Rhode Island Auto Transport

Rhode Island (affectionately called Little Rhody) may be the smallest state in America, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you. Home to popular cities, seaside villages, world-class seafood, lovely forested landscapes, and 400 miles of enchanting coastline, the Ocean State offers numerous adventures along its more than 12,700 miles of road. Plus, it’s within a short distance of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Ocean Drive in Newport is a great way to explore the city set on Aquidneck Island. Want to explore where the American Revolution began? The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is home to the spark of revolution and the US’s first textile mill. And last but not least, Route 4 offers a charming ride through the interior of southern Rhode Island.

The state of Rhode Island offers that captivating New England charm, filled with destinations & attractions. Of course, you’ll need to get your vehicle over here to enjoy it all. Caravan Auto Transport takes on the confusing guesswork out of booking a top-tier auto shipping service. It all starts with free quotes that allow you to compare, select, and save effortlessly. Focus on what’s important – making your move as successful and smooth as possible – while our fully vetted, licensed, and insured partners deliver your car to its new home. Caravan makes auto delivery easy and affordable!

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Things to Know About Driving in the Ocean State

  • Miles of Roadway: 12,741
  • Major Interstates: 
    • North-South: I-95 connects from the CT state line near Westerly to the MA state line in Pawtucket at a length of more than 43 miles; I-295 goes from Warwick in the south to Smithfield in the north (then enters North Attleborough, MA)
    • East-West: I-195, also known as the East Providence Expressway, runs for approximately only four miles in East Providence
  • Average Commute Time: 23rd slowest commute in the US at 24.8 minutes
  • Most Popular Car: Honda Accord

Steps to Take After Shipping Your Vehicle to Rhode Island

As soon as your hauler has dropped off your car, it’s time to have some fun! But before you hop in, be sure to review the following points to stay legal and safe:

1. Understand Rhode Island Residency

This step only applies to those relocating to Rhode Island from another state who plan to establish their permanent and principal residence in RI (i.e., not college students living here temporarily). Rhode Island legally requires new residents to take specific steps regarding insurance, car registration, and more based upon the date of residency. It may be challenging to establish an exact date, but the state requires proof of intent to live here permanently. The following are indicators of residency:

  • You buy a home or sign a long-term lease
  • You sever ties with the previous state
  • You open a RI bank account(s)
  • You are employed in Rhode Island
  • You acquire a driver license or ID
  • You title and register your car here
  • You file Rhode Island state taxes
  • You register to vote in the state
  • You enroll a child in a local school

Note: Keep the date you establish residency in mind as you review the remaining steps.

2. Update Your Insurance to Comply with RI Laws

Each state sets its own laws regarding auto insurance minimums. In Rhode Island, you must purchase an insurance policy from a licensed RI insurance agent with the following coverage amounts:

  • $25,000 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 coverage per person/$50,000 per accident: Bodily injury liability coverage helps to cover another person’s injuries for which you at fault.

Note: You must have proof of insurance coverage to title and register your vehicle.

3. Title and Register Your Vehicle

If you bring a car into Rhode Island from out of state, you must apply for title and registration within 30 days of establishing residency. Visit a RI DMV office and provide the following:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) check (if the out-of-state car is 2001 or newer)
  • Valid out-of-state title
  • Lienholder information
  • Application for Registration
  • Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate form
  • Sales Tax Exemption Affidavit
  • Provide required docs (refer to Application of Registration)
  • Proof of vehicle inspection (within five days of registration)
  • All owners present (if not doable, have party sign and notarize Application of Registration)
  • Payment for applicable fees

4. Obtain a Valid Rhode Island Driver License

You must obtain a Rhode Island license within 30 days of establishing residency. You must apply for a license in person at a RI DMV location (click here for locations). During the application process, you must:

  • Complete Application for License, Identification, and Permit
  • Provide required docs (refer to application)
  • Apply for Instruction Permit (if the license has been expired for over a year)
  • Pass vision screening
  • Have photo taken
  • Pay applicable fees

5. Winter Driving Safety Tips in RI

Part of New England, Rhode Island, is no stranger to extreme wintertime conditions. The state receives an average of 50 inches of snow and is subject to flooding and Nor’easters, which can lead to some dicey situations on the road. The Rhode Island State Police and Rhode Island Department of Transportation offer several tips to keep safe. These include the following: get winter tune-up, check & replace tires, keep the gas tank at least a quarter full, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and tell someone where you’re going. Also, avoid any sudden movements, refrain from the use of cruise control, and make sure your phone has a full charge.

6. Purchase an E-Z Pass

If you live in the Newport area, you may want to look into setting up an E-Z Pass prepaid toll account. An E-Z Pass account makes it easy to zip through the toll plazas at either end of the tolled Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge that connects the towns of Newport and Jamestown. You’ll score local discounts on the toll bridge and enjoy discounted rates across tolls in 17 other participating states.

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

Are you itching to fill up your tank and get your hands on the wheel? We can’t blame you! To help you out, here are three spectacular suggestions for your first drive in the Ocean State.

