-country car towing and the time the driver can be found. When you are planning to get the car transported it’s very important to understand that some states are more popular among carriers than others and that is why it may take some time to negotiate the transportation within a specific time frame.
Negotiation of good time frames for the auto transport becomes even harder when you move to a new house and need to schedule both an auto transport and a long-distance moving service. In this case, we highly recommend you plan transportation in month advance.
This will give you enough time to find trustfullong-distance moving companies near your locationand plan your relocation properly.
Sometimes, when the state is rather large, there may be only a few areas that are popular among drivers. Let’s take a look at Washington state, for example. The Evergreen state is quite large, but only metropolitan areas of Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, and Vancouver are considered to be the common route. The last one is actually more popular among cross-country towing companies that specialize in moving vehicles to and from Oregon.
Drivers that are transporting vehicles to Washington usually go I82 or I90 and Vancouver is located on the I5 and is closer to the Portland metropolitan area.
Therefore if you need your vehicle moved to some faraway locations (like Port Angeles, Bellingham, Forks, Aberdeen, Brewster), you should be ready to spend some extra money. If you want to save some money, you can meet the driver near a large metropolitan area or halfway to your location.
The similar situation you can face when looking for a car shipping to California. When moving to populated cities it’s rather easy to find a carrier, but in other cases, it can take some time.
But sometimes it happens that the whole state is not that popular among carriers. It may happen that after you request a quote, the price will be a bit higher than expected and the company can offer you ways to decrease the cost. If you decide to proceed and place an order, it may take some time to find a few loads going the same or similar route and negotiate the details with the carriers.
So how should you act in such a case? We highly recommend you request a quote a month in advance if the vehicle is going to or from Montana, Wyoming, South and North Dakota, the northern part of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Vermont, Maine, and Delaware. These states are unfortunately the least popular among carriers as the vehicles are rarely shipped there and the states have low population density.
Top 9 Cheap State To State Car Towing
A list of the best cheap state-to-state car towing services based on their reviews on the most popular auto transport review websites. All the companies here are some of the best so we decided to put them in random order.
AAA Auto Transport LLC
AAA Auto Transport LLC is probably one of the most popular auto shipping companies. It was established in 1998 in Florida and provides customers with the cheapest options for open transportation. With AAA Auto Transport LLC one can ship any kind of vehicle from motorcycles to heavy vehicles. The insurance coverage of the carrier is $150 000 per car on the trailer.
Probably the only disadvantage of the company is that the vehicle must be empty while in transit. So if you are planning to ship some personal belongings inside the car, AAA Auto Transport LLC may not be the best option for you.
MoveWheels Auto Transport
MoveWheels Auto Transport Company is one of the top five companies on several transport review websites. Also located in Florida, the company has been in business for more than 10 years. During this time, the company created its own database of drivers transporting any kind of vehicle.
Besides open car shipping, the company can also offer enclosed transportation with remote control lift gates for vehicles with low clearance. Experienced shipping agents can also help you ship vehicles overseas (including Hawaii, Alaska, Europe). MoveWheels Auto Transport offers door-to-door service and unlike other companies, they do not require any prepayment up until the vehicle is picked up by the driver.
America Auto Express LLC
America Auto Express LLC is a relatively young company compared to the previous one. It was founded in 2018 in Spokane, WA.
This towing company is very well equipped and provides services within west coast states offering both open and enclosed hardside transportation and the total number of trucks is 27.
America Auto Express LLC specializes in corporate relocations, dealerships, and military moves, as well as seasonal snowbird services.
The customer support representatives always keep the customers updated throughout the whole shipping process and are available any day of the week from 7 am to 5 pm.
The company is located in Wilmington, DE, and received lots of positive reviews, they have almost 5 stars on Google reviews, Trustpilot, Transport Reviews, and BBB.
The company is very transparent about cost formation and its payment policy is probably the most convenient for the customers: nothing is charged upfront, the part of the rate is charged after the driver is assigned to the order. And then the remaining balance is paid at the drop-off location.
To make transportation more efficient for customers Moverjet offers a lot of discounts. This option might have made this company so loved and highly trusted by its customers.
When shipping the vehicles with MoverJet, customers only get top-notch service and convenience.
