Moving Car to Another State Checklist

Are you moving to another state?

If you’re reading this article, I’m gonna assume that you’re trying to figure out what to do with your cars.

When people move to a different state, one of the biggest concerns is what to do with their cars? Should you just drive the cars to your new home or is there another option. 

Well, in this article I’m gonna help you find an answer to that question. 

Let’s dive right in …

There are 2 ways you can get your cars to you new place

1. Drive it yourself

2. Hire a professional auto mover to ship the cars

If you’re gonna drive yourself, that’s not a big deal, except the money you need spending. 

Consider this – you need to drive through multiple states and would be on the road for days. Calculate the cost, such as food, stay, toll tax, and other expenses you would need to incur. 

If that seems okay for you, drive the car yourself. Otherwise, rope in a professional car moving company. Here, you just assign it the task and set back relaxing. This sounds too cool. But the issue is how to go for it?  

checklist for car moving to another state will be of great help here. Knowing this, we’ve got the best checklist compiling all the points that you need to consider while shipping your automobile. 

Read our detailed checklist for car moving to another state and decide where to fit them into your calendar as you look ahead to your ship date.

Here we go!

  1. Choose between open or enclosed car shippers

Auto moving companies have transport vehicles either in open form or fully enclosed. Open transport is cheaper but your car would be exposed to dust and outside dirt. However, most people prefer open trucks. Fully enclosed trucks are highly safer and secure your car from outside hazards. There is less risk involved. Enclosed trucks best opt for antique, classic, and exotic cars. Before you approach a car moving company, you need to decide whether to go for open or disclosed moving. 

  1. Research a car moving company

The car moving company you hire is crucial as the safety of your car is the priority. Before you settle on an auto mover, check reviews, get detailed quotes, and determine what services come with the quoted cost. You should also make sure that the chosen transporting company services the destination you have in mind. Always gauge the factors and find satisfying replies before you strike a deal with a car mover.

The factors to consider include:

  • The duration the moving company has been in the business
  • The reputation in safely handling all types of vehicles
  • The ability to handle vehicles in an odd situation and climate (this is crucial while moving cars in winter)
  • Registration and license details
  • Perfect track record
  • Fair and competing car moving quotes

Do not limit to just one car moving company, instead compare car moving quotes from different movers to decide the best-suited one.

  1. Pick your car moving company

After you closely analyze multiple cars moving quotes and cross-check other factors connected to the moving company, narrow down to a car moving company that you feel is the best pick. 

  1. Decide the car moving date

Once you’ve decided the home moving date, it is easier to decide when the car needs to be picked up by the moving company. The date you would give the car moving company is the one when the vehicle is ready for pick up. A car moving company may pick it up within 2 to 4 days from the date you give and may deliver within a week to two, based on the distance, climate, and the route taken. 

It is better to give the date in advance to book a slot on a carrier for your car as there may be many vehicles lined up for moving, especially while in the moving season (summer months). Some car movers are flexible to accept requests on short notice but it is always safe to maintain a ‘1-week’ gap. 

  1. Check the battery condition

Confirm the car battery is on a full charge and safely mounted in the battery bracket. A loose battery can harm other parts of your vehicle’s engine if it gets jostled too much during transport.

  1. Ensure the emergency brake works fine

Before the moving date, check the emergency brake to confirm it is fully working. This is mandatory as the vehicle brake needs to be in perfect condition while on transport.  

  1. Collect all the copies of keys

If you’ve only one key of the car, collect all the remaining and hand over one pair to the car company as the US Department of Transportation needs the driver of the car to have one copy of the key for every lock. While the driver has one set of keys, you can keep the original ones. 

  1. Keep the car clean

Clean the car before you hand it over to the auto mover as a clean car will make it easier to spot chips, dings, dents, scratches, and other cosmetic damages.

  1. Make a list of all damages on the vehicles

Write down all scratches on the car along with the date and time. This helps you know whether new scratches have happened while handling the car.

