Shipping a car from Chicago to Houston Guide

shipping a car across country

Learn how auto transport works. Review our guide and request your free quote online or call!



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Moving a vehicle from Chicago to Houston shouldn’t be a burden. For a stress-free experience take some time to understand the basics of auto transport. In this guide, we’ve compiled our expertise to explain everything you need to know about shipping a vehicle. If you prefer do not hesitate to call us. Our experienced vehicle relocation experts are committed to providing you and your vehicle with superb customer service. We encourage you to ask questions, so you can make educated choices.

What are my options when shipping a car from Chicago to Houston?

You have two main options to move a car between any two places: driving it all the way to the final destination or shipping your vehicle with a professional auto transport company. Your choice would depend on the distance, budget, and your personal preferences.

DRIVING
Driving may be a good option when the distance is no greater than 200-300 hundred miles. Moving your vehicle from Chicago to Houston implies traversing over a 1000 miles of state and interstate roads –  a trip that requires good planning and preparation. So if you have plenty of free time, enjoy being behind the wheel, and want to explore as much of the country as you possibly can then driving from Chicago to Houston is for you. Besides, you can use this road trip as extra bonding time with your family.
SHIPPING
Shipping your car with a professional auto transporter is an excellent solution when you don’t have time to spare or simply don’t wish to embark on a road trip. Sending your vehicle with an auto shipper will also save your car a few hundred miles of unnecessary wear and tear and untimely visits to a mechanic. You won’t have to share a road with aggressive drivers or deal with traffic jams. And once you consider all the expenses a road trip entails, you may be pleasantly surprised. Often, shipping your vehicle with a professional auto transporter is easier on your wallet than driving it. In fact, many private and business customers across the nation hire auto transport companies daily.

How to choose an auto transport company?

In your quest for an auto transport company, you’ll get plenty of leads. It’s important to do your due diligence and request a few car shipping quotes before you choose in favor of one or the other.

Resist the temptation of making your decision based on price alone. Instead, look for the company that guarantees safe, on-time delivery, honest talk, and good communication throughout the process.

Check online reviews to learn about other customers’ experiences, consult the FMCSA for the shipper’s licensing and background information and safety ratings.

And last but not least, pick up the phone and call. Ask questions. Pick a company that resonates with you. Good shippers know that in business, as in life, Trust is a non-negotiable trait in building a successful relationship.

What services do auto transport companies offer?

In general, you’ll be choosing between the open or enclosed trailer and standard or expedited service. Additionally, you can request a top load for your vehicle. Your choice will depend on your budget, the level of protection you want for your vehicle, and your personal preferences. Corsia Logistics offers the following services:

OPEN OR ENCLOSED CARRIER
Open auto transport is a standard shipping method and also the most affordable. Your car will be shipped on a double-deck trailer designed to carry up to 10 vehicles at a time. Small one- or two-car open carriers are used for local, less than 300 miles, and expedited deliveries. If you are looking to add an extra layer of protection for your vehicle, you can choose to ship it via enclosed auto transport. Enclosed trailers have soft or hard side cover that protects vehicles from destructive weather and road elements. Most of these trailers are designed to haul between 5 and 7 cars at a time. Although a single-vehicle enclosed trailer may be available upon request. Due to extra protection it offers, enclosed auto transport is a pricier option.
STANDARD OR EXPEDITED DELIVERY
When you choose standard delivery service, expect a carrier to pick up your vehicle within 5 business days. The average transit time between Chicago and Houston is 4-6 days. However, keep in mind that all dates and times are estimates. Carriers drive all over picking up and dropping off vehicles, hence delays may happen. It’s important to stay in touch with your carrier at all times. If you need your vehicle delivered on or by a specified date and time, request expedited delivery. Carrier will rearrange the entire truck’s itinerary around your schedule, which makes this service a more expensive option.
All Corsia Logistics deliveries are door-to-door unless you specifically request terminal-to-terminal shipping

How much does it cost to ship a car from Chicago to Houston?

The cost to ship a car is never a constant. There’s a number of factors that affect the cost to ship a car. Vehicle make and model together with the distance set the base price for shipping. Then the choice of carrier type enters into the equation. Shipping a non-running car drives the price up due to additional equipment and driver’s skill. Picking up and delivering a vehicle from and to a rural area is a logistical challenge that usually costs more. However, the deciding factor of all is the current supply and demand situation on a given route.

Corsia Logistics agents manually track daily supply and demand fluctuations, so we can offer you realistic rates, with the utmost transparency.

