If you are in need of transporting a vehicle across the country, you may be considering hiring a professional auto shipping company. This is a safe, efficient, and hassle-free method for getting your car from point A to point B. However, before handing over your keys, you need to carefully consider the company you are working with and understand what determines the cost of shipment. You also need to understand all of your shipping options as well as how the entire process works. Read on to learn more about the car shipping process so you can be sure your vehicle arrives safely and on time to its destination. 

How Much Does it Cost?

One of the first things people want to know before using a shipping company is how much it will cost. The truth is, there are a number of factors that will determine the actual cost of shipment. Some of these factors include the size of your vehicle, the distance of shipment, open or enclosed transport, location of pick-up and drop-off, time of year, and fuel prices. The best way to get an idea of cost is to shop around and ask for quotes based on your specific needs. 

You Need to Do Your Homework

Your car is a valuable asset so you don’t want to just hand it over to anybody. You need to do plenty of research to find a car shipping company that is reputable and reliable. For starters you need to make sure that the shipping company has the proper licensing, registration, and insurance. You also need to spend time reading reviews and checking the company’s safety record using the safer.fmcsa.dot.gov website. Finally, check with the Better Business Bureau as an added precaution to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate car shipping company. 

Never Base Your Decision on Price Alone

While it’s certainly understandable to want a good deal, it’s also important to remember that cheapest isn’t always the best. If a deal seems too good to be true, chances are you should follow your gut. You want to choose a company that offers competitive prices, but also provides excellent customer service and has a good track record. 

Open vs. Enclosed Transport

You will have two options when it comes to shipping your vehicle- open or enclosed transport. Open transport is the cheapest and most common method of shipment and it involves your vehicle being shipped on an open carrier. Keep in mind that your car is susceptible to the outdoor elements with open transport. If you are shipping a luxury, antique, or exotic car, you might need additional protection in which you could choose enclosed transport. Though this is a more expensive option, it provides maximum protection for your high end or classic cars. 

You Will Need to Prep Your Vehicle

There’s more to car shipping than simply handing over the keys. There are a few things you need to do in order to prep your vehicle for shipment. You will need to wash the exterior and document and dings, dents, or scratches. You will also need to top off all fluids and make sure there is no more ¼ tank of gas. You need to check the battery and tire pressure and take care of any mechanical issues. Finally, you need to remove all exterior accessories as well as any personal items from inside the vehicle. 

Understand that Delivery Dates are Not Guaranteed

It is nearly impossible to guarantee a delivery date with auto shipment. That’s because there are a number of variables that can impact shipment such as weather, traffic jams, road closures, or mechanical issues with the carrier. Remember to be flexible with shipping dates.