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Your Guide to Successful Auto Transport and Car Shipping

Whether you are relocating to a new home, for your job or even purchasing a vehicle online, auto transport and car shipping companies offer you numerous benefits.  Using auto transport services helps you avoid putting additional miles on your vehicle and helps you avoid the need for additional irregular maintenance.  It also helps you move that vehicle more effectively and affordably than if you were to do it on your own.

For consumers with more than one vehicle that must be moved, driving one and having the other shipped through a car shipping company is a viable option, offering great convenience and helping reduce and save you valuable time.

Auto transport can be an excellent choice for those who purchased a vehicle online, through an out-of-state dealer or other seller or who have purchased a restored or vintage vehicles from a specialty company.
Additionally, car shipping can provide a wide range of shipping options for your convenience, safety and peace of mind.  For instance, if you were to ship a rare, customized, vintage or restored car, you could choose an enclosed car carrier.  This prevents outside debris, rain, snow, dust and other vandals from having their way with the vehicle.

Your first step towards successfully transporting your car will be to obtain a price quote from a transport company.  In order to do this effectively, you will need to have several pieces of information on hand, prior to making the first phone call or email.

You will need:

  • To provide the exact location of pickup and delivery.  This can be your current and new home.

  • To provide the date of departure (pickup) and the date you desire the driver to pick up the vehicle at the new location.

  • To provide the year, make and model of the car, as well as any special information, such as exterior accessories that make the vehicle take up more room than stock models and if the vehicle is operational or not.

  • To provide any information about specific requirements, such as the need for an enclosed car carrier or open.

Once you have your quote, the rest of your dealings with the auto transport company will be all about the pickup and delivery dates.

You may also wish to negotiate several items into the contract.  For instance, if the transport company fails to deliver your vehicle on time, you can ask for a rental or a discount on the total cost if you have specific clauses added to your contract with the shipping company.  Please note: it is very hard for drivers to guarantee the exact date and time due to traffic, weather conditions or other delays due to load pickup/drop off. You will also need to determine what the company considers a reasonable delivery time.  This is usually about a week if you are shipping coast to coast, though additional factors may add a few days.

Additionally, you will need to ensure that the transportation company has sufficient insurance coverage.  In fact, you should ask to see a copy of their insurance information, in order to ensure this.  All shipping companies are required by federal law to provide insurance protecting the book value of your vehicle.  However, some companies do not have this insurance, while others charge very steep deductibles for this coverage.

As a note, only your vehicle and its factory equipment will be covered by the insurance.  This means that any accessories you have added, any personal items left in the vehicle or any other additional items will not be covered and will be replaced at your expense if damaged or stolen.  Removing these items prior to shipping is an excellent idea; in fact, many car-shipping companies actually recommend that you do so.

In addition, you must do your homework on any auto carrier, prior to contracting their services.  This means checking their references, asking questions of previous customers and visiting the Internet for any consumer feedback regarding the company's performance.

Before you drop off or pick up your vehicle, make sure that you perform a full inspection.  The transport company will also inspect the vehicle and provide you with a Bill Of Lading.  Make sure to walk around the car with the driver and notates any damages, scratches, dents upon pickup of your vehicle. This is crucial at the delivery point when the driver drops off your car with no new scratches or damages.  Note any damage on the Bill of Lading provided by the driver, prior to signing for the vehicle.  If damage is noted after drop off, you will need to file a claim with the auto transport company .

Helpful Hints and Tips

  • Avoid using companies who use terminals. Usually, you will have to drop off the vehicle about a week ahead of time and pickup the vehicle at the drop location. Door-to-door service will have different time requirements and makes it very convenient for the customer since the driver picks up the vehicle at your door or as close as possible to your location .

  • Make sure that your fuel tank is no more than 1/4 full.  However, it will need some fuel to drive onto and off the truck, as well as to the parking location.  You will also need to make sure you have enough fuel to make it to a gas station.  That said, do not exceed 1/4 tank, due to the added weight of the fuel.

  • Avoid low price quotes. Most of the time companies who quote cheap auto transport rates have numerous complaints, use terminals to load and unload your vehicle, have poor customer service and run by 1 or 2 employees.

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This should be taken off. We always Charge Deposit up front.

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