This guide will help you transport your car safely and quickly.
Whether you need to know how to transport your car across state borders or the country, the main thing is to remain organized.
Understanding the different delivery options and finding a suitable shipping company is essential. A schedule will help you stay on the right track and will ensure your peace of mind when transporting your car. This final guide will help you stay organized, informed, and ready to ship your vehicle successfully.
Before You Ship Your Car
1. Set a Budget and Timeline
Car delivery can take from two days to three weeks, depending on how far your car travels. Just like your morning commute, delivery time may also vary depending on the weather, road conditions, and traffic.
With Google Quick Search, you can find out how long to drive. Always add two or three additional days to be on time, and then schedule from there. Make sure you book at least two weeks before you want to pick up your car.
Here are some average travel time schedules that will help you determine how long it will take to ship your car:
- From the Midwest to the East Coast, 3-8 days
- East Coast – West Coast – 1-2 weeks
- From North to South for 3-8 days
Keep in mind that these are just assessments and that they can change. You will want to double-check the dates with your shipping company before booking.
As with travel time, the cost of shipping your car may vary, and you will want to budget for moving expenses. You can also check with your company if they can cover the shipping costs.
Knowing how to send you a car within your budget is the crucial point. The cost depends on the distance you travel, time of year, size, and model of your vehicle, as well as the different delivery options you choose.
Usually, there is a standard price, measured by miles. Generally, delivering your car 1-500 miles will cost you about $1 per mile (for example, 400 miles will cost $400). For miles over 500 miles, the base price is reduced to 75 cents per mile. The base price is 60 cents per mile for over 1,000 miles, 50 cents per mile for over 2,000 miles, and 40 cents per mile for over 2,500 miles. So if you deliver the car at 2,200 miles, the base price is about $1,100.
Generally, expect to pay between $100 and $1,400 for shipping the car. You can use a price calculator to get an estimate during your search. However, you will want to get a specific quote from your car delivery company before you book with them.
2. Decide How You Want to Deliver the Car
There are several different delivery options, and each is valued differently. After all, you want to know how to ship your car safely and with ease.
Photo by chuttersnap
Here is some information on a few delivery options:
- Uncovered –Uncovered is a cheaper alternative to deliver your car and a better option for short distances. It can be faster as shipping companies tend to have more open space available than in closed vessels. However, your vehicle is exposed to the elements. Depending on the shipper’s insurance coverage, you may be liable for any damage caused to your car that is most likely to be on an open trailer.
- Enclosed –If you need to transport the car across the country or if it will travel on rough roads, with dust, sand, or snow, then carrying the vehicle in an enclosed vessel is a safer option. It may cost at least 50% more than open vessels, but the risk of any damage to the vehicle is much lower.
- Door-to-Door –Door-to-door delivery is more expensive. However, the benefits can save your time and finance in the long run. Your car is delivered to a specified address. Therefore, you can request that your vehicle is picked up outside your old home and delivered directly to your new front door.
- Terminal-to-Terminal –Delivery from terminal-to-terminal means that you are required to take your car to the terminal, which may be miles away from your home and may not be monitored 24 hours a day. If it fits your budget, door-to-door delivery is often a more convenient and safer option for delivering your car.
3. Research Reputable Shipping Companies
You should feel comfortable that your consignor knows how to ship your car with care. Just as you will ask questions about your transport company, you will want to get some vital information from your transport company before booking them.
When you call by phone, remember to ask how long it will take them to pick up your car, if any deposit is required, and where the delivery vehicle will be stored during the night.
Feel free to shop around for the best prices. However, make sure that the company that delivers your car specializes in shipping cars has startling customer testimonials, and a clean record.
You can get a detailed report on the company’s shipping licenses, complaint records, and crash history from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
4. Check Your Insurance Coverage
Some car insurance companies will cover damage caused when you ship your car. Whether or not your insurance plan includes the delivery of your vehicle, you will want to make sure that the shipping company you choose is well insured.
Most respected companies have at least $50,000 coverage, and you should ask about it before booking a company to ship your car. When you do so, make sure that their insurance will pay out if your vehicle is damaged, even when it is not in transit.
You want to know your car is protected when parking it for the night, during the pick-up, and if it happens to fall off the trailer.
The Day Before You Ship Your Car
1. Gather the Required Documents
The company delivering your car will want proof that the vehicle is yours, and you will not want to be scratching through your desk or glove box the day it is shipped. Therefore, be ready, make sure you have your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance on hand the day before your car is shipped.
2. List Any Quirks Your Car May Have
Do you have to clamp the door to open it? Does your parking brake give way on a hill? Pay attention to any operational problems or quirks that your car delivery company should know.
Try to be specific and clear so that they know what to do if your car does something unexpected.
3. Empty Your Car
Using your car as an additional storage device is not an option in transportation. Make sure your vehicle is emptied before shipping.
Remember to check the middle console, seat pockets, door lock, boot, and under all seats before you hand over your car to the shipping company. The only thing left in your vehicle should be a quarter gas tank when you pick it up, so avoid filling it up.
The Day You Ship Your Car
1. Wash, Inspect, and Photograph Your Car
Depending on the insurance policy, transport companies are generally liable for any damage caused during the transport of the vehicle. To prove the freshness of a scratch or scuff, it is worth taking an inventory of the car before sending it.
Give a good wash so that you can see the condition of your vehicle, inspect it, and take pictures of it from all sides. The carrier company will also check your car and ask you to sign a document after an inspection. Therefore, make sure that you have already carefully inspected your vehicle so that you can be prepared to accept or refuse their assessment. Prepare your car to be shipped.
A few minutes before loading your car and waving goodbye, you will want to take care of these last details:
- Turn off your car alarm
- Fold up the side view mirrors if possible.
- Remove and secure the antenna
- Delete EZ Pass
- Leave the keys with the transport company.
2. Receive Your Tracking Number
Most car delivery companies allow you to track your vehicle with a tracking number. Make sure that you get this before you leave your car with a shipping company. You can check the status of your car along the way and get a better idea of when it will be delivered.
After You Ship Your Car
1. Track Your Car
Waiting in the dark can be difficult, so feel free to check your car’s carrier periodically. This way, you will be warned if you need to arrange an earlier pick-up time or to prepare for any delays. Be prepared for shipment to run off schedule.
Storms, wind, and traffic can all affect the delivery time of your car. Remember that these are all factors that can be a reality.
Therefore, try to remain flexible. It may be a day or two late, but you have already planned it, right? Keeping these factors in mind, you will be able to continue your plans for moving without being too stressed out.
2. Check Your Car for Damage at Pick-Up
Although rare, accidents can happen. When you pick up your car, do another inspection. If you find any damage, take a photo to compare it with the pictures you took before you sent your vehicle.
If there is new damage, report it to the transportation company immediately and show them a before and after photo. Send any repair quote to the shipping company, and they should cover the costs of the damage.
3. Write a Review of Your Shipper
Whether your vehicle arrived on time, the service was friendly, or you had to change a tire, let other people know about it. Both good and bad reviews can help others find the right transportation company for them, while at the same time keeping the companies themselves responsible for their employees and business practices.
To Sum Up
If you want to transport a car without problems, you should think about all the details and documents in advance. The main thing is to remain organized.
We hope that this guide will help you feel that you now know how to ship your car. Moving long distances can be stressful, but with some preparation and flexibility, you can stay on the right track.