Moving to a new location can be exciting, but it can also be stressful as you coordinate moving services, packing services, and transporting your vehicle. Whether you are researching how to ship your SUV or favorite car, you need to stick within your moving budget and determine where to cut costs. Here are a few tips to consider when moving your vehicle to make the process less costly.
Nine Tips to Help Cut Your Automotive Shipping Costs
1. Get Multiple Quotes From Different Shipping Companies
Get at least 2-3 quotes describing entirely what is included to avoid paying for services you do not need. Partnering with a company that meets your needs will help ensure a smooth transport process.
2. Be Flexible With Your Ship Dates, Pick Up, and Delivery Times
Being flexible with your dates can save you money. Unless you pay to have your vehicle shipped by itself, your vehicle will be shipped with other cars. If you give the shipper flexibility in transporting your vehicle, you’ll be able to negotiate a better rate.
3. Closed Transport vs. Open Transport
Ground transport is handled either by an open carrier, where vehicles are exposed to the elements, or closed transport, where the car is in an enclosed trailer.
More open vehicle carriers are on the road than closed, so you can save money if you are comfortable using an open carrier. If your vehicle is exotic, rare, or irreplaceable, closed transport is a better option, offering better protection.
4. Be Flexible With Your Pick Up and Drop Off Locations
Do you need door-to-door service? You may need door-to-door service if you are shipping your only vehicle and need it quickly.
However, if you live or are moving to a more remote location, the additional transport time will cost more. If you can meet the vehicle at a convenient spot for the transport company, you may save money.
5. Expedited vs. Standard Shipping
If you need your car as soon as you arrive, you will probably need expedited service. This is especially true if you are moving to a more remote location where your vehicle is a necessity. Expedited shipping (just like sending a letter overnight) will cost more.
When you are collecting quotes, ask the company for their average shipping time to your new location. Transport time may vary from quote to quote.
6. Ship During Off-Peak Times
Shipping is a seasonal business; there are peak and off-peak times. The summer months are peak times and will cost you more, whereas off-peak times are in the winter months. If you can wait for off-peak shipment, you can cut your moving costs.
Consider Using an Auto Transport Broker
Consider using an auto transport broker. Like a real estate or mortgage broker, these brokers typically know the best companies and have a network of companies domestically and internationally. Do your research as the cheapest option is not always the best.
If every quote is too high for your budget, you can consider being your own agent and hire a car carrier directly. While this may be more difficult and time-consuming, you can save a great deal by doing it yourself.
International vs. Domestic
Understand the difference between shipping domestically or internationally. Global auto transportation will affect how the vehicle is transported and the cost. Most international auto transportation is done via ship containers; domestic transportation is usually handled via truck. Knowing which method you’ll be using prepares you to look for ways to cut costs.
Understand Your Insurance Coverage
Finally, understand your current vehicle insurance coverage and make sure you buy supplemental coverage for what isn’t covered.
Your vehicle is valuable, not only for the cost of the actual car but for the convenience and necessary service it provides you daily. Having to get a damaged vehicle repaired after it’s delivered negates the effort put in upfront. Be sure to do your homework and find the correct shipping option to meet your needs.
Ensure a Hassle-Free and Budget-Friendly Move
Once you find a reputable company to ship your vehicle or auto transport broker to help you move your car to a new location, you need to prepare your vehicle for transport.
Here are a few ways to prepare your vehicle for shipment:
- Wash and Clean Your Car Inside and Out: It’s easier to document pre-existing damage when your car is clean. Giving a clean, tidy vehicle over to the shipper demonstrates that you value your vehicle and ensures that you get a clean car returned to you.
- Remove Your Belongings: Don’t leave anything in your vehicle. You may think you’ll save money by putting some of your belongings inside the car, but this is a bad idea. Typically, insurance coverage for vehicle transport won’t include the contents of the car, and the car’s contents can get damaged or stolen.
- Take Pictures of the Vehicle: Take both photos and videos of your car, inside and out. You want a record of the vehicle’s condition before the shipper takes possession. This documentation is essential if you see damage and need to file a claim. Photo and video evidence makes it easy to prove what was there and what wasn’t.
Whether you’re moving to another state or overseas, make sure to set a budget, do your research, collect quotes, and prepare your vehicle for transport. Following specific rules and guidelines can help create a hassle-free moving experience and ensure that your car is transported in one piece.
After reading this essay, you should have received new information. This page has further suggestions: Step by Step Guide to Planning a Stress-free Car Shipping
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