Reading : 3 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

If you are planning a long-distance move or you are interested in purchasing a car in another state, it may not be practical or possible to drive your car to your home. Car shipping is a convenient way to get your car from one destination to another without having to get behind the wheel. While the process is pretty straightforward, most consumers are new to the industry and do not have the slightest idea of how the process works or where to begin. Understanding how it works can give you a better idea of what to expect and how to go about finding the right auto shipping company. 

1. Find a shipping company and get a quote.

The first step in the process is to do your research and find a reputable auto shipping company that meets your needs. Ensure that the company you are working with has proper licensing, registration, and insurance. You can verify this by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. You also want to check reviews both online and with the Better Business Bureau. In addition to checking credibility, you also want to ask for a price quote. Ultimately, you want to find a competitive price that seems reasonable. You don’t want to overpay, but paying too little can also be risky. The quote will be based on a number of factors including the size and weight of your vehicle, the distance you will be shipping it, the condition of the car, the time frame in which you need it delivered, as well as the type of transport you choose (open or enclosed). 

2. Book your service.

Once you have decided on a car shipping company you can trust, it’s time to book your shipment. If possible, it’s best to book a couple of weeks in advance. This will ensure that a carrier will be available in your area. At this time you will also need to decide whether or not to use an open or enclosed carrier. You will also need to schedule either door-to-door service or terminal-to-terminal service. Finally, you will need to let the carrier know if you require expedited shipping services or if you are flexible with your delivery date. 

3. Check insurance coverage. 

At the time of booking it is always a good idea to check with the auto transport company regarding their liability insurance coverage. You may also want to check with your own insurance company to see what coverage you have and if you need to add more. 

4. Prepare your car for shipment. 

Once you have everything booked, it’s time to prepare your vehicle for shipment. Here are a few important things you need to do in order to prepare your vehicle to be shipped.

-wash the exterior 

-take photos of the exterior of your vehicle and make note of any scratches, dings, or dents (these photos can be used to compare your vehicle’s condition upon pickup)

-perform an inspection of your vehicle and check for leaks, low tire pressure, low fluids, and check the battery

-make sure there is no more than a quarter tank of gas in the vehicle

-remove custom accessories such as alarms, spoiler, bike or luggage racks, or antennas

-remove all personal items from inside the vehicle

5. Gather your documents.

At the time your vehicle is picked up, the driver will ask for some important information to prove the vehicle actually belongs to you. You will need to show the original title and registration, proof of insurance, and a photo ID. 

6. Sign the Bill of Lading.

Right before your car is loaded onto the carrier, you will be asked to give it one final inspection and make notes of any existing damage. At this time you will sign the Bill of Lading which acts as a contract to acknowledge the condition of your vehicle and the destination to which it is being shipped. 

7. Pick up your vehicle. 

The final step in the process is to pick up your vehicle. Depending on the arrangement, it may be delivered directly to your door or to the nearest terminal. Either way, you will inspect your vehicle again upon pickup and sign the Bill of Lading again to acknowledge receipt of the vehicle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions

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