Montana Auto Transport
Montana – Big Sky Country. From the Rocky Mountains to the prairie, Montana’s topography is diverse and stunningly beautiful. The air is clean, the sky is deep blue, and the 150,257 miles of roadways are open and long. You can wind along US 2 in awe of Glacier National Park’s extraordinary vast wilderness or wander the back roads of Montana’s Big Sky Country on State Highways 253 and 200. Spot deer and Bighorn sheep while being the only vehicle for miles along the Big Sheep Creek Back Country Byway in remote southwestern Montana.
Ideal for road trippers, you’ll need your four-wheels to see the wonders of scenic Montana. Whether it’s a family move or you’re relocating an especially valuable classic car, an automobile hauler provides the most efficient way to get your vehicle here. Save miles on the odometer while experts take care of the logistics. Caravan Auto Transport is your go-to source for finding those experts. At Caravan, we thoroughly vet every vehicle shipping company we recommend. We make sure they’re fully licensed, insured, and reputable. Plus, we offer free quotes so you can compare pricing. Get your free quotes now so you can move your vehicles to Montana worry-free.
Things to Know About Driving in the Treasure State
- Miles of Roadway: 150,257
- Major Interstates
- North-South: I-15 runs from Sweet Grass at the Canadian border south to Monida at the Idaho border. I-94 runs from Wibaux on the North Dakota border southwest to Billings.
- East-West: I-90 runs from Sheridan near the Wyoming border west to the Idaho border.
- Average Commute Time: At 18 minutes, the 4th fastest commute in the U.S.
- Most Popular Car: Ford Explorer
Steps to Take After Shipping Your Vehicle to Montana
1. Understand Montana Residency
This step only applies if you’re relocating from another state and plan to establish your permanent and principal residence in Montana. The information does not apply to vacationers or college students living temporarily in Montana. The Treasure State legally requires new residents to take specific steps regarding insurance, car registration, driver license, and more, based upon the date they establish residency. It may be challenging to establish an exact date of residence, but Montana suggests you’re a resident if:
- You live in Montana for 180 consecutive days and prove your permanent residence is in Montana by providing a signed mortgage, deed, or 12-month minimum lease.
- You can provide proof that you’ve been employed in Montana for at least 180 consecutive days.
- You can show a Montana driver’s license.
Once you meet the previous three requirements, you must live in Montana for at least 120 days of each consecutive year to maintain your residency status.
2. Update Your Insurance to Comply with MT Laws
Each state sets its own laws regarding auto insurance minimums. In Montana, must purchase auto insurance within 60 days of establishing residency. All registered vehicles must carry insurance, and you must keep proof of insurance in your car at all times. The required insurance minimums are:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person/$50,000 per accident: Helps cover medical costs of one person injured in any one accident that is your fault.
Montana bodily injury liability insurance does not cover vehicles or property damaged in an accident. If you want to take on less risk, you may want to increase your bodily injury coverage and add property damage insurance. You may also consider purchasing collision, comprehensive, or uninsured motorist coverage.
3. Title and Register Your Vehicle
If you bring a car into Montana from another state, you must apply for title and registration within 60 days of establishing residency. The Vehicle Services Bureau (VSB) manages vehicle registration and titling, and the two processes happen simultaneously.
- Apply at the county treasurer’s office in the county in which you live
- Present your out-of-state registration and title documents
- Present your valid Montana driver license
- Provide proof of Montana auto insurance
- Pay all taxes and fees. (You can choose 12-month, 24-month, or permanent registration.)
You must keep a copy of your registration receipt in the vehicle at all times.
4. Obtain a Valid Montana Driver License
You must obtain a Montana driver license within 60 days of establishing residency. Once you receive your license, you must have it in your possession whenever driving a vehicle. You’ll need to make an appointment at a driver license station. At the station, provide the following required documents:
- Proof of Montana residency
- Two documents that prove your identity
- Your valid out-of-state driver license
- Proof of authorized presence
- An original or certified birth certificate
- A valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
5. Winterize Your Vehicle
Properly preparing your vehicle for harsh winter weather not only prevents damage to your car or truck – it’s critical for safe driving.
- Check your battery and clean the terminals: Prevent the chance of being stranded if your battery fails.
