There are many reasons why you would want to ship your car, such as relocating for work, planning a long-term vacation, or moving a vintage vehicle for a car show. Having your car shipped is safer than towing or driving the car yourself because it doesn’t add unnecessary mileage to your car or wear out your tires. It’s also considerably less stressful than driving yourself and is safe for all distances.
However, you may feel intimidated by the auto transport process. To ease your concerns, Montway Auto Transport is here with a handy guide on how to arrange car shipping for any vehicle.
Plan your car shipment in advance
Pinpoint your desired travel dates before you book your car shipment. The further in advance you plan, the better. You should select a window of acceptable dates, as the auto transport companies may not be able to pick up or deliver your vehicle on a specific day due to changing shipment needs and travel times. In addition, some seasons are busier than others for car shipping, and if you can ship your car in an off-season such as early spring or late fall, you will save money on the shipment.
You’ll also want to consider your budget and any specific needs or requests for the shipment. For example, if you’re shipping an expensive, exotic, collectible or vintage car, you’ll want to consider enclosed auto transport for protection from the elements. Alternatively, you can select open auto transport at a lower price. Guaranteed pickup dates are also available for a higher cost. If you’re under a tight deadline, this could be the perfect option.
Research which auto transport company is best for you
Look for reputable car shipping companies that transport vehicles nationwide. To start, try getting feedback from people you know or others who have shipped their vehicles recently. Ask about which companies they’ve used, their experiences with those companies, how much they paid, and what type of vehicles they shipped. Check out any transport companies you’re considering online and search for reviews on websites like Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot, Transport Reviews, and Review Centre. To keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, make a list of up to three companies from which you’d like to get quotes.
Contact auto transport companies for quotes
Using the list you’ve made, reach out to each auto transport company to ask for a quote. You can complete this process completely online by visiting their websites and entering your vehicle’s details as well as your information into an online form. You’ll either receive a free quote right away (preferably), or a representative from the company will contact you by email or by phone to go over your shipping needs.
Be sure to include all relevant information when getting quotes, such as whether your vehicle is inoperable or if you have any special requests, as these factors will influence the price. Also, keep in mind that the quotes you receive are temporary and subject to change with time; the final price you pay to ship your car may be different from the quote you received.
Book your auto transport shipment
Once you’ve received the quotes and have selected the best auto transport company for the job, proceed to book your shipment. Write down any questions you have beforehand to make sure you have covered all of your needs prior to speaking with the representatives. Make sure to ask about insurance information, cancellation policies, and any other relevant details such as how to contact the trucker who will pick up or deliver your car.
Prepare your vehicle for the trip
Once you’ve booked your order, you’ll need to prepare for pickup. Gather all necessary documentation and store in a safe place, including your current photo ID, your booking confirmation, proof of insurance for your car, and your car’s registration. The auto transport company will provide insurance during shipment, but it’s a good idea to double-check your own insurance policy or speak with your insurance representative beforehand. For both pickup and delivery, either you or someone you trust will need to be available to meet the driver, so make arrangements ahead of time to avoid delays in your shipment.
Make sure your car is clean, and take note of any existing dents or scratches on the car. Make sure your gas tank is about halfway full and that your battery is fully charged. Check the fluid levels in the car as well, keeping in mind the weather through which your car will travel. Lastly, take all personal items out of your car, especially if you have an EZ Pass, as it can be scanned accidentally at tolls.
Hand your vehicle off for shipment
A truck will come to pick up your car for transport within your scheduled timeframe. The auto transport company will keep you updated on when the truck is coming. When the driver arrives, he or she will go over a bill of lading — an agreement between you and the auto transport company that details the item being shipped and what condition it’s in before it’s loaded onto the truck. Go over this carefully with the driver, as you will need to inspect the vehicle using this document once you receive it later.
Receive your vehicle at your destination
Again, the auto transport company should provide regular updates on your vehicle’s location throughout transport, and they will let you know when it will arrive at the destination. Upon delivery, you’ll review the bill of lading with the truck driver to make sure your vehicle is in the same condition as when it was picked up. If you have any issues or questions, be sure to follow up with the shipping company as soon as possible — ideally before the truck driver leaves. Then relax, because you’re all finished!