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
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.