VEHICLE MAKE, MODEL, AND MODIFICATIONS
Shipping a smaller and lighter vehicle is cheaper than transporting bigger and heavier cars. Auto transport carriers have to follow certain weight limits when accepting cars for shipping. Therefore, the make and model of your vehicle, as well as any added modifications, and personal items loaded inside, all matter for the total weight of the carrier and will affect the final shipping cost. Also, certain modifications will require additional assistance or special preparations that may add to the cost of shipping.
VEHICLE CONDITION
If your vehicle can not move under its own power, the carrier will need to engage some extra help (a winch or a forklift); therefore, you’ll have to pay extra.
TRANSPORT TYPE
Your choice of carrier type will affect your auto transport rate as well. Open auto transport is the standard shipping method in the industry. It is used for all vehicle types. Availability of open carriers is much higher and prices are cheaper. Enclosed auto transport is more expensive and often used for sports, luxury, or classic automobiles.
DISTANCE AND PICK UP/DROP OFF LOCATIONS
The longer the distance the higher the overall price will be. However, it’s also important to consider how far off the interstate and state highways the pick-up and delivery points are. If it’s somewhere off the main routes, in a rural or hard to get to area, where not that many people are looking to ship their vehicles, you will need to make it worth the trucker’s time, effort, and extra gas expense.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Supply and demand fluctuations dictate prices on most routes. When the demand peaks, prices usually go up, which can often happen in a matter of hours. Seasonal fluctuations also have an effect on vehicle shipping costs. For example, between May and September, the most popular months for moving and traveling, as well as during the snowbirds season, prepare to pay a higher price due to increased demand. Car shipping may also get a bit complicated during winter holidays (end of December through the beginning of January) when a lot of transporters take time off. The supply of trucks on the market decreases, and as a result, car shipping rates go up. Due to the fickle nature of supply and demand in the auto transport industry, it’s extremely important to track daily price fluctuations on national dispatch boards.

What documents do I need when shipping a car?

Domestic auto transport is a simple endeavor. You or someone on your behalf will need to sign a Bill of Lading (BOL) at pick up and delivery. Bill of Lading is not only a receipt but also an inspection report. Hence, make sure to inspect your car thoroughly along with the carrier driver and note all the irregularities on the BOL.

Is my vehicle insured during transport?

DOT requires all carriers to have cargo insurance which protects your vehicle against damages during loading, unloading, and transit and covers anything from theft, dents, and scratches to a total loss of a car. Liability limits, though, will vary from carrier to carrier.

Moving to the H-Town

Virginia

 

With a population of over 2.3 million as of 2017, Houston is the most populous city in Texas, as well as the fourth most populated city in the US. It covers a land area of 599.59 square miles and ranks as the ninth largest city in the United States by area.

Nicknamed the Space City because of the NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston has become one of the most desirable cities in the US thanks to its affordable cost of living, job growth, powerful economy, and delicious cuisine. The city’s population is also one of the most diverse ones, with people coming from different races and religious backgrounds.

Moving from vibrant Chicago to a global city such as Houston, which has a rich culture and the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions, will be a great change in your life. Compared to the humid continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters of Chicago, Houston has a humid subtropical climate. Its winters are mild, while summers are usually very long, hot, and humid. Due to its geographical location, Houston is also vulnerable to hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding.

Economy and Employment

Mainly based on energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, distribution, life sciences, healthcare, and biomedical research industries, Houston’s economy continues to grow and expand year after year. The Port of Houston, which is the 10th largest port in the world is also a key factor for economic growth. It also ranks in the first place in the US for international commerce. The industry of renewable energy sources has also grown during the last decades.

Houston’s economy is based on a variety of industries, and the city’s job market keeps getting better and stronger. A lot of Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Houston as well, so if you’ll be looking for a job in this city, you will have plenty of job options to choose from.

Housing and Living Costs

As mentioned in the beginning, living costs in Houston are much more affordable compared to most cities in the US. Compared to Chicago, living costs in Houston are 8% less expensive while the median home cost is 22% cheaper. According to an article by Chron, Houston’s real estate market hit an all-time high in July 2018. “From low-end to luxury, houses are selling throughout the area, even as last year’s hurricane remains on the minds of many Houstonians with Harvey’s one-year anniversary approaching.”

Memorial, Clear Lake, Braeswood, University Place, and Washington Avenue Coalition, are some of the best neighborhoods to live in Houston.  

Things to do in Houston

Attractions like the Museum District, Theater District, the Galleria, Underground Tunnel Tour, Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, and Houston Zoo are some of the best places you should visit once you move to Houston. You can also attend cultural events, music festivals, or simply explore the outdoors and practice your favorite hobbies. With over 50,000 acres of park space, Houston gives its inhabitants the opportunity to pass their free time visiting parks like the Hermann Park, Memorial Park, Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park, and more.

Moving to Houston with a car

With an underdeveloped public transportation system, owning a car in Houston is a basic necessity. As soon as you establish your move in the Space City, you will have 30 days to register your vehicle with the TX DMV. Just make sure you have valid auto insurance and get your car inspected before submitting all the required documents at your local County Tax Office.