Preparing to ship a vehicle can be very stressful. We can’t always be sure of the company we choose for transport, but since cars can be very expensive and repair costs are astronomical, you should do your best to find a reliable company. Here are car shipping tips to save you from headaches and help you find the right movers.
The Best Car Shipping Tips You Need Include Preparing and Researching
You may have heard this before, but preparation and research are essential to excellent services and efficient moves. Even if the practice becomes you telling yourself you’re ready for the process, it’ll still count.
We’ll expand more on this advice below, and you start planning your move. Not many articles and reviews offer this much to learn, so prepare a pen and paper.
#1 Check if Your Car’s in Proper Shape
Some of the most common relocation mistakes involve people’s casual attitudes over some vital things. For example, not many people would consider their car’s condition before handing it over to movers.
To avoid potential problems with the shipment, the wisest thing to do is check your vehicle’s condition thoroughly. Take it to the shop, do a condition check, measure the mileage and see if anything will need to be replaced.
This is important for two reasons. One: you’ll save money on car checkups beforehand since handling repairs is always better to do sooner than later. Two: the company that transports your car won’t have leverage if it’s delivered in bad shape.
Round up All the Documents for Your Car Beforehand
Something else people tend to forget about is documents. This bunch of boring papers is tough to look at even while relocating, but storing and transporting them in a safe place is the key to preparing and packing efficiently.
Additionally, some car transporters will likely ask you for the essential paperwork, so that’s another reason to have them at the ready.
The most important documents for your vehicle are:
- Car title,
- Proof of ownership,
- Your driver’s license or other valid identification.
#2 Hire an Auto Transport Company to Help You
The benefits of auto transport companies are enormous. It’s much easier to hire someone to assist you with the move than to plan everything alone. Yes, in some cases, it could be more expensive than you’d expect, but we’re talking about trained professionals who ship cars and belongings for a living.
With pro movers, you’ll also be able to move a motorcycle and any other vehicles you own. Additionally, many of these companies offer relocation insurance for cars and other items, which is often integral to the service and price.
They’ll insure every aspect of your move and provide professional services, sounds like a win in every way, right?
A Car Shipping Company Can Also Be a Long-Distance Moving Company
Many companies that provide long-distance moving services are simultaneously car shipping businesses. That’s great since you won’t have to hire different companies to do the work – one can do it all.
Today, numerous cross-country relocation companies have well-established and secure transport, pickup, and delivery systems. They navigate packing services, relocations, vehicle transportation, and keeping clients’ belongings in storage facilities. To ensure that the crew you want to hire is legitimate, find their USDOT number and check it on the website of FMCSA.
Movers Will Let You Choose Between Various Shipping Options
Long-distance movers who ship cars know the importance of saving money and being within budget. While some services can’t offer flexibility and options, many still can. The same goes for auto transportation.
You can choose between open and enclosed auto transport. The former entails using open-air trailers to ship vehicles across the country, while the latter entails using an enclosed trailer truck for the same purpose. One is more affordable, while the other is more reliable. Both are excellent options in the hands of the right movers.
Pickup and delivery options are also available, and you can choose if you’d like to ship your car to and from your doorstep or a terminal. Again, affordability and reliability vary in both, but these options are equally good.
#3 Ask Multiple Cross-Country Movers for a Delivery Quote and Avoid Potential Scams
Car shipping costs can be astronomical, but not always. You can avoid overpaying by researching multiple relocation businesses and asking each for a free shipping quote. When you get quotes from multiple companies, you ensure you get the best price possible. Not all companies are created equal, so comparing rates and services is important. By asking around, you can get a good idea of the market rate for your move.
Get everything in writing. This includes the price of the move, as well as any additional services that may be provided. You should also get an estimate of how long the move will take to plan accordingly.
Pack your belongings properly for the move. This includes labeling all boxes and furniture, especially your precious vehicle. It’s also a good idea to take inventory and have a list on you for later, so you can be certain nothing is left behind.
If you’re unfamiliar with negotiating for services, the women in the video below can help get you started. They walk you through the negotiation steps and how to get the best and most affordable service possible.
#4 Check the Moving Insurance and Paperwork
The cheapest way to move out of state isn’t always the best, which is why we advise getting multiple quotes. There are many things to think about when relocating, and sometimes we overlook the details that can make or break the entire process.
One thing that is often overlooked, but can be vital, is relocation insurance. That can cover the costs if something unexpected happens, doesn’t have to be expensive, and can give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are protected.
