Illinois Auto Transport

With more than 306,600 miles of road, Illinois is home to the third most highways, byways, and country roads in the country (behind only California and Texas). And with all those paved stretches comes some great road trips! Take a ride along the 300-mile section of Historic Route 66 – it runs from Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain through the southwest portion of the state – taking in the sights, sounds, and memories of this cherished American landmark. Running parallel to the mighty Mississippi, the Great River Road is a nature and history enthusiast’s dream route. From paddlewheel boats to walking along the same path as Lewis and Clark, this route awaits your discovery. Another gem, the Historic National Road, the first to be federally funded, offers 164 miles of historic sites and attractions.

Illinois is full of so many natural, cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities. But to partake in everything the Prairie State has to offer, you’ll need your wheels. Fortunately, Caravan Auto Transport makes it super easy to ship your car! We work with the best auto shipping professionals in the United States, ensuring smooth, drama-free delivery to or from Illinois. Whether you’re headed to Chicago or another part of the nation, we have you covered. Request your free auto shipping quotes today!

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Things to Know About Driving in the Prairie State

  • Miles of Roadway: 306,614
  • Major Interstates:
    • North-South: I-57 goes from the bridge over the Mississippi River in the south to Chicago in the north; I-55 runs through the metro areas of Springfield, Bloomington, and Chicago
    • East-West: I-74 travels from Moline to Danville; I-72 from Fall Creek to Champaign
  • Average Commute Time: 7th slowest commute in the US at 29 minutes
  • Most Popular Car: Toyota Camry

Steps to Take After Shipping Your Vehicle to Illinois

You’ll probably be chomping at the bit to get out on the open roads of Illinois. Before you take off on your first road trip, make sure you have the following steps covered.

1. Understand Illinois Residency

If you’re moving to the state of Illinois from another state and plan to establish permanent residence here, you’ll need to take the required steps when it comes to vehicle registration, car insurance, and more. It can be challenging to establish a precise date of residency, but there are several ways to help prove you are a resident of the Prairie State:

  • You obtain an IL driver license or ID
  • You file state income taxes
  • You register to vote in the state
  • You buy a home or sign a long-term lease
  • You pay Illinois property tax
  • You can prove employment
  • You have proof of benefits in Illinois

2. Update Insurance to Comply with IL Laws

Each state sets its own laws regarding auto insurance minimums. In Illinois, you are legally required to buy an insurance policy from a licensed IL insurance agent with the following coverage:

  • $20,000 property damage liability per accident: Property liability coverage pays for any damage done to another car or property in an accident in which you are the at-fault driver.
  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person/$50,000 per accident: Bodily injury liability coverage helps to cover another person’s injuries in an accident for which you are at fault.
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person/$50,000 per accident: Covers your medical bills and cost of repair/replacement of your vehicle when hit by an uninsured driver.

To limit your personal financial risk, you may want to consider upping the coverage limits on the above policies or purchasing additional coverage such as collision, comprehensive, and personal injury protection.

3. Title and Register Your Vehicle

If you ship a car into Illinois from out of state and plan to live here permanently, you must apply for title and registration within 30 days of establishing residency.

  • Title: A title shows your proof of ownership of the vehicle in the state of Illinois. The Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System provides the convenience of filling out and printing the required application form. Mail it in or visit a local Secretary of State facility.
  • Registration: Additionally, you must register your vehicle, obtain a metal license plate, a registration certificate, and a registration decal. You can complete the initial registration at the time of titling. For more information on titling and registering your vehicle, click here.

4. Obtain a Valid Illinois Driver License

You must obtain an Illinois license within 90 days of establishing residency. You must apply for a new one at a Secretary of State facility. During the application process, you must:

5. Heed Winter Driving Recommendations

Illinois is known for its pretty intense (and unpredictable) winter weather. When traveling, you prepare for anything that comes your way. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), these are the top recommendations for staying safe: don’t “crowd” the plow (give plows plenty of space), avoid using cruise control, put together an emergency kit (jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, ice scraper, and so on), and keep an eye out for black ice.

6. Register for an E-Z Pass

E-Z Pass operates toll collections throughout the Midwest, as well as along the East Coast. In Illinois, the system is referred to as I-Pass, but your Illinois tolling transponder will also work in 17 other states for fast and seamless tolling. Perks of slapping a prepaid transponder on your vehicle include no stopping at toll plazas, no fines and fees, and best of all, discounted tolling rates throughout the state.

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Top 3 Places to Go for a Drive (After Shipping Your Car) in Illinois

Illinois offers some fantastic scenic drives. Need a suggestion on your first road adventure? Here are the top three scenic routes in the Prairie State.

