Whether moving cross-country or shipping a car for another reason, it pays to know the auto transport process. You’ll also want to document any pre-existing damage and remove valuables from the car before handing it over to the carrier.
What to expect when shipping a car? Planning is essential whether you’re prepping for a big move or just getting ready to let go of an old faithful vehicle. You must ensure your car is in good condition and remove any valuables or personal items. This will help you to avoid losing or damaging these items during transport. Once you’ve scheduled a pickup date, you and the carrier will decide on a meeting location. This meeting point will likely be someplace large enough to fit the truck and trailer, such as a grocery store parking lot or an extra-wide road. At the pickup point, you’ll meet with the carrier to document the condition of your vehicle, sign a bill of lading, and provide payment for the shipping services. It’s also an excellent time to address any pre-existing damage, such as dents or scratches.
While open-air car shipping is very safe, an inspection is required before loading your vehicle onto the truck. This allows the inspector to document any damage the vehicle could have caused before loading.
The inspector will also use this opportunity to remove anything from your vehicle that isn’t needed during transport. That will help reduce the risk of theft and vandalism. The DOT has six levels of inspections that can be executed by officers when they pull over drivers. Most officers will only execute a level one inspection, but you’ll still want to memorize all six to prepare when an officer pulls you over.
Many car shipping companies offer online quote calculators that allow customers to enter their vehicle information and locations for pickup and delivery and receive a price instantly. Some require further details over the phone, but they usually have a quick, straightforward process. For a more accurate quote, it’s a good idea to remove personal items from your car to lower their weight and thus reduce your shipping costs. You’ll also want to wash your car thoroughly and take interior and exterior photographs before it leaves for its cross-country trip. During door-to-door service, your driver will come to you to load your vehicle into a carrier. Depending on your choice of open or enclosed transport, this may require you to be present.
If you’ve prepared your car for shipping, you should have removed any personal items and have a quarter tank of gas. Thoroughly cleaning and taking photographs of the interior and exterior are also recommended, and you’ll want to take detailed notes so that any damages sustained during transport can be documented. When the car transporter arrives, he’ll perform an inspection that may include a checklist and some photographs. He’ll then load your vehicle onto his truck, and your car will arrive at your destination. Ideally, you book for car shipping weeks or even months ahead. However, sometimes, schedules change. This can be for any reason, including weather conditions or traffic delays on the road. That’s why most reputable car transport companies give you a three to five-day window for delivery.
The car shipping process is a complex one that involves many different steps. It is important to research car transport companies carefully and choose a company that fits your schedule and budget. Most companies will provide an instant quote online, while others may need to iron out details over the phone. When the driver arrives to pick up your vehicle, you should be prepared to sign the bill of lading and conduct an inspection of the vehicle. This helps ensure your vehicle is delivered in the same condition it left. The ideal schedule for auto transport is to book well before your desired pickup date. However, sometimes that isn’t possible.