Choosing a car shipping company is a crucial step in the vehicle transport process. You should obtain many quotations and evaluate each for price, BBB ratings, insurance coverage, deductibles, and license details.
You will also want to understand what terminal-to-terminal car shipping entails as it differs from door-to-door service. This article will help you navigate the start-to-finish car shipping process easily.
Choosing a Car Shipping Company
The right car shipping company can help you enjoy a smooth, hassle-free auto transport experience. Some companies also offer extras like price lock guarantees or free car washes to give added value to their services.
There are two types of car transport companies: carriers and brokers. Carrier companies own their fleets of trucks and directly handle the actual transport of vehicles for customers. Brokers don’t own their truck fleets but act as middlemen and help find carriers to pick up and deliver cars for customers.
Cost, service quality, and insurance coverage are a few things to consider while picking a carrier. Many of the best car shipping companies offer free, no-obligation quotes that allow you to compare options and costs. You must give some information regarding your vehicle, the shipping route, your selected method, and the pickup and delivery dates to receive an accurate price. It would be preferable if you were also sure to have the car’s VIN close at hand. The more information you can provide, the more accurate your quote will be.
Preparing Your Car for Transport
Preparing your vehicle before the driver picks it up is essential when you arrange for car transport. It helps ensure a smooth, successful shipping process. Several steps must be taken, including washing the automobile, conducting a visual inspection, and removing personal items.
Department of Transportation code states that auto shippers cannot carry personal items in vehicles during shipping. It is because they could become damaged or lost during transport. Remove individual items from your car before the pickup day to prevent this. It includes DVD players, GPS navigating systems, and external speaker units.
You should also have a complete set of keys for yourself and the truck driver. It will prevent you from having to pay for any stolen items while your vehicle is in transit. In addition, you should consider removing any accessories that could break off during transport. It will protect your car’s exterior and help it maintain its value. Consider removing after-market spoilers.
Monitor the Progress of Your Car During the Transport
When you book a car shipping service, the company should provide an app or website to track your vehicle. It would be best to get email notifications when a status update is available. If the company doesn’t offer an easy-to-use app, consider using a different service.
The type of car you have is essential as well. SUVs and pickup trucks are more expensive to ship than sedans because they take up more space on a carrier truck. Also, if your vehicle is inoperable, it will cost more to ship than a working one.
You should make sure that your vehicle is clean before it’s shipped. It will make it easier for the truck driver to do a pre-trip and post-trip inspection. It will also help you identify any damage that could be caused during transport.
Seasonality can impact auto shipping rates as well. The warmer months are busier, so carriers need to fill nearly full loads. It is why you may pay more to ship your car during these months.
Book a Car Shipping Service
Car shipping prices are affected by a variety of factors. Some are seasonal, while others are based on demand. To get the best rates, book your transport service in advance. It will knock a few hundred dollars off the total price of your shipment. It will also give auto shippers time to bid against each other for your business. If you are on a budget, opt for open transport instead of enclosed transport. It will save you hundreds of dollars on your car transportation costs.
Be sure to get a free quote from several companies before choosing one. Look for a company with fair rates and an all-inclusive cost calculator. You can also ask if they have special packages for snowbirds or those moving to warmer weather. Once your vehicle arrives at its destination, conduct a thorough inspection. Take exterior and interior photos, and note any damages on the bill of lading. It will help you file a claim if any damage is discovered during delivery. You can also save money by utilizing terminal-to-terminal shipping rather than door-to-door service.