- Check your motor oil: Heavy oils thicken at low temps. Consider a ‘winter weight’ oil.
- Replace your wiper blades: Visibility during rain, snow, and fog is critical.
- Consider snow tires: Snow tires are especially essential if you’re going to be driving on the highway. In-town drivers may not need snow tires since roads are regularly plowed, but snow tires provide more traction and more stable driving.
- Check your tire pressure: The colder the weather, the more your tire pressure drops. For every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop, tire pressure falls one psi. Proper tire pressure is critical for safe Montana driving.
- Check your coolant/antifreeze: Coolant protects your engine from freezing, but it also has anti-corrosive additives. Drain the cooling system and add new antifreeze.
- Make sure your heater/defroster is in tip-top condition.
- Wash then wax the paint: This helps prevent salt damage and corrosion.
- Create a winter emergency kit: When the unexpected happens, having an emergency kit keeps stress levels down. Some critical items to include are: Fix a Flat, work gloves, warm cap with ear flaps, a fold-up shovel, an LED flashlight with lithium batteries (alkaline batteries freeze in winter), back-up cell phone charger, and jumper cables.
Top 3 Places to Go for a Drive (After Shipping Your Car) in Montana
Native Americans referred to Montana as the Land of the Shining Mountains. Lewis and Clark reported that their journey through Montana was full of “scenes of visionary enchantment.” As soon as possible after your car arrives, you’ll want to hit the road and explore those enchanting scenic vistas and shining mountains. Although the entire state is gorgeous and worth investigating by car, these are three favorites:
1. Big Sky Back Country
Linking the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, this 105-mile long sojourn in rugged eastern Montana takes you through rolling prairies and dramatic badlands. You’ll travel on State Highway 253 from Terry, Hwy 200 to Circle, and Hwy 13 to Wolf Point. Stop at the towns’ kiosks that will alert you to the history, culture, and local points of interest.
- The Regina-Yellowstone Trail. Part of the Big Sky Back Country Byway follows a section of the trail, which back in the day, Canadian tourists used to access Yellowstone National Park.
- Terry. Orient yourself to Terry by hiking all or part of the historic six-mile Volkswalk Trail. Part of the trail winds past Terry’s historic homes and tree-lined streets. And something is always going on – catch the summer rodeo and county fair or winter holiday festivals. Travel three miles northwest of Terry to fish, hike, and camp in the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area. From the scenic overlook off a dirt road, you’ll see badlands features like flat mesas, pinnacles, arches, and spires that can reach up to 2,900 feet. Rockhounds search for moss agate and other collectible stones.
- Circle. Notable for big game hunting, the Circle region is also renowned for paleontological research. Visit the McCone County Museum to see over 7,000 historically significant items, eight cement dinosaurs, a historic schoolhouse, and the old Northern Pacific Depot.
- Wolf Point. After scoping out all that Big Sky country, you’ll be ready for a respite. Stop in at Missouri Breaks Brewing for a cold one. After a rest, you’ll have the energy to tour the Wolf Point Area Museum to learn about the region’s history and lore. Lewis and Clark camped near Wolf Point in May 1805. If you’re there in July, check out the Wild Horse Stampede, Montana’s oldest pro-rodeo.
- Assiniboine Village. Learn about the culture and customs of the Assiniboine at this 40-acre site on the Missouri River.
2. Grand Tour Loop of Western Montana
This iconic road trip will introduce you to the wonders of Western Montana. From sled dog rides to boutique shopping, from majestic mountains to fine dining, this approximately 590-mile tour offers culture, beauty, and history and will have you coming back for more. Plan on at least five days to circle the Flathead National Forest on several state highways until you’re back in Missoula.
- Missoula. Northwestern Montana’s cultural center, Missoula, offers an authentic taste of the West. Cutting right through downtown, the Clark Fork River offers beautiful strolls and hiking trails.
- Bigfork and Flathead Lake. The West’s largest freshwater lake provides tremendous recreational opportunities. At the lake’s edge, the charming village of Bigfork has everything from nifty outfitters to unique boutiques, plus bustling brewpubs and trendy cafes.
- Glacier National Park. You’ll need a minimum of two days to explore this enormous and exquisite park, especially if you want to hike some of the 700 miles of trails. You’ll experience rugged mountains, alpine meadows, stunning lakes, pristine forests, and diverse wildlife. Don’t miss the Going-to-the-Sun Road in summer. It’s only 50 miles long but usually takes all day. Road conditions are always changing, so be sure to check for updates.
