There are many benefits to having your vehicle shipped in a container. When your vehicle is shipped in an enclosed container, it is safe from the outdoor elements and will not get dirty or damaged from rain, snow, ice, or falling debris. Furthermore, it is safe from the risk of theft. Before you ship your car in a container, however, it can be helpful to understand exactly how the process works. With the right preparations, you can be sure your car will arrive safely at its destination.
Prepare Your Car for Shipment
Before the car is loaded into the container, it is important to properly prepare the vehicle for shipment. Here are a few things you need to do before loading your car into a container.
- Wash the Car- The first thing you should do is thoroughly clean your car inside and out. You want to remove any mud or dirt from the vehicle and inspect for any existing scratches or dents.
- Take Pictures-Next you want to take pictures of your vehicle’s condition and make a note of any scratches, dings, or dents with a time-stamped photo.
- Empty the Fuel Tank- Whenever you are shipping your vehicle, it is important to empty the fuel tank and only fill it up ⅓ of the way. A full tank makes the car heavier and additional weight can add extra cost to your shipment.
- Remove and/or Fold Accessories- Before loading your vehicle, you want to remove any exterior accessories such as spoilers and antennas, and fold in side mirrors to allow for easier loading.
- Disable the Alarm- If your car has an alarm, be sure and disable the alarm system before loading your vehicle.
Choose Your Container
When you are shipping a car using enclosed transport, you can choose between two possible container options: a 20-ft or a 40-ft container. The larger container is the most popular because it allows you to share the delivery costs with other customers. There are typically up to four vehicles shipped in a 40-ft container. If you are shipping a high-end luxury vehicle or antique vehicle, however, you may be willing to pay the extra cost to have your car shipped alone in the smaller container.
Loading the Vehicle
Once your car arrives at the loading facility, it is driven into the container via a ramp and carefully positioned before all four wheels are safely chocked. The container will come equipped with fasteners on the floor, sides, and ceiling. Once the car is locked in place and the wheels have been chocked, padded ratchet straps are used to secure the vehicle in all corners to ensure that your vehicle cannot move during transit.
All car shipping containers must comply with strict safety regulations that confirm both the structural integrity of the truck and that the truck is wind and water tight. These requirements ensure that your vehicle is safely secured and well protected from the elements during transport.
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.
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