Transporting your vehicle across the country can seem like a huge task. Not only are you forced to put thousands of miles on your vehicle and subject it to wear and tear, but you have to take off work for several days to make the trip. Not to mention the amount of money you will have to spend on gas, food, and lodging. Luckily, there are auto shipping companies that can take the hassle out of transporting your vehicle. That said, be sure and do the proper research to ensure you are working with a reputable company that will make sure your vehicle arrives safely and on time. Because car shipping isn’t a service we use every day, many people find it overwhelming and confusing. Here are a few tips to help you ship your vehicle without stress or hassle.
Do Your Research
You wouldn’t buy the first car you see so don’t feel like you have to book the first auto shipping company. It’s worth your time to do sufficient research and compare pricing. Be sure and read the customer reviews carefully and also check reviews with the Better Business Bureau. Also, check the company’s website to make sure there is an MC Docket number which proves that they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.
Inquire About Insurance
One of the things that people worry most about when shipping their vehicle is the possibility of damage. While this is not common, it is possible so you should check with the shipping company to make sure they offer liability coverage. This will ease your mind knowing that you aren’t financially responsible in the event of damage.
Choose a Door-to Door Option
One of the great things about auto shipment is that you have the option to request door-to-door service. This is one of the best ways to ensure a hassle free experience. Although you might pay a bit more for this service, it certainly makes for a stress-free experience.
Take Lots of Pictures
The last thing you want to deal with is the hassle of debating over damage. That’s why it’s important to take plenty of pictures of your vehicle and document every scratch, ding, or dent to ensure there is a proper record of your vehicle’s condition prior to transport. This will make it much easier to handle any damage claims later on.
Get the Details Up Front
One of the most stressful things about shipping your vehicle is figuring out the cost. The last thing you want is to be blindsided by hidden fees and surcharges. Make sure you ask about every fee upfront and get the quote in writing. You also want to inquire about company policies including cancellation fees.
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.