How Does Car Shipping Work – Everything You Need to Know

October 21, 2019Car Shipping Essentials
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Are you moving across the country and need to take your vehicle with you? Or maybe you’re selling your car online and need to have it transported to the buyer’s location. Car shipping can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’ll answer the important question – how does car shipping work? By the end, you’ll know everything you need to know about shipping your vehicle.

First Things First – Why Should You Ship Your Auto?

When changing your address, it is essential not only to have good packing and long-distance moving services but a reliable car shipping provider as well. During the process of choosing the best USA auto transport company, you might be wondering why you should ship your machine. Should you drive it by yourself? Or is it easier to hire a car shipping company to do it instead of you?

Shipping cars in the USA is a huge and competitive industry that’s why you should hire the best of the best to handle your four-wheeler. Because having professionals do it instead you comes with many benefits:

  • Risk of damage is reduced – with a professional crew comprised of drivers and movers, you get attentive and efficient service. They will use high-quality tools and trucks to transport your automobile with minimal risk of damage.
  • You won’t have to take time off work – transporting your four-wheeler all by yourself will take time, especially if you are relocating far away.
  • Lowering stress levels – driving takes a lot of concentration, especially if you are not an experienced driver. Letting professionals handle the business will keep you calm and focused on other things, which will overall make driving stress non-existent.
  • Insurance – with trustworthy service providers, you get insurance for your car, so even if there is damage, you will get paid.
  • Saving money – having a trained crew handle your machine means you don’t have to pay for tolls, fees, and other unexpected circumstances. Remember, if you drive by yourself, you need to buy food and gas as well as pay for a room to rest.

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How Does Car Shipping Work? There is Open and Enclosed Transport

When moving a car to another state, you’ll surely be thinking about it on the open road. So, it is only logical that you are wondering how the company will move it safely (this is especially important if you are shipping imported or even some of the most expensive vehicles). That’s why most car shipping providers offer two options that you can choose from – open and enclosed carriers.

If you want to save up, the open trailer service is for you. It is the cheapest and most popular option when it comes to vehicle transportation. Although the trailers are not covered, and your car is exposed to the weather, drivers are trained to take care of your machine. It is a better option also for people who ship multiple vehicles since these trailers can fit more than a few four-wheelers.

Do you have a rare or a brand new luxury car that needs moving? Picking an enclosed container service might be an excellent solution for you. Enclosed auto transport means that the trailers offer protection from all weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about the machine getting dirty or damaged by external elements. But, since this is luxury car transport, the trailers can only fit up to five cars, and this type of transportation is more expensive.

Trucks on the road
New and expensive cars should be moved in enclosed haulers

There are Door-to-Door and Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery Options to Think About

When you hire a car shipping company to handle your vehicle, check what kind of pick-up and delivery options they offer. Many have
door-to-door auto transport as well as terminal-to-terminal car shipping. Choosing one over the other will depend on your free time, budget, and other needs. Both of these come with some perks:

  • Door-to-door delivery means that the company will pick up your automobile from a designated location and drop it off at the desired destination. Plus, you don’t have to be personally present during the delivery – just appoint somebody you trust to wait instead of you. It is an ideal option for people that get too busy while moving out of a state.
  • Terminal-to-terminal delivery means that your machine will be dropped off at one of the regional facilities. This type of delivery is more suitable for people who have a flexible schedule since you will have to go to the terminal to pick up your four-wheeler. But keep in mind that sometimes, terminals won’t be too close to your new home, depending on where you’re moving.

Ask For a Shipping Quote Before Hiring an Auto Transport Company

When you decide to give the keys to your precious four-wheeler to a professional, you should know how much that service will cost you. That’s why most people want to know what a shipping quote is. That is an approximate estimate of how much it will cost to transport your machine. Since there is no fixed price, many companies offer an estimate. The final quote will depend on multiple factors:

  • Size, weight, and length of cars,
  • The car’s overall condition and the ability to steer, brake, and roll,
  • Make and model of your machine,
  • Distance between locations,
  • Type of container and delivery,
  • Time of the year,

If you are wondering why the time of the year is one of the factors in getting a final quote, keep in mind that not all seasons are equally busy for movers. Consider moving your machine in the middle of the month because then you will avoid periods of high demand. Also, fall and spring are the best seasons to ship since the weather is good and there is lower demand.

Enclosed Auto Transport

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Open Carrier Auto Transport

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Don’t Forget to Ask About Shipping Insurance

When you are looking to ship your car, it is important to make sure that you have the proper insurance in place. This is because if something were to happen to your car while it is in transit, you would be able to file a claim and get compensated for the damage. Without car shipping insurance, you would be responsible for any damages that occur to your car during transport.

So, before you ship your car, make sure that you have obtained the appropriate insurance coverage. This will help to ensure that you are protected in the event of any damage or loss. This can be one thing less for you to think about if you hire a reliable and legitimate moving company to handle car shipping. Professionals will already have an insurance policy that covers external damage that could occur during transport.

open trailer on the road
With the right insurance your car will be protected during the shipping process

Finally Preparing The Vehicle for the Move Is a Part of a Shipping Process

When you want to ship your machine to another place, it is important to prepare it in a way that minimizes damage in any way possible and reduces costs. Using an auto transport company means that you will have a team of professionals to handle your vehicle, but you can always take precautions yourself:

  • Do a general checkup to be sure that there are no leaking fluids
  • Leave a quarter of gas in the tank and top off all other fluids
  • Wash your vehicle. This is a great way for you to spot bumps, scratches, and dents. Knowing the condition of your vehicle means it will be easier to spot damage that may occur during the move.
  • Turn off all the alarms your automobile has.
  • There are not many things you should keep in your car. Remove all personal belongings and other removable objects like radios, tags, and garage openers. Also, you should get rid of bike racks. They make your car unnecessarily bulky.
  • Remember to leave windows slightly ajar to relieve pressure caused by the temperature elevation.
Man washing car
When you ship your automobile clean it so it looks like its new

FAQ About Car Shipping That Will Help You Understand the Process

How Can I Pay For the Car Shipping Services?

Most vehicle shipping companies request payment in the form of a deposit prior to pickup. In actuality, most businesses follow this policy. If they demand that you pay the entire amount upfront, this may be cause for concern (and you should avoid these companies because they might be a part of a moving scam). The payment options accepted by various companies can vary.

When Will My Car Be Delivered?

There is no real answer to this one. The time it takes to deliver the vehicle will vary based on the trailer you select and the distance the driver needs go to deliver your four-wheeler.

What Documents I Need to Supply in Order to Ship My Car?

You must have the necessary paperwork on hand to be ready for car shipping. This will guarantee that every step of the transport process is carried out without incident. Additionally, this can aid in avoiding any delays. The sort of documents required should be clarified in advance with the auto transporter. Normally, you’ll have to give the auto shipper the registration and title, as well as a copy of your ID and proof of insurance.

Consult With Your Car Shipping Company and the Process Will Go Smoothly

Moving your car can be a daunting task. But, with the help of a qualified car shipping company, it doesn’t have to be. Professionals will gladly answer all of your questions and help you understand how does car shipping work. Furthermore, you can rest assured that your car arrives safely and on time at its new destination. Have any questions about moving your car? Consult your car shipping company today for more information.

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