1. Ocean Avenue in Newport

First on your list of top scenic drives in Rhode Island is Ocean Avenue. Situated in the Newport area – the seaside city sits the southwestern tip of Aquidneck Island – this route comes in at a short 10 miles in length. But again, as with the state as a whole, don’t let the small size fool you! Known as a prime destination for the wealthy and famous since the 1800s, the region offers fantastic views of the ocean, bridges, islands, and famous mansions (including Marble House, The Breakers, and Rosecliff). Top points of attraction along the Ocean Avenue route include:

  • Bannister’s Wharf: Located on America’s Cup Avenue in Downtown Newport, Bannister’s Wharf was once the central commercial seaport back in Colonial times. Now, it serves as the center for dining and shopping. Home to many eclectic restaurants and boutiques, this area is a great spot to enjoy a new stroll, shop, and enjoy a great bite to eat in a cozy setting.
  • Fort Adams State Park: Active from 1841 until the first half of the 20th century, Fort Adams was turned into a state park by Rhode Island in 1965. This historic site preserves this large coastal fort along Newport’s harbor mouth.
  • Brenton Point State Park: Situated on nearly 90 acres, Brenton Point State Park is home to some fantastic vistas, including views of Narragansett Bay. Visitors can also partake in fishing, hiking, picnicking, and overall relaxation.
  • Cliff Walk: This public access walk along the shoreline of Newport offers views of mansions from the Gilded Age, along with gorgeous wildflowers, ocean views, birds, and more. Designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1975, Cliff Walk stretches a total distance of 3.5 miles.
  • Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge: Technically not part of the Ocean Avenue scenic route, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is nonetheless a great ending to your trip. Located past Easton’s Beach, the refuge offers a great walk after a half-day or so of taking in everything the area has to offer!

2. Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor

Traveling along 46 miles of the Blackstone River, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is literally where the American Revolution was sparked. Often referred to simply as Blackstone Heritage Corridor, it’s also the location of the first textile mill in the United States. Offering a combination of prime American history, charming towns, and gorgeous natural features, this scenic drive runs from the Blackstone Valley Visitor’s Center to the River Bend Farm Visitor Center. Along the way, there are several must-see spots. Here are a few of the top attractions that you’ll come across on the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor:

  • Old Slater Mill National Historic Site: Nestled in Pawtucket, this textile mill was the first in America. Interestingly, the founders secretly imported the technology used for this mill from the United Kingdom, resulting in the birth of industry here in the United States. The site is also home to two other structures: Wilkinson Mill (19th-century machine shop) and the Sylvanus Brown House.
  • Lincoln Woods State Park: This state park sits on more than 625 acres in Lincoln, RI. Home to Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods State Park, was established in 1908. This park is an immensely popular destination for Rhode Islanders in the northeast. Visitors enjoy swimming, fishing, jogging, hiking, and horseback riding, or just sitting under the shade of the beautiful trees.
  • Museum of Work & Culture: Dedicated to the City of Woonsocket’s textile manufacturing heritage, the Museum of Work & Culture offers exhibits that focus on the area’s culture of unity and resilience that helped the community become what it is now.

3. Route 4 Southbound

Offering a delightful tour of the interior of Southern Rhode Island, Route 4 Southbound takes you past charming towns, a saltwater pond, and several sandy beaches. This scenic road goes from East Greenwich to Charleston’s beaches, passing through Exeter and Carolina for a total travel distance of 29 miles. Also, the University of Rhode Island and Kingston are close attractions, with part of the route following the shoreline of Long Island Sound. Check out three of the nearby top points of interest:

  • Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge: Nestled along the shoreline of Ninigret Pond, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is home to a diverse variety of natural features and wildlife, including freshwater wetlands, forests, kettle ponds, salt marshes, and more than 250 species of birds. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a nice assortment of outdoor recreation that ranges from fishing and kayaking to photography and wildlife watching.
  • Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge: Home to lovely flowers and a 2.5-mile trail loop, Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge is situated near Wakefield. Along with a pleasant and refreshing hike, you can partake in hunting, photography, wildlife viewing, and education, emphasizing the environment.
  • University of Rhode Island: Though not technically along this scenic route, the University of Rhode Island is a popular side trip while traveling Route 4 Southbound. The university typically welcomes more than 40,000 visitors per year.

Car Shipping to and from Rhode Island

Are you looking to ship your vehicle to Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 is protected 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 Rhode Island, 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 RI Auto Shipping Needs

From moving off to college to building your career, there are numerous reasons you may be interested in shipping a car to Rhode Island or somewhere outside of the Ocean 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 RI.

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.


Rhode Island is home to three military bases. From Station Castle Hill Coast Guard in Newport to NS Newport Naval Base (also in Newport), many military personnel are stationed in the Ocean 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 Rhode Island.

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 world-renowned Brown University to the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island has no shortage of top-tier colleges and universities for those seeking to further their education. If you have a college student moving to Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island?

On average, it costs between $500-$1500 to ship a car to Rhode Island. 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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