5 Car Shipping Mistakes to Avoid When Relocating Across the Country

October 4, 2022 / Posted in Car Shipping
Lucy Lucas

Born and raised in Miami Lucy is a content writer with a love of moving and packing. She is an expert at making sure everything fits into her suitcase.

Long-distance moving can be quite stressful, especially when you have tons of personal belongings to ship across the country – including your car. When you have to worry about many little tasks and problems, it’s easy to get caught up and make some relocation or car shipping mistakes, which can cost you a lot of time, money, and nerves. However, there are certain things you can consider doing in order to prevent this unpleasant scenario.

Photo of open trailer car shipping Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving logo
When transporting your car cross country, you need to be informed about possible mistakes

Car Shipping Mistakes Are More Common Than You Think – But, Can Easily Be Avoided

If you are thinking about how to relocate to another state, you should be aware of the fact that these processes can get quite complex and challenging. If this is not your first time relocating to a new state, you might have already learned some useful relocation hacks.

But, if this is your first time relocating, you have to be very careful with how you are going to handle this enormous task. If you don’t have a clear strategy for your relocation, and you are not thinking through your moves, you can easily end up creating some relocation errors that will unnecessarily cause you dreadful problems and make the whole process super stressful.

Losing a few boxes or a piece of furniture during transportation doesn’t sound too scary. But, when transporting a car as one of your precious belongings, you might want to think twice about preparations and research.

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Preparation Is Key to Avoiding Common Car Shipping Mistakes

Preparing for a move is key to a successful relocation. That’s why preparing a checklist to move to another state and writing down all the tasks will help you avoid many errors. The energy you put into preparing your household inventory, securing each box, or packing fragile items should be the same for preparing your car for transportation.

The majority believes that when transporting a car, you can hire a car shipping company and not stress about anything – but this is exactly what causes most car shipping errors. To avoid common vehicle shipping mistakes, you must be well prepared and informed and learn as much as possible about how car transportation works.

Pen and calendar checklist
Preparations are super important in order to ensure the safe relocation of your car

#1 Your Car Needs to Be Prepared and Ready for Shipment

Every car transportation company has its own rules and regulations, which you, as their client, simply need to follow. A simple rule that goes out for the majority of businesses for vehicle shipment is that you must prepare your vehicle. What does that mean?

There are certain steps you have to follow in order to finish the entire preparation of your car. In the list below, you can find some most important things you should put on your relocation to-do list when transporting vehicles during cross-country moving.

Thoroughly Clean Your Car

Cleaning your car is a step you shouldn’t forget about when preparing your machine for transportation. This rule is not here because these companies don’t like dirty cars, but because dirt and dust from your car can actually create damage during transport. You will be warned about this fact by the employees, and if damage like that happens, it will be on you. However, if you ensure that your car is fresh and clean, there probably won’t be any damage.

Don’t Leave Any of Your Personal Belongings Inside

Things like forgetting important documents, valuables, money, or any other items in your car are mistakes that happen more often than you think. Because people love keeping lots of things in their car, they often forget to take them out before sending their machine for shipment. Plus, leaving items in your four-wheeler can add extra weight and increase the final price. So if you want to keep away from any inconvenience, you better fully clean your car from everything.

Run Tests for Functionality and Correctness

One of the mistakes to avoid when shipping your car is not checking its functionality and all the main parts. People often skip this because they are last-minute relocating, they need their car for finishing tasks before leaving home, or they just simply find it an unimportant expense from the relocation budget. But, running all these tests is a crucial step and even required in most legible transportation companies. Checking the oil, tires, and engine, as well as filling your gas tank up to ¼, are just some of the necessities you can not forget about.

Prepare All the Documentation and Records for Your Car

Once you run all the tests and do all the necessary checkups, you should collect all the necessary documents. Remember, organizing important documents at home is a crucial step when relocating, and just like you are preparing documents for yourself, you should also prepare documents for your car.

Everything you have on your four-wheeler put it in one file and make copies that you are going to be giving to the professionals. In case something in your car breaks during transport, you will have your documents as proof of your vehicle’s functionality.

