The Ultimate Car Shipping Guide

Car Shipping Guide

Car shippers provide an invaluable service for those moving across the country or across the world, but choosing the right ones can be challenging. Choosing between auto transport companies is an important decision and should be researched thoroughly. After all, you are entrusting one of your most valuable possessions to the auto shippers that you choose; you should be certain that they will be as careful with it as you are.

Car Shippers on the Web

A search of the web will reveal a large number of car transporters for you to choose from. While it may seem tempting to choose the one closest to you, or the one offering the lowest price, be advised: all car shippers are not created equal. This is the hidden truth about many companies, and the theme of this car shipping guide. Time spent researching and comparing the services and “extras” offered will yield fruitful results, as well as significant peace of mind.

Do not choose a fly-by-night shipping company or one that seems to not have a lot of business. Picking a vehicle shipping company with a solid reputation for dependability and service will take you a long way. Seek out recommendations from friends or car dealerships. More than likely, you are not familiar with this business, so word of mouth can serve as a great shipping vehicles guide. There are also websites that can do such searches for you and connect you with the services you need.

Know that cost is not king. For most individuals, price is a prime determinant when choosing car shippers or any service. However, low price alone is not a good indicator of services provided. Also, be sure to ask about the total cost of a move. Some car shipping quotes will have a base price which does not include additional fees. When doing research, be sure to ask for a complete fee list.

Search for customer reviews. The Internet is a great resource – and it’s also a great way to find testimonials. Reputable car shippers depend on their levels of reliability for additional business. If they have a poor internet reputation, there is a good chance the company should be avoided. On the other hand, not every company that has great interviews on the web is trustworthy. Overly positive reviews can be fake reviews paid for by the company.

Auto Movers Insurance

Insurance coverage is an important consideration when choosing between different auto movers. While most companies provide basic insurance to cover damages while in transit, you should contact your own insurance company to determine whether or not they cover any damages the shipping company cannot guarantee. In some cases, auto transport insurance is covered under your existing policy; if not, you may be able to add it for a nominal increase in premiums.

Temporary supplemental insurance may be available either from your own company or from the auto movers. This can be well worth the extra car shipping cost if you are moving a classic or luxury car, since the damages can be far more expensive than most basic liability policies will cover. Make sure you get copies of the insurance documents, especially the insurance certificate. Having these items in hand can save you a lot of stress and worry if something does happen to your car en route to its destination.

Readying Your Car for Transport

Once you have chosen the company you want to transport your car, it’s time to ready your car for shipping. Remove any personal items from your car to eliminate any chance of them being misplaced or damaged on the way. It also allows for a more accurate inspection of the car’s condition by the auto movers. Repair any engine leaks; most transporters will not accept a leaking vehicle due to the risk of fire or contamination. Since the driver will need to drive your car in order to load it for shipping, it’s best to leave about a quarter-tank of gas in the vehicle. Make a note of your vehicle’s mileage; most shipping companies will require this information.

Automobile Shipping Delivery Options

There are two basic delivery options for automobile shipping. Door to door delivery is usually most convenient. Terminal to terminal delivery may be less convenient, but it can also be much less expensive. In this case, you would need to take the car to the company’s terminal. The car would then be delivered to the terminal closest to your destination city. Convenience and cost are two of the factors you need to take into consideration for car transport services.

A second consideration is the type of transport vehicle to be used. Single car transport vehicles are generally more expensive to use because the cost is not shared with other vehicle owners. If time is more important than cost, a single car transport is usually the quickest way to get your car delivered.

Equally important is the type of trailer that will be used to carry your vehicle. Enclosed automobile shipping trailers offer the best protection, but open trailers usually cost less to use. Many people use open trailers, unless they are shipping antique or high-end cars.

Vehicle Inspection

Once you deliver your car to the auto movers, your customer representative will ask you to participate in a quick inspection of your car before turning it over to be shipped. This will be a familiar ritual to anyone who has ever rented a car, but this time your transport driver will be accepting responsibility for returning your car to you in the same condition in which it was received. It pays to be as detailed as possible. For instance, if there is a one-inch scratch on the left side of your rear bumper, make sure the size, location, and extent of the scratch are fully detailed. This will prevent misunderstandings when you pick up your car up at the end of its journey. Once you are satisfied regarding your car’s condition, you can sign the documents and accept delivery.

If you carefully investigate the auto movers you are considering, making sure they are reputable and sufficiently insured for your vehicle, and prepare your car properly before shipment, your move should be a resounding success. To get your free quotes from licensed, bonded, and insured auto movers, please fill out the form at the top of the page.

Additional Resources: Car Shipping Tips