Wondering How Does Car Shipping Work? Here’s the Answer

August 31, 2017 / Posted in Car Shipping
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

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 a auto transportation

Have You Wondered 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 location. It pretty much depends on how wide and easy to navigate your street is, 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.

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

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 empty the tank and leave a quarter of the tank full to be able to 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.

white car on the road during the sunset
When you want to ship your car across the country, make sure you take all the necessary steps, and the company will help you do the rest.

Tips and Questions for Figuring Out How Does Car Shipping Work

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.

Choosing the right season will definitely spare you some money, as some seasons are busier than the 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.


Choose The Right 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.

Ship Your Vehicle With 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-air carriers carry certain risks as the car is exposed to various weather conditions, damage, dirt, or even theft. Chains meant for securing it can get loose and damage the car, so it is better to use nylon straps. The advantage of open-air 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.

Door to Door and Terminal to Terminal Delivery

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. You can even appoint somebody to deal with it if you are too busy. If the truck cannot maneuver in your street, then you can agree with the company to drive it to the nearest possible location. The price will be lower if the location is close to the terminal.

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.

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

Take It Step by Step When Preparing Your Vehicle for the Transport

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 the auto transport, causing loss of electricity and an empty battery. And 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 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. They can also provide you with other long-distance moving services, such as the very handy packing service or secure storage solutions.

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