Shipping your vehicle with an auto transport company is a great way to reduce wear on long-distance travel. The service greatly reduces the chances of damage whether you are moving across the country or keeping a seasonal second home.
There are a few things to be aware of when choosing an auto transporting service to ensure your vehicle has a timely and uneventful trip.
Understand the process
The majority of auto transport services are door-to-door which means that someone will come to your house to pick up your vehicle. For most transports, your car will be on the same truck and have the same driver for the length of the trip. Some companies will use a combination of trucks and rail depending on the destination. Verify with the company what the process will be so there will be no surprises come delivery time.
Check their reputation
Every auto transporting company must be registered with the Department of Transportation. Any legitimate company will be able to provide you with proof of their USDOT and MC numbers. It is important to be sure you use a legitimate service provider as it makes the rest of the process easier and will prove valuable should there be an incident during the transport.
Prepare your vehicle
The weight and size of your vehicle are important pieces of information for any auto transporting company. They want to be sure the vehicle is as light as possible to keep fuel costs down so they will request that you clean out the vehicle before transport. You do not need to go as far as vacuuming the seats, but be sure to take out any loose items that may be in the backseat or the trunk.
They might also further request that you try to have no more than a quarter tank of gas at the time of pickup. Lastly, they will need to know of any aftermarket additions to the vehicle and if the vehicle is drivable. Your vehicle can still be shipped regardless but it will cost more if it does not run.
There are many miles between pickup and drop-off so you will need to fully document the condition of your vehicle before it is picked up and do a careful inspection once it arrives. If you fail to perform this step then it may be difficult for you to receive compensation for any damages that might occur in transit. It is on you to prove that the damage occurred while in possession of the shippers and having thorough documentation will make the process easier.