Questions to Ask Movers When You Are Relocating and Shipping a Car Across the Country

January 13, 2023Car Shipping Essentials
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

With so many movers out there, you need to make sure that you choose the best ones who will get your belongings and vehicle to your new destination safely and on time. Luckily, there are some questions to ask movers that can ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible. This blog post will provide insights into those questions so that you can decide which company is the best choice for providing shipping services for your relocation needs.

What Is Your US DOT Number?

One of the very first questions you should ask any company you’re considering is about their US DOT number. This stands for “United States Department of Transportation,” and it serves as a unique identifier for each individual relocation business. It’s a way for consumers to verify that the movers they are dealing with are properly licensed and registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A legitimate mover will always provide their US DOT number when asked (or even before), so don’t hesitate to request this information before making your decision.

What Insurance Coverage Can a Company Offer?

When relocating to a new state, no one likes to think about accidents or losses during a move. Unfortunately, they do happen every now and then, even with the best movers. Before signing any contract with a company, make sure to ask if they offer any insurance coverage against damage or loss.

Many companies offer basic coverage included in their services, but some charge extra for more comprehensive coverage plans. Either way, make sure you understand what kind of protection they offer and whether or not it meets your needs before agreeing to use them as your movers. The same goes for your vehicle – just keep in mind that enclosed trailers are typically better insured than open ones.


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What Types of Services Can They Provide?

In order to move efficiently and secure a smooth and stress-free relocation, you need to ensure that the chosen company can offer the services you may need for your move, such as:

  • Professional packing,
  • Custom crating,
  • Car shipping,
  • Loading and unloading,
  • Transportation,
  • Storage,
  • Furniture disassembly and assembly,
  • Cleaning services.

Every relocation company has a different set of services that you can select when organizing your move, so never presume all movers can provide you with all the long-distance moving services you require. For every business that provides one of the aforementioned services, there is a business that does not – so make sure you have a clear understanding of what a certain company can or cannot offer.

A team of movers working and smiling at the camera
One of the most important questions to ask a moving company is connected to the services a company can provide

How Are the Price of the Move and Vehicle Shipping Calculated?

It’s important to know how the mover calculates their rates for your move and vehicle shipping so that you can accurately plan your relocation budget. Many movers charge by weight, while others charge by mileage or cubic feet of space used in the relocation truck. Additionally, certain companies can provide additional services, such as packing or storage, which will add to the final cost.

When relocating to a new home, your goal should be to ensure you won’t stumble upon the hidden costs when the relocation day comes, and the best way to achieve that is to go with a company that can provide you with a guaranteed quote. It means that the final estimated price won’t change unless you make some adjustments to your original deal.

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Are You Entitled to Any Discounts?

Besides being stressful, relocating to a new city is also often a costly process. Therefore, one of the most important questions you should ask your movers is whether or not you are entitled to any discounts. Keep in mind that some companies offer significant benefits if you choose to combine more of their services, such as relocation and car shipping, which will help you save on relocation costs. Additionally, some of the most reliable companies are willing to provide you with some of these services for free (such as assembling and disassembling furniture) or give you a promotional period where you can use storage services free of charge for a certain time.

Will You Be Able to Track Your Shipment?

When you choose a relocation company, it is essential that you know where your belongings are at all times during transit. Knowing exactly where your items are will give you peace of mind and help reduce stress throughout the transition process.

Different companies offer different types of tracking services for their shipments. Some may provide real-time updates via email or text message, while others may only offer limited information, such as estimated delivery dates and locations. You should always clarify with the mover what type of tracking they provide so you know exactly what kind of information you can expect throughout the move.

Will You Be Presented With a Guaranteed Delivery Date?

All movers provide estimates for when your belongings should arrive. However, if they don’t guarantee those dates, they may arrive late without any compensation. A mover who guarantees to deliver your shipment by a certain date is making a written commitment to do so.

Of course, things do happen, and even when you have a set delivery date, vehicles might occasionally be late. However, if that occurs with a guaranteed delivery date, then your mover must compensate you. Even though your furniture won’t arrive any sooner as a result of this, a discounted move is still hard to beat.

