Moving can present a number of challenges and among those is the challenge of shipping an oversized item such as a car or truck. Luckily, auto transport companies offer a convenient and hassle-free solution for shipping these large items. Shipping a vehicle saves you the time of driving it a long-distance and it also prevents additional wear and tear on the vehicle. If you are in need of shipping a large item like a car or truck, here are the steps you need to take.
- Look for a shipping company.
The internet is a great place to search for auto transport companies. You should research the company’s website, read reviews, research their safety reviews on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, and check their reviews with the Better Business Bureau.
- Contact the car transport company to find out more information.
Once you have found a car shipping company, you need to make a phone call to verify some important information. Ask for a quote and inquire about any other fees associated with transport. Check out the company’s insurance policy. Ask for a detailed description of their delivery process, and find out about possible delivery dates.
- Choose a shipping option that best suits your needs.
Most auto transport companies will offer a few different transportation options. First, you will have the option to choose between open or enclosed transport. Next, you will get to choose between terminal to terminal shipping and door to door shipping. Ask about the price of each of these services and decide which is right for you.
- Prepare your vehicle for transport.
There are several things you need to do before handing your vehicle over. The first thing you should do is wash your car and inspect it thoroughly for any damage. Make a note of any scratches, dents, or dings. You should also take photos as evidence of your vehicle’s condition. Next, you want to remove all personal items from your vehicle. Make sure the battery is working properly and you have ¼ tank of gas.
- Take your car to the drop-off location.
Most shipping companies will provide you with a location and a time to drop off your vehicle. Make sure you give your keys to the driver so they will be able to move your vehicle onto the truck. At this time, you will also complete a short inspection and inform the carrier of any mechanical problems with your vehicle.
- Pick up your vehicle.
Be sure and arrive with your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. These documents will prove that the vehicle belongs to you. Inspect your vehicle and check for any new damage. In the event that your vehicle has been damaged, be sure and report it immediately. Fill out an insurance claim before signing the Bill of Lading.
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.