Accelerated Transport is probably one of the most popular full-service auto shipping companies on the East coast. Founded in 2016 in Raleigh, NC, the relatively young company has set customer-oriented service and transparent pricing as the main goals of the company. And so far, they are rather good at following the goals.
Accelerated Transport works with both open and enclosed carriers and before closing the deal with the drivers always make sure that they are fully insured.
The insurance coverage of this company is also quite high and it is up to $250 000 per car on the trailer.
True Carrier is a rather young shipping company on our list. Though, it is chosen by thousands to move their vehicles. As well as MoveWheels, Moverjet, and most of the companies we work with, TrueCarrier does not require any prepayment at the time of booking.
TrueCarrier is located in Tampa, FL, and works with all types of carriers (open, enclosed) suiting every customer’s needs and budget. Also, the drivers the company works with can offer expedited delivery and door-to-door service when possible.
TrueCarrier customer support service is available 24/7 and according to their customers’ reviews, TrueCarrier’s customer support is one of the points they liked the most.
A Lone Star Car Carrier
A Lone Star Car Carrier operates as a shipping company within the Midwest area and the East coast and has a number of trucks that specialize in shipping vehicles only within Texas. The company owns different types of trucks which allow the drivers to transport almost any kind of vehicle, including motorcycles, ATVs, buses, cars with low clearance, and modified vehicles.
As a family-owned company, the personnel pay special attention to each customer’s needs and call the customers in advance to negotiate the details. Moreover, the company also offers military discounts and discounts for multiple loads.
Founded in Delaware a few years ago, GetCarrier disproves all stereotypes you may have about car shipping services. If you had issues with shipping your vehicle in the past and are not sure whether to do it this time, you need to check out how car shipping works with GetCarrier.
The company’s main goal is to stay in the best relationship with each side of the business they deal with. So the company representatives always do their best to deliver a 100% positive experience for both drivers and customers.
GetCarrier always makes the shipping process safe and proper, since they value long-term partnerships. By offering many discounts (for regular customers, multiple loads, and of course dealers), the company works out a mutually beneficial agreement that would last months or years to come.
Florida Transportation & Towing LLC
Florida Transportation & Towing LLC is also a perfect example of a company that values each customer. Even though the company was established only in 2019, it has grown from a small company hiring local drivers to a company with more than 100 employees.
Florida Transportation & Towing LLC operates only within Florida and specializes in shipping and towing operable and inoperable vehicles. Most of the company’s drivers work with dealerships, auctions, and corporate moves, but they are also doing private transportation with door-to-door shipping. It is also one of a few companies willing to transport vehicles to the Key West area. Only a few carriers are going there, as it is quite difficult for the trailer to get there and the route is not very popular.
How can I check if the driver the company assigned to my order is insured?
You can ask the shipping company to provide you with the driver’s MC number or USDOT number and check the carrier’s details on the website of FMCSA. You just need to enter the number and you will have all the information on the driver within a few moments.
How far in advance do I need to place my order?
You can submit a request for transportation as far as you know estimated dates for moving, but we do not recommend you to place an order a few months in advance since the price may change during this time. The perfect time for placing an order is around 2 weeks before the 1st pickup date. It gives a shipping company enough time to look for the best driver going your route and you will have enough time to get ready for transportation.
Can you move a vehicle within the Hawaiian Islands?
We can find a carrier for any kind of vehicle (and both operable and inoperable) anywhere within the US territory, including mainland and overseas territories like Hawaii and Alaska. If you need to ship the vehicle overseas, we can also set that up for you as we have a few companies specializing in shipping vehicles to Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico, China, Japan, and some other countries.
Can you move a modified or oversized vehicle?
Once you request the quote at Compare the Carrier, our system checks our database of companies. So once you receive an offer from the company, you can be sure they are experienced in moving vehicles like yours, whether it is modified, oversized, or just some kind of super heavy equipment.
When do I pay?
The quote you request is absolutely free. The way of payment depends on the company you choose to transport the car with. Some companies may ask for a full prepayment, others may divide the payment into a partial deposit that is charged after your vehicle is picked up and the remaining balance you pay the driver at the drop-off.
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1 year ago
Thanks, it’s great and informative article. It makes my car towing easier for sure
2 months ago
Well-written post. Worth the share. I am pretty sure this would help readers especially those who are new to state to stae vehicle towing services and how it works. Thanks!!