While shipping your car across the country sounds like a complicated process, it’s actually pretty simple. Auto transport companies have made car shipment easier and more convenient than ever. Whether you are purchasing a new car in another state or you are embarking on a cross-country move, a car shipping company can transport your car with ease. Read on for more information about how to ship your car across the country.
Research Shipment Companies
Spend a little time researching auto shipping companies, as not all companies are created equal. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, check for proper licensing requirements, read reviews, and look into insurance options before selecting a company. Any reputable company should be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as the Better Business Bureau.
Request a Quote
There are many variables that will determine the exact cost of shipment including the size and weight of your vehicle, the distance it is being shipped, where you pick it up, and which type of carrier you select. By providing the shipping company with the necessary information, they should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate quote.
Choose Open or Enclosed Carrier
Most shipping companies will give the option to choose between an open-air carrier and an enclosed carrier. Open-air carriers are less expensive and are the most common choice for typical vehicles, though your vehicle will be exposed to the outdoor elements. Enclosed carriers are a good choice for luxury or antique vehicles that require added protection.
Check Insurance Coverage
Check with your insurance company about what kind of coverage you have and ask the shipping company about additional liability insurance. Most reputable companies will have some sort of coverage policy.
Schedule a Date and Location for Shipment
Once you have selected your shipping company and worked through the details, choose a preferred date for shipment as well as your desired pickup location. At this point you can schedule either door-to-door delivery or terminal-to-terminal delivery.
Prepare Your Car for Transport
Prior to shipment, there are several things you will need to do to prepare your car for transport:
-Clean your vehicle inside and out
-Check the exterior for any dings, dents, or scratches and take photos of your for proof of its condition.
-Your gas tank should only be ¼ full.
-Remove ALL personal belongings from your vehicle.
-Disable alarm system.
Drop Off Your Vehicle
Drop off your vehicle at the designated area or have your vehicle picked up from your location.
Inspect Vehicle Upon Arrival
When you arrive to pick up your vehicle, do a thorough inspection and make note of any damage that may have occurred. In the unlikely event that your vehicle sustained damage, be sure and report it immediately 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.