First-time experiences can be daunting, especially if it involves shipping a car. Whether it’s across the country or just within the state, the process will most likely overwhelm you. But when you break things down into steps, it’s not so bad. Luckily, you’ve come across this post. This guide will cover everything from preparing your vehicle for transport to finding the best rates on carriers to make sure you get exactly what you need. Make sure you read until the end!
DIY Shipping vs. Hiring a Carrier
It’s no secret that DIY undertakings save money. You can choose to ship your car yourself, but it’ll require a lot of research and planning. Unless you’ve got the time and resources to commit to the operation, it’s not really worth the hassle. On the other hand, hiring a car transport company is convenient, but it can be expensive if you’re not informed. Prices can vary depending on what type of service you want and where your vehicle needs to go.
Finding the Right Auto Transport Carrier
Not all shipping companies operate with the same level of expertise. Some may even charge you for unnecessary services or take longer than expected to get your vehicle delivered. That’s why it’s crucial to do your research. Don’t just look for a carrier with cheap rates. Look for reputable ones that offer competitive rates and have good reviews from their customers. More importantly, make sure to ask if they’re licensed and insured. You don’t want to get the short end of the stick if things go wrong down the road.
Ask Your Carrier Questions
As the car owner, you want to know what goes on during the entire transport process. After all, it’s your asset that has to reach the destination in one piece. Make sure you ask these common questions before finalizing anything with a shipping company:
- Have you tried transporting a car of a similar type to mine before?
- Do you offer door-to-door delivery and pickup service?
- How long does it take for my car to arrive?
- What does your insurance coverage include?
- What are the dimensions of your truck?
- Can you provide me some references that I can speak to?
- Any extra fees or services I should be wary about
The answers to these will give you an idea of what type of company your potential carrier is. If they’re able to answer your questions confidently and transparently, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve hired a good one.
Choosing a Method of Transport
This is a decision you have to make once you’ve decided on a shipping company to work with. You must choose one that fits your needs without going over your budget.
- Open-air Carriers: These trucks are the cheapest option available but also the riskiest. The vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with no roof and exposed to all sorts of weather elements.
- Enclosed Carriers: These are more expensive than open-air ones, but they’re safer because your car will be protected, and there are fewer vehicles on board. They’re best used for classic cars, rare models, and luxury vehicles.
- Air Freight: This is unarguably the fastest method and the most expensive one as well, but it’s a good idea for those who need their car shipped in less than 24 hours.
How To Prepare Your Car For Transport
You’re now one step closer to having your car delivered. Your next move should be to prepare your wheels in the best condition possible before entrusting them to your carrier. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Remove all personal items and valuables inside the car.
- Inspect the car thoroughly to see if there are any leaks, cracks on the windshield, broken tail lights, etc.
- Release some air from the tires, so the car doesn’t bounce during transit.
- Wash the car thoroughly.
- Remove any body modifications that might get in the way of loading the car to the trailer.
- Fill the fuel tank up to only two-thirds.
- Document any damage or issues and inform your carrier.
Receiving Your Car
Whether your car will be delivered to your home or you have to pick it up at the terminal, it’s essential to check it together with the driver. If you find any issues, contact the shipping company representative right away. And that’s it! Congratulations on successfully transporting your vehicle.