When relocating or buying a car from another state, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to ship a car cross-country. While the process may seem difficult, there’s no need to worry. Learn everything you need to know about shipping cars, from choosing the right company to preparing your vehicle for the journey.
With proper planning and research, you can find a reliable and cost-effective solution to transporting your vehicle safely to its destination. If you also learn how car shipping works, you’ll be prepared for relocation in full.
Research and Choose a Reputable Auto Transport Company
Your first step in relocating and shipping a car cross country is finding a trustworthy and reliable auto transport company. Here are some tips to help you select the best one for your needs:
- Read online reviews – Check out customer reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau. This will give you an idea of the quality of service provided by different companies,
- Verify licenses and insurance – Ensure that the company has a valid license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and carries adequate insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transport,
- Compare quotes – Request quotes from multiple companies to find the best price. Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best, so consider the reputation and services provided by each company as well.
Decide on the Type of Transport Service
There are two main types of auto transport services available: open and enclosed transport. Understanding their differences will help you make the right choice for your needs.
Open transport is the most common and affordable method of shipping a car. Vehicles are transported on an open trailer carrying multiple cars at a time. While this method exposes your car to the elements and potential road debris, it is still a safe and reliable option.
If you have a high-value or classic car, you may want to consider enclosed transport. Your vehicle will be protected from the elements and road debris in a fully enclosed trailer, providing additional security. However, this service is often less affordable than open transport.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping
Before your car is picked up for transport, you should prepare it for the journey. One of the main reasons auto transport companies ask people to clean their vehicles before shipping is that their drivers can’t be responsible for interior damage.
Here are some tips to ensure your car is ready for shipping:
- Wash your car thoroughly and clean the interior. This will make it easier for you and the driver to inspect the vehicle for any pre-existing damage before shipping,
- Take photos of your car from various angles, noting existing scratches, dents, or other damage. This documentation will be helpful if you need to file a claim with the shipping company in case of damage during transit,
- Auto transport companies are not responsible for personal belongings left in your car, so remove any valuable items and important documents before shipping,
- Ensure your car’s fluid levels (oil, coolant, and alike) are at the appropriate levels, and ensure your tires are properly inflated. This will help prevent any issues during loading and unloading,
- Turn off your car alarm to prevent it from accidentally activating during transport.
Coordinate Pickup and Delivery
Once you’ve selected a shipping company and prepared your vehicle, you’ll need to coordinate the pickup and delivery of your car. There are a couple of pickup and delivery methods to choose from, including door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping.
These methods say enough on their own – door-to-door shipping includes delivering your vehicle to your next destination. The only exclusion would be if your new home isn’t accessible by truck. The terminal-to-terminal shipping is more affordable, but you must drive to the company terminals for delivery and pickup.
Although most auto transport companies provide an estimated pickup and delivery window, unforeseen delays can occur. It’s essential to be flexible with your dates and have a backup plan if your car arrives later than expected.
Provide the driver with your contact information and any specific instructions regarding your vehicle. Keep in touch with them during transit for updates on the delivery timeline, delays, and other important information.
When your car arrives, carefully inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during transit. Compare the current condition with the pre-shipping documentation and photos. If you notice new damage, report it to the driver and company.
Understand the Costs Involved
Shipping a car cross country can be a significant expense, so it’s important to understand the costs involved. These will depend on the company and destination so no real numbers can be introduced. However, here are some things to consider on your company hunt.
Distance plays a huge role. The farther your car needs to be transported, the more you can expect to pay. Next to that, large and heavier vehicles typically cost more to ship due to the additional space and fuel consumption required.
Transport methods from open and enclosed trailers to pick-up and delivery, are crucial in determining shipping costs. Ask your movers for prices of the possibilities and combine the services according to budget.
Also, the demand for auto transport services fluctuates throughout the year, with prices often increasing during peak moving seasons (like the summer months). This can also impact delivery speed. If you need the car delivered quickly, you may have to increase your budget.
Car Shipping Services Can Transport Your Car Safely
Shipping a car cross country can be a seamless process if you take the necessary steps to research and choose a reputable auto transport company. Besides, you must also pay attention to the type of transport service, preparing your vehicle, and coordinating pickup and delivery.
With these tips in mind, you can ensure your vehicle arrives safely and without complications. And while the cost of shipping a car from one state to another can be significant, the peace of mind and convenience it provides can make the investment well worth it.
We hope you found this blog post on A Comprehensive Guide on How to Ship a Car Cross Country useful. Be sure to check out our post on Step by Step Guide to Planning a Stress-free Car Shipping for more great tips!
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