A cross-country move is stressful and challenging so you can simplify the process and save yourself time by having your car shipped. Rather than spending several days and hundreds of dollars driving the car yourself, you can simply hop on a plane and have your car shipped from point A to point B. Not only is this a more convenient option, but it will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle as well. There is a lot to consider when you are shipping a car for the first time, so consider these tips as you plan and prepare to ship your car across the country.
Do Your Research
There are a lot of companies out there who claim to provide affordable and fast auto shipment but unfortunately not all of them are reliable. Your car is one of your most valuable assets so you don’t want to hand it over to just anyone. You should also spend time researching in order to find a carrier that is reputable and reliable. The first step in finding a trusted shipper is to read customer reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau. You should also check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to confirm the company’s license, insurance record, and complaint history. When you have found a few reputable companies, be sure and ask for a quote that includes all fees and charges.
Check Insurance Coverage
Again, your car is a valuable asset so you want to be sure it is adequately insured before you ship it across the country. Start by asking the shipping company about their liability insurance. Most reputable companies will provide some insurance coverage but it’s always important to check. You should also check with your own provider to see what coverage you have for auto shipment.
Shipping a car is not like shipping a package. It is much slower and can sometimes take weeks to transport a car across the country. For this reason, you need to begin planning well in advance. You should also keep in mind that the more time you the transport company has to complete your delivery, the better the price. Unless you require your car to be shipped quickly, you can save a lot of money by being flexible with your delivery date.
Choose an Open Carrier
Most people are looking to ship their car the most affordable way possible and you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by choosing an open carrier. While an enclosed carrier will provide additional protection from outdoor elements, this can also cost up to 50% more. This option is really only necessary if you are shipping a luxury or antique vehicle. It is much more cost effective to choose open transport.
Consider the Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations
There are many factors that go into determining the cost of auto shipment and one of those is the location of your pick-up and delivery. It should be noted that delivering between two major cities will cost less than delivering between small towns. Furthermore, door-to-door delivery is certainly more convenient, but it is also more expensive. You can save money by choosing terminal-to-terminal transport.
Prep Your Car for Shipment
Once you have decided on all of the logistics, you need to prepare your car for shipment. Prepping your car is the best way to ensure it arrives at its destination in the same condition in which it left. Start with a visit to the mechanic to check for any mechanical or electrical issues. Once you know your car is in good working order, it’s time to give it a good clean. Washing your car will make it easier to see any scratches or dents. Once your car is clean, you want to take time-stamped photos of the entire exterior of your car so you have proof of your vehicle’s condition. Next, make sure there is no more than a quarter tank of gas and top off all other fluids. Finally, remove any personal belongings from inside the car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. 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.