Transporting your vehicle across the country can be quite challenging for anyone, but especially for owners of electric vehicles. Although the number of charging stations is increasing throughout the country, it can still be difficult to find a place to charge your vehicle in rural areas along your long distance trip. This can make the task of shipping an electric vehicle nearly impossible for many owners. For this reason, many people turn to an auto transport company to help them transport their electric vehicle. Although transporting an electric and hybrid vehicle is similar to transporting a standard fuel vehicle, there are some special preparations that need to be made to ensure the vehicle arrives safely at its destination.
What’s Different About Shipping an Electric Car?
The biggest difference in shipping electric vehicles and standard fuel vehicles is the battery. Electric vehicles use larger batteries for power, which are much heavier than those found in standard fuel vehicles. This can cause the overall weight of an electric or hybrid vehicle to be more than a standard vehicle. This increase in weight can cause the shipping price to go up for electric vehicles.
In addition to their weight, electric and hybrid vehicles may require the shipping company to practice extra care, obtain special licensing, and have different equipment to safely move batteries that are made of lithium ion.
What are the Potential Dangers of Lithium Ion Batteries?
There are a few significant dangers associated with transporting lithium ion batteries which is why there are specific steps that need to be taken when transporting electric vehicles. Due to these potential hazards, additional licensing and specialized equipment is required to move electric vehicles. Just as laptops and computers containing lithium ion batteries have been known to catch fire, the same can happen if an electric vehicle overheats. As a result, you need to be sure the shipping company specializes in transporting electric vehicles and certain steps need to be taken to minimize this risk. A fire that is produced from these lithium ion batteries cannot be easily extinguished and could completely damage the vehicle or even cause the battery to explode. While the chances of this happening are low, it is still important that auto shipping companies take steps to minimize this risk.
How Do I Prepare My Electric Car for Shipment?
Preparing an electric vehicle for shipment is essentially the same as any other standard fuel vehicle. You should complete the following steps to ensure your vehicle is ready for shipment:
- Clean the interior and exterior of the vehicle
- Thoroughly inspect the vehicle and make notes of any scratches or dings. Take plenty of photos for your records.
- Remove any valuables or personal items.
- Disable alarms or any other systems.
- Ensure the battery is properly secure to avoid movement.
Michael starting working in car shipping over 20 years ago, in 2002; back in the days when fax machines ruled the roost, being the first name listed in the yellow pages was King and google wasn’t yet a verb. Sometimes he foolishly thinks he’s seen every situation imaginable when it comes to shipping a car, but about once a year he’s proven wrong.
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.