Wondering How Does Car Shipping Work? Here is the Answer

August 31, 2017 / Posted in Car Shipping
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

When you are moving with your belongings, there are many things to think about, especially if you need to ship your car. But how does car shipping work? With a procedure to follow in place, you need to inform yourself properly.

black car parked in the garage
There are a few ways you can figure out how much money you need for auto transportation

How Does Car Shipping Work?

Once you’ve decided to get long-distance moving services, you need to think about your car and how to get it to your future home. Shipping a car cross country can be done in two ways. Basically, you can either have it picked up at your place or hand it over at some other arranged delivery location.

It depends on how wide and easy your street is to navigate, as the carriers tend to be large. Since this step depends on your arrangement with the transporter, make sure you have clarified the possible options. Furthermore, don’t forget to go over different shipping options. Besides open transport you can choose enclosed as well.

The next step is to read the agreement thoroughly to see what kind of insurance policy it offers.

This step is the only one that protects you from damage or loss.

It is always advisable to photograph the car before handing it over to make sure any potential damage can be verified.

Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving offers excellent car shipping services

Once this is all behind you, it is time to turn to your car. Hazardous materials cannot be left in the car which is bound to be shipped. So leave a quarter of a tank full so you can load and unload the car and drive it to the nearest gas station, or just do not fill it for a while before the transport.


What Should You Know Before Shipping Your Vehicle?

One of the usual starting questions would be what the cost of car shipping is. In the first stage, you can get a rough estimate of how much car shipping can cost for your vehicle. The estimate depends on factors such as the length and weight of the car, the size, and the driving condition. Then, important factors are the make and model of your machine, the distance between the locations, the type of container and delivery mode, the season, and so on.

Does the Timing Matter When Shipping A Vehicle?

Choosing the right season will definitely spare you some money, as some seasons are busier than others, no matter how long it takes to ship a car. Instead of summer and winter, the best time of the year to move and ship your car is during spring or fall because the demand is lower. Apart from lower demand, summer is not pleasant for transporting cars from state to state due to high temperatures.

Winter is also not a good time due to the possibility of blizzards and ice on the road. Also, the middle of the month is a better solution for auto transport, as people tend to move at the beginning or the end of the month. All these questions and any other can be resolved with the customer service of a reliable company.

white car on the road during the sunset
When you want to ship your car across the country picking the right date is a must

When Hiring a Car Shipping Company Use Open or Enclosed Carriers

So which option should you choose – open or enclosed auto transport? Evidently, open-air carriers are a cheaper way to ship a car than enclosed ones, but there is a good reason for that. Open haulers carry certain risks as the car is exposed to various weather conditions, damage, dirt, or even theft.

The advantage of open-air car carriers is that the driver can actually see the vehicle. However, enclosed carriers protect better from damage or theft, and they also provide lift gates for low-suspension vehicles.

No matter what car shipping service you pick, if you hire Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving, your machine will arrive safely. We will transport your vehicle and make it seem like the easiest thing in the world.

person holding car keys
With door to door option your vehicle will be delivered to a desired location without a fuss

How Does the Car Shipping Process Work? Choose The Transport Method Based on Your Needs

Choosing the right method depends on your needs and financial resources and should be somewhere on the top of the list of things to consider when moving to a new state. New cars are best shipped in an enclosed carrier, as opposed to the open-air one, even if it is more expensive. Expensive cars should be protected well, even if the service will cost more. That means enclosed carriers are a better option, as the car is protected from stones on the road and weather conditions.

When taking care of your four-wheeled machine, it’s best not to save on moving costs here. Also, if the car is inoperable, then some specific equipment is needed, and you have to make sure the company has it.

The issue of picking up the vehicle depends on the agreement. If you opt for door-to-door delivery, the company will pick your auto up at your present address and deliver it to your new address. If this is not possible for any reason, you can choose terminal-to-terminal service and then drive the car to the agreed location and pick it up yourself at another agreed location. This is especially handy if you’re relocating to a new city alone, so you can’t be at home at all times.

Door to Door Shipping is An Excellent Option

Do you want to know how does door-to-door car shipping work? Imagine you’re getting organized to move from California to Florida – it’s a lot to take care of. A door-to-door service is a good option if you do not have a lot of time to deal with the shipment of your car. The auto transport company will send a truck to your present address in San Francisco before you move out of it. If the street you live in is spacious enough for a large truck, they will pick the car up, and then deliver it to your new address.

These auto transport services offer unparalleled convenience for vehicle owners looking to transport their cars without the hassle of dealing with terminals or depots. This service involves the car transport company picking up the vehicle directly from your home or a designated safe location and delivering it to the exact address at the destination.

Door-to-door delivery reduces the risk of wear and tear on your vehicle since it minimizes extra driving and handling, ensuring that your car arrives at its destination safely and in the same condition it was picked up.

Terminal to Terminal Shipping Can Save You Some Money

Terminal-to-terminal car shipping is an economical option that can significantly reduce costs for vehicle owners. This method requires the vehicle owner to drop off their car at a designated shipping terminal and later pick it up from a terminal near the destination. This option is particularly appealing to those who are flexible with their time and can manage the drop-off and pick up at the terminals themselves.

Terminal-to-terminal means you get to drive your auto to a regional terminal, from where the company will ship it to another terminal close to your new residence, where you need to pick it up. This option is cheaper, but it requires more effort on your part. This is where reputable companies offer better conditions, as they have terminals in most cities.

