5 Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Car

When you’re looking to ship a car across the country, there are plenty of interstate car transport companies to choose from. While they all serve the same purpose, there can be quite a difference in the quality of their service, and you need to know the 5 common mistakes to avoid when you’re shipping your car to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Avoid paying too much – Car transport rates vary from company to company, and the same business might charge you different amounts depending on the type of service you need. Make sure you know how much your shipping company is going to charge you and exactly what the price includes, so there are no hidden costs you hadn’t bargained on. Most companies will provide you with a car shipping quote free of charge, which will make it easier to compare the costs of different services. It’s important to bear in mind however,  that cheaper isn’t always best. Lower prices usually mean that you will be dependent on the shipping company collecting your car when it suits them, not the other way round. If you’re in a hurry or want to have your car delivered on a particular date, you may need to pay a little more.

Don’t forget to check out your shipping company – Any business that transports vehicles needs to be registered with the Department of Transport. If they’re shipping cars across state lines, they also need to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These government organisation will provide the shipping company with registration numbers which they should be happy to give you, and you can check out on the appropriate government website. Never ship you car with a company that isn’t registered or won’t provide you with their DoT or MC number, and don’t rely on verbal agreements or promises – make sure your transport company provides everything in writing. For complete peace of mind, ask for references from previous customers as well.

Missing or incorrect documents – In order to ship your vehicle, most car transport companies will require you to present certain documents before they will move your car. These usually include your certificate of insurance and the vehicle registration, and prove to the shipping company that the car is yours and you have the right to ship it. To avoid any problems, make sure you have these documents and they are all in order.

Also, before the transport company accepts your car, they will carry out an inspection of the vehicle prior to shipping, and make a not of any issues on an inspection report. As this is the only record of the condition of the car before it was shipped, it’s important that you’re present for the inspection, and you’re happy that the report is completed accurately. When your car is delivered, you will need to do another inspection. If there has been any damage caused during transportation, you must make a note of it on the inspection report and make sure the driver signs it, otherwise you won’t be able to claim on the transport company’s insurance.

Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage – Any company that offers car transport interstate is required to have the appropriate insurance to cover any damage to the vehicles they are moving. Ask to see a copy of the company’s insurance certificate and make sure you understand exactly what coverage your vehicle will have while it’s being moved. If the insurance cover isn’t sufficient, or you want to increase it, you may be able to pay the shipping company a fee to do so. Or you could look at getting additional cover from your own broker.

Don’t forget to empty your car – While it might seem like a smart idea to load your car up with all your personal belongings to save you having to move them yourself, car transport companies are prohibited by law from shipping vehicles that contain household items. Although some do allow up to 100 lbs of personal property to be packed in the car, the company won’t accept any responsibility for it if it goes missing, your insurance won’t cover any damage caused to the car because it was full of your belongings, and if the transporter is inspected by the Department of Transport during its journey, they could actually seize all your belongings. Apart from anything else, the additional weight is likