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How to Ship Your Vehicle Across Country

December 28, 2016

Whether you’ve just purchased a car or you are relocating across the country, it’s important to look for reputable auto transport companies. You want the best service for shipping your car and we’ve outlined exactly how to accomplish that with very little effort.

Driving Your Car May Not Be The Cheapest Option

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why don’t I drive my car instead?”.


While this could be a fun and scenic idea, the cost might be higher than expected and when you’re travelling a long distance, the fuel cost could be more than you desire. In addition, there is the risk of accidents, which can result in damage, higher insurance rates, and a ruined car (which could also leave you stranded).


With that said, it’s best to check into some auto shipping quotes and compare the overall cost of each option. Check into the cost of fuel along the route you plan to take, and factor in the cost of food, hotel rooms, and an additional $500 for emergencies. The total is probably going to be higher than the cost to ship a car.

What Do I Need To Ask Before Shipping My Car?

It’s important to ask questions when you speak to a car transport service. This will allow you to determine whether the shipping company can provide the service you want. A few important questions include:


Will you be using an independent carrier?

If they are using an independent carrier, they cannot guarantee your dates until they speak to the carrier. Companies that offer a guarantee without confirmation from the independent carrier should be avoided, as they are not offering you real information. Most truckers are owner operators or work for a small trucking company consisting of 1-10 trucks and a dispatcher.

Do you offer cargo insurance?

Cargo insurance is important. While all carriers are required to carry liability coverage, it does not provide the same coverage as cargo insurance. It is very important to ask for the carrier’s cargo insurance, some truckers do have a liability insurance coverage but for full value protection you should request the copy or proof of the cargo insurance coverage for the carrier company that has been assigned to ship your car.


Will my car be shipped with other cars?

Some carriers provide single car shipping and the insurance coverage may be different. Knowing how your car will be shipped will help you decide if you need additional coverage. For standard open carrier transport service there will be 2-6 other cars that will be shipped along with yours in most cases. For enclosed transport, you vehicle can be shipped in a 2 car enclosed trailer or a 6 car enclosed trailer.


Will My Answers Affect My Quote?

When the shipping company asks questions, be honest and exact. The company cannot give you an accurate estimate unless you’re clear. They will ask questions about pick-up, drop-off, insurance, dates, and many other questions that are vital to their quoting services.


In addition, remember that weather, truck availability, and road conditions can affect the length of time it takes to ship your vehicle across country. The shipping company should mention this to you rather than guaranteeing dates.


What Should I Do To Prepare My Vehicle?

Weight is one of the most serious issues, as a stop at the scales with improper weight distribution can cost precious time on the road. You certainly don’t want to be the reason that your car is late to be dropped off, so be sure to prepare your vehicle for shipping with this in mind.


Leave only enough gas in the tank for loading and unloading. Check all of your fluids, taking care to add adequate antifreeze during cold weather months. Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle to limit liability.


Finally, don’t be afraid to check with several shipping companies to compare services. While one company may offer a bargain basement rate, their reputation may not be worth the risk. It’s best to check with a few companies and determine which one is the right fit for you and your car.