Long Distance Car Transport: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Long Distance Car Transport: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Long distance car transport comes with its own set of logistical puzzles. These puzzles can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin.

Finding a reliable and trustworthy car shipping company is a major concern. Understanding the different methods of transportation available and determining which one suits your specific needs can be confusing. 

Ensuring the safety and security of your vehicle throughout the journey is another pressing issue. In addition to the logistical challenges, uncertainties loom large. 

Will your car arrive on time and in the same condition it was when it left? Entrusting your valuable asset to a transport company raises concerns about whether they will take proper care of your vehicle. Handling unforeseen circumstances, such as weather delays or mechanical issues, adds to the stress and anxiety.

We understand the frustrations and uncertainties when entrusting your valuable vehicle to unknown hands and dealing with the logistical intricacies.

In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step approach to long distance car transport, ensuring the safety of your vehicle and ultimately making the process as smooth as possible. 

First, let us discuss what are the benefits of long distance auto transport.

What are the Benefits of Long Distance Car Transport?

Planning to move your vehicle over long distances? Hiring a car transport company can be a game-changer, making your life a whole lot easier and stress-free. But you might wonder why we should take this seriously. It’s because there are endless benefits to it. What? Let us discuss that. 


Long distance car transport provides significant convenience by eliminating the need for individuals to undertake a lengthy drive when moving to a far-off location. One of the primary advantages is the time-saving aspect.

Time is a precious resource, and by choosing car transport services, you can reclaim a significant chunk of it that would otherwise be wasted on the road. Imagine the countless hours, even days, that would be consumed by driving your vehicle across long distances. Those hours could be better utilized for more productive endeavors or to simply relax and enjoy the journey in a more comfortable manner. 

In addition to the conveniences mentioned above, long distance car transport offers an added level of convenience and protection. 


Opting for long distance car shipping services saves you valuable time. Driving for extended periods can be exhausting and can consume several days of your schedule.

By choosing car transport, you can avoid the need to drive for hours or even days, allowing you to focus on other important tasks or simply enjoy a stress-free journey. This can be particularly beneficial when you have a tight schedule or when you want to make the most of your time by engaging in activities other than driving.

Shipping a car across the country becomes a hassle-free process when you entrust it with professional car transport services.

Safety and Security

Reputable car transport companies prioritize the safety and security of their customer’s vehicles throughout the entire transportation process. They employ professional drivers who have experience in handling different types of vehicles, ensuring that your car is in capable hands.

These drivers undergo training that adheres to safety regulations and take precautions to protect their vehicles from potential damage. 

Furthermore, car transport companies often use enclosed carriers, which provide an additional layer of protection against external elements and potential road hazards.

Vehicle Preservation

Driving long distances can subject your vehicle to various risks and hazards. Constant exposure to the road can result in wear and tear, increased mileage, and potential damage from road debris or accidents. 

By opting for car transport services, you can safeguard your vehicle from these risks. The vehicle remains securely loaded onto a carrier throughout the journey, minimizing the chances of damage and preserving its condition. 

This is important for valuable or classic cars where maintaining their pristine state is of utmost importance.


While it may initially seem counter-intuitive, using professional car transport services can often be more cost-effective than driving the vehicle yourself. 

When you factor in fuel costs for the entire journey, potential- accommodation expenses for overnight stays, meals on the road, and the wear and tear on your vehicle, the costs can add up significantly.

Car transport companies offer competitive pricing packages that take all these factors into account, providing an economical alternative to driving. Additionally, long distance car moving companies can save you from potential unexpected expenses, such as mechanical breakdowns or accidents during the journey, which can be costly to repair.

When it comes to long distance car transport, you have a range of options to choose from, each offering unique benefits to suit your specific needs. These options further enhance the advantages of car transport services, making them even more convenient and tailored to your preferences.

Let’s discuss what options you can have when it comes to long distance car transport. 

Long Distance Car Transport Options

When it comes to long distance car transport, there are two main types of transport options available – open and enclosed vehicle transport. Choosing the right option for your needs is essential to ensure your vehicle’s safe and secure transport.

1) Open Car Transport

Open car transport is the most commonly used form of car transport. In this method, your car will be loaded onto an open carrier truck along with several other vehicles, exposed to the elements, and transported to your destination.

This option is more affordable and widely available, making it an excellent choice for those on a budget. However, remember that your car will be exposed to weather, road debris, and other hazards during transportation.

2) Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport provides a more secure and safe option for transporting your vehicle. In this method, your car will be loaded onto an enclosed carrier truck, protected from the elements and any potential hazards on the road. 

While this option is more expensive, it provides extra protection for your vehicle, making it ideal for luxury or classic cars.

