moving to alaska

How to Move Your Car When Moving to Alaska

Moving to Alaska doesn’t work for everyone, and more people have been leaving Alaska than moving to it for the last several years. Some intrepid people do make the trek each year regardless.

Such a move could present challenges distinct from those of the continental 48 states, though. Getting from Seattle to Alaska requires covering roughly 2000 miles, and that’s not always easy.

Few people have the stamina for a drive that lasts more than 40 hours. Long drives like this also raise questions about where to stay and what to eat during long stretches of empty land.

You have options besides that long trek, though. We’ll go over all your options for your upcoming Alaska move during this article.

Moving to Alaska Over Land

Many people have a strong attachment to their cars and don’t trust a shipping company to handle their vehicles. Those who move to Alaska this way must prepare for a grueling trek across Canada.

For a trek from the continental United States to Alaska over land, most start at border crossings in Maine, North Dakota, Montana, or Washington. While these paths differ, they all find their ultimate end on Canada’s Alaska Highway. All take more than 30 driving hours.

After reaching Alaska, these drivers can expect to drive several more hours or take a ferry ride with their vehicles to common destinations.

Car Transport to Alaska by Ferry

For those who want to skip some parts of the lengthy car trip, a ferry can shave a lot of time off. The Alaska Ferry, which leaves for Alaska from Bellingham, Washington, allows you to transport yourself and your vehicle to Alaska without passing through a border crossing.

If you want to stick with your car the whole time and don’t have a passport, this will be your best bet. Traveling to Bellingham will also put much less wear on your vehicle than traveling all the way through Canada.

Make sure to have your vehicle’s registration in order before using the ferry. You will also need a valid driver’s license.

Shipping Your Vehicle

For many people looking into moving to Alaska, car shipping often proves itself as a reliable, low-hassle option. Sending your vehicle with a car shipping service will run you thousands of dollars, but ensures that experts will handle every step of the process.

While initial costs exceed those of other methods, vehicle shipping avoids several hassles associated with traveling overland. You won’t need to find hotels, rest stops, or restaurants on your route. You also won’t have to spend as much time away from work or deal with the possibility of a car part failing.

Shipping your vehicle gets cheaper the farther your vehicle travels. If you need to ship from Florida to Alaska, costs can dip to less than 60 cents per mile. Secondary costs rise even higher at that distance, making it the ideal option for an Alaska move.

Preparing to Ship Your Vehicle

When you’re moving to Alaska, you want to be certain the shipping process goes off without a hitch. Be sure to take the following steps ahead of time.

Gather Your Documents

As with the ferry, you’ll need to get all your papers in order. Make sure you have your registration, insurance, bill of sale, and vehicle title ready to go. Unexpired identification, like a driver’s license or a passport, will also be required.

Take Pictures

Auto shipping companies will do their best to treat your vehicle with care. Even so, it’s best to have the peace of mind that comes with documentation.

If your vehicle ends up damaged in transit, you’ll want to know. Be sure to take pictures of the interior and exterior of your vehicle. For good measure, clean everything as well.

Empty Your Vehicle

Shipping companies won’t accept liability for goods stored in your car. You should take everything out, even things you usually leave in your car such as vehicle repair tools or first aid kits. You can put them back in their place once you and your vehicle have both arrived safely at your destination.

You’ll also want to remove external accessories like bike racks and custom spoilers. Don’t let these get damaged in transit.

Run Down the Gas Tank

Gas adds to the weight of your vehicle. Federal regulations also require any shipped vehicle to have less than a quarter of a tank of gas. You’ll want to leave a little fuel for the person driving your vehicle onto and off of the transport vehicle, but only a quarter of the tank at most.

Repair Your Vehicle

Fluid leaks can damage other vehicles in the shipment and a low battery can cause problems in moving the car. Make sure to address issues like these before you ship.

Enjoy Your New Home in Alaska

Whether you choose to ship your vehicle, drive, or take the ferry, having your car with you in Alaska will help you get acclimated to your new home quickly. If you do choose to ship, make sure to prepare your vehicle before you start the process of moving to Alaska for yourself. You and your shipping partner will both be thankful you did.

If you’re still looking for a partner for car transport to Alaska or anywhere else in the United States, why not give us a call? Our transport agents will find you a reliable service provider who can safely transport your vehicle anywhere you need it. Contact us to request a quote today.

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