Tips to Arrange Auto Transport for Your Vehicle

September 20, 2020

Are you planning a long-term vacation, moving a vintage automobile for a car show, or relocating for work? Then, you’ll likely need to arrange auto transport.

If you’ve never done this before, you may wonder where to start. Questions might emerge like, “What’s involved in the car shipping process?” and “How much will it cost?” You may also wonder about how safe car transport can be.

Fortunately, the process proves convenient and simple when you work with an experienced car shipping company. And having your car transported is safer than driving it yourself or towing it. You’ll also avoid unnecessary miles as well as wear and tear to your vehicle and its tires.

Keep reading for our top car shipping tips on securing an excellent auto transport company and ensuring a smooth, satisfactory move.

Vet Auto Transport Companies Carefully

The most vital step in car shipping remains finding a reliable, reputable company to work with.

What should you look for in great auto transport companies? Besides reliability and reputability, they should transport vehicles across the entire nation. More specifically, they should offer services to your end location.

Next, get online and check out Google and Yelp reviews. Keep your eyes open for customers with stories similar to yours. They may have had their vehicle shipped to a location similar to yours or had a close make or model.

What do they have to say about their experiences? You’ll learn a lot through a close examination of word-of-mouth testimony. Particularly for individuals who have been where you are.

Research Each Company Online

But don’t stop with what consumers have to say. You should also thoroughly vet each company by visiting websites such as TrustPilot and Transport Reviews. You’ll also find helpful information about car shipping companies on Review Centre and the Better Business Bureau.

Also, head over to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s (FMCSA) website and the United States’ Department of Transportation (US DOT) website. Both contain detailed safety histories and information about each car shipping company.

To avoid overwhelm when conducting this research, create a list of which three to five companies seem like the best fit. Armed with these company names, you’ll be better prepared to arrange auto transport early, a vital aspect of smooth car shipping.

Get Quotes from Auto Transport Companies

Now that you’ve done some research and developed a list of potential companies to work with, contact each business to get a shipping quote.

All shipping quotes should be no-obligation and free of charge. It’s as simple as filling out a brief form for many companies, and you’ll get a quick calculation.

Where can you access these forms? They’re usually located on each car shipping company’s home page, or you can find them under the “Calculator” tab.

What information will they ask you for? They’ll require specific details about the make, model, and year of your car. They’ll also want to know whether or not it runs and where you plan on moving your vehicle from and to.

After you fill out this form, you should receive an instantaneous quote. Or a representative of the company may follow up with you via telephone or email to go over your shipping needs.

While getting immediate quotes will prove useful as you look for the best moving company, bear in mind that these figures are temporary. They’re subject to change with time, so the final price you pay could differ from the initial quote.

Understand How Auto Shipping Quotes Work

What goes into a shipping quote, and how does it impact the final price you pay? Factors include:

  • The make and model of your vehicle
  • The weight and size of your car
  • The distance of your move
  • The type of transport you choose
  • Insurance coverage
  • The time of year you receive the service

Among the most expensive cars to ship are high-end and collectible vehicles. They cannot be exposed to the elements during transportation, so you’ll want to ship them in an enclosed carrier.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that the longer the trip, the more you’ll pay. That said, charging for mileage is like buying in bulk. In other words, the farther you travel, the less expensive each mile gets.

Last but not least, don’t forget to ask about insurance coverage. All transport companies must carry insurance on the vehicles that they move. But some policies prove more comprehensive than others.

Visit each company’s website where you should find a copy of their insurance policy and read over it carefully. If you don’t see one there, then request a copy over the phone. That way, you’ll know if supplemental insurance is needed.

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Arrange Auto Transport Early

When it comes to car shipping tips, arrange auto transport as far in advance as possible. Why? Because the further you schedule out, the greater your window of acceptable dates.

But don’t stop at picking one date that could work for you. Instead, settle on a window of possible dates so that when you talk to the auto transport company, you have a backup plan if your first time is unavailable.

What if you’re on a tight deadline? You also have the option of guaranteed pickup dates. Available at a higher cost, this represents an excellent option in a pinch.

Not only will you have the pick of the litter with scheduling by being early, but you may be able to secure a better deal. Keep in mind, though, that some seasons are always busier than others. If possible, ship your car off-season (early spring or late fall) to lock in the best savings.

When you speak to auto shipping companies on the phone, be ready to explainspecial needs associated with your vehicle. For example, if you have a collectible, exotic, or vintage car, you need to let the company know this right away.

Investment-level vehicles need to be shipped differently. They require enclosed carriers to protect them from the elements. If we’re talking your daily driver, though, you can save money by hiring an open auto carrier.

Get on the Auto Shipper’s Schedule

After you arrange auto transport, you’ll want to select the company with the best ratings, service, and price. Before calling to book your appointment, make a list of questions that you’d like to ask. Their car shipping advisors should be ready to help.

Besides making sure you understand what their insurance policy covers, ask about their cancelation policy. You should inquire about how to contact the driver or the trailer hauling your vehicle.

The more you know upfront about an auto transport company, the less likely you are to encounter any nasty surprises later.

Prepare for Car Transportation

Once you’ve set up a pick up date for your car, prepare your vehicle. You’ll also want to make sure you have all of the documents necessary for pickup. These documents include:

  • Proof of insurance for your car
  • Your booking confirmation
  • Your current photo ID
  • Your car’s registration

You’ll also want to make sure your car is clean and free of personal belongings. Check your fluid levels and ensure that your gas tank is half full and your battery remains charged. Also, check fluid levels to make sure everything’s in working order.

Make arrangements for you or a close friend to have these documents ready to meet the driver on pickup day. When they arrive, you’ll also need to carefully inspect your car for any pre-existing damage. The same will happen once your automobile reaches its destination.

At each inspection with your auto transport company, go over your vehicle with care. If you find damage that wasn’t there before, report it immediately. That way, you’ll be able to file a complaint.

Car Shipping Tips

The car shipping tips above will streamline your relocation experience, from researching companies and scoping out consumer reviews to preparing the right documentation for your driver.

You won’t have any nasty surprises when your driver arrives to pick up your vehicle, either. Your driver will have a bill of lading when they arrive. This bill represents an agreement between you and the automobile transport company.

It describes the item being shipped and stipulates what condition it was in before being loaded onto the truck. Go over this document carefully with the driver. After all, you’ll be using the same one during delivery.

If you have any issues or questions, be sure to communicate them to your car transportation company. We suggest doing this before the driver leaves. That way, you’ll have peace of mind once the truck driver hits the road with your car.

Are you ready to see just how much car shipping costs? Or, to arrange auto transport? Get a free quote today. Or, contact the car shipping advisors at Nexus Auto transport.