Car Shipping Checklist

Choosing a car shipper can help make a long-distance move easier and less stressful. But knowing how to choose the best company for your needs and budget can take a little time and effort. Taking the time to consider a few helpful tips can help make the selection of an auto shipping company much simpler. By reviewing the following car shipping checklist, you can choose a car shipper that will help take the stress out of moving your vehicle to your new location.

  • Cost. When comparing costs among different companies, make sure each provides you with a total cost, including any and all applicable fees. Some transporters may appear to be cheaper, but, often, there are fees which are not included in the final quoted cost. Be sure to get all quotes guaranteed in writing. Most companies will ask you for certain criteria to determine overall cost, including the origin and destination of the car, the departure date, the type of car or vehicle you want handled by the car shipper, and any special considerations, such as enclosed shipment. If you are shipping a car over a long distance, the costs will be higher than if it were a short trip.
  • Deposit. While considering cost, also be sure to ask if a deposit is required. Whether or not a deposit is required, the amount of that deposit may vary considerably from one car shipper to another. Also, inquire whether or not the transporter will add a surcharge for credit card payments. Some companies require payment be made in cash or by cashier’s check only.
  • Read your contract.It may seem obvious, but when reviewing the car transport services a specific car shipper offers, be sure to carefully and completely read the contract. If any areas of the contract seem vague, be sure to ask for clarification before signing. Look for the costs assessed when canceling a shipment order, as well as any clause which says the company does not guarantee a specific pick-up or delivery date.
  • Are you insured? Be sure the car shipper provides insurance coverage for your vehicle that protects it from damage or theft while in the care of the shipping company or its employees, and ask for a written copy of the insurance contract.
  • Establish pick-up and delivery dates. Ask the shipping company to give you, in writing, estimated pick-up and delivery dates for your vehicle. In most cases, a transporter will give a two to three day window for pickup. Verify that the contract stipulates any penalties they may be assessed if they are late in delivery or pick up. If no penalty is indicated, ask the car shipper to include a discount or to pay for car rental if they fail to delivery your car on time. Once the vehicle is picked up, the driver can often give a precise date for delivery.
  • Check references. Choose car movers wisely. There are several things to consider when interviewing transporters. First, your car movers should have a long history of delivering a quality service and be able to refer you to satisfied customers. You should hire an experienced company who will know how to properly transport and care for your car, especially after you have gone to so much trouble and expense to move it.You can save yourself considerable headaches by checking the Better Business Bureau. Ask for references from other customers as well.
  • Be flexible. While it is important for everyone to adhere to the timeline presented on the car shipping checklist, being flexible about unforeseen circumstances will make it easier on everyone involved. Sometimes, bad weather or equipment failure cause even the most responsible and professional companies to have delays. As long as the car movers are communicating with you about any necessary changes and the car is delivered as soon as possible, try to be as graceful as possible.

An auto shipping checklist lets you know the things that you should do to your vehicle before you turn it over to a car moving company. Most auto shippers require that you complete a pre-transport checklist prior to them taking your vehicle. The checklist will help prepare your car to be transported without incurring any damage or property loss. The checklists are very specific, and will help you and the shipping company to ensure the vehicle arrives in the same shape it was in when dropped off.

Starting Work on Your Auto Shipper Checklist

Your auto shipper checklist should begin with making sure that you have personal insurance on your vehicle. Personal insurance will cover you in cases where your car is damaged, but the shipping company is not held liable.

The next thing your auto transport checklist will tell you is to have you car washed. If your car is clean when you arrive, you can cover several of the other items on your checklist at once.  You should thoroughly inspect your car for any damages with the auto shipper. It is easier to see any scratches or dents on the outside of a clean car. You should also inspect the glass for chips or cracks.

The checklist will suggest you check the inside of the vehicle to note any damage before turning it over to auto shippers. The transport company will require personal items removed from the vehicle.  You will need to remove any cell phones, removable stereo, and GPS units. Some auto shippers may let you carry less than 100 pounds of personal belongings in the trunk, though it will not be covered by insurance.

Everything that is removable from the outside of the vehicle will need to be taken off. Auto shippers will want all spoilers, fog lights, removable antennas and even luggage racks to be removed.  Alarms should also be deactivated before shipping as well.

Checking the Working Status of Your Vehicle

You should service your vehicle prior to taking it to the terminal. Make certain that everything is in working order with no leaking fluids. Most car shipping companies prefer to have about a quarter tank of gas as well, which allows the vehicle to be moved on and off of the transport without having to carry the extra weight of a full tank of gas.

Finally, transport companies will require that you have a complete set of keys for the transport driver, as well as a set for yourself. It is a DOT regulation that the driver has a full set of keys.

Remember, the best way to protect your vehicle is by following the pre-shipment checklist. To get your free quotes from licensed, bonded, and insured auto shippers, fill out the short form at the top of the page now!