1. Historic Route 66

Also known as the Mother Road, Historic Route 66 is a legendary American icon. The state of Illinois is home to a 300-mile section of the storied two-lane highway, offering travelers and road trippers all the vibe you’d want from a nostalgic, quirky, eccentric, and kitschy part of our nation’s history. Starting in Downtown Chicago – symbolically from Buckingham Fountain – this scenic drive is definitely about the journey and not the destination. Offering everything from interesting museums to quirky statues, Historic Route 66 is a must-drive for anyone living in or just visiting the great Midwest state of Illinois. Check out these popular points of interest along the way:

  • Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket: Okay, before you head out too far onto the open road, you should check Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. Originally a gas station lunch counter, this classic spot has since been included in the Route 66 Hall of Fame.
  • Illinois Hall of Fame & Museum: Found in Pontiac, the Illinois Hall of Fame & Museum is a must-see along the route. It’s filled to the brim with memorabilia and artifacts tied to Route 66.
  • Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue: Standing at 19 feet, it’s hard to miss this statue. One of a few that still pepper Route 66, the Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue is a classic roadside attraction.
  • World’s Largest Covered Wagon: Down the way from Lincoln, you’ll find the World’s Largest Covered Wagon accompanied by a large statue of Abraham Lincoln. The Guinness Book of World Records officially recognizes the towering 24-foot-tall wagon.
  • Cozy Dog Drive-In: Love corndogs? Ever wonder who came up with the idea to put a stick in them? The Cozy Dog Drive-In claims that title! It’s one part museum, one part diner that still serves up amazing corndogs, along with burgers and chili.
  • Doc’s Soda Fountain: Considered one of the Top 5 soda fountains in the country, Doc’s Soda Fountain is the perfect stop to get a refreshing drink or bite to eat.
  • Sky View Drive-In Theater: This is the last of its kind along the historic highway. And it’s also one of the last great bargains! During summer months, you can enjoy a double-feature for the low, low price of only $5 (including the classic dancing hotdogs of yesteryear).
  • Henry’s Rabbit Ranch: This is not your run-of-the-mill rabbit ranch. One part visitor center, one part roadside attraction, one part quirky destination, Henry’s Rabbit Ranch is a curious place to visit by yourself or with the whole family.
  • Old Chain of Rocks Bridge: Your journey ends (or begins) along Route 66 at this iconic bridge in Collinsville. Constructed in 1927, it’s one of five bridges that cross the mighty Mississippi River. Make sure to take a selfie and share it with all your family members and friends!

2. Great River Road

Following the Mississippi River’s contours, the Great River Road offers 550 miles of nature adventures and prime exploration. Covering the state’s entire western border, the river and adjacent route extend from Cairo in the south to Galena in the north. Along the way, you’ll find numerous attractions and destinations, including the birthplace of jazz great Miles Davis, Melvin Price Locks & Dam, a genuine Dutch windmill, the historic districts of Quincy, and much more. If you’re into birdwatching, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities, this is the scenic route for you! Here are some of the top highlights:

  • Quincy Historic Districts: Filled with restored homes from the 1800s, Quincy’s East End Historic District is a fine spot to transport yourself to that period. Quincy’s Historic Business District is home to some great eats, including those from the restaurant called Tiramisu.
  • Celebration River Boat: The 800-passenger riverboat offers live music and a mix of short tours, day & night trips, and themed cruises (including Oktoberfest and Fall Foliage excursions). Located in Molina, passengers get to live it up on the Mississippi!
  • Grafton Zipline Adventures: Want to get that heart rate up? Take in the awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River Valley while gliding along one of the nine zip lines.
  • Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area: Dedicated to the 16th President of the United States, this is the only national heritage area named after a US president.
  • Madison County Transit Trail System: Representing one of the most extensive interconnected trails, this system offers 85 miles of scenic bikeways.

3. Historic National Road

Constructed between 1811 and 1837, the Historic National Road represents the first major highway in the United States. Fast forward to now, and it’s become one the best scenic routes not only in Illinois but the entire nation. The section found in the Prairie State stretches from the eastern portion of St. Louis to Marshall at a length of 164 miles. This route is all about Americana, from where Abraham Lincoln started in politics to a giant ketchup bottle. Top destinations include:

  • Casey: With no less than eight entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, the town of Casey is all about BIG. There’s a giant pencil, birdcage, mailbox, rocking chair, crochet hook, knitting needles, pitchfork, and even wooden shoes. It’s all larger than life here!
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: Dedicated to the first people to inhabit the state, Cahokia Mounds is the site of a pre-Columbian city built by the region’s indigenous people. Explore the artifacts of the most sophisticated prehistoric community north of Central America.
  • World’s Largest Catsup Bottle: At 170 feet tall, this is a must-see roadside attraction along the Historic National Road! Built for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant, it stands as a beacon of classic Americana and the larger-than-life vibe of the period of its conception.

