Arranging to have a vehicle transported should be a simple, uncomplicated process for clients. Although the car is the responsibility of the mover or carrier once it is picked up and turned over to the transport company, there are some things that the owner is expected to do in order to ensure a smooth, glitch-free process.
Here are some tips for shipping a car safely:
Know the facts.
Companies that are in charge of shipping cars will provide their customers complete information regarding their services. It is the customers' responsibility to read the information, terms and conditions in the contract and to clarify any issue they may have with the moving company.
Decide on an open vs. enclosed carrier.
There are different shipping methods that customers can choose from when shipping cars. These include open (partial or full) and closed shipping. Each one has its own set of advantages and limitations depending on the type, model and number of vehicles that will be moved. Car owners should consider these options carefully and choose the one that fits their needs best. They should also discuss their requirements with the car moving company to determine the safest method to ship their vehicles.
Understand scheduling - How much lead time?
Every customer should be aware that while car movers work under a deadline, there are factors beyond their control that may cause delays and other issues. These can include the weather, mechanical problems with the carrier or vehicle and traffic. Customers who make frequent or last minute changes to their schedule can also cause delays. However, customers can be assured that car shippers are doing the best they can to ensure that the vehicles reach their destination within schedule as often as possible.
Prepare your car.
Wash the car properly prior to shipping, particularly if it will be moved via an open trailer. This will allow you to check the car for any damages such as scratches, nicks and chips. Although there is some protection offered to customers in case of damages that may occur during the transport or due to the fault of the driver, it is better to have an accurate record of the original condition of your car for comparison later.
Check the car batteries to ensure that they are charged, make sure oil and water are at sufficient levels and that tires are properly inflated. Lower the antennae, fold the mirrors and shut down the alarm. Remove personal items from the car and make sure all loose parts are secured. If your car is a convertible, make sure that the top is up or the car is covered prior to shipping. Avoid shipping your car on a full tank since this could add more weight. Inform the shipper of any issues and special requirements your car may have so they can take the necessary precautions during delivery. Provide your shipper with all necessary documents as well.
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.