Whether you are moving to another state or planning to buy a car online, car shipping companies offer a better alternative to driving yourself. If it is your first time dealing with auto transport, you need to read these facts to ensure a good experience.
Hopefully, you are reading this guide week or even months before you need to transfer your vehicle. If you are selling your home, that will take some time anyway. Take advantage of this to properly plan your car transport.
Factors That Affect Price
Several factors affect the price of your auto shipping service. These are:
Pickup and Destination
Where is the vehicle going to be transported, and from where? The total distance between the two points would affect the price.
Another factor is if you are located in a metropolitan area or a smaller town. Bigger cities usually have several auto transport service companies to choose from where prices become competitive.
The cost goes up if the destination is away from regular shipping routes because they will have to perform a detour to deliver the vehicle to you.
Speaking of special delivery, do you prefer the car to be picked up at your home then delivered to your primary destination? While this is the most convenient option, it can be expensive.
You could choose from pickup points that the car shipping company offers. Look for a location closest to your destination, then you can pick it up on your own and drive it the last few miles to your new home.
Typical meeting spots would include commercial areas with spacious parking lots such as grocery stores, shopping malls, and rest areas. A meeting place right along the shipping route would be cheaper as compared to them having to take a detour to meet you.
Closed or Open Container?
You can choose from two types of containers for your car for transport. Each has its pros and cons.
An open container is a rig with support beams and space for cars but no walls or roof. That means the vehicles are exposed to outside conditions like weather and road debris.
A closed container, on the other hand, completely encapsulates your car to provide maximum protection. The downside, however, is that it is more expensive, and larger vehicles may not fit their clearance.
Preparing Your Car for Transport
Now that you have chosen or booked a car shipping service, your next step is to prepare the vehicle for its journey.
Wash Your Car
The first thing to do is wash and clean your car. Before the vehicle is even loaded for transport, the service company would perform a condition report. That involves checking any existing damage that would be easier to see once your car is clean.
You can also take note of any damages as you clean your car.
Clean the Interior
Since you’re already cleaning the exterior, take time to do the same inside as well. Remove anything unsecured inside the vehicle as these can rattle around and cause damage during the trip.
The next step is to take pictures of your car from all angles to document its condition before getting picked up. This way, you have proof that the vehicle was in good condition if something does happen.
Include the odometer when you take pictures to give you peace of mind that the driver won’t take your car for a joy ride.
Do a Mechanical Check
It is ideal to do a complete mechanical check before shipping the vehicle. Check the radiator, battery, tires, and fluids. If you find anything amiss, address them immediately.
If there are any problems with the vehicle, let the company know beforehand. That will allow them to consider this when handling the car.
Disable Alarms and Toll Tags
There is nothing more annoying than driving cross-country with a noisy alarm coming from the trailer. That is why it is ideal to disable the alarm before handing it over.
Toll tags should be deactivated or removed unless you want to incur additional charges as the truck passes through toll roads.
Have Gas at Quarter Full
The vehicle would need to have enough gas to be moved into and out of the container. At the same time, you will need enough gas to get it to the destination if you did not choose a door-to-door delivery.
On the other hand, a full tank of gas adds unnecessary weight to the car.
Check Your Insurance
Last but not least is to check your insurance if you have coverage with car transportation services. That ensures that your insurance has you covered if something happens.
You may want to check with the auto transport service if they offer additional insurance as well.
An auto shipping service provides a convenient option for most situations. Just ensure you go through this guide first to minimize unforeseen problems and stress.