How to Transport a Car Interstate – Easily and Efficiently

When you transport cars from one state to another, it’s a good idea to consider the experience and reliability of a number of car carriers before selecting your preferred vehicle transporter.

There are many reasons why using car transport companies can be the best choice for you to pick.

Increasingly, these companies provide free quotes online to customer who are interested in hiring their services.

These free quotes provide lots of useful help; including vehicle transport preparation guides and details of pickup and dropoff locations.

Vehicle Transport 101

You’ll find that the price usually depends on a number of factors including; the distance, delivery time, and urgent nature of the delivery.

From a transport company’s perspective, knowing exactly how you wish to move your car – either locally or interstate – will make it easier to provide you with an accurate quote.

Once you’re happy, and you’ve booked your car in, you’ll need to prepare the vehicle. Bear in mind that the vehicle is likely going to be carried several hundred kms across the country so it’s a good idea to go in prepared.

When you drop your car off, you’ll be guided through a vehicle survey process. In your presence, the car transport company records the condition of your car before they load it onto the carrier.

Once you pick up your vehicle, another vehicle survey will be conducted to ensure your car’s condition is the same as when as when you left it with us.

When you’re deciding on the type of booking, you might like to consider the types of car carrying services that are usually provided by established vehicle transport companies.

Ship, Rail or Open/Enclosed Carrier?

If you’re like most people, you treasure your car and look after it and so you have a decision to make about whether your vehicle travels in an enclosed road car transporter or open car transporter, rail flat top or shipboard. 

Enclosed carriers are very expensive, rail is limited primarily to their networks, and shipping is mostly suited to moving between the mainland and Tasmania or between Eastern States and WA.


There are two main methods of shipping a car by sea; Roll-on/roll-off (RORO), or by container.

RORO is considered the cheapest and most simple option for shipping your car. The cargo is “rolled on” the vessel at the port of loading and “rolled off” again at the point of destination.

Container Shipping is generally used to carry cargo in large intermodal containers. This option tends to be more expensive but can be ideal if you have extra items to ship along with your vehicle.

Open Car Carriers

Open car carriers are the most common type of system that most vehicle transporters will offer. With open car carriers, the company will be able to move a larger number of vehicles at any time.

There are risks associated with this form of vehicle transport. Since car are exposed to the elements, such as in extreme weather conditions, there is the risk of scratches on the paintwork.

Enclosed Car Carriers

Enclosed car carriers ensure vehicles are completely secured from all external elements. The car transport company carries fewer cars at any time.

When requesting a quote, you have the ability to specify whether you’d prefer open carrier (default) or enclosed.

Preparing for Vehicle Transport

  • Remember to keep second set of keys handy
  • Make sure your fuel tank is only ¼ full
  • Take your odometer reading before handing your car over
  • Take out all of your personal and valuable items from your car
  • Check your oil, tyre pressure, battery condition
  • Take many photos of your car on all sides and save them as they may be vital for insurance claims later if necessary

Which is the Best Car Transport Company?

Look for an established and reputable carrier that is willing to answer all of your questions, provides you with a written, thorough quotation, and are legally authorised to provide transit insurance (not all transport companies are).

And finally, make sure you’re comfortable with your decision rather than basing it on the quote alone.

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