Shipping Your Car to Alaska

You may decide to ship a car to Alaska, depending on personal requirements or impending relocation to the area. This may be more practical for you than driving the car the full distance and it may also be more fiscally sound. You may have also decided to purchase a car in another state on the mainland. If you need to relocate your car to a remote area without adequate road access, shipping will be your sole option. Whatever the reason, there are steps you should follow closely in order to make this process run as smooth as possible.

  1. First, make sure the carrier you choose is both insured and licensed. Also be sure to obtain the company’s references and check them out. If they are a Better Business Bureau member, secure their rating so that you know that they have no unresolved claims against them.
  2. Make sure the freight company will ship to your exact location, as not all carriers ship to all regions of Alaska.
  3. Determine the time frame that will be needed for the shipping of your car. Is there a certain date you must have your vehicle by? Expedited shipping could be available.
  4. Ask for an estimate. This estimate will be based on the size of your automobile, as well as the location from where you need the vehicle shipped, and your final destination. Measure the height and length of your automobile, as you will need this information to determine shipping costs. Some will also determine costs based on the make and model of your vehicle, whereas others will do so based on its exact weight.
  5. Receive quotes for ports of departure and sailing dates. Rates may be higher at certain times of the year when shipping space is at a premium. There may be a fuel surcharge as well.
  6. You may also be asked for a deposit upfront prior to the shipping day. Ask about how much your deposit will cost.
  7. You will also want to notify your own auto insurance company that your vehicle will be transported by sea to guarantee that it is adequately covered during transit for any damage that might possibly occur.
  8. While transporting other items in your car sounds like a great way to be efficient, it’s probably prohibited by your shipping company. Normally, the car can only be shipped with about a quarter tank of gas, and any legal documents in the glovebox. Other than that, shipping companies need to keep weight to a minimum for safety and security reasons. Make sure you’ve cleaned your car out.
  9. Now you will need to make the proper arrangements for vehicle drop off and pickup.
  10. When finalizing the process, have your license plate number on hand, as well as your vehicle identification number (which can be found on your registration papers) to provide to the shipping company.
  11. Arrange to bring your vehicle to the port of departure, which will be located in Washington State either from the Port of Tacoma or the Port of Seattle. Be aware that both weather conditions and the time of year will determine how long it will take your vehicle to arrive.
  12. Prepare your vehicle to be transported, first by making sure that there is less than a quarter tank of gas in it. The keys should be left in the car during the transport and the car doors should be left unlocked for ease of movement.
  13. You will want to make arrangements to have a rental car set up to use in the meantime, or the use of another vehicle. Once the car to be transported is picked up, you should expect to be without it for up to two weeks.
  14. Be prepared to show proper identification when you come to pick up your car in person in order to avoid unnecessary delays.