In the past, people would move other people's cars manually. Nowadays, auto shipping companies exist, but people are still torn over whether it's smarter to use a shipper or a mover. Everyone's situation is different and requires a different approach. Decide if it's better to hire an auto transport company or a furniture mover for your situation.
Hiring a Furniture Mover
Furniture movers ship all kinds of items, not just furniture. They ship special items like cars upon request. The problem is that movers are not auto shippers, so they don't specialize in the task. They are not as safe and reliable with vehicles as professional shippers are.
Most movers do not have the proper equipment to ship full-length vehicles. They must secure the vehicle tightly and place cushions between it and the other items. It may be necessary to obtain another truck or trailer, which is an additional fee. Even with all of these preparations, it's still easy to cause damages during the trip.
However, furniture movers are less strict in how they handle the car. They may allow you to leave personal belongings inside, while an auto shipper may forbid you to leave valuables. If you want a fast, easy and affordable solution to shipping, it's better to work with a furniture mover.
Hiring an Auto Shipper
One reason to hire an auto shipping company is they are well prepared. They have the right moving trucks, trailers and locks to secure and transport a car. They have professional drivers who have thousands of miles of experience in driving vehicles across the country.
Comprehensive insurance coverage is another reason why an auto shipper is more beneficial than a furniture mover. Damages could occur while the vehicle is loaded, in transit and unloaded. Each policy is different, so it's important that customers read and understand the terms of a policy. If your car is already insured, check if you have additional coverage for shipping.
The auto transport industry seems like the best answer to moving a vehicle. There is still the second option of hiring a moving company to move the vehicle and all of your other personal belongings together. The problem is that movers do not specialize in shipping cars. On the other hand, you save time and money by not having to research shippers. In the end, the decision is based on your personal needs and not just on costs or customer reviews.
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.