Checklist: How to transport a Tesla to another state.

With the recent surge of Tesla certified pre-owned Model S vehicles, some of the more common questions we're getting relate to “how to ship a Tesla” or “how much does it cost to ship a Tesla”. In general, people usually ship a car only once or twice in their lifetime. It's not a service that is needed often unless you own a popular auto body shop, an auto dealership, or are in the military. Because of this, we connected with industry expert, Nicholas Dutko, owner of Car Shipping Carriers. He gave us a helpful “checklist” to follow so you can learn how to ship a Tesla, have a great car transport experience, and have your new or pre-owned Tesla looking flawless in the process.

Above: Nicholas Dutko taking delivery of his CPO 2013 Tesla Model S

When you’re looking to purchase an out-of-state Tesla, you might consider having it shipped with a professional company. You can go right through Tesla to ship it, but that can be costly (usually $1,500) and that service uses an open auto hauler. That said, when you buy your dream car, you want it showing up in showroom condition. To have that happen, it's helpful to choose enclosed car shipping services. This is where you'll need to choose an outside car shipping company to get the transportation of your Tesla done professionally (yet less expensive) than if you went directly through Tesla.


Above: Nicholas seeing his Tesla Model S for the first time after it's been shipped

However, not every company is created equally. Working with a reliable car shipping company is crucial in order to have a stress-free and damage-free experience when you ship your Tesla. To that end, let’s go through a checklist — with tips from Nick — in order to make sure you’re selecting the right car shipping company...

  • 1. Use Google and search for car shipping companies and choose three or four top companies from the list.
  • 2. Make sure you look up each company and actually take the time to read through their website. There should be links to reviews sites such as Transport Reviews, Better Business Bureau, and related social media channels. Also, there should be a link and/or information about their licensing through the U.S. Department of Transportation. You’ll be able to see if this company has been around for a long time, if they have the proper licensing, if they're credible, and how they've treated past customers.
  • 3. The next thing is to submit your information through their website or call the business in order to get an auto transport quote via phone. When you're speaking to the company make sure you ask thorough questions and that they, in turn, answer your questions fully. The job of the company, at first, is to let you know how they conduct business and how they'll take care of your car shipping needs.
  • 4. The next objective, if you do choose the company to perform the task at hand, is to put your faith in them — seeing that you've already executed the key steps outlined here. This process can take a few days in order to find the right auto hauler that will do the job well and have the proper ratings and reviews.
  • 5. Last, once a hauler has been established, the company you placed your shipping order with will give you the remaining details. You’ll know who is picking up your vehicle, the approximate time frame for pick-up and delivery of your vehicle and you'll have the insurance documents of that particular company (upon request) so you can feel at ease.

When you follow this checklist, your car shipping experience will be pleasant from start to finish. Next up — the wait for your much-anticipated Tesla. You'll soon own the best car on the planet.