When it comes to long distance car transport, you also need to decide between terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door (DTD) service.

Terminal-to-terminal service requires you to drop off and pick up your vehicle at a designated terminal or storage facility. In contrast, door-to-door service entails the convenience of having your car picked up from your home and delivered directly to your desired destination.

Now that we know the options available for long distance car shipping transport, let’s discuss the factors that you must consider when choosing shipping options.

10 Factors to Consider While Choosing Long Distance Car Transport

Car hauler semi truck on the road in sunset

When it comes to entrusting your vehicle to a company for a lengthy journey, it’s crucial to consider several key factors. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience while safeguarding your valuable asset.

Reputation and Experience

When researching a car transport company, assess its reputation and experience in the industry. Look for customer reviews, ratings, and feedback on reputable review websites, social media platforms, and forums dedicated to car transport services. 

A company with a strong reputation and positive customer feedback is more likely to provide quality service.

Licensing and Insurance

Verify that the car transport company holds the necessary licenses and permits required by the relevant authorities. This ensures that they comply with industry regulations and standards. 

Additionally, confirm that the company has proper insurance coverage, including cargo insurance, liability insurance, and any other applicable policies. 

Services Offered

Determine the range of services offered by the car transport company and ensure that they align with your specific needs. Different companies may specialize in various types of car transport, such as open or enclosed transport, door-to-door service, or terminal-to-terminal service. 

Pricing and Payment

Request quotes from multiple car transport companies to compare prices. However, be cautious of exceptionally low prices, as they may indicate subpar service or hidden costs. It’s important to understand the pricing structure, including any additional fees or surcharges. 

Delivery Timeframe

Inquire about the estimated delivery time frame for your vehicle. Understand that long distance car transport can take several days or even weeks, depending on the distance and other factors.

A reputable company should provide you with a realistic expectation of when your vehicle will arrive at the destination. 

Carrier Type

Familiarize yourself with the different types of carriers used for car transport. Open carriers are the most common and cost-effective option, where vehicles are transported on an open trailer. Enclosed carriers provide greater protection as vehicles are enclosed in a trailer, but this option tends to be more expensive. 

Vehicle Condition Report

Ensure that the car transport company provides a detailed vehicle condition report before transportation. This report should document the existing condition of your vehicle, including any pre-existing damage or issues. 

Tracking and Communication

Check if the car transport company offers tracking services or regular updates on the status of your vehicle during transit. A reliable company will have effective communication channels in place, allowing you to stay informed about the progress of your shipment. 

Additional Services

Determine if the company offers any additional services that may be useful to you. For example, if you require expedited shipping due to time constraints or temporary storage facilities if your vehicle needs to be held for a specific period. 

Company’s Reviews

Check the car transport company’s reviews from a reliable website review website. Reviews from previous customers provide insights into the reputation and trustworthiness of a car transport company. Positive reviews indicate a reliable service and can instill confidence in potential customers.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a long distance car transport service that best meets your needs and ensures the safe delivery of your vehicle. 

But what determines the cost of long distance car transport? Let’s find out. 

What is the Cost of Long Distance Car Transport?

Whether you’re moving to a new state or just need to get your wheels to a faraway destination, the cost is an important factor to consider. But the cost of long distance car transport can vary depending on several factors. Let’s discuss them.


The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is a significant factor in determining the cost. Longer distances generally result in higher transportation costs.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of the vehicle being transported can affect the cost. Larger and heavier vehicles may require specialized equipment or trailers, which can increase the overall cost.

Transport Method

There are different methods of car transport, such as open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is generally less expensive as it involves transporting vehicles on an open trailer. Enclosed transport, on the other hand, provides more protection but tends to be more expensive.

Timing and Season

The time of year and current market conditions can impact the cost. During peak seasons or high-demand periods, prices may be higher. Additionally, factors like fuel prices and the availability of carriers can influence the cost.

Additional Services

If you require extra services such as expedited delivery, door-to-door service, or additional insurance coverage, they can add to the overall cost.

That’s it – factors that can affect the cost of long distance transport.

When considering long distance car transport, RCG Logistics stands out as an excellent choice. RCG Logistics is a trusted and reliable car transport company that offers a range of services to meet your specific needs.

Why Should You Choose RCG Logistics?

Car to Florida

Choosing RCG Logistics for your long distance car transport needs means choosing reliability, affordability, and excellent customer service. Here is why you must choose RCG: 

Competitive Pricing

RCG Logistics offers competitive pricing options, ensuring that you receive a fair and affordable quote for your car transport needs.

Extensive Network

With an extensive network of carriers, RCG Logistics can transport your vehicle to virtually any destination across the country, providing you with flexibility and convenience.

