10 Important Things to Do While Relocating Vehicles

October 23, 2020

There are many reasons for relocating vehicles, from interstate and cross-country moves to transporting a car you’ve just bought at auction or online. While some people assume a road trip is the most affordable way to move a car, think again.

Not only do road trips lead to unforeseen expenses, from lodging to food and gasoline, but they also place you at greater risk of a car accident. Road trips put extra miles on your car and lead to wear and tear.

What’s more, if you’re transporting a new or used vehicle that you purchased through an online dealership or auction, a road trip is out of the question. After all, who wants to take a long trip in an untested vehicle?

Instead, consider other options when it comes to relocating vehicles. What do these options include? Keep reading for our full guide to auto transport.

Relocating Vehicles Across North America

When it comes to a significant move, either of a household or one or more vehicles, hiring an auto transport service can make all the difference. Why? Because it’ll alleviate the stress associated with how to relocate a car off your shoulders.

After all, many of us don’t have time to throw an interstate or cross-country trip into our lives. Do you want to dedicate your vacation time to this? Fortunately, you’ve got an affordable and convenient alternative to get your car from point A to B, auto transport.

Follow these tips to ensure a streamlined process.

1. Decide on a Date for Relocating Vehicles

You likely have a general sense of when your vehicle needs to be moved, whether you’re relocating households or picking up a car from an auction. But you should narrow down your needs to a specific date or range of dates before calling an auto transport company.

Why? This level of specificity will help them better understand your exact timeframe. That means they can, in turn, provide you with a more accurate quote.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Relocate a Car

After all, car transport, like everything else in life, involves seasonal price fluctuations. It may also save you money to pick a car relocation date sooner than later.

Why? Because expedited moves often come with extra rush fees. What’s more, there’ll also be more in demand, which means increased prices.

In general, wait no later than seven days before your relocation date to arrange car transport. When you provide a car shipping company with this minimum lead time, they’ll be better positioned to meet your needs at a price that you can appreciate.

3. Reach Out to Family and Friends for Car Relocation Services Referrals

Not all car moving companies are created equal. What’s more, the industry isn’t regulated so that you could end up with a less than satisfactory service. That’s why you need to vet any companies you’re considering working with thoroughly.

What’s the best way to do this? It never hurts to start with word-of-mouth recommendations. Reach out to your network of friends and family to ask about companies they may have used in the past and would work with again.

4. Research Companies for Car Relocation

Compile a list of referrals and then grab your laptop or mobile device for some additional research. Use review sites like Yelpsearch engines like Google, and the Better Business Bureau to gain more insight into what customers love (and don’t) about specific car moving companies.

Pay close attention to the customer reviews that most “speak” to your current situation. For example, if you’ve got an upcoming household move cross-country, look for reviews that describe similar situations and how the company handled it.

5. Vet Each Company to Relocate a Car

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a list of prospects worth considering, head to the US Department of Transportation. There, make sure that each company is appropriately licensed and registered.

The US DOT website will let you look up each company’s US DOT number. This number permits access to their safety records.

What if a company doesn’t have a US DOT number? That means it’s not properly registered and licensed. Avoid these companies at all costs.

6. Select a Company for Car Relocation USA

Once you’ve completed your homework, it’s time to pick a car moving company. Start by going to each company’s website and getting a shipping quote. These quotes should be free and no-obligation. If a company wants you to oblige you for a quote, don’t do it.

After you know how much relocating automobiles will cost you, it’s time to pick the company you think is best. As you make your selection, resist the urge to go with the cheapest quote that you receive.

Instead, find the optimal balance between affordability, customer service, and an excellent reputation. This step may involve weighing the customer reviews you read as well as what you’ve learned from your US DOT research.

7. Speak With Your Insurance Company about Car Relocation USA

After you’ve selected the company you’d like for relocating vehicles, contact your insurance agent. Explain to them what your upcoming move will entail and let them know you’d like to make sure your coverage is comprehensive.

They should ask for a copy of your vehicle relocation company’s insurance policy. That way, they can look for any gaps that need to be filled with supplemental insurance. Your agent should include protection from accidents, theft, and damage to your automobile.

Your agent remains a fantastic resource for information and advice. It may also be worthwhile to speak to your car transport company about any supplemental insurance that they may offer.

8. Remove Personal Items from Your Vehicle

Are you tempted to throw personal belongings in your car before pickup for relocation? If so, you’re not alone. While this seems like an efficient way to transport more stuff, most companies won’t appreciate it.

You can attempt to negotiate moving personal belongings with a company ahead of time. That said, don’t be surprised if they discourage you from stowing anything extra. After all, it can create a complication for your driver in terms of excess load and weight distribution.

You could also make your car more attractive to thieves. When it’s all said and done, the auto transport company might refuse to move your car at all if the driver shows up and finds your ride filled with extra stuff.

9. Prepare for Car Relocation USA

Besides removing personal belongings, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for the shipping process. Make sure to:

  • Wash your car
  • Clean your car’s interior
  • Disable the alarm
  • Check tire pressure
  • Check for leaks
  • Remove customer accessories
  • Lock your car

Why all of these steps upfront? Because a dirty car may hide dents and dings that you’ll need to document during your pickup and dropoff inspections carefully. You’ll also want to thoroughly clean your car’s interior so that loose objects don’t get tossed around in transit.

Be sure to disable your car’s alarm so that your driver can fulfill their job efficiently and without commotion. Check the tire pressure of each wheel to avoid damage during loading and unloading.

Checking for leaks is also highly important, so don’t overlook this step. If your car has a leak, and it gets placed on the top tier of the trailer where it can leak into a vehicle below and cause damage, you’ll be responsible for paying the damages.

If a driver shows up to a car with an aggressive leak, they may refuse to ship it. Remove all custom accessories to avoid damage. Then, lock up your vehicle and call it good.

10. Car Pickup and Dropoff Inspections

On the day your car gets picked up by the driver, you’ll need to meet them. During your meeting, inspect your vehicle with the driver before it gets loaded onto the trailer.

Make sure that you inspect car from bumper to bumper, taking photos as you go. Should your vehicle end up with damage related to transport, you’ll need these photos to prove the damage didn’t exist at the time of pick up.

You should also take photos of any preexisting damage. That way, if something already damaged looks worse following the move, you have evidence for your claim. Make sure that you’ve gone over your car with a fine-tooth comb before signing off on anything.

You’ll complete the same inspection when the driver drops off your vehicle. Should you find new damage, mention it to your driver immediately and then get on the phone to file a claim. You have 30 days to complete the claim, but most companies feel the sooner, the better.

Find out more about what to do if your car gets damaged during transport.

Relocating Vehicles the Better Way

Do you have a car that requires relocation? If so, now’s the time to find a reliable, experienced company that puts customers first.

At Nexus Auto Transport, we bring years of experience to the table and a wide variety of services for relocating vehicles, from door-to-door to terminal-to-terminal. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation shipping quote.