As mentioned, movers often provide relocation insurance policies as part of essential services, but you should look closely at those policies. Ensure your rights as a consumer are protected and respected, especially in case of damage to your vehicles.
Take a Closer Look at the Contract
Making sure you have a solid contract is of the utmost importance when relocating. This document will outline the specific terms and conditions associated with your move and should be carefully reviewed by you and your mover.
So, for example, if you’re relocating with pets, it’s good to know your rights and responsibilities for your furry friends. Among other things, your contract should specify the following:
- The services that will be provided,
- The cost of those services,
- What is and is not included in the price,
- Any potential add-ons or fees,
- The dates of the move,
- Who is responsible for packing and unpacking,
- Any insurance requirements.
You can ensure that your move goes smoothly by taking the time to review your contract and ask any questions you may have.
#5 Choose the Right Time to Move
Sometimes efficient auto transportation requires finding the best time of the year to move, as the weather is a critical factor. If you need to move during the winter months, make sure you factor in the possibility of snow and ice. If you’re moving during the summer, be prepared for hot weather and possible thunderstorms.
If you expect particular weather, you’ll know better what kind of trailer truck to opt for and whether your car can handle extreme temperatures. Another thing to consider is school schedules and planning to move while pregnant.
If you have children, see that their school year isn’t about to start or end. The same goes for college students that plan to live on their own. And if you’re a future parent, ensure that the stress of relocating doesn’t get to you by choosing the most suitable period.
Finally, think about your budget. Relocating is expensive, and it’s not always easy to find a time when your budget and calendar are free. Try to find the time when you can save on movers or when your friends and family can help out with the move.
#6 Prepare Your Car for Shipment in an Instant
Before the shipment begins, you must prepare your car for shipment. Preparing it can seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it. By following simple steps, from learning what’s essential to what not to pack, you can ensure that your car arrives at its destination in perfect condition.
Clean the Vehicle Thoroughly
You’ll want to make sure your car is as ready as possible for the journey. This means cleaning it inside and out, checking all the fluid levels, and verifying everything is in working order.
If there are any problems, now is the time to fix them. You also need to remove any personal belongings from it since they may get damaged in transit. Here’s some advice for cleaning a car before shipment:
- Remove all loose objects from the car, including floor mats, spare tires, and luggage,
- Clean the inside and outside of the car with a mild detergent,
- Wax the car to give it a shine and protect it from dirt and scratches,
- Make sure the windows are clean and free of streaks,
- If possible, inflate the tires to the correct pressure.
Take Pictures of Your Car's Condition Before Shipping
When companies help you move to another state, they want to guarantee a flawless move but can’t always promise safe and impeccable transport. Some things are in the hands of the driver, but some simply aren’t.
If you take the time to photograph your car inside and out before it ships, you’ll have insight into its condition and potential damage. With such proof, the transporter can’t blame you for dents and scratches that weren’t there before.
Similarly, if you find scratches and dents before shipment, the movers will know, and you won’t be able to blame them for the issue. Trust is a two-way street, as you can see, and so is “having receipts,” as they say nowadays.
Lock the Doors and Empty the Vehicle
As we mentioned, hiring movers is great, but you must learn you also have responsibilities during a move. When the driver places your car onto the truck, it’s gone, which means that everything in the car stays inside for the time being.
The movers will advise you to empty the car, so you don’t lose anything valuable from it. Because their policy implies they’re not responsible for items inside the vehicles, you can’t blame them when something disappears.
That will be easy, considering your keys will be in their possession, but avoiding such problems is better. Empty the car during the cleaning process, and you’ll be good.
#7 Add Reminders for Delivery Time and Place
One of the critical aspects of ensuring a successful car shipment is staying organized and keeping track of all the moving parts. This is especially true if you find yourself amid a last-minute move and are scrambling to have everything go well.
To ensure nothing slips through the cracks, it can be helpful to add delivery reminders for a car shipment. This could be as simple as setting a calendar reminder or sending yourself an email notification to stay on top of things.
By doing this, you can rest assured that you won’t miss any steps in the process and that your car will arrive at its destination on time and in excellent condition. It also feels great to be well organized to move and have everything under control.
You Don’t Need Much More Than These Auto Transport Tips
When we move for the first time, getting everything together can be very complicated. Organizing, going forward according to schedule, and ensuring everyone is on the same page can take a while to master.
However, we’re confident you can do this flawlessly, whether it’s your first or fifth move. These tips will be enough for a start, and hopefully, you wrote them all down. Start planning your relocation and vehicle shipment today.