You might feel some uncertainty while transporting your car, but with the right auto transport company the process is safe and easy. When you work with a reputable auto transporter, your vehicle’s safety is a top priority but if you’re looking for greater peace of mind while your car is in transit, there are some extra steps you can take. To increase security measures and safeguard your vehicle, follow these tips for car shipping safety:
Know who you’re working with
There are lots of auto transporters and carriers to choose from. So many that it can quickly get overwhelming and hard to decide which is the right one for you. Being thorough in your research during this stage is important—this is where you’ll separate the authentic, highly credited carriers and brokers from the rest. Follow these steps to make sure you find a trustworthy car shipping company.
Read online reviews
Online customer reviews are one of the best ways to see how a business operates. Be sure to read multiple reviews and take note of the average rating. The higher the rating and volume of reviews, the better. If a business has a low average rating or only a handful of reviews, proceed with caution.
Look the business up on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to find its rating. This score represents what kind of experience you can expect from the company, along with insights into their business practices and customer service. Businesses that uphold a set of standards from the BBB will be labeled as accredited businesses. Any company with the Accredited Business badge on their profile will be highly reputable—you can rest assured knowing that your car will be safe with them during transport.
Check their credentials
Carriers and transport brokers alike must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have a valid MC and USDOT number if they are traveling across state lines. The number should be available on the transport company’s website or by request. You can confirm the validity of the number on the FMCSA website.
Know what type of transport you’re getting
When you book your auto shipment, you’ll typically have the option to choose between two types of transport: open and enclosed. Not all car shippers offer both transportation options, but large, reputable auto transport companies should offer both.
Open transport, as the name suggests, leaves your car open to the elements. In this case, it will likely come in contact with road debris, dirt, dust and weather. It also means that your vehicle could be accessed from the outside if the trucker is parked somewhere for extended periods of time. While this isn’t a major concern, it’s just one more reason to remove any valuable items from your car before shipping. Open transport is by far the most common method of shipping a car, used by almost every customer including major auto manufacturers and dealerships.
For an added level of security and protection from the outdoors, you can opt for enclosed transport. This mode of transportation comes at a higher price, but an enclosed trailer will help ensure that no one other than your driver can access your vehicle and it won’t come in contact with road debris or weather. Enclosed transport is popular among car collectors that need to ship classic cars, exotic cars, luxury vehicles and vehicles with low ground clearance.
Keep track of important items
Before your vehicle is picked up for shipment, do a thorough scan of your car to make sure nothing of value is going along for the ride. Any high-value items like expensive electronics, jewelry, important documents or keepsakes should be removed.
Go through each of these sections carefully:
- Glove compartment
- Center console
- Back seat pockets
- Underneath seats
- Sides of seats and doors
Remove accessories and attachments
Roof racks and baskets, bike racks, storage units and other accessories should be removed from your car as well if you’re able to. Some accessories and modifications can add to your shipping cost, and possibly cause difficulties during transport.
Take these final steps to ensure your car is safe and in good hands before it’s in transit: Document your mileage before and after the shipment, as well as any damage that your car might have had before transport. This information is also recorded in the bill of lading (BOL)—be sure to review your BOL closely as it’s one of the most important documents for insurance claims.
You can even go the extra mile by getting a car wash and taking photos at every angle to make sure you don’t miss a thing before shipment— and don’t forget to close your sunroof and windows! Read what else you can do to prepare your car for shipment.
The leader in safe and efficient auto transport
Montway is the nation’s leading auto transport company, arranging shipments for more than 200,000 vehicles every year. With a nationwide network of over 15,000 carriers, Montway maintains an average rating of 4.7 stars across the top online review sites and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Montway Auto Transport is highly rated, highly skilled and fully insured to ship all vehicle types—from cars, trucks and SUVs to motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts and more.