Before choosing how to ship your car, you’ll need to consider your budget and timeline. Door-to-door service comes with a convenience that could be worth the extra cost versus terminal-to-terminal shipping which is typically more cost efficient Here’s some more information to consider:
Door-to-door car transport:
This type of transport service will pick up the car from your house and drop it off as close to your final destination as possible. As with any service, added convenience may come with extra costs.
Terminal-to-terminal car shipping:
This type of transport requires taking the car to a designated drop-off location and picking it up from a designated pick-up location. While this is often the less expensive option, it could mean your vehicle spends extra time sitting in a terminal parking lot until a full load is ready to ship.
When it comes to choosing an auto transport carrier, you have the choice between open car transport or enclosed car transport.
Open car transport services:
Imagine a large, multi-level uncovered trailer you’ve seen driving down the highway. That is an open car transport option. This type of transport carrier provides differing cost options which may be less than other alternatives and likely provides flexible shipping dates due to an overall higher volume of cars per carrier.
Enclosed car transport services:
If your car is highly valuable, enclosed car shipping could be an option for consideration. However, enclosed car transport trucks can usually carry only a few vehicles at a time, which will probably raise the overall shipping cost for the consumer.
Before the car is loaded onto the truck, you’ll want to conduct a thorough inspection and take note of any damage that exists prior to shipping your vehicle for your own records. Be sure to remove all your personal belongings from your vehicle before you ship it.
Inspect your car for damage:
It’s always a good idea to take a few photos before and after your car is shipped in case you need to file a claim for any damages that occur during transport. In the unlikely event that your car is damaged, it’s important to note it on your final bill of lading report. Failing to do so could leave you responsible for covering the cost of any repairs if you need to submit a damage claim.
Clean out your car:
Auto transport carriers aren’t licensed to transport household goods from state to state. In fact, the Department of Transportation will fine a carrier if they see a car full of personal items on their truck. That fine will usually be passed along to you so be sure to follow the requirements set forth by the company you choose to work with.
Find out from your insurance carrier and the car shipping company if cars are insured for their full value during shipping or if you would need to make a claim on your personal auto insurance instead.
Many people ship cars very long distances, so it is important to know how rates and fees are determined. Some companies charge by the mile, or if there are multiple cars going to and from the same cities, the rate is lower.
Some companies charge more or additional fees for different types of cars, high-value vehicles or full-size SUV and trucks.
If the automobile is delivered late, ask if there is a refund on some or all of the shipping costs.
Sometimes a move comes up suddenly or a company offers a discount that may be a preferred cost point. In those instances, vehicle owners need immediate shipping. Find out how far in advance your car shipping must be scheduled. According to our Authorized Partners, an average estimate is 1-2 weeks to ship your car from one U.S. coast to another.