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Moving to Another State With Your Car (Podcast)


Moving to Another State With Your Car (Podcast)

Mike Scenna, sales manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, a car shipping company and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts, discusses moving to another state with your car and why car shipping is the right way to go.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Mike Scenna, sales manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. Today, our topic is moving to another state with your car. Welcome, Mike.

Mike Scenna: Hey, John. Thanks for having me.

Shipping Your Car vs. Driving Yourself

John: Sure. Mike, what are some reasons to ship your car to another state when you’re moving rather than driving it?

Mike: Yeah, sure. So that’s a great question. There’s plenty of good reasons to choose shipping the car versus driving it. First and foremost is safety. It’s a lot safer to just not be making a drive from one state to another if you don’t have to, of course you risk chance of accident. There’s just not knowing the roads, you could get lost, it could be a bit confusing driving in states that you’re unfamiliar with. There’s also depreciation on the car. Depending what state you’re going to and from, you could be looking at one, two, even 3000 miles. So if you have an opportunity to not put those miles on the car, that’s great. It’s going to help the integrity of the car and the life of the car. Another big one is time. A lot of people don’t consider the time of driving.

You’re not simply just breaking down the hours. So if you’re looking at, say a drive from Massachusetts to California is something like 36 hours. The trip is going to take a lot longer than that. You’re only going to be able to drive so many hours a day. That’s going to involve staying overnight at places and stopping to get gas or just to rest in general. So you’re looking at a trip that could be as long as three, four, maybe even five days. So when you factor that in, you’re looking at time off work and which these into the last one, the biggest one is cost. How much is it going to cost you?

A lot of people feel as though they’re going to hop in the car and save some money by driving it rather than shipping it, but if you really break down the cost, it’s going to cost you more money to drive out there. Going back to time, you’re looking at taking time off work, so that’s a cost there, fuel, hotel, food. These things add up quickly and usually add up to be more than the cost of simply shipping the car.

What Do You Need to Ship Your Car?

John: Interesting. Yeah. So do you need any particular documents to ship your car to another state or is it a pretty simple process, you’re allowed to just go from state to state and ship your car?

Mike: Yeah, so it’s pretty simple domestically from one state to another. Of course if you were looking at going overseas, there’s a lot more involved, but if you’re staying within the country, there’s no documentation. You don’t have to apply for any kind of a permit or license to have the car shipped. It’s actually, in some ways the lack of what you need to ship the car could benefit you. So for example, if you’re looking at registration and insurance in different states, right? So that’s something people consider a lot. They need to cancel their registration and insurance in one state and reinstate it in another.

And that can be pretty… A confusing process and sometimes gets people a little stressed out, but you can ship the car. So if you’re driving the car, it needs to be registered and insured. It has to have plates on it and you need insurance, but if you’re shipping it, it does not. It’s covered by the insurance of the carrier that it’s on. So there’s a benefit there that you can go through the avenues and procedures in your state to cancel [inaudible] insurance, remove the plates, unregister it. So now you’ve accomplished all that, you’ve gotten that out of the way before moving it. You don’t need those things on the vehicle, so now the vehicle can safely transport to the next state where you’ve already done half the process. Now you just have to work on getting it registered and insured in the state that you’re in.

Cost of Car Shipping to Another State

John: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. How much does it cost to ship a car from state to state?

Mike: Yeah, so that varies greatly depending on which state you’re going to and from and the type of car, also the type of shipment that you’re looking to execute for the car. If I’m giving you a range, you’re looking at just anywhere as low as $300 if it’s only a couple hundred miles, an open shipment, or it could be as much as 2,500, if you’re shipping enclosed across the country.

John: And you just mentioned that you can unregister your car, take the plates off, all of that kind of stuff in one state, figuring that when you get the car in your new state you’ll be able to get it registered. How does that work? What’s the best way to handle that in terms of, obviously I wouldn’t be able to pick up the car in some lot where the truck dropped it off and then drive it back to my new house if it’s not registered. So what are the logistics there in terms of setting up your license and registration in the new state so that you can then drive the car when you get it picked up?

Mike: Right. So that’s a great question. It’s something that’s very different from state to state. So I always recommend people to start by calling the Registry of Motor Vehicles in the state that they’re in and the state that they’re moving to. So for example, where we’re located in Massachusetts there’s a process you need to go through when you’re leaving the state. So you’ll have to cancel your registration and also Massachusetts now you simply just destroy the plates. They asked you to just, I believe, cut them in half and throw them in the trash. And you’re all set there now. The car is not registered and you contact your insurance company, show them that the car is no longer registered, and then you’re able to cancel your insurance from there. Because that’s another thing. In Massachusetts, you can’t have a registered car without insurance. So if you were to call the insurance company first, they would tell you to cancel the registration first.

And that’s going to be a different process in every state, which is why I’d recommend calling the registry first. And once you’ve accomplished that, then you call the state, the registry of the state you’re moving to and the way things go now, most likely you’ll be able to accomplish all of this online or over the phone, which is great because then when you get to the state you’re moving to, if you plan it out right, you get the plates in hand, you have the insurance, you have the stickers you need. That way, you’re ready when the vehicle shows up. If the truck can’t get right to the door and you are going to need to drive it, I’ve helped plenty of people who’ve done this process smoothly in the correct way.

And they’re able to meet the driver in a parking lot where it’s safe to unload, safe to receive the vehicle, and they’re able to put the plates on right there, the stickers, and they’re all set to just drive the car away. You really want to think about ahead of time and it can make life a lot easier and go a lot smoother than if you kind of overlook this and you’re scrambling on the other end to be able to drive the car.

John: Right. What about your driver’s license? I imagine that depends on the state that you’re moving to as well, but I know obviously you can drive a car in another state with your license that you have, but when you’re moving permanently to another state, are you required then to get a new license in that state at some point? Do you have a grace period or a certain amount of time when that has to happen?

Mike: Yep. Just as you said, of course you can drive in any state with a valid driver’s license. So my Massachusetts driver’s license will allow me to drive in any state in the US. However, you will be required to get that license in the new state and that’s based off residency. So once you become a resident of a new state, depending on that state laws, you have X amount of time, whether it’s 30 days, 45 or 60 days. You’re required to obtain a license of that state. And then depending on the state, again, some of them will… It’s as simple as certain states accept other states’ license. So they see, okay, you have a valid license in Massachusetts. We accept this as you’re a safe driver, you know how to drive, you pass any tests that would allow you on the road and you pay the whatever fee it is there, and you get your new license. But as far as just landing in the new state with your previous state’s license, you’re good to go as far as legally driving right off the bat [inaudible 00:07:58].

John: Yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense. Any final thoughts on moving to another state with your car and the way that car shipping goes with that? Any final tips?

Mike: Yeah. Just do your research and prepare. There’s a lot of things that go into it, so ask a lot of questions and just don’t feel like you’re overthinking it. Like I said, there’s a lot that goes into it, so just make sure you’re doing your homework and ready and prepared on the other end to ensure everything is lined up.

John: All right. That’s great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Yeah. Thanks, John.

John: And for more information or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at or call (877) 542-1955.