  1. Click photos of the car

Before you hand over the car, take pictures from all angles. Click even close up shots and do not forget to mark the date and time. This will help while the car is delivered to the new home. 

  1. Take out all personal items from the car

While you hand over the car to the company, it should not have any personal belongings left behind. Confirm that no chargers, extra covers, keys, photographs, spare tire covers, hubcaps, and grill covers are left behind as the moving company would not be responsible for the loss. 

  1. Remove everything that can fall or snap off

Do not forget to remove items that may fall off during the transportation, which includes radio antennas, bikes, luggage, or ski racks. If your car is a convertible one, confirm the top is secure in place. Specialty items such as fog lights, ground effects, and spoilers need to be secured or removed.

  1. Check the tires

The car tires need to be properly inflated as instructed by the manufacturer because the driver may need to drive the car at some point of the move. 

  1. Check with the insurance company

As most car moving companies provide coverage for the car, you won’t normally need it but if you feel like having additional insurance, check with the insurance company for the formalities. Inform the shipping date and other details and the insurance company will provide additional coverage. 

  1. Take a look at the engine and underside of the car

This is crucial to confirm no leaks are there in the engine compartment as the car needs to be transported cross country. 

  1. The tank needs to have gas but not full

Do not empty the gas tank nor keep it full. The gas tank must be full up to just 1/4th as it will decrease the weight and there is less stress during the journey. However, the tank must have a little gas as the driver might require driving the car while loading and unloading the truck. 

  1. Disable or remove the alarm

The car alarm might be helpful while parked outside but might be a good option while transporting in a truck. The hauler will have a headache when it randomly sounds on the road. Remove or disable the alarm to prevent it from accidentally sounding in the middle of the road. 

  1. Fold the side mirrors

Before you hand over the car, it is important to fold the side mirrors to stop it from getting hit somewhere. The moving company representative might miss out on this part and your side mirror may get damaged. 

  1. Top off the fluids

Do not forget to top off oil and fluids to brakes and power steering for smooth functioning. The vehicle needs to be in good condition while moving.

  1. Deactivate the automatic toll pass

If your car has an electronic toll pass attached, it is crucial to deactivate the pass, failing which the amount will be reduced whenever your car crosses a toll gate as if you’re driving it. 

  1. Document the mileage

To confirm that the guy who picks up your car won’t go on a joyride driving it, note the mileage in advance. You can even click a photograph and mark the date and time. 

  1. Sign the bill of lading

You need to be personally there to bid goodbye to the car and sign the bill of lading. This is also the time to inform the driver about any minor technical glitches that may not affect the transportation. You need to get a copy of the bill of lading and all points need to be verified thoroughly. 

  1. Check online for the vehicle status

Once you hand over the car, track the vehicle online and see where it has reached. This will help you calculate the date of delivery and know whether it will reach your home on schedule. 

  1. Check for damages

Once your car arrives at the new home, it is vital to check for damages and confirm the vehicle is the same as it was while handing it over to the car moving company. Do not accept the bill of lading or sign a document until you confirm the vehicle’s condition.

  1. File an insurance claim

If you receive the car in damaged condition, file a claim as early as possible. To document a claim, it’s crucial to have proof that damage occurred during the transit. Make sure you have photographs of the car before pick up and after delivery, as well as copies of your bill of lading. Get the document signed by the driver identifying the damage.

  1. Update your driving license

Once the car arrives at the new home, the next step needs to be to head to the nearby DMV office to update the driving license. The new license must have a new address and you need to submit the required documents. Most states give drivers between 10 and 30 days to update their paperwork and require you to show proof of insurance and your title. In addition, you also need to update the vehicle insurance. 

Car moving is not a simple process as most people assume. It needs extra caution and our handy car moving to another state checklist will benefit you when you’ve got many responsibilities during the home moving process. Keep our checklist ready and confidently be ready to pack your home.

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