The question sounds redundant and quite funny, but can cars be transported without driving them? Also, can you haul a vehicle from one state to another while under another state’s registration? 

In general, you can transport cars from any state or UT to another in India. You can use several modes of transportation. Common options are:

  • Hiring auto shipping company for transporting with trucks or trailers
  • Independent truck or trailer drivers
  • Self-driving the car
  • Hiring driver for transportation
  • Freight train parcel service

So, is just hiring a company or driving enough? There are several aspects and elements to consider while transporting your car.

Self-driving vs hiring professionals

Considering the safety and physical effort, most people prefer leaving the transportation process to professionals, especially while driving long distances. Again based on the distance, people choose between hired drivers and auto shipping companies. Hiring a driver would add mileage and wear-and-tear to the vehicle if the distance is several thousand kilometres. 

Instead, an auto transportation service provider would use a trailer to move the car.

However, choosing a reputed and licensed professional is vital. Check for the business license, contract clauses, and online reviews before selecting the right one.

Train vs truck

Transporting a car via a train service is costlier and most tedious than the truck. Moreover, the chances of damage to the vehicle are pretty ordinary in train transportation. Therefore, if you are looking for hassle-free transportation, trucks or trailers are best.

Open truck vs enclosed trailer (car carrier) vs Normal high-body truck

The difference is relatively straightforward. The open truck does not have encasement; thus, your car will be exposed to outside elements throughout the ride. Plus, keeping your car stationary on a truck’s base is no easy task. You will need to spend a lot to ensure it stays fixed in its spot during the hectic road journey. In a normal high-body truck, it is the same challenge that comes to fore. The vehicle will be inside a container in the enclosed trailer (called a car carrier), therefore safer than the previous option. Additionally, there are ready arrangements inside a car carrier to keep the car from budging even an inch during transportation. This is what car carriers have been built for in the first place. But they are available in select cities only. For the other thousands of cities in the country, one has to opt for the open truck or a normal high-body truck.

Doorstep delivery


Some service providers offer doorstep delivery in which the movers visit your home to take your car, drive it to your new location, and hand it over to you. Or, if you wish to save move or do not want anyone else driving your car, you can drive it to the packers’ and movers’ lot and retrieve it from their lot at the destination.

Transporting without registration or title

Car documentation is one of the prime documents that any reputed auto transportation company would ask for first. If, for some cause, your car is not yet registered, you should provide a trade certificate to show that the vehicle is under your name. No reputed service provider would offer to transport your car without these.

Type of license needed for transporting a car


If you are transporting your private car, no separate license is required apart from your driving license. If you hire a driver to transport the vehicle, his license and car registration papers are enough. However, if you are hiring an auto transportation company, the business should have a business license and an all-India permit truck for hauling the car. Any business would be happy to share its license number or registration details. However, if the company refuses the share the same, you might be dealing with an unregistered service provider, which is a huge red flag.

Insurance for transporting a car

Your personal or driver’s insurance is enough for self-driving or a driver. However, an auto transport company should have auto shipping insurance covering damages to the car during transportation and overnight storage inside the truck. When the service provider shares his insurance, verify whether the insurance covers only the truck or the product inside the truck, too (that is, your car).

Re-registration during inter-state transportation

Say, for example, you are moving your car registered in Bengaluru to Assam. In other terms, you are transporting a vehicle from Bengaluru RTO to the one in Assam. Thus, you need to re-register the car in the new state. For doing so, you need a NOC from the old RTO. NOC is a No Objection Certificate that confirms zero legal liabilities on the car. Re-registration is not essential if you plan to use the vehicle in the new state for less than three months and return.

Upon clearance from the police and checking for any pending dues, you will receive your NOC.

Source: How to Get NOC from RTO – Step-by-Step Guidelines (

Cost of shipping car in India

shipping car

The cost of hauling your car depends on the distance and type of car. The cost of shipping a vehicle can be between INR 10,500 and INR 70,000 for 480 to 3,200 km, respectively.

Tips to follow before shipping your car

  • Do not leave more than a quarter of fuel in your tank. It is not safe, and at the same time, there is no guarantee that anyone will not steal the fuel.
  • Do a standard service and inspection of car fluids.
  • Check battery and tyre pressure
  • Remove accessories like a radio antenna, racks, stereos, and more. Most of the insurance does not cover the add-ons.
  • Also, remove any personal property inside the car.
  • Leave the jack and stepony in the truck for any emergency use.

Should I hand over the keys?

If you opt for door delivery, you should hand over your keys. But, first, please make a copy of the keys and give them the copy. Even without door delivery, most companies request you to provide the key to the ignition, trunk, glove box, and others. Because, without the key, the car is a sitting duck, requiring more labour and time for loading, unloading, and others.

Avoid auto transportation broker

Several brokers take up all the odd works off your hand, like finding the right transportation company, looking for a slot, and others. They would bid your shipment to another shipping company. Any contract that an auto transportation broker offers would only cover your vehicle while it is under his control. Thus, you will be blindsided by whatever happens during the transportation. In addition, the broker might not have any liability over the actual shipper’s customer service or transportation process. Thus, it is best to avoid brokers and directly go to the shipment company.

Most importantly, broker companies do not have insurance, and the insurance of the actual shipper might or might not cover the brokers’ clients. Since he would not reveal the shipper’s name, it would be hard to access their insurance.

How to pick the best auto transportation company?

The primary elements to consider are the price, online reviews, years of experience, and the ease of the process. Once you have checked those elements and found the right service provider, talk to them about their license, insurance, and contract details. Check for contingency clauses, hidden costs, and others in the contract. It is best to talk to three or more auto transportation companies to compare and make the best choice.

It is not a simple process of handing over your car keys to anyone who promises to haul your car to your new destination. Remember that the vehicle is still under your name, and you are handing it over to some stranger. Thus, always hire professional and licensed transporter who can offer all required documents, bills, and invoices.