Shipping a car is not something that many people are used to, unless they regularly do business involving different vehicles. It can take time for a shipping service to ship your car depending on where it is traveling to and from. According to Edmunds, shipping a car can take around one month intranationally and around two months internationally.
Determine Your Shipping Service
You can choose to ship your car on an uncovered carrier or a covered carrier. As expected, the covered carrier will offer more protection for your car; almost eliminating the chances that it will be damaged from external elements. However, covered carriers cost more than uncovered carriers.
After you have chosen the type of carrier that you would like to ship your car in, then you will need to determine when you would like your car to be shipped by. You can choose to schedule a specific date, at an increased cost, or you can have your car picked up when a carrier is passing through your area and has an open spot available on the carrier.
Choose a Reputable Company
The best way that you can protect your car, when using a shipping service, is to choose a service that is reputable and has great customer reviews. This will ensure that you are using a company that will treat your car with care. If needed, contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration who will give you in-depth and unbiased reviews on whichever shipping services you would like to know more about.
It is important to read the disclaimers on the services’ websites, as these contain crucial information about who is responsible in the event of an incident. The worst-case scenario, when shipping a vehicle, is to be unaware of rules that many companies have; causing you to expect a service that was never offered to begin with.
Insure Your Car
With car shipment services, you should expect the best but plan for the worst. Many companies aim to offload responsibility in incidents, so it is important for you to understand the insurance coverage that each service offers. Additionally, do research on various external insurance companies to see what they may cover for your shipment.
Remove any Belongings from the Car
One of the most important steps, and a step that people do forget, is to make sure that none of your belongings are in the car before shipment. Remember that the car will be in transport for a few weeks. Therefore, you will not be able to retrieve these items for some time. Additionally, some transporters will not ship your car if it has personal items in it due to laws preventing them from transferring goods.
Perform Maintenance on Your Car
It is important that you check your fluids prior to shipment, even though your car will be driven minimally. Check your car for any leaks, as the car will be sitting for an extended period of time. Also, make sure that your car’s battery is fully charged and that your gas tank is not fully filled up; less gas in the tank will decrease shipping weight.
If your car has any mechanical issues, make sure to inform the transport company as this can create delays in the process.
Make Pre-Shipment Records
Photos of your car, before it is shipped, will give you good documentation as to any blemishes or damages that the car has on it prior to shipment. Take these photos at multiple angles to catch any spots that you may have initially. If the car arrives with any damages, these photos will allow you to know if damage occurred during transport or prior.
In conjunction to your photos, create a written record of any damages on the car. Ensure that the transport service also makes their own record, with a copy for you. Wash the car prior to making any records so that no damages go unseen.
It is great to find a good deal on a car shipment service, but it is even better to be fully aware of what that service offers. Do your research when looking for a service and make sure that your car is ready to be shipped.
If looking to lower the cost of your shipment, rather than resort to choosing a less reputable company, try to change variables such as shipment locations, shipment size, and shipment dates. These variables do play a role in the cost of a shipment service.