Moving Car Interstate - What to Consider

Moving Car Interstate: What You Need to Consider

The thought of moving a car interstate even during the pandemic is nothing new. In fact, with people’s yearlong (or more) experience of working from home, a lot of Australians have realised that they can have their pick of urban or regional Australia.

Some have opted to move to the city, whilst others have gone back to their regional roots, enjoying the privilege of being able to actually work from home – that is, from their hometown. But relocating interstate involves more than just moving furnishings, appliances and other possessions.

More often than not, you’d want to keep your vehicle with you – especially a trusty car that you’ve had for years. It might also be because it would be more convenient not to have to shop around for a new car right away. Whatever your reason for wanting to hold on to your vehicle, you’ll want to know how to move a car to another state safely and efficiently, as well as the cost of moving a car interstate.

For sure, the process requires some documentation and a lot of preparation, so our interstate car transport experts are ready to help. Here’s some helpful information on what you need to consider when moving a car between states, with a focus on using a professional car transportation service.

How to Move a Car to Another State

Moving your car to another state requires adequate planning and advanced preparation. Good thing you have more than one option to choose from on how to move interstate seamlessly.

1. Hitch your car to your moving truck with a tow dolly or car carrier.

If you’ll be driving a moving truck during your interstate move, you could hitch your car to the back with a tow dolly or car carrier trailer. But before attempting this, check with your truck rental company first to see if this is something that’s permitted and if you have to pay for the rental of additional equipment you might need.

You also need to be prepared for the extra challenge of manoeuvring not only a big moving truck but also a car trailer. Therefore, if you’re unprepared for this, you might be better off hiring professionals to do the job.

2. Get a professional to do the driving for you.

If you have the budget for it (as it can be a bit pricey), you could hire a professional driver to take your car from your point of origin to your destination. However, aside from being an expensive option, taking this route could add a substantial mileage to your car.

Ensure you vet the driver you choose, or just save yourself the hassle of finding a reliable driver by going through a driving company. Aside from providing you with the reassurance of knowing the driver you choose is fully vetted, these professional transportation companies would have the right insurance to keep your vehicle covered.

3. Drive the car yourself.

If your priority is money savings, you might be tempted to DIY your interstate car transport project. Indeed, you might even feel that this is the cheapest way to transport a car interstate, and you might be right in a way.

However, you need to consider the distance between the state you’re coming from and your destination state – which could be anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand kilometres or more. For example, you could be moving from Perth to Sydney or Melbourne, or vice versa.

Although the fact that you’ll be driving can drastically reduce the interstate car transport cost, remember that you’ll likely be driving for more than a day. You’ll not only be exhausted and stressed but also adding lots of kilometres to your vehicle mileage.

4. Use the services of a professional car transportation company.

For a safe and reliable service to move your car interstate, nothing can beat hiring a professional car transport company like Relocations WA.

By partnering with professional vehicle transport specialists, you can expect the careful and organised transport of your vehicle from point A to B. At Relocations WA, for example, we’ll take care of all the paperwork and ensure any vehicle transportation arrangements we make adhere to local guidelines and requirements. You can depend on us to make safety a priority from the moment we load and stow your vehicle until it’s time to unload it at its destination.

Popular car transportation routes we cover:

Car Transport Perth – Sydney

Car Transport Perth – Melbourne

Car Transport Perth – Brisbane

Based on the above, it’s obvious that there are certain options that seem more beneficial than others, but the choice ultimately boils down to what your priorities are and your budget.

How to Prepare Your Car for an Interstate Move

Moving a car interstate in Australia with the help of a car transportation service like Relocations WA requires a bit of preparation.

To ensure your vehicle is prepared for interstate transport, make sure you do the following:

  • Give your car a good clean. Once your car transport partner informs you of the ‘first available shipping date’ for your vehicle, you need to ensure your car has been washed before that date.
  • Inspect the vehicle exterior. After cleaning your car, check it for damages. These include chipped paint, scratches, dents and discolouration. Make a note of these pre-existing imperfections and take clear photographs for insurance purposes – just in case. You should also mark these on the condition report when your car is picked up for transport. Also, any removable or loose parts on the exterior should be secured or removed, such as antennas, side-view mirrors and custom spoiler. If your car is a convertible, fully secure the top.
  • Clean and secure your car interior. Vacuum your car interior and get rid of cables, leads, electronic devices and accessories, loose coins, air fresheners and décor. Also, remove all custom products or add-ons, including your DVD player, navigation system and stereos. Take out toll tags or parking passes and disable or remove your custom alarm system if you have one.
  • Conduct a maintenance check. Ensure the tyres are inflated properly, and check and top off all fluids. Check the battery status, mileage and record, and empty the petrol tank (or keep it to 1/4 full only). Inform your car transport partner of any mechanical issues and pertinent information they need to drive your car on and off the truck safely. In case your car is inoperable, inform the vehicle shipping company during booking.
  • Ensure you have an extra set of keys. Aside from the set of car keys you’ll turn over to the car shipping company, you also need to have your own set of every key needed to access your vehicle.

Quarantine When Moving Car Interstate

Remember that Australia has very strict quarantine requirements – including ones for interstate car transportation.

For car transport from any state going into Western Australia and Tasmania, not passing quarantine inspections can result in your vehicle being held.

Western Australia, in particular, requires all vehicles (in, out and under) to be free of any personal items, loose parts, dirt, mud, plants, seeds and leaves. You could be charged extra for cleaning, as well as fined for your failure to comply with quarantine restrictions. Extra transport costs may also apply.