Car Shipping to and from Illinois

Are you looking to ship your vehicle to Illinois from another part of the country? Caravan Auto Transport’s network of vetted, licensed, and insured auto transporters offers safe, efficient transport of your automobile to its destination without running up the miles on the odometer. These reputable Illinois car shipping companies provide the following services:

Open Car Transport

The most common car transportation method, open transport carriers are ideal if you’re looking for an affordable shipping option with speedy delivery. As the name suggests, your car is loaded onto an open-air trailer along with several other vehicles headed to the same destination.

Enclosed Auto Transport

If you desire enhanced security or protection for your vehicle, you may wish to arrange enclosed carrier shipping. Inside a covered trailer, your car has protection from harsh weather conditions and road hazards like dust and dirt. Shipping your vehicle in a closed carrier also enhances its safety during transit by keeping the car concealed.

Door-to-Door Car Shipping

With a door-to-door car shipping service, you choose the desired pick-up and drop-off locations rather than having to arrange getting your vehicle to or from a transport terminal. Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient choice for shipping your car to or from Illinois, saving you time and effort.

Expedited Shipping

In a hurry to get your car from one location to the next? Upgrading to expedited shipping ensures a seamless pick-up and drop-off of your vehicle on your schedule. As a priority customer, you receive fast, timely service, so you can get back to driving that much quicker.

Classic and Antique Car Transport

When it comes to transporting a classic car, you want an auto transport company that can deliver your vehicle without a single dent or scratch. From vintage Mustangs to antique DeVaux Sports Coupes, our network of classic auto transporters has the expertise and equipment to transport your classic car safely, so it arrives in pristine condition.

High End and Luxury Auto Shipping

Exotic car transporters use specialty equipment, like hydraulic lifts and sophisticated tie-downs, along with enclosed trucks, to keep your valuable car safe during every mile of transit. An enclosed car hauler ensures the ultimate protection for your high-end or luxury vehicle, protecting it from dirt, dust, and debris along the way.

We Take Care of Your IL Auto Shipping Needs

From moving off to college to building your career, there are so many reasons you may be interested in shipping a car to Illinois or somewhere outside of the Prairie State. Caravan Auto Transport’s network of auto shippers streamlines the car hauling process no matter your reason for transporting your vehicle to or from IL.

Moving and Relocation

When moving cross-country or out-of-state, many people choose to ship their cars rather than add a long road trip to an already stressful and exhausting relocation experience. Leave the logistics of moving your vehicle in the hands of professionals with either open or enclosed vehicle shipping services.

Unlimited Outdoor Recreation

Are you dreaming of all the nature adventures in Illinois? The Prairie State will not disappoint! From the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan to Pere Marquette State Park, there’s an endless list of things to do in the great outdoors: boating, kayaking, fishing, hunting, hiking, rock climbing, and so much more. Begin your adventures that much sooner by shipping your car and meeting it at your Illinois destination – whether your home base is in the metropolitan area of Chicago or the capital city of Springfield.


Illinois is home to three military bases. From Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair to Camp Price Support Center Army Base in Granite City, thousands of military personnel are stationed in the Prairie State. If you are one of the brave men and women serving our country, we’re happy to serve you with top-notch car transportation to or from Illinois.

Online Car Buyers

Whether you’ve found the perfect vehicle on Craigslist, eBay, or AutoTrader, you may need some assistance getting it home, especially if it’s sitting on the other side of the country. Instead of flying out to pick it up and putting hundreds or thousands of miles on the odometer just to get it to your driveway, arrange for a hauler to transport your new car for you.

College Students

From the acclaimed University of Chicago to Northwestern University – these two schools are #6 and #9 in the US, respectively – Illinois is home to top-tier colleges and universities for those seeking to further their education. If you have a college student moving to Illinois from out-of-state (or vice versa), have their vehicle shipped straight to campus with a fast, affordable auto transport service.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car to Illinois?

On average, it costs between $500-$1500 to ship a car to Illinois. Anticipate paying around $1 per mile for the first 1-500 miles, then approximately $.75 for every mile after that. Several factors influence the final cost of shipping your vehicle, including the origin and destination zip codes, the method of transport (open vs. enclosed), the speed of shipment, the type of vehicle, and the time of year. The best way to get an accurate estimate of car shipping costs is by requesting free quotes from our network of auto transport companies.

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