Vehicle shipping is usually not a want, but a need. You’re relocating, moving a car out of storage, or have purchased a car online. If you could, you would drive your car yourself. However, if you need an alternative way to move your car, a professional auto carrier can make sure your vehicle is shipped quickly and safely.
Follow the tips below to make sure your vehicle shipping experience is convenient, reliable, and stress-free.
1. Comparison Shopping
Of course, you want to save money and get the best deal but beware. As with almost any service, you get what you pay for with auto transport companies. So make sure you do your research and have a realistic budget in mind. A vehicle shipping broker such as American Car Transporters can help you get the best deal.
2. Research Your Carrier Online
This can’t be stressed enough. With reviews easily available online, you can find out a carrier’s reputation within minutes. Also evaluate car transporters based on their licensing, insurance, experience, and authority. Check that the hauler has current Motor Carrier authority issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is registered with the Dept. of Transportation.
3. Check Your Carrier’s Liability
Make sure you are well-versed in your carrier’s limit of liability—including any deductibles—before you make your final decision. As a general rule, carriers provide $50,000-$100,000 in coverage, some provide as much as $250,000.
4. Open or Enclosed Transport
This, of course, depends on the type of car you are transporting. If it is a vintage, classic, or luxury vehicle, you’ll probably want either fully enclosed transport with soft tie-downs, or have your car “top loaded.” Both these options cost more, but your vehicle will travel protected from road debris and environmental damage.
5. Document the Condition of Your Car before Pick Up
Make time to really inspect your car before you send it off on the carrier and make the note of any visible damage or mechanical problems. Take well-lit photos from several different angles, and make sure your camera’s date setting is accurate. The damage for the industry as a whole is under 3%, so the odds are in your favor. Still, it never hurts to have documentation, even if you probably won’t need it.
6. Remove All Personal Items from Your Vehicle
Your car needs to be emptied completely before it is loaded onto a carrier. There are many reasons you can’t keep your stuff in your vehicle while it’s on the carrier and they all involve safety. The extra weight can impede a clear line of sight when loading/unloading your vehicle, and your items can move around during transport and be damaged.
7. Pick-Up and Delivery
Be clear on how and where your car will be loaded. You may opt for door-to-door auto transport or terminal-to-terminal. Check with your carrier to see if they can navigate to your business or residence. Difficult driveways and narrow streets are some of these issues that could make door-to-door delivery problematic, so you might need to meet the carrier at an agreed-upon location.
8. Understand the Timeline
Moving a car is rarely done on a whim, so to make sure your car arrives on time, advanced planning is needed. The auto carrier company you choose should let you know when you can expect your vehicle to be loaded and delivered. Be patient and be aware of unavoidable delays, and your car will soon be safely delivered. And you will have had a stress-free vehicle shipping experience.