So, if driving is off the cards, and rentals are too expensive, what are your options? Well, we’re here to tell you all about the ins and outs of Alaska car shipping.
Shipping your vehicle to the Alaskan wilderness need not be a huge chore. Let us show you how simple it can be and answer any questions you might have about it.
The Basics of Alaska Car Shipping
The first and perhaps most important thing to do is plan ahead. Vehicle transport to Alaska takes time. You should allow at least one week and at most two weeks to be without your vehicle while it is being transported up north. Make sure to plan your journey to Alaska accordingly, and remember that delays may occur.
Give the company providing the transportation service plenty of notice ahead of shipping your car, at least a month. Expedited shipping is available, but it will be significantly more expensive in most cases.
Before the carrier comes to collect your vehicle, you want to make sure that it’s ready for them. This means your car should be clean, have a quarter tank of gas, have the roof racks removed, and have personal items taken out of the car.
The Cost of Alaska Car Shipping
The cost will depend on a number of different shipping options. These include the size and model of the car, the season you’re shipping it, and where you’re shipping it from.
Let’s take an average-sized car being shipped from Seattle to Anchorage in the fall as an example. That would cost a little under two thousand dollars.
If you were shipping from Miami to Anchorage with the same model during the same season, it would cost about four thousand dollars. Breaking down that price and the distance between Seattle or Miami to Anchorage, it roughly works out at around one dollar per mile.
You don’t have to commit to anything before you find a price that works for you. Most decent shipping companies will be able to offer you a free quote so that you can assess the cost.
How Long Does It Take?
As mentioned above, you should allow around two weeks for your car to be shipped to Alaska. This time frame is not always guaranteed though. It depends on the time of year, where you’re shipping from, and the weather along the route.
For example, shipping from somewhere like New York or Florida is likely to take over two weeks, probably closer to two and a half weeks. But if you’re shipping from Seattle or anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest, then it could take as little as a week to get your vehicle up to Alaska.
Another thing that you should take into consideration is the respective busy seasons of the carriers. Shipping in the summer will likely add a day or two on to your estimated shipping time. Shipping in the fall will have the inverse effect.
When you’re planning your trip to Alaska, you’re best off making sure to plan for the car to be late by a few days. That’s not to say that it will, but if you plan for it, you won’t be surprised and unprepared for a few extra days without the car.
The estimates that a carrier gives you are just that, estimates. There are too many variables for them to be able to guarantee an arrival date for your vehicle. So be proactive and plan for delays.
What Vehicles Can You Ship?
The short answer is: pretty much any operational vehicle that you want. You may, in some cases, be able to ship vehicles that aren’t fully operational, but you’ll need to check this with your carrier first.
Your shipping options aren’t just limited to cars either. You can also ship:
- Heavy equipment such as tractors.
It’s recommended that you call your shipping provider to discuss any of these sorts of shipments prior to trying to book one, just to be sure that they offer these types of shipping.
Different Shipping Options
Next, we need to look at the different shipping options available to you. How your car is shipped will affect the price and the timeframe for delivery, so it’s important that you choose wisely.
The majority of transport services will use open-air. Open-air carriers are the typical transporters that you’ll see when out and about on the road. The cars are stacked up on the back of a truck and individually dropped off at their destinations.
If you want, you can pay extra to have your car on what’s called the ‘top load.’ This is the very top deck of the open-air truck transporting the cars. People pay for this because the cars on the bottom are more exposed to the gravel and other bits of debris from the road that could damage their vehicles.
The flip side of this, however, is that being on the very top load of the truck leaves the cars more exposed to the elements, so whether or not it’s worth the extra money entirely depends on the weather conditions that your car will face while on the road.
This is especially worth considering when we’re talking about Alaska. During all seasons, the weather in Alaska can be cold, unforgiving, and unpredictable. If you’re shipping your car outside of summer, then it’s highly likely that your car is going to encounter some snow and ice along the way.
If you’re worried about these weather conditions, then you can always opt for a completely enclosed carrier when you’re shipping your vehicle. These trucks will keep your car safe and secure from all outside elements for the entire journey. The downside to this option is that it will most likely set you back several hundred extra dollars.
Which option you choose is entirely up to you, and most carriers will be able to offer you multiple shipping options and additional upgrades if you want them.
What to Do After My Vehicle Is Delivered?
Once you get to Alaska and your car has been delivered, you need to sort a few things out. The first thing to do is get your registration in order.
You can drive in Alaska on an out-of-state registration for up to 60 days. Anything longer than that, and you’ll need a new registration.
If your move to Alaska is permanent, you’ll need to get the vehicle registered with the Alaskan DMV. You’ll also need to get your documentation and license plates changed. Alaska is different from the rest of US in many ways, but when it comes to dealing with the DMV, it’s just as slow and arduous as anywhere else in the country, so be prepared for that.
You might be able to sort everything out online, but it’s not guaranteed. You’ll need to contact the Alaskan DMV first to find out whether or not any of it can be done online in your case.
Within ten days of your moving to Alaska permanently, you will need to go and register in person with the DMV. You are exempt from this if you live more than fifty miles away from your nearest DMV center. Which, in Alaska, is not outside of the realms of possibility.
Another thing you need to make sure and do if you’re staying in Alaska permanently is get your license plates changed. Alaska’s DOA website has lots of very useful information on this and how to get it sorted.
Find a Car Shipping Expert Today
Driving your car all the way to Alaska is going to be a tough ask. It’s thousands and thousands of miles, several days on the road, little sleep, unpredictable weather, and a lot of stress. Save yourself all that hassle and get some Alaska Car Shipping.
Speaking of, why not get in touch with us today for a free quote? Our dedicated team of car shipping experts is on hand to help you with whatever you need. No matter where you are in the US, we can give you a quote and we’d love to hear from you.