You are moving and you have two options, regarding your vehicle – to drive your car to the new destination, or to use a car shipping service. The choice you’ll make is related to the distance of your destination, to your budget, to time limits and deadlines. Your main concern is that you have never used the service of an auto shipper before. You simply don’t know what to expect and how you can get prepared. Here your questions will be answered.
How much does car shipping costs?
To use a service of an auto shipper it may cost you from $1,500 to $4,500, generally speaking. Most car shipping companies will ask for deposit that present 10% – 25 % of the final amount. If you are using the service of a moving company, find one that has cars shipping service. A car shipper and a mover in one will save you money. Some moving companies offer car shipping service off season. They are equipped to ship your car in their common trailers and vans. The final moving cost amount is based on several components:
- Destination (and distance).
- Departure date.
- Type of vehicle transported.
- Type of car transport service used.
Finding auto transporters, that suit your time and budget may be a challenge. Read car shipping reviews to get information about the reliability of the shipping companies. Get their rates and contact three or four vehicle shipping companies, get more car shipping estimates to compare and choose the right option for you.
Things you Need to Know about Car Transportation:
- You have to know the exact weigh and dimension of your car in advance. If you verify this information previously, may lower the cost of auto shipping.
- When you are exploring for a car shipping company you may fall in the hands of a shipping agent. Brokers aren’t your car movers. You can comprehend that you are working with a shipping agent – shipping brokers don’t have a DOT number, they only have MC number. Auto transporters must be registered with the Department of Transportation and must have an active USDOT and MC number. Not that working with a broker is so bad, but be aware that they do not bear responsibility for your shipment. Insurance for your shipment is provided by the car shipment company, not by the broker.
- There are two types of car shipping services – door to door car transport and terminal to terminal auto shipping. The first option is more expensive, but it saves concerns. The second option is cheaper, but you must have the time to deal with the arrangements.
- There are different types of shipping vessels:
- Enclosed or open.
- Multicar tractor trailer trucks or a pick-up, called a hotshot.
- non-stacking trailers or 3 car haulers
- Multi-level car carriers.
Deciding which type of service is best for you depends on the specifics of your vehicle like ground clearance, for instance. If you are shipping a classic car or an exotic once, it will be better to choose an enclosed and a single-leveled trailer. This option will prevent any leaks of oil from upper levels to damage your car’s paint. Enclosed trucks offer more protection against elements. Some car shipping companies specialize in classic and antique cars vehicle shipping.
- If you are shipping a SUV or any larger than normal vehicle, you will be charged with “oversize” fee. You can be charged even if your car has any non standard upgrades, like spoilers. If it is doable, remove these items before transportation.
- Cars can be shipped even if they don’t run.
- In the car moving industry you may find single drivers, partners, or husband/wife teams. Be careful and check if they have authorization to be car movers before they pick up your precious vehilce.
- You should hire a car transportation company at least 10 days, or even earlier before you need the shipping service to be finalized. You can get the service in 48 hours done, but it will be more expensive.
Car shipping tips:
Always pay enough attention of the Bill of Lading. Read attentively every paragraph; make sure you understand all of the terms that are presented. Do not take verbal promises.
To be 100% sure that you are choosing a reputable auto transporter, check the shipping company’s safety profile in the US Department of Transportation database. Explore the shipping companies’ safety records. In the safety profiles you can find information about the shipping companies Cargo Insurance that validates their rights to do shipments. The Gsa.gov website presents listing of approved by the GSA TSPs, brokers, freight forwarders, shipper agents, and inter modal marketing companies.
How to prepare your car for transportation:
- Wash your car carefully. Make personal records or prepare the ones you have of your car’s condition. Take photos from each angle. If your car has any damages of the paint or others, keep records for them. Try to verify your data with your auto mover.
- Remove all of your personal items from the car; shipping companies will not insure personal belongings that are remained in your car during shipping.
- Check your car tires and the charge of the battery. Your tires must be inflated by the recommendations. Prepare your car for different whether conditions; check the antifreeze level. If your car has any mechanical problems, like problems with the breaks, let your auto movers know. It helps the safety of your shipment if you just retract the antenna.
- The inspection policy of the most car transport companies finishes with the exterior of your car. Get knowledge if the insurance covers CD players, GPS systems, after market improvements. If it is possible remove these items.
- If you are moving your car overseas check vehicle restrictions in the country you are shipping in.
- When you are moving in a different city, do some research. Find out whether you’ll need a car at all or not. There are cities like LA, where you simply have to drive a car. Look online for ways to use the public transport in the city you are moving in. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to ship your car anyway. If your moving is work related, explore the nearest area around your job for parking spots. Check our guides regarding moving in different cities. Maybe it is better for your budget to try buying a new car, rather than shipping your own. If you are moving overseas it may be irrational to ship your vehicle, especially if the steering wheel in your destination is situated on the opposite site, than what you are used to. You may be obliged to get a license in the new country. Find out for what period you can use your license, do you need a new one right away.
- By the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recommendations, you must hand over car keys to your mover. In that direction, explain in advance if there are any special features about it, like how your alarm has to be disarmed, if it is possible disable the alarm.
If you have more questions, just ask. Any recommendations you might have are welcomed. Share your experience and help others to ship their cars successfully. Use the comments below.