Shipping a car can seem like a very overwhelming task, but if the following
simple steps, suggestions and tips are followed, the process can be fast, and
1. Get Quotes
2. Read and Understand Contracts
3. Check on Insurance
Some of the questions most often asked are “What will the total cost be to ship my car??” and “How do I find the auto shipping company that best suits my needs?” The best and easiest way to obtain these answers is to submit a request for several auto shipping quotes, and then compare prices and car shipping companies to find the one that best suits your needs. In order to best customize your quotes, you should be prepared to provide the following information:
*Approximate departure date
*Year/Make/Model of vehicle(s)
*Type of car transport service desired such as open or enclosed car transport.
After receiving your quotes, find out what payment method the carriers use, and what forms of payment are accepted (credit card, cashiers check etc). Some auto shipping companies don’t require any type of payment in advance; others will require a deposit of 10-25% of the total fee. Occasionally a carrier will require full payment in advance. Carriers can vary widely in their billing practices, so be sure to ask what they are.
Read your contract carefully, and get any questions that you may have answered in writing. Be sure that you are comfortable with the answers before signing anything. Do not rely on verbal promises. After signing your contract your auto shipping company will always refer you back to your contract for any questions or complaints that you may have. Be sure to look for any clauses that may state that there are no guaranteed pickup or delivery dates. Although most vehicles are delivered within the predicted time frame, many transporters will not guarantee a delivery date. For your protection, be sure to ask for a clause (in writing) that will waive any cancellation fees if the car isn’t picked up by the auto shipping company within an agreed upon number of days of the scheduled pickup date.(3-14 is standard) If you are promised an exact date, get it in writing, as well as the remedy if the transporter is unable to perform as promised. (Discounted rate, no cancellation fee, rental reimbursement etc)
Any licensed and bonded transporter will have insurance that would cover any damage or theft while in possession of the auto shipping company. Ask for a copy of transporters insurance coverage, and find out whether their insurance is primary or secondary to your own car insurance. It’s also a good idea to check with your own insurance company to verify coverage while in transit. Be aware that typically neither insurance company will cover possessions left inside the car during shipping. This is why most companies do not allow personal items to be shipped in your vehicle. Also keep in mind that extra weight in the car could damage the undercarriage during loading and unloading.
You will be asked do to a vehicle inspection at both drop off and delivery to ensure that no damage has been done. This is for the protection of all parties involved. It is a good idea to wash the car before hand so that documentation of the cars condition is easier. Be sure to note mileage and the underside of front and rear bumpers. Don’t pick your car if you can’t verify its condition. Problems don’t often occur, but if the vehicle is signed for and then damage is found you will have little or no recourse. While most auto shipping experiences are problem and worry free, in the event that damage is found, document it with your driver, get his signature, and then contact the car shipping company. The transport company should work with you to reimburse you for any damage that was done. If you take all of the above into consideration, and ask the suggested questions, you should have an easy, hassle free auto shipping experience. Happy Shipping