Man writing documents
Organize all the important documents you have for your car and ensure nothing is missing

#2 Research More Than One Auto Transport Company and Compare the Quotes

Because there are numerous benefits of vehicle transportation, the majority of people choose to use certain long-distance moving services and get their cars shipped by professionals. Numerous companies on the market offer the service of car transport, so it can often be hard to choose the one that fits your needs the best.

The majority of people find cost their main priority and try to find companies that offer the lowest prices. A low estimate doesn’t necessarily mean a safe option. There are plenty of other things to put into consideration and figure out before you hire certain professionals.

Your priority should always be to move safely and keep away from any possible relocating scams. We believe it’s smartest to find a few companies, learn more about their work, contact them, and do comparative research.

How to Ensure That the Shipping Company You’re Hiring Is Legit?

When hiring a transportation company, your priority should be the safety of your car. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers on the market. In order to avoid unpleasant situations when transporting the machine, you should thoroughly research the professionals you are willing to hire. So what are some of the most important things you should consider? When researching a certain business, you should:

  • Research their website,
  • Read the reviews on their website and external sources,
  • Contact them and ask them some questions about transport,
  • Get help from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,
  • Check their USDOT and MC licensing numbers,
  • Ask them about payment methods ( scammers often ask for wire transfers)
  • Legitimate businesses usually have their own insurance,
  • Carefully read the contract and get legal advice,
  • Be careful if they offer surprisingly quick scheduling.

These are just some of the steps you should take in order to check the legitimacy of a business you are trying to hire. On websites such as Better Business Bureau, you can find more useful information about auto-transport businesses and get to the database of licensed companies. In the video below, you can find some useful information for avoiding scamming companies.

#3 Do Extensive Research on the Type of Shipment You Would Prefer for Your Car

Every business should offer you different types of transport to choose from. For example, you can choose between an open carrier or an enclosed carrier, depending on how valuable and precious your auto is.

You can also choose different delivery options where you will be able to pick the exact time and place of the delivery. Different systems have different prices, and you might want to think about safety and budget simultaneously.

The smartest thing is to do some consultations with the professionals from the business and read some information about these shipments online. That will help you figure out what is the best decision for you and your four-wheeler.

#4 Choose the Optimal Time for Relocation and Vehicle Transportation

Businesses that do transportation of home inventories and cars work during the entire year. However, some seasons are quite busier than others. If you move during busier seasons, such as summer, the prices can go higher. However, you should inform yourself a bit about what is the best season of the year to move because time is also an essential factor when it comes to relocation.

For example, relocating in winter might sound like an okay idea, but when it comes to car shipment, you might want to have some second thoughts bearing in mind the cold weather and icy road conditions. These are all questions that you should consider months ahead to figure out what will work best for your plans, budget, and preferences.

Car on a snowy road
Choosing the wrong season is one of the mistakes when shipping a car

#5 Insurance Will Save You From Stressing About Possible Car Shipping Errors

Moving without insurance is one of the biggest errors you can make when relocating to another state. Being insured should be an essential part of car shipping, and most trustworthy companies offer their clients the immediate option of getting their auto insured.

You can contact the professionals you are working with, ask them about the types of insurance they have in their offer, and figure out which one fits your needs and budget in the greatest way possible.

The majority of professional businesses for transport offer mandatory liability and full value replacement – and you can choose the one that meets your needs the best. The main obligation of insurance is to ensure you feel safe and protected and that you have a smooth and stress-free relocation.

Man signing an insurance contract
Insurance is essential when it comes to long-distance moving

Hire One Long Distance Moving Company to Solve All Your Relocation Issues

When preparing for your relocation and finding the right cross-country movers to assist you, it’s smartest to choose a company that offers all the services you need for the relocation. Now that you know all the mistakes to avoid when shipping your car and relocating, you are ready to find your assistance.

Good long-distance movers will offer you all the help you could possibly need by offering you services of packing, as well as auto transport and, the most important of all – relocation insurance. When one company gives you all these possibilities, it is much better to track your relocation expenses as you will get the approximate estimate in advance.

Plus, you will have enough time to prepare for the move, say goodbye to your friends and family, and focus on some more important issues rather than being stuck packing boxes all day.

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