Instructions for Shipping a Car in Canada


Select the appropriate transportation option. When shipping a car within Canada, you should select whether you wish to transport your vehicle by truck, train or container ship. Trucks and trains cannot get to Newfoundland or Vancouver Island, for example. In such a case, the vehicle should be sent by boat or a land/sea combination carrier.


Get a cost estimate from shipping companies. It is important to shop around when it comes to car shipping companies. Different companies will have different payment policies (down payments or paying the entire balance up front, for example). Charges will also vary depending on the size or type of your vehicle, pick up location and arrival location. Quotes are generally free. Ship My Vehicle and Auto Rail both offer transportation services within Canada and can provide free price quotes.

Ship My Vehicle


Auto Rail



Obtain shipping insurance for your vehicle. Several insurance options are available for shipping your car by sea and for shipping over land. Most insurers will require a full inspection of your vehicle prior to departure. Many companies will also require that you empty your vehicle to avoid damage from loose items during transit. Check with your own insurance agent to determine the type of coverage you will need for your particular circumstances. If you decide not to get insurance with your current automobile insurer, most shipping companies also offer the necessary insurance as part of their services. Discuss insurance when obtaining quotes and make sure you understand all of the shipping company's insurance terms before signing anything.


Arrange to pick up your vehicle. Most companies will provide a window of dates that specify when your vehicle will be available for pick up; auto transport is a somewhat imprecise service. Many services do not offer door to door delivery because of the larger size of transport vehicles (this is obviously not possible with train or boat). Some companies will meet you at a local parking area or at large vehicle terminals.

Tips and Warnings

  • Before accepting insurance from the shipping company, find out who their insurer is. Research the company to make sure it's both reputable and licensed to do business in Canada. In the event that you need to legally enforce a claim, you will want to ensure that the company is subject to Canadian legal jurisdiction.
  • Thoroughly inspect your car and take photos prior to shipment. Check your own inspection against that of the insurance company and make sure they corroborate one another. Harsh conditions at sea and during loading/off-loading can damage your vehicle; you want to make sure you will be covered.
  • In this modern age of transportation logistics, you can ship most anything to anywhere. This includes shipping a car from one end of Canada to the other. With some research and preparation, shipping a vehicle can be a relatively painless process; once it's in the shipper's hands, there's little left to do. It's just a matter of being patient for a delivery that can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the shipper and level of service you choose.