Moving a vehicle from one location to another can be time consuming and stressful, not to mention the wear and tear it puts on the vehicle. Auto transport can make the process much easier and less stressful, especially for those who don’t have the time to drive their vehicle a long distance. Auto transport has become increasingly popular and it is the easiest way to transport your vehicle long distances. That said, there are many different car shipping companies and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. To help you make a more informed choice, here are some things you should know about long-distance auto transport.
Not Every Company is Created Equal
When you are paying a good amount of money to have your car shipped, you want to be sure you are using a transport company you can trust. You should always start by looking up the company’s safety record on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. You also want to spend time researching the company and reading reviews. You can even use car forums and reviews websites to ask for recommendations to ensure you are picking a reputable company.
Check for Insurance
When handing over your vehicle to a shipping company, you want to make sure the company is properly insured should anything happen to your vehicle. Your transporter should be able to provide a Certificate of Insurance that covers cargo. You should also check with your own auto insurance company to see if your vehicle is covered during transport.
Delivery Times Cannot be Guaranteed
Most auto transport companies require a certain window of time for scheduling a pickup and delivery. This window is usually between 5 and 7 days. Be wary of any company that says they guarantee delivery. Unlike airlines, auto carriers encounter several variables that can affect delivery time such as weather conditions, traffic, and road closures.
There are Different Types of Transport
You have the option to ship your car in an open or enclosed trailer. Open trailers are usually cheaper, but the vehicles are subject to potential damage from weather conditions, road debris, and theft. Enclosed trailers are typically more expensive but they keep your vehicle safe from outdoor elements and potential theft. Enclosed trailers are a better option for luxury or antique vehicles.
Prices are Subject to Change
While auto carriers should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate quote for shipping your vehicle, there are several variables that will determine the actual cost. These include the size and weight of your vehicle, the location of your delivery (door to door or terminal to terminal), the distance of your transport, and the type of transport (open or enclosed).
You Will Need to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipment
Once you have chosen an auto transport company, you will need to take the proper steps to prepare your vehicle for shipment. Clean your vehicle inside and out and take pictures of your vehicle’s condition. Make a note of any scratches, dings, or dents. Remove all personal items from inside the vehicle. Make sure the gas tank is only a quarter full and check to make sure your battery is fully charged.
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.
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