Buying a New or Used Car Interstate?

If you’re planning to buy a car interstate, you’ll want to have, at least, a fair understanding of car transport prices and rates so that you can find a good deal on having the vehicle delivered to you.

Unless you’re planning on actually visiting an interstate dealer, and driving the vehicle back yourself, you will need to use a car transport service.

How to Purchase a Vehicle Interstate

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you buy an interstate vehicle and have it delivered to your home.

Find and purchase your vehicle. 

First, you’ll need to find a vehicle to purchase out of state. You can use online car shopping services like or other Internet sites like Prestige Cars to shop for a new or used car. Once you have found a vehicle you like, you would need to arrange for financing or submit a payment directly to the seller.

Perform a VIN Check.

Obtain the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and purchase a CarHistory Report to get the car’s complete history (your VIN number can be found on your engine, on your registration papers and sticker, or on the inside of most car doors).

Find a car transport service. 

After you arrange to purchase a particular car truck, you’ll need to find a car transport service to have the car shipped to you.

You can find many companies that offer shipping services by visiting the website at Car Transport Services. There you’ll be able to request quotes from multiple car transport companies companies that will offer to ship your vehicle.

Select your carrier. 

Once you receive your quotes, simply choose the service and company that best meets your needs and contact the carrier directly. Many of them will even let you book directly online without even having to pickup the phone.

Arrange transport. 

After you’ve chosen a carrier, give them information about the location of the vehicle, the sellers name and address, and any other special information that may be required to pick up the vehicle.

The carrier will probably require that you put up some sort of deposit as well as fax, scan or e-mail an authorisation to pick up the vehicle.

Wait for delivery of the vehicle. 

Once the carrier has received your payment and authorisation information, they will contact the seller and arrange pickup of the vehicle.

The carrier will schedule a date and time to pick up the vehicle from the seller and send it on its journey back to you.

Arrange for pickup of the vehicle. 

The shipping company should contact you and inform you that the vehicle has been picked up.

Once they do, they will give you a scheduled arrival date for the vehicle and help you arrange for the time and place of transfer of the vehicle.

Pick up the vehicle. 

When the vehicle arrives, you will meet the driver or representative of the shipping company.

You will probably be required to do a visual inspection of the vehicle and make sure that there is no damage present.

Once you’re satisfied that the vehicle has not been damaged, you will sign some paperwork and receive the keys for your new vehicle.

How New Car Shipping Prices Are Calculated

If you intend to buy a car or truck from a dealership that is hundreds or thousands of kilometres away from you, you will need to consider how car shipping prices are calculated before finalising the deal.

There are several factors to be considered when trying to determine how much the shipping of the car will cost.

What follows is a quick guide that will help you with the information required to calculate shipping prices.

Distance of the Delivery

The most important factor that will be considered in calculating the cost of transporting a vehicle will be the distance the vehicle must be delivered.

Generally speaking, the further away the vehicle is, the more it will cost to have it delivered to you.

Therefore, always try to shop for vehicles in an area as close to your home as possible.

Type and Size of the Vehicle

One element in determining how much the shipping cost for the vehicle will be is the type and actual size of the vehicle.

Larger vehicles weigh more and will increase the amount of fuel consumed by trucks used to deliver them.

The heavier and larger a vehicle is, the more expensive it will be to ship.

How will the Vehicle be Transported

Another factor that can add additional cost to shipping a vehicle is how the car will be handled and stored during transport.

Most of the time, cars are delivered on open air car trailers that are able to safely transport between 6 and 12 vehicles depending on their size and type.

You can have a vehicle shipped enclosed within a container to provide additional protection. You should know that shipping a car or truck inside a container will generally add another $500-$1000 to the delivery charge.

Considering the Cost of Car Shipping Services

While you might be able to save a lot of money purchasing a used vehicle that is not in your area, prices for new cars tend to be a lot more competitive.

Before you start arranging the shipping of a new vehicle across the country, you should make sure that new car dealerships in your area cannot match the price that you have been offered by the far off car dealership.

More often than not, you will find that new car dealerships in your area can come very close to the price if they want to. Even if the vehicle is far away, a low price at an interstate dealer will help largely offset any shipping expenses you may incur.

You should know that depending on the type and size of the vehicle and the distance the vehicle needs to be transported, shipping a car new car can cost between $600 and $3000. So, unless the amount of money you’re saving is at least this much, then shipping the vehicle from a faraway dealership is probably not really worth it.

You should also consider that many things can happen when transporting a vehicle interstate.

For example, the car may be damaged or neglected by the carrier.

Or, worst still, the car transport company just doesn’t seem to care about looking after your interests.

Also, it can take a couple of weeks to have the car delivered, so if you can, buy the car locally.

Other Transport Rate Considerations

In some cases, going with companies that charge really cheap transport rates can its share of problems.

You may need to drive up to two or three hours to a distant depot or yard to receive your vehicle. This means you have someone drive you to the site, or catch some form of transport.

If you need to transport a vehicle to any part of the country, it’s easier than you think and probably more affordable too. Find out by requesting quote directly

Therefore, always be thorough in your research and select the carrier that feels right to you. There is usually a reason why some car transport companies are cheaper than others and that reason might not necessarily be good for you.

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

Find out more