- Great Falls. The C.M. Russell Museum displays classic images of the West. Investigate the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center to learn more about the explorers’ routes and experiences. Enjoy trendy pubs and cafes.
- Giant Springs State Park. Covering almost 14 miles of the Missouri River shoreline, Giant Springs State Park has the nation’s largest freshwater spring. Two miles of trails provide access to part of the river.
- Helena. Montana’s capital, Helena, is both a backdrop for nature and the spirit of the West. Visit the Mansion District, listen to some toe-tapping live music, learn the history of the gold camps, hike, cycle, and fish.
- Butte. Small-town charm amid spectacular nature, Butte is at the doorstep of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. You can start from one of 13 trailheads to access pristine country. An old mining town, Butte has one of the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark Districts with many buildings featuring beautiful 20th-century architecture. If you have time, head south to investigate the preserved ghost towns, Nevada and Virginia Cities, then…
- Head west back to Missoula.
3. Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway
Connecting Libby and Eureka, this is a 62-mile route on State Highway 37 in northwestern Montana that’s open year-round. You’ll cruise north along the Kootenai River and the 48 miles bordering Lake Koocanusa, then head east to explore charming small-town Eureka.
- Libby. From town, numerous trails of all difficulties fan out into the wilderness. In addition to hiking, some are open for snowmobiling and skiing. After a day of hiking the gorgeous terrain, stop in at Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company. You can also try panning for gold in Libby Creek and scan local products at the Libby Farmers Market.
- Libby Dam. Seventeen miles north of Libby, engineers dammed the Kootenai River to create Lake Koocanusa. The 90-mile long reservoir reaches into British Columbia, but 48 miles of the lake are within the U.S. Stop in at the visitors’ center to see historical displays and exhibits, then take a guided tour of the dam and powerhouse with its five giant turbines.
- Lake Koocanusa. Buy a Montana fishing license and try your luck nabbing four species of trout plus salmon and ling. Mountains border both sides of the lake, and the beautiful relaxing drive along the fjord-like gorge is stunning. Watch for bighorn sheep on the rock outcrops.
- Rexford. In the thick timberlands surrounding Rexford, you can hike 89 miles of remote trails that offer spectacular mountain views. Go boating and fishing on Lake Koocanusa from the Abayance Bay Marina.
- Eureka. Nestled in the Kootenai National Forest, Eureka is a quaint rural Montana town. Visit the restored buildings in Tobacco Valley Historical Village. Play golf at the Wilderness Club, Montana’s #1 rated golf course. Peruse the farmers market, go antiquing, or relax over a pint at several brewpubs.
Car Shipping To and From Montana
Are you looking to ship your vehicle to Montana 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 Montana car shipping companies provide the following services:
Open Car Transport
The most common method of car transportation, 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 Montana, saving you time and effort.
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 a vintage Mustang to an antique DeVaux Sports Coupe, 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 MT Auto Shipping Needs
From moving off to college, a new job, or heading south for the winter, there are numerous reasons you may be interested in shipping a car to Montana or somewhere outside of the Treasure 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 MT.
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.
When Montana roads are like sheets of glass, and the frigid, icy wind blows right through you,
do you fly south for the winter? Given Montana’s below-freezing winters, it’s not hard to understand why you may spend the season in warmer climes. Start enjoying your escape from Montana winters that much sooner by shipping your car and meeting it at your southern destination — whether you winter in star-studded Palm Springs or balmy, laid-back Key West.
Montana is home to one military base and six military installations. In Cascade, MT, Malmstrom Air Force Base is one of the only three Air Force bases that operate intercontinental Minuteman III missiles. About 3,200 military personnel live in the Treasure State. If you’re one of the brave men and women serving our country, we’re happy to provide you with free quotes and connect you with top-notch car transportation to or from Montana.
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.
From the flagship University of Montana in Missoula to the private Carroll College in Montana’s capital, Helena, the Treasure State has no shortage of top-tier colleges and universities for those seeking to further their education. If you have a college student moving to Montana 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 Montana?
On average, it costs between $500-$1500 to ship a car to Montana. 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.