Shipping Your Car

Household possessions aren’t the only things that need transported during a move. An often overlooked detail is getting all of your family vehicles from Point A to Point B. If you’re just moving across town, this might not be a concern. But if you are moving a long distance and don’t want to put mileage on your car, if you have a classic or vintage car, or if you just have more cars than drivers, you might need to hire a company that specializes in transporting vehicles.

Finding the Right Transport Service

As with any moving service, you should gather several bids and make an informed choice based on price and professional reputation. Plan ahead, as the cost of shipping goes up if you call less than two weeks before your scheduled move. The company you hire will most likely give you a choice of open-carrier shipping, or enclosed shipping. Open-carrier shipping is standard for the industry, will be less expensive, and has a good safety rating, but it does mean your vehicle will be exposed to the elements during transport. You will pay more for enclosed shipping, but it provides greater protection to your car as well as more flexibility with scheduling.

Preparing Your Car for Transit

Once you decide on a transport company, they will provide you with pre-shipping check list of specific requirements on how to prepare your car prior to transport. Common checklist items include removing all personal items from the vehicle (such as ice scrapers, CDs, phone chargers, etc.), turning off your car alarm, and taking care of any maintenance items (such as any fluid leaks). You should also take several photos of your car from different angles to record its condition so you can detect any damages that weren’t there before when the vehicle has reached its destination. You will go through a pre-shipping inspection with your mover that you must sign off on.

Shipping Options

You can arrange for the transport trailer to come to your home for loading, and deliver your vehicle directly to your new location. This is called door-to-door transport and is the most common and easiest way to ship your car. It is also the most expensive. If you are looking to keep the costs down, you can arrange for terminal-to-terminal shipping. With this option you will need to drive your car to the shipping company’s closest location. They will then deliver your car to their terminal nearest your new location. You will need to arrange for transportation to and from the terminals. This requires more work on your part, but if you have a willing friend who can drive you there and back, it can save you a lot of money.

Getting Started

You can find a reliable auto transport company by searching online. Look for those with good professional reputations and plenty of positive customer feedback. Ask about what shipping and transport options they offer and start gathering price quotes. Once you find what you like, schedule your shipment, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about with your upcoming move!