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Car Shipping Tips

How do you make sure that you can easily move a car from one place to another without having to worry about the auto transport company that you are using, or whether you are getting the best value for money? If you are investigating moving cars, use these car shipping tips as a starting point.
  • Be Realistic with Your Expectations
    Typically, you will be provided with estimates in regards to pick-up and drop-off dates. Ironically, you may not have even considered the possibility of a delay due to weather, or a break down or even traffic. Believe it or not, the most common delay for auto transport companies is caused by customers. When a customer doesn't show up on time or changes their pick-up location at the last minute, this delay can have a snowballing effect on the next few days for the transport driver. Be patient! Your auto transport company will be working diligently to ensure that your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and as quickly as possible.
  • Know the Benefits
    Are you wondering whether you should sell or ship your car? You can save on gas costs, the hassle of and time involved in driving long distances.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
    Customer support for auto transport companies can explain the intricacies of the car shipping service to you in plain language. Make sure you get all your questions answered before you sign a contract!
  • Choose Your Shipping Method
Traditionally, open trailers are the typical method for auto shipping. When quoting your transport, the default will always be by open shipping. The truck trailer will have the ability to transport up to 12 vehicles at any given time, and, of course, your automobile will be exposed to the elements. Enclosed trailer transport, known as a premium service with auto transporters, will cost an average of 25%-100% more than the typical open shipping method. The benefits of enclosed shipping include a smaller load, characteristically a maximum of only three automobiles per transport, and the total enclosure of each vehicle. You can be assured that your automobile will be in lock-down until the time of delivery.
  • Learn About Car Transport Routes
    Different car transport companies take different routes to their destination. This means that your car might take longer to arrive at the destination than expected. Ask about car transport routes and delivery times to your destination - some options and times of year are less expensive.
  • Choose Your Delivery Method
Door-to-door transport means that a truck will arrive at your door, or agreed upon location for both pick-up and delivery of your automobile. Although this may sound simple, the driver could have difficulty reaching you. Shipping trailers can be 75 feet in length, and terribly difficult to maneuver. Residential neighborhoods typically have vehicle size restrictions, which may prevent them from loading a vehicle directly from your driveway. Instead, make arrangements to meet the driver at a close location with a sizable parking lot for loading your automobile. Unfortunately, this can be a timely delay for the driver and an added expense for you if the lot isn't within walking distance from your home. You may want to consider an alternative method of pick-up. An auto transport terminal is used to store your vehicle until the driver can schedule a specified time for pick-up. Although your window for pick-up is generally 12-24 hours, this could save you time, money and stress. You will also have the option of receiving delivery of your vehicle at a terminal. By doing so, you will be able to pick-up your automobile at a location and time most convenient to your home and work schedule.
  • Auto Transport Payment
    A deposit is generally required when ordering your auto shipping service. This deposit will range from 10% to 25% of the total fee, and is due prior to shipping. The balance of your car shipping payment will be due upon delivery of your automobile. You will be required to pay in cash when the driver arrives, though, occasionally, a cashier's check is acceptable. Ask your transport company about the option to pay for your service by credit card, although this isn't common in the industry. The auto transport company may ask you to pay for the transaction fee (usually 2%-3% of the total fee) but will allow you to do so. Paying by credit card gives you added assurance if a problem arises during transit.
  • Maintain Proper Insurance
Your automobile will be covered against theft and damage by your auto transport company. You should ask for a copy of auto transport contract so you can clearly understand the auto shipper's coverage, and what your deductible will be if a problem arises. Verify your personal coverage, and find out if there are any restrictions or exclusions to your coverage while your vehicle is being transported. Although the likelihood of a problem occurring during transport is limited, educate yourself to ensure you have the right amount of auto transport insurance. Just as with any business, don’t take someone at their word. Get all terms in writing.
  • Prepare for Pickup
Wash your car! This may sound strange, but being able to properly assess your vehicle's condition is extremely important. You will clearly be able to identify chips and scratches on your automobile. These damages will be easily documented and detailed on your inspection report. By doing so, this will eliminate the possibility of questions regarding the responsibility of damages upon the delivery of your vehicle.
  • Empty Your Vehicle
    Your auto shipping company isn't responsible for items left in your vehicle.  Personal items are not covered by insurance and add to the total weight of the transport, costing your extra money.
  • Disable Any Car Alarms
    Your transport company isn't likely to hear, let alone take the time to find the way to disable your car alarm if it goes off during transport. You don’t want your car arriving at its destination with a dead battery.
  • Run Down Your Gas Tank
    Try to keep your gas tank to a minimum when preparing for auto transport. This isn’t only a weight issue. Safety is also a major concern of the transport company. Your carrier will appreciate your efforts.
  • Remove or Secure Any Special Effects on Your Car
    Spoilers, fog lights and antennas can all be damaged during transport. You may also want to turn in mirrors if possible. Transport your convertible with the top up and secured properly. If you can’t raise the top, you should secure your car with a tarp that prohibits moisture and wind from causing damage to your vehicle. If you’re concerned about the possibility of damage caused by the elements, you should consider enclosed transport for your automobile.
  • Check Tires, Battery, and Fluids
    Inflate your tires properly and make sure your battery is fully charged. You may want to consider taking your car in for an oil change and have your fluids topped off. If your car is leaking anything, especially brake or transmission fluid, the driver won’t want to load your automobile on the top of his trailer. You wouldn’t appreciate your car being exposed to this type of damage, so be considerate to others - keep the driver informed. If your vehicle is difficult to start, let the driver know. You don't want to be charged extra money if the driver has a problem loading or unloading your automobile. Leave a note, or document your instructions on the bill of lading.