Transporting a Car


The Ideea

Your long distance move is rapidly approaching, and along with the pending date is the stress that comes along with such a large endeavor.  You’ve planned for movers to pack your house, now hire professionals to move your car.  A reputable car moving company can make this part of the moving process a cinch.

If you’re feeling uneasy about entrusting one of your most prized possessions, as well as your primary mode of transportation to someone else, be assured that shipping your car is virtually hassle free and includes many benefits.  The first and most obvious is that you won’t be putting any miles on your own vehicle.

This could be critical if you are leasing and have an annual mileage cap.  Another huge benefit is avoiding the unnecessary wear and tear that you car may be subject to. Tire damage and engine overheating are common long haul issues that can be costly once you arrive at your destination and depreciate the car’s overall value. Don’t forget to factor in the gas. Using an auto shipper eliminates the need to pay for gas for your automobile on a cross country trek – which feels like it costs an arm and a leg these days!  Perhaps the most important reason to consider an auto shipper is your personal safety.  Driving long distances, alone or with the family, can be dangerous.  There are weather conditions to consider, unknown roads and highways, unfamiliar directions, other drivers and exhaustion.

Shipping your car during the relocation process is more convenient than you may think. Often you will simply meet the auto transport truck at an agreed upon loading place.  In most cases this is your own driveway and they take it from there.  Keep in mind that shipping times vary greatly.  Don’t assume your car will beat you and the movers.  If there are other pick-ups and drop offs, it could take a few extra days or even more than a week.  The timing should be confirmed on your quote.  Many auto shipping companies now offer GPS tracking so you can follow the status of your car while it makes the journey.  If this is important to you, be sure check with perspective moving companies to see if they offer this service.
Insurance requirements vary by state, so make sure the company you select has full coverage in case of an unforeseen incident.  While the instance of damage is extremely rare, you should be covered and compensated should anything happen.  Always check with your personal auto insurance carrier to confirm transport coverage.  You may need a specific rider for the actual transport.

In the event that the vehicle you need to transport is a vintage or collectible, or just one that you feel needs special protection, you can upgrade your vehicle’s move to first class! Auto transport first class usually comes in the form of enclosed vehicle transportation.  This option is more expensive but may be well worth it based on your needs.  Some companies offer car covers instead of or in addition to this enclosed option, so check out all of your options when comparing companies and quotes.

Overall, professional auto transporting allows for an affordable and easy way for you to move your car over long distances.  With just a little research on your part, you can find the right price and the right car mover for you.

Move Your Car

It’s not too unusual for folks to be in a position of having to get car shipping quotes. Sometimes a new job may require you to relocate. Perhaps there is a need to move closer to family members. No matter the reason, auto shipping may be necessary so that you can have transportation at your new residence without having the expense and hassle of buying a new car.Using some sort of car transport system makes a lot of sense, even if the destination is reachable by road. Shipping your car will save time and expense. Fewer miles will be put on the car and you can eliminate the possibility of a costly break down while enroute on a long cross country trip.

When you are making the decision to ship your car, consider the following:

1. First, decide if shipping your vehicle is your best option. You will find that in most instances it makes the most sense in terms of expense and saving time.

2. It’s important for you to receive vehicle shipping quotes so that you know exactly what the expenses may be.

3. Before you get your car shipping quotes, make a list of all of the questions you may have about the car transport services. Consider asking things such as reliability of delivery, on time performance, how a claim works if there is damage to the vehicle, what transport methods are employed and any other optional services that may be available.

4. Be sure to check with your insurance company to see if there are any specific provisions in your automobile policy that may apply to your particular car transport situation.

5. If there is going to be a period of time between when you arrive at your destination and when your car arrives, be certain to check on alternate forms of transportation for this period of time. Check with your new employer to see if they have any special discounts arranged with a rental car agency. If you are moving closer to family members, check to see if someone has a car they would be able to loan you until your car arrives.

6. Remember that the timeframe for vehicle transport is usually measured in weeks – plan accordingly.

7. When you bring your car to the vehicle transport service, be sure to thoroughly clean it inside and out. Also remove all items from the car including the trunk and glove box. Be sure to make a detailed list of all body damage with a representative from the car transport service.
This will be invaluable if you need to file a claim after transport.

While all of the above steps are important, you won’t know exactly where you stand until you receive your car shipping quotes. You want to receive your quotes early on in the process so that you can plan around this expense.

Getting a quote is simple and it doesn’t cost you a thing to receive one. Be sure and fill out our free vehicle transport quote form and get the process started today!

1. Price.

The first question you’ll want answered is “what is the total cost?”. Obtain quotes from several car transport and auto driveaway companies and be prepared to provide:

  • Origination/destination
  • Approximate departure date
  • Type of vehicle(s)
  • Type of car transport service desired (e.g., door-to-door car transport vs. Terminal-to-terminal)
  • Special car transport services (e.g., enclosed car transport)

2. Payment method.

While some car transport and auto driveaway companies may not require payment in advance, others require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost), or full payment in advance. If a deposit is given, amount due is always required at time of delivery – oftentimes with a cashiers check or cash. Sometimes a surcharge of 2-3% is required when using a credit card with a car transport or auto driveaway company.

