Your car is among your most valuable possessions so it’s understandable that you might be concerned about it’s safety when shipping it across the country. It makes perfect sense that you want to do everything you can to ensure your vehicle is well protected and adequately insured when you hand it over to an auto shipping company. Though it is unlikely that your vehicle will be damaged during transit, accidents do happen so you want to take the right measures to protect it.
Get Proper Insurance
In the unlikely event that your vehicle is damaged during transit, you want to be sure you are properly insured. Most reputable auto shipping companies will offer some sort of insurance coverage so you want to read the policy thoroughly and familiarize yourself with what coverage is provided. You also want to speak with your own insurance company to see if your vehicle is covered during auto shipment. If necessary, you will want to update your policy or purchase additional coverage.
Remove All Personal Items from the Vehicle
Although it may be tempting to pack your vehicle with boxes if you are moving across the country, it is best not to leave any personal items inside your vehicle. For one, most auto transport insurance policies will not cover the contents inside the vehicle. Also, removing personal belongings reduces the risk of theft during transit.
Inspect Your Vehicle Prior to Shipment
In order to protect your vehicle there are several things you should do prior to handing it over to the shipping company. Start by checking the vehicle for leaks, checking the tire pressure, disabling the alarm,removing custom accessories, and washing your car. You also want to examine the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Document your vehicle’s condition by taking time-stamped photos of your vehicle and make note of any scratches, dings, or dents. You also want to leave the gas tank only ⅓ full when you drop it off.
Choose Enclosed Transport
If you are shipping a brand new, luxury, or antique vehicle you may want to choose an enclosed carrier. This is also a good option if you just want to take extra precautions to protect your vehicle. Although it will cost a bit more, enclosed transport will ensure your vehicle will not get damaged from flying debris or outdoor elements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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