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Ship car services have become increasingly popular, especially for those moving long distances or internationally. The process involves transporting a vehicle on a cargo ship to the desired destination. Driving a car across extended distances can be accomplished practically and economically. In this article, we will discuss shipping car services.

What is a Ship Car Service and How Does it Work?

A ship car service is a transportation service that specializes in shipping vehicles from one location to another using a ship or cargo vessel. This service is ideal for individuals or companies needing to transport their cars over long distances, such as across oceans or countries. Here are some points that explain how ship car services work:
  • The customer contacts the ship car service provider and provides details of their vehicle, including the make, model, and destination.
  • The ship car service provider provides a quote for the transportation of the vehicle, which may vary based on factors such as the distance to be covered, the type of vehicle, and the level of service required.
  • Once the customer agrees to the quote, the ship car service provider arranges for the pick-up of the vehicle from the customer’s location.
  • The vehicle is then transported to the nearest port and loaded onto a cargo vessel for shipment.
  • The cargo vessel transports the vehicle to the destination port, which is then unloaded and transported to the customer’s preferred location.

What are the Main Benefits of Hiring a Professional Ship Car Service?

Hiring a professional ship car service can offer several benefits, including:


Shipping a vehicle over long distances can be time-consuming and challenging. Hiring a ship car service can save the customer time and effort by handling the transportation logistics.


Professional ship car service providers have the expertise and equipment to ensure that vehicles are transported safely and securely, minimizing the risk of damage during transit.


In some cases, shipping a vehicle can be less expensive than driving it over long distances, especially when considering the cost of fuel, maintenance, and potential wear and tear.

International Shipping

Ship car service providers are well-versed in the regulations and requirements for international shipping, making it easier for customers to transport their vehicles between countries.ship-car-services 1

When Should You Use Ship Car Service?

There are several situations when using a ship car service can be beneficial. Here are a few scenarios when you might want to consider using a ship car service:

Long-Distance Move 

If you’re moving across the country or to a different part of the world, driving your car to your new destination can be expensive and time-consuming. A ship car service can save you time and money by transporting your vehicle safely to your new location.

Vehicle Purchases 

Buying a car from a dealership or a private seller in another state or country can take time to arrange transportation. A ship car service can pick up and deliver the car to your location.


If you’re a snowbird who spends part of the year in a warmer climate, you should avoid driving your car back and forth every year. A ship car service can transport your vehicle between your winter and summer locations, so you don’t have to worry about making the long drive yourself.

Military Relocations 

If you’re a member of the military who is being deployed or relocating to a new base, a ship car service can transport your car to your new location.

Exotic or Classic Cars 

If you own a high-value or classic car, consider using a ship car service to transport it safely to a new location. A ship car service can provide enclosed transportation, protecting your vehicle from damage and environmental exposure.Using a ship car service can be a convenient and cost-effective way to transport your car in various situations. Whether you’re moving long-distance or need to transport a new vehicle, a ship car service can make the process easier and less stressful.shipping-service

What are the Different Carrier Options When Shipping A Vehicle?

There are several carrier options available when shipping a vehicle, including:
  • Open Carrier: Open carriers are the most standard carrier for vehicle transport. These carriers are open-air and can transport multiple vehicles at once. However, they offer less protection from the elements and potential damage.
  • Enclosed Carrier: Enclosed carriers offer more protection for vehicles during transport, as they are fully enclosed and protect cars from the elements and potential damage. However, they are more expensive than open carriers.
  • Flatbed Trailer: Flatbed trailers are often used for short-distance vehicle transport, such as moving a vehicle from a dealership to a customer’s home. They offer more protection than open carriers but are less expensive than enclosed carriers.
  • Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo): RoRo carriers are specialized cargo vessels that can transport vehicles over water. Vehicles are driven onto the ship, secured, and transported to the destination port.
The choice of carrier option will depend on the customer’s budget, level of protection required, and destination.

How to Find the Best Ship Car Service for Your Needs & Budget?

  1. Research: Conduct thorough research on ship car services available in your area. Look for reviews and ratings from previous customers to understand their service quality.
  2. Quotes: Contact multiple service providers and request quotes. Compare the prices, services, and insurance coverage to determine the best option for your needs and budget.
  3. Licensing and Insurance: Ensure your chosen ship car service is licensed and insured to protect your vehicle during transit.
  4. Additional Services: Look for other services offered by the ship car service, such as door-to-door delivery, tracking and monitoring, and expedited shipping options.
  5. Customer Support: Choose a shipping car service that provides excellent customer support and is responsive to your queries and concerns.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping & What to Look Out For?

  1. Cleaning: Ensure your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned inside and out before shipping.
  2. Inspection: Conduct a detailed vehicle inspection and document any existing damage or issues to avoid confusion during transit.
  3. Disable Alarms and Accessories: Disable any alarms or accessories to avoid any issues during transit.
  4. Remove Personal Belongings: Remove all personal belongings from your vehicle to avoid any damage or loss during transit.
  5. Fuel and Fluid Levels: Ensure your vehicle has a quarter tank of fuel and appropriate fluid levels.
  6. Check Insurance Coverage: Check with the shipping service about the insurance coverage offered for your vehicle during transit.
  7. Delivery and Payment: Determine the delivery date and payment terms with the ship car service before shipping.

The Pros & Cons of Choosing a Professional Ship Car Service

  1. Expertise: Professional ship car services have the knowledge and experience to handle vehicle transportation safely.
  2. Time-saving: Hiring a ship car service can save you the time and effort of driving your vehicle to its destination.
  3. Peace of Mind: Professional ship car services offer insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transit, providing peace of mind.
  1. Cost: Professional shipping car services can be expensive compared to driving your vehicle to its destination.
  2. Limited Control: When your vehicle is in transit, you have limited control over its handling, which can concern some vehicle owners.
ship-vechile-serviceShip car services offer a convenient and cost-effective way to transport a vehicle across long distances. By understanding the process and the factors that affect the cost and duration of shipping, you can make an informed decision when selecting a car shipping company. Doing thorough research before choosing a provider and ensuring you properly prepare your car for shipping to avoid potential issues is always recommended.

Related FAQs

A ship car service is a professional transportation service specializing in transporting cars from one location to another.

The cost of ship car service depends on several variables, including the distance traveled, the type of vehicle, and the required level of service. You can obtain a quote from a cargo car service provider to determine the cost.

A vehicle is typically shipped inside the United States in 1-2 weeks and internationally in 2-4 weeks.

Cars can be transported via open or enclosed trailers. Available trailers are less expensive but expose the vehicle to the elements, while enclosed trailers offer better protection but are more expensive.

Most ship car service providers offer insurance coverage for your vehicle during transport. Ask your provider about their insurance policy before booking your service.

To qualify your vehicle for shipping, remove all personal items from the car, ensure that the gas tank is less than a quarter full, and disable any alarms. You should also inspect your vehicle for any damage before and after shipping.

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