When moving house long-distance you’ve probably already accounted for all of your personal belongings but what about your car? If you have more than one vehicle in the family then you have the option to drive one and ship the other, or if you don’t fancy a drive at all then you may wish to fly yourself to your new destination and ship your vehicles to you. Whatever arrangement you choose unless you plan on driving the whole way to your new home then you will need to plan to have your vehicle shipped to you. Whether you need to ship a car, truck, motorbike or even boat, you’ll probably find that your conventional house movers don’t cover this service which is why you’ll need the service of a professional auto transport company.
So how do you go about shipping your car?
Research auto transportation companies Shipping your car can be an expensive and risky proposition, for most people their car is one of the most valuable assets they own and so it’s important that you do your research before deciding who to ship with. Start by researching auto transportation companies and find yourself a trusted shipper such as Mercury Auto Transport. Read plenty of online reviews and check to make sure the provider offers the journey you need. Once you have made a shortlist of providers it’s time to get a few quotes, but remember price isn’t everything and you need to weigh up the quality of the service you will receive in relation to the cost of the shipment.
Check your insurance Although most vehicle shipments run perfectly smoothly it’s important to make sure you’re covered if something were to go wrong. Check your own motor insurance to see what you have in place and also check the insurance of the auto shipping company. Most carriers will have liability insurance coverage but double-check just in case.
Plan well in advance Shipping a vehicle requires a lot more care and attention than shipping a package and as a result, it can take a lot longer. If you are going to require your vehicle on your arrival then leave plenty of time for the shipment and if you won’t be there to accept the delivery then be sure to have someone you trust there for its arrival. Delays are common on long road journeys so try to be patient and have a plan B in case your car is delayed in transit.
Choose whether you want your car covered or not When shipping a vehicle there are few options available to you, and which one you choose will depend on the speed at which you need your car and how much you are willing to pay. Below are four of the most common shipment options available:
Enclosed trailer People with expensive vehicles or classic cars often choose the enclosed transporter option as shipping your car enclosed is the safest option for transporting your vehicle and will keep it protected from damage by rocks, the weather and other debris that could come from the road. Enclosed transportation is more expensive than other options such as an open transporter, this is because there are less enclosed trailers on the road and they specialise in hauling a smaller percentage of the auto freight.
Open transporter Shipping your vehicle on an open transporter is cheaper than shipping it on an enclosed trailer. Open transporters are the most common method of car transportation with 90% of all auto transportation carried out in this way. One benefit of using an open carrier over a closed carrier is that they are more widely available meaning you are more likely to find someone able to ship your car at the time you want them to.
Flatbed freight Flatbed carriers are not commonly used and specialise in transporting anything that does not fit on a conventional open or closed transporter. They are often a very expensive option as there are fewer of them on the roads and vehicles are often hauled in isolation.
Economy For those looking to save on their transportation then they should consider an economy option. Economy transportation usually means that your vehicle will take longer to get to you as it will be shipped on a space basis behind higher paying customers. If you are driving one car and having your second vehicle shipped then this may be a good option as you are not reliant on a specific delivery date.
Full service If you don’t mind spending a little more then a full-service option will guarantee your pick up and delivery dates from door to door and if your transporter fails to deliver on time they usually rebate a portion of the fees towards a rental car for each day that your own vehicle is late.
Empty the vehicle Most courier companies will not take your car if it is full of belongings as they could cause a hazard. A few small items will be fine but be sure to remove any valuables given how many people may have access to your car throughout the transportation process. Be sure to leave at least a quarter of a tank of fuel in your car so that it can be driven on and off the transporter as if your car runs out of fuel it may incur an additional charge. Some couriers also ask that you disconnect your battery, check with your auto transporter company for a full list of their requirements.
Inspect your vehicle Before your vehicle is loaded onto the transporter the courier will usually damage, scratches and dents during a walk-around inspection. Make sure that you also check the car and agree with the assessor’s report, it may also be worth taking photographic evidence of the condition of your vehicle just in case you need to make a damage claim. Upon arrival at your vehicles final destination, the courier will do another inspection called a bill of landing and will check to make sure no damage has been done during transportation. If you agree with the report then you will both sign it.