2020 Expert Advice on Shipping a Car

A car is usually one of the most valuable assets owned by someone outside the home. Whenever you send a vehicle from one place to another, you tend to want to invest money and time for successful transportation. It is usually the case if you choose a reliable road transportation company that you can trust. 

Delivering a car is a complicated process. Going into battle, half-equipped is a recipe for disaster. From finding the right supplier to the contract between you and the car shipping company, you should be careful when making important decisions. 

Determining your choice and reviewing your course of action is the key to success. To help you, here are some expert tips for sending your car.

How Much Does Car Shipping Cost?

Generally speaking, using the service of a car supplier can cost from $1500 to $4500. Most car delivery companies will request a deposit of 10% – 25% of the final amount. 

If you are using a transportation company, you should find one that has a car delivery service. A consignor and car carrier in one of these companies will save you money. Some transportation companies also offer off-season car delivery services. Most offer estimation options, so you can use tools like this price estimates by A-1 Auto for online quotes.

They are equipped to ship your car with their shared trailers and vans. The final amount of moving expenses is based on several components:

  • Assignment (and distance).
  • Date of departure
  • Type of vehicle to be carried
  • Type of transport service used for the transportation of vehicles
  • Finding motor vehicles that fit your time and budget can be a challenge. 
  • Read reviews on-road transportation to get information on the reliability of shipping companies. 
  • Find out their rates and contact three or four shipping companies, get more estimates of vehicle delivery costs for comparison and choose the option that’s right for you.

Things You Should Know About When Transporting A Car 

  • You should know the exact weight and dimensions of your car in advance. If you check this information beforehand, it may reduce the cost of road transportation.
  • You may fall into the hands of a shipping agent when you search for a road shipping company. Brokers are not your car carriers. It would be best if you understood that you work with a forwarding agent. Forwarding brokers do not have a DOT number; they only have an MC number. 
  • Carriers must be registered with the Department of Transport and must have active USDOT and MC numbers. 
  • Not that dealing with a broker is so bad, but keep in mind that they are not responsible for your shipment. Your shipment will be insured by the shipping company, not the broker.
  • There are two types of trucking services – door-to-door trucking and terminal-to-terminal trucking. The first option is more expensive but saves money. The second option is cheaper, but you should have time to sort out transport arrangements.

Different Types Of Transport Vessels

  • Closed or open.
  • Unstackable trailers or three-car trailers
  • Multi-level road carriers.

The decision about which type of service is best for you depends on the specifics of your vehicle, e.g., ground clearance. 

It is better to choose a closed and single-level trailer if you are transporting a classic or exotic car. This option will prevent oil leakage from the top levels to damage the paintwork of your vehicle. Closed trailers provide greater protection against elements. Some car shipping companies specialize in the transportation of classic and vintage cars.

If you are transporting an SUV or any other vehicle larger than normal, you will be charged an “oversize” fee. You may be charged even if your vehicle has any non-standard updates, such as spoilers. If possible, remove these items before transportation. 

You can find single drivers, partners, or a husband/wife team in the road transportation industry. However, be careful and check if they have a permit for transporting cars before they pick up your precious car.

Car Shipping Tips

You should hire a transportation company for the car for at least ten days, or even earlier before you need the delivery service to be completed. You can get the service within 48 hours, but it will be more expensive.

Always pay sufficient attention to the Bill of Lading. Read each paragraph carefully; make sure you understand all the terms in it. Do not accept verbal promises.

To be 100% sure that you choose a reputable road carrier, check the shipping company’s safety profile in the U.S. Department of Transportation database. Check the shipping company’s security profile. 

In your security profiles, you can find information about Cargo Insurance shipping companies that confirms their shipping rights. Search for lists approved by TSP GSA, brokers, freight forwarders, shipping agents, and intermodal marketing companies.

How To Prepare Your Car For Transportation

  • Thoroughly wash the car. Make personal notes or prepare those you have about the condition of your car. Take photos from every angle. If your car has paint or other damage, keep a record of it. Try to check your records about the car engine.
  • Remove all personal belongings from the car. Transportation companies will not insure personal belongings left in the car during transportation.
  • Check the tires on the car and the battery charge. Your tires must be inflated according to recommendations. 
  • Prepare the car for different weather conditions; check the antifreeze level. If your vehicle has a mechanical problem, such as a malfunction, report it to your road carriers. 
  • Most road carriers’ policies end with checking the exterior of your car. Get information if your insurance covers CD players, GPS systems, and after-sales service. If possible, remove these items.
  • Check the car restrictions for the country you are delivering to if you are moving your car abroad.
  • You are required to give the driver keys to your car. You should also explain in advance if there are any special features in the car, such as how the alarm system should be turned off and whether it is possible to turn it off.

Transporting You Car To Another State

When you move to another city, do some research. Find out if you will need the car at all or not. There are cities like Los Angeles, where you need to drive a car. 

Look online for public transportation in the city you are moving to. Maybe it is not a good idea to send your car anyway. 

If your moving is job-related, explore the nearest area around your parking job. 

Moving Abroad

If you are moving abroad, it may not be wise to send your car, especially if the steering wheel at your destination is on the opposite side, and not the one you are used to. 

You may be required to get a license in a new country. Find out for how long you can use your license and if you need a new one right away.

To Sum Up

Moving a vehicle from one state or country to another is a difficult task, and you should find an experienced, reputable carrier to handle the delivery of your vehicle.

Delivery of a car is not a job for amateurs. Besides tracking the vehicle, you also need to pay various excise duties, fill out long documents, and communicate with multiple parties involved. 

Usually, Only shipping companies with years of experience in this field are adequate for this task.

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.