If you are in the need of an automobile shipping service due to a recent purchase, buying a new home, a relocation or other reasons, there are many options available to you. Many transportation options mean many variables in deciding what company to choose in order to get the most affordable quote with the highest quality experience. To simplify the process and help you narrow down the choices for the best auto shipping services, here is the basic process to follow:
Gather the Necessary Documentation – to get the most accurate quote to ship your vehicle internationally or domestically, you will need to have several pieces of information available.
If you are the owner, you will need the following:
- Original automobile title or registration – if you have a lien on your vehicle, you will need a letter of permission from the lien holder and three certified copies of the Certificate of Title.
- Insurance – insurance documents must show it is currently active.
- Photo Identification – you will need either a current passport or current driver’s license from your current country of residence.
- Bill of sale (does not need to be notarized)
- Sales Tax Proof (if purchased in the United States and shipping overseas)
- Import Duty – the tax levied your automobile by the country your vehicle is shipping to
If you are not the vehicle owner, you will need the original Power of Attorney document stating you are acting on behalf of another party.
Contact a Transportation Provider with Experience Shipping Vehicles Internationally – there are literally hundreds of companies who will offer to ship your vehicle either domestically or internationally. In reality, many of these companies will contract other companies in order to get the lowest possible cost to themselves and maximize their profit in the shipment. Don’t be fooled by quotes that seem too good to be true, they usually are. We’ve narrowed down the best transportation choices based on their rating with Consumer Affairs which bases their rating on verified reviews from actual customers of the companies in question.
Each of these companies provides a basic online tool for requesting a quote. This will give you an overall idea of the cost but relying on this overall cost may not result in an accurate quote for the final service provided.
To ensure that you are getting the best possible quote to ship your vehicle, follow these four tips:
- Get a quote from at least 3 different transportation providers listed above – Every provider has different origins and destinations rates based on volume and their network of partners. Getting quotes from at least 3 providers will make sure you are not paying more than you should and will also help you avoid a rate that may seem very low but may be hiding hidden charges or a lower quality service.
- Get a full cost breakdown from your driveway to the destination where you will be picking up your vehicle – Some providers will use their own equipment to pick up your vehicle, others will rely on shipping partners to assist them which can mean a lower cost but also the possibility of more delays depending on the quality of their partners. You also want to make sure you can compare the various costs of shipping across the multiple quotes for an accurate comparison, not just a total cost.
- Ask about extra values – Some companies are more technologically advance than others so ask if they will provide you tracking information on your vehicle and an agent you can call with any questions or concerns while the vehicle is in transit.
- Ask for recommendations from the providers themselves – if they have a history of satisfied customers, they will be more than happy to share those reviews with you. You can also search online for feedback from current and former customers. Both positive reviews and negative comments can be found on websites such as Better Business Bureau (bbb.org), Angie’s List (angieslist.com), Transport Review (transportreview.com) or Car Shipping Reviews (carshippingreviews.com).
Finally, here are the potential issues to be aware of when shopping for automobile shipping quotes:
- Avoid any company that requires an up-front deposit in order to get a quote, that is not industry standard and should provide a red flag to you that the company is not reputable.
- Verify that your automobile insurance covers your vehicle while in transit to its new destination.
- Be sure to know the destination address where the vehicle will end up to avoid confusion and an added cost when the transportation provider adds extra miles and time to deliver your vehicle.