When you opt to ship your car instead of driving it yourself to your destination, you've got a lot more to think about than simply how to get from Point A to Point B. Shipping your car not only involves choosing the company that will transport your vehicle, but what is involved before you accept delivery and after it arrives at your location. Learn the essential steps you should take before and after your car is shipped.
First Things First: Know Who You’re Dealing With
Be diligent in your research by finding out everything upfront about the company that will be transporting your vehicle. For example:
- What are the extra costs you’ll be expected to pay?
- How long will the transport take?
- What does their scheduling window-of-time look like?
- How much lead time do they require to schedule?
- What goes into the quote they have provided you? Ask them to break it down!
- Can you authorize someone else to pick up your vehicle?
- When do you have to pay the down payment, or service fees?
After you have hired your transport firm, keep in mind that shipping companies are very rarely able to provide exact pickup and delivery times. Truckers are subject to unexpected traffic delays and mechanical breakdowns like everyone else, so the key is to be patient and have a way to communicate with the company so you will know what is happening every step of the way during the shipping process.
Next, Inspect Your Vehicle Before Pick-Up
When you drop off your car for it to be shipped (or the day of), do a thorough inspection of your vehicle both before and after it is loaded on the truck. Take photos and note any dents, paint scratches or chips, glass cracks or other damage. Confirm that your car is running properly and note your mileage. You should also work out an agreement with your driver on a drop-off location and you should also be aware of what your shipping cost will be before accepting delivery of your vehicle. We have actually created an app just for this occasion, which can be found here, Ship A Car Direct Damage App.
Inspect Your Vehicle Upon Delivery (and Don’t Forget to Document It!)
When your car arrives, inspect your vehicle for any possible damage that occurred while in transit. Open all the doors, turn on the headlights and windshield wipers, sound the horn and turn on your audio and navigation system. If you notice any damages (no matter how minor), take a clear, and close-up picture of the damage. Start your engine and drive the car around a bit to make sure it is running smoothly and check your mileage to ensure that it matches up with what you wrote down when your car was placed on the truck.
Place Your Trust in the Car Shipping Professionals
Your driver will give you a bill of lading, which you must have if you file a damage claim as a result of the shipping process. Forget the hassle of car shipping companies that over-promise and under deliver. This is your vehicle, and your shipping company should treat it as carefully and attentively as they treat their own. At Ship A Car Direct, that’s exactly the kind of service and quality you can expect. Contact us today for a free quote!
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.