A woman sitting in a car and holding car keys
Use terminal to terminal option if you have enough free time

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Auto Transport Company

Preparing the car for shipping is very important, so ensure you have every little detail in your moving-to-another-state checklist. Besides researching to find a dependable shipper, you have to prepare your auto. It is advisable to do a general checkup to see if there are any leaking fluids. If you prefer doing it by yourself, make sure you have all the necessary tools and help you need.

Empty the tank, leaving only a quarter of it full, so that it can be driven on and off the trailer and then to the nearest gas station. Wash the car to make sure there are no scratches and to facilitate checking for potential damage after the transport. Turn off all alarms, as they may be activated during auto transport, causing loss of electricity and an empty battery.

Also, don’t forget that the battery has to be fully charged. Remove the toll tag (E-ZPass), as it may also be activated while going through the toll booth, ending up empty. Remove all unnecessary things, such as personal belongings, radio, garage opener,  etc.

All additional items that can get detached from the auto should be removed (bike racks and similar things). Windows should be left slightly ajar, to even the pressure that may be elevated by the temperature.

If you are shipping your car to a colder climate, make sure you have the suitable antifreeze liquid to preserve the engine block from cracking. Keep in mind that inoperable vehicles require special procedures for loading, which will elevate the price.

man wrapping up the auto
When preparing your car, having the proper tools and things to look for will help you.

Get a Quote From Long-Distance Movers and Ship Your Vehicle

After researching to find a dependable and legitimate long-distance moving company, you will get a preliminary quote to compare and choose the one that suits you most. Once you have chosen it, and upon providing all the necessary information, you will get the proper calculation based on the factors that impact the price of transporting your car out of state.

Your hired long-distance movers will take care of your machine and resolve any potential problems that might happen. So, get a quote and hire a car shipping company. Trust us, it will be worth it.

When you call Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving know that we can also provide you with other long-distance moving services, such as the very handy packing service or secure storage solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Car Shipping Take?

The time for professional car shipping to be completed depends on the distance you have in mind and the availability of transport. Naturally, with long-distance moving, you need to count on a bit more time. However, keep in mind that it is important to factor in additional time for delays due to bad weather or large backlogs at the port.

What Is the Process of Shipping a Car?

The process of shipping a car typically involves assessing the type of vehicle and its final destination, choosing a carrier that best suits the requirements, preparing the car for transport, scheduling the pickup date, and paying for the service.  Additionally, the car must be properly cleaned and inspected for any damages prior to pick up in order to avoid further inconveniences.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

The cost of shipping a car can vary significantly, depending on the size of your vehicle, the distance it needs to be shipped, and any special services or requirements needed. It is important to get quotes from several different auto transport companies in order to find the best deal. Additionally, some cross-country movers offer discounts if you choose to combine the moving and auto transport services – so keep in mind that it pays to shop around for the best price.

Is Car Shipping Safe?

Yes, car shipping is a safe and secure way to transport your vehicle – if you’ve chosen a reliable long-distance moving company. Professional auto transportation companies use enclosed trailers or open carriers to ensure that your vehicle is well-protected as it makes its journey. They also offer insurance coverage in case of any accidents along the way. If you choose a reliable car shipping company to help you transport your vehicle, you can trust that your car will arrive safely and on time at its destination.

Can I Track My Shipped Car?

Yes, many companies can provide you with an option of tracking your shipped car. With a simple phone call, you can easily be kept up-to-date on the whereabouts of your car and when you can expect it to arrive. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing that your car is safe and on its way to you.

How Do I Choose the Right Car Shipping Company?

When choosing an auto transport company, it’s important to consider factors such as price, reputation, customer service, and reviews before making a final decision. Additionally, it is essential to research each company thoroughly, inquire about insurance coverage for transit damages, and make sure they have the necessary permits and licenses to legally ship your vehicle. By carefully evaluating all options, you can ensure your car will be shipped safely and securely by a reputable company.

How Do I Prepare My Car for Shipping?

Preparing your car for shipping is a crucial part of the process. It will ensure that it arrives safely and in the same condition as when it was shipped. To prepare your car for shipping, make sure to clean the exterior and interior thoroughly, including any dirt, debris, or dust. Check all fluids, battery connections, and tires for proper levels and condition. Make sure all loose items are removed from the vehicle, including any personal belongings. Finally, document any existing damage to the car before shipping.

Do I Need to Be Present for the Pickup and Delivery of My Car?

No, you do not need to be present for the pickup and delivery of your car, but you need to send your representative. A professional auto transport company can take care of all the necessary paperwork and coordination so that you don’t have to worry about being there in person, but your representative needs to be at the agreed location during pickup and delivery.

What Are the Different Types of Car Shipping Services

Door-to-door shipping is the most popular option, allowing owners to choose their own pickup and drop-off locations, but you can also pick terminal-to-terminal car shipping if you don’t mind visiting the closest terminal before and after the move.  Open carrier services are generally more affordable, but cars can be exposed to weather conditions and road debris. Enclosed carriers, on the other hand, offer a higher degree of protection and are ideal for luxury vehicles, classic cars, and other highly valuable automobiles.

Are There Any Restrictions on Shipping a Car?

When shipping a car, there are certain restrictions that sometimes must be taken into consideration. Depending on the type of vehicle being shipped, the location, and the company you choose, specific requirements may need to be met prior to transport. This includes things such as having a valid registration and title for the vehicle as well as making sure that it is in operational condition with no fluid leaks or other mechanical issues. Other restrictions may also apply, depending on the circumstances. It is important to research the requirements for your particular situation, which you can do by simply contacting your car shipping company.

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