Ground Clearance Requirements

The maximum width and height is set at 2.1 metres, with a minimum 120-millimetre ground clearance and value under $100,000. This information is based on a factory standard vehicle with no modifications, no after-market or added-on items, and drivable with no damages.

Weight Limits

At Relocations WA, we do not impose weight restrictions for moving a car interstate in Australia.

However, we do not allow for anything to be packed within the vehicle other than what came off of the car assembly line. No baggage is allowed at all, except baby seats and restraints only.

Transporting a Non-Running/Damaged Vehicle

Cars that are inoperable or not running are generally shipped via containerised transportation.

Specialised individual pricing can be given whereby the vehicle is either moved on a depot-to-depot basis, or we can organise collection delivery via a tilt tray.

Interstate Car Transport Cost

The cost of moving a car interstate can vary widely based on the following factors:

  • Time of the year
  • Distance of the move
  • Make and model of the car
  • Fuel levy current at the time of moving
  • Size and weight of the vehicle
  • Mode of transportation, e.g., open air or enclosed carrier

Once you have these details sorted out, you can simply get a quote.

Mode of Transportation for Interstate Vehicle Transport

Do you prefer to have your car transported via rail, ship or truck?

All three options are available at Relocations WA, depending upon the volume of cars to be moved and space availability.

Interstate Car Moving Insurance

Generally, insurance coverage is recommended for all forms of interstate car transport, as there is always some risk involved. Insurance can be arranged through Relocations WA’s preferred broker or your own insurance coverage.

If your car is quite valuable, go over your existing insurance policy. Check if your plan includes car insurance when moving interstate or long distance transport. You might even want to consider purchasing supplemental insurance for additional protection for your car in case something happens while it’s on the road.

How Much Notice Is Required?

The more advance the notice, the better. This way, we can ensure the day you wish the car to be transported is available and secured for you.

Also, note that Relocations WA does not collect vehicles for transport on weekends or public holidays. We always endeavour to work with our clients for a suitable collection date.

Moreover, vehicles in country areas are generally collected when we’re in the area, so collection could take a little longer. This is why advance notice is very important, especially during peak months or summer.

How Long Does it Take to Move a Car Interstate?

The shipping time for your car will depend on where you live and the destination for your car.

When you move your car interstate, it can take up to 3 weeks for the shipment. Therefore, an early booking is vital if you want your delivery date requirements met and have no pressing deadlines or events anytime soon after pick-up time frames.

Factors that may affect the duration of car shipping are:

The Location and Distance

Shipping your car to a farther destination may take longer since there can be several states it needs to pass through. Take this into account when calculating your expected time of arrival.


The car shipping industry is booming during the spring and autumn months. However, booking anytime during these seasons can take time and effort. Therefore, it is best to book earlier to have the best rates and ensure that your schedule is accommodated.

Weather Conditions

While making shipment plans, it is essential to consider that adverse weather conditions can affect transit times. 

For example, heavy rains or storms can prevent drivers from taking their regular routes. Anticipating potential delays due to inclement weather will ensure your shipments remain on track.

What to Consider When Moving a Vintage Car Interstate?

When moving vintage cars, knowing each step on your journey is essential to ensure everything goes smoothly. So, here are tips for transporting a beloved family heirloom that will help ensure a safe and sound relocation.

  • Seek a reliable moving company
  • Research the difference between open and enclosed transport
  • Check what your hired mover is liable for in case of accidental damage
  • Prepare your vintage car appropriately before the shipping date
  • Take delays into account
  • Get updated vehicle report before and after shipping
  • Take photos of the car before and after shipment

What to Consider When Moving a Luxury Car Interstate?

Luxury cars are considered the most valuable and expensive types of vehicles. It takes many years’ worth of savings for some people to own one, but it’s well worth every cent.

Here is the list of things to consider when moving your luxury cars:

  1. Choose the best and most reliable moving company
  2. Make sure your luxury vehicle is insured
  3. Choose between open or enclosed and individual or Shared container
  4. Record the condition of your vehicle before and after moving
  5. Inform your hired movers about any crucial information needed to know about your luxury vehicle

To ensure your luxury car arrives safely, you must find the right moving company and method. An excellent way to ensure this is by hiring professionals like Relocations WA with extensive experience transporting high-value goods like yours.

What’s the Difference Between Open Car Carriers vs Enclosed Car carriers?

Enclosed or open car shipping? That’s the question! The best choice for you will depend on what kind of protection you need, your budget, and what vehicle you are shipping.

Check our table of pros and cons below to help you decide the best transportation for your vehicle.

Enclosed Carrier Pros & Cons

More secured and protected transportCan be more expensive
Expands your options by opening up access to carriers that have more experience with high-end vehiclesTypically less fuel-efficient
Prevents any potential damage for your vehicles or debris from bad weatherTransportation may take longer

Open Carrier Pros & Cons

A faster and more affordable choiceVehicle may not be as protected compared to a closed carrier
More fuel-efficientMay not ensure adequate safety and protection for very expensive cars
More open transport options make booking your preferred shipping date and time more manageable.Your vehicle may arrive at the destination dirty

Here’s to a Stress-Free Interstate Car Move

Moving all your stuff interstate is challenging enough. And when you add your car to the equation, it can get even more difficult. You need to plan way ahead and prepare your car for the move.

Thankfully, there are professional interstate car moving companies like Relocations WA ready to take care of your vehicle transport needs – including the documentation and compliance to local quarantine guidelines.

So, take a load off and let Relocations WA take care of your car transport requirements.

Get a quote today!

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