3. Contract.

Read your contract carefully!!! Important note!!! Do not rely on any verbal promises from your car transport company. After you sign your contract, your car transport company will always refer you to the contract for any complaints you may have, including cost to cancel your shipment. The main thing to look for is a clause that says there is no guaranteed pickup or delivery date. Even though most cars are delivered by car transport companies within the expected timeframe, most will not guarantee a delivery date. You can ask for the following things to protect yourself against verbal promises that you would have otherwise relied upon (also see #5 below):

  • Ask for a contract clause (in writing) that waives the cancellation fee if the car is not picked up by your car transport company within some number of days of the scheduled pickup date. If you cancel within the alloted window, expect to pay some fee, which may vary from $50 to $250. Although most cars are picked up on the scheduled date or within a few days of that date, a 1 or 2 week delay may occassionally happen. Your cancellation clause should allow for at least a week beyond scheduled pickup date.
  • It is difficult for any car transport company to promise a delivery date, however, if your car transport company offers a guarantee that covers a rental car, find out the cost of the guarantee (if any) and the maximum dollars per day covered.

4. Insurance.

Your vehicle(s) should be insured against damage and theft by your car transport company or auto driveaway. Ask for a copy of insurance coverage. Ask if the carrier’s insurance is primary or secondary to your own insurance in the event of damage during car transport. Also ask if there is a damage deductible – verify all in writing. In addition, your own car insurance may cover your vehicle in transit – check with your car insurance company to verify. Keep in mind that many car transport and auto driveaway companies may discourage or prohibit you from leaving personal articles in your vehicle. Any personal articles left in the car are not insured – your home policy may cover these articles, but you should check with your home insurance agent to verify. Also note that overloading your trunk with heavy items may result in damage to your car‘s undercarriage. Your car transport or auto driveaway company may not cover damage in that instance.

5. Pick-up and delivery dates.

Ask for estimated pick-up and delivery times from your car transport or auto driveaway company. You should be able to get a 3-day window for pick-up – during the busy summer or snow bird season the window may be larger, but the car transport or auto driveaway company should warn you of possible delays ahead of time. Be skeptical of exact pick-up and delivery dates promised by car transport and auto driveaway companies – if you are promised exact dates, get it in writing and state the remedy if service is not performed on promised dates ($50 discount, no fee to cancel, reimbursement for rental car, etc.) . Once pick-up is made, your car transport or auto driveaway company should provide you with a fairly precise delivery date. If you need an exact date for pick-up, most car transport and auto driveaway services can pick-up your car and hold it at a terminal for an additional charge.

6. References.

While we do our best to exclude poor-quality car transport and auto driveaway companies, we unfortunately cannot guarantee quality of performance of those companies listed. Before selecting a company, we recommend that you contact the better business bureau in the city in which the car transport or auto driveaway company is listed to inquire about the company’s service history. Also, many car transport and auto driveaway companies are referred by van line companies. Ask for several references, if possible.

7. Saying goodbye to your car.

Prior to leaving your car with a driver or car transport company, be sure you receive an “original inspection report.” this report provides pick-up and delivery information, current mileage, and most importantly shows the condition of your car at time of pick-up – pre-existing scratches and dents, cracked glass/mirrors, general paint condition, etc. Keep this report and use it when you receive your vehicle.

8. Accepting your vehicle for delivery.

At the time of delivery, inspect your vehicle slowly and carefully and compare the condition and mileage against the “original inspection report” provided by your car transport company at origination (also inspect the roof and under front and rear bumpers). If there are inconsistencies, note them as exceptions and be sure the driver signs it. Never accept your vehicle at night if you cannot verify its condition – without being viewed and signed by the driver, you have little recourse if damage had occurred during transit.

9. If damage should occur.

The majority of car transport experiences are worry-free, with your damage-free vehicle arriving at the estimated time. On occassion, a vehicle may become damaged in transit. If this should happen, note all damage on your inspection report (see item above), obtain the driver’s signature, and contact your car transport company. The car transport company should then work with you to reimburse you for verifiable damage done to your car.

10. Disputes.

If you believe that a car transport or auto driveaway company has not treated you fairly, first try to work it out with the company. Car transport and auto driveaway companies are more likely to cooperate with you if they believe you are trying to work fairly with them. Be reasonable, but firm. If all else fails, you may consider filing a complaint with the better business bureau in the city in which the car transport or auto driveaway company is listed. The u.s. dept. Of transportation – – regulates car transport companies – however they will usually not get involved until after you have a court judgement against a car transport company (in small claims court, for example).


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