Excellent Customer Service

RCG Logistics prides itself on providing exceptional customer service. Their knowledgeable and friendly team is dedicated to addressing your queries, guiding you through the process, and ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Fully Insured

RCG Logistics understands the importance of protecting your valuable asset. They provide comprehensive insurance coverage during transportation, giving you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is protected against any unforeseen circumstances.

Timely Delivery

RCG Logistics is committed to delivering your vehicle within the agreed timeframe. Their efficient logistics and experienced carriers work diligently to ensure timely and prompt delivery.

Now that you know why you must choose RCG, the next step is to prepare your car for long distance transport. Let’s see how to do that.

How to Prepare Your Car for Long Distance Transport?

When it comes to the preparation of long distance car transport, it is essential to ensure its safety and avoid any potential issues during the journey. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare your car:

Step 1- Clean the car

Start by thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior of your car. This will help you identify any existing damage and make it easier to inspect the car later.

Step 2: Inspect for Damage

Carefully examine your car for any existing damage, such as scratches, dents, or mechanical issues. Take note of any pre-existing damage and consider taking pictures for documentation purposes.

Step 3: Check Fluids and Top Up

Check the fluid levels of your car, including the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid. If any of the fluids are low, top them up to the recommended levels.

Step 4: Test the Battery

Ensure that your car’s battery is in good condition and fully charged. If the battery is old or weak, consider replacing it before long distance transport.

Step 5: Check Tire Pressure and Condition

Inspect your car’s tires for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Check the tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended levels. Properly inflated tires will provide better fuel efficiency and reduce the risk of blowouts.

Step 6: Ensure Proper Fuel Level

Maintain a sufficient amount of fuel in your car’s tank, as most auto transport companies require the fuel level to be below a certain point (typically around a quarter tank). This helps reduce the weight of the vehicle during transport.

Step 7: Remove Personal Belongings

Remove all personal belongings from the car, including loose items, valuables, and any aftermarket accessories. This will prevent any damage or loss during transport and also ensure compliance with the transport company’s policies.

Step 8:Disable or Deactivate Alarms and Toll Tags 

If your car has an alarm system or toll tags, consider disabling or deactivating them temporarily to avoid unnecessary activations or charges during transport.

Step 9: Secure Loose Parts

Make sure all loose parts, such as antennas, spoilers, or convertible tops, are securely fastened or removed. This will help prevent damage or loss during transit.

Step 10: Document the Condition

Take pictures of your car from various angles to document its condition before transport. This will serve as evidence in case any damage occurs during transit.

Step 11: Provide Necessary Information

Provide accurate and detailed information about your car to the transport company, including its make, model, year, and any modifications or special requirements.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your car is properly prepared for long distance car transport and minimize the chances of any issues or damage during the journey.

Final Thoughts

Long distance car transport requires thorough research, careful preparation, and effective communication. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure a smooth and successful transport experience. Remember to choose a reputable company, prepare your vehicle adequately, document its condition, and stay in touch with the transport company throughout the process. With these steps in mind, you can now stay assured, knowing that your vehicle will arrive safely at its destination.


How does long distance car transport work?

Long distance car transport involves hiring a professional auto transport company to safely move your vehicle from one location to another. The process typically involves booking the service, preparing your vehicle for transport, and arranging pickup and delivery dates.

How long does it take to transport a car long distance?

The duration of long distance car transport can vary depending on the distance and specific factors such as the pickup and delivery locations, carrier availability, and any potential delays.

Is my car insured during long distance transport?

Reputable auto transport companies typically provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. However, the extent of coverage may vary, so it’s important to clarify the insurance details with the transport company beforehand.

How should I prepare my car for long distance transport?

Before transporting your car, it’s essential to prepare it properly to ensure a smooth and safe journey. Some key steps include

Step 1: removing personal belongings from the vehicle
Step 2: ensuring the fuel tank is no more than a quarter full
Step 3: securing any loose parts or accessories, and 
Step 4: Document the car’s current condition with photographs.

How much does long distance car transport cost?

The cost of long distance car transport depends on various factors such as the distance, vehicle type, transport method (open or enclosed), seasonal demand, and any additional services you require. To get a quote, contact us today.

About the Author: Brad Marinov

Brad serves as the Consumer Logistics Operations Director at RCG Logistics, boasting a rich tenure of over a decade in the field. His profound knowledge extends across all facets of car transportation, underscoring his expertise in the domain. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, Brad prioritizes the delivery of exceptional customer service. This commitment is underscored by his adeptness in offering valuable industry insights, coordinating operations, and employing efficient management practices. As a result, he consistently delivers a seamless car transportation experience for each valued client.


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