Movers carrying boxes
Keep in mind that the delivery date is not guaranteed unless it's stated that way in the contract

What Payment Options Are Available?

One of the things to consider when relocating to a new state is all the payment options available to you. Knowing the different payment methods and understanding the pros and cons of each will help you make an informed decision about which one is best for you among those your mover offers. So you can prepare for movers the right way, let’s take a look at the different ways to pay your relocation partners:

Cash and Checks

These payment methods are simple and direct, but it can be inconvenient if you don’t have enough money on hand to cover the bill. Not only that, but cash payments are the least safe method of payment you can use since they can’t be traced in case you stumble upon relocation scams. Checks, on the other hand, can be easily lost and include your personal data that can be misused.

Credit Card Payment

This type of payment provides more flexibility and convenience than cash or checks, as long as you have enough credit limit on your card – otherwise, it could hurt your credit score if your purchase exceeds your limit. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with this method of payment, so make sure to ask about these upfront.

Electronic Payment Apps

Electronic payment apps are becoming increasingly popular in today’s digital world. These apps provide a fast and secure way to transfer money from one account to another without having to worry about cash or checks being lost in transit or stolen. However, like credit cards, there may be additional fees associated with using these apps that should be discussed before proceeding with payment.

What Type of Vehicle Carriers Do You Use to Ship Vehicles?

If you plan on shipping your car cross-country, it’s crucial that the car shipping company you choose has access to reliable and secure vehicle carriers. There are two main types of carriers used – you can choose open trailer car shipping or enclosed auto transport.

Open carriers are a more affordable option, but they are not as safe as enclosed ones since they don’t offer sidewall protection or a roof. Even if you’re working with the best USA auto transport company, your car won’t be protected from outside elements (snow, rain, road debris, and so on). Enclosed carriers, on the other hand, can help you move safely by keeping your car completely protected even during lengthy transportation, but they do come with a higher cost.

Does Your Company Offer Door-To-Door Service, or Will I Have to Pick Up My Vehicle at a Terminal?

With most companies, you’ll be able to choose between door-to-door auto transport and terminal-to-terminal car shipping. With door-to-door service, your vehicle is picked up at your old home and delivered to your new destination. This is ideal if you have a last-minute move or simply don’t want to waste your time and energy on a trip to the nearest terminal to get your vehicle. On the other hand, although it requires you to drop off and pick up your vehicle at an assigned location, note that terminal-to-terminal service is less expensive.

usa auto transport truck
Among the essential questions to ask moving companies are those concerning car shipping services

Will My Car Require Special Preparation Prior to Transport?

Vehicle preparation includes the steps taken by an individual or company prior to the transport of a motor vehicle. This usually includes disconnecting a car alarm and making sure that the car is in good working order – but it’s not all.

One of the most important things when preparing a car for shipping is to make sure all fluids are at the proper levels. Have an oil change done if necessary, and make sure coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid are at the right level as well. You should also check the tire pressure and top off any low tires. This will help protect your vehicle while it’s in transit.

As part of relocation day preparations, it’s also important that all loose items are removed from inside the car. This includes everything from floor mats and spare keys to clothing and electronics. Any items left in the car may be subject to theft or damage during transit, so make sure to take anything valuable out of the vehicle beforehand!

In the end, add a thorough cleaning of your car to your move-out cleaning list before it gets shipped. All dirt, dust, and debris should be removed from both the interior and exterior of your vehicle. It will not only help your vehicle look its best when it’s delivered but help you spot any kind of damage made to the exterior. When your vehicle is all nice and clean, take a picture of it, so you’ll be able to compare the condition before the transport with the one after.

If you need some valuable tips on how to deep clean the outside of your car when shipping cars in the USA, make sure to check the video below:

YouTube video

Consider These Questions to Ask Movers and Learn All You Need to Know Before Hiring Professionals

Planning a cross-country move can be stressful, but by asking your potential movers a few key questions, you can ease some of that stress. These questions will help you get an idea of what to expect from the company, as well as whether or not they are the right fit for you. Finding out the answers prior to signing any contracts or making any deposits may help you avoid many unnecessary troubles and relocation mistakes – so don’t fail to place “create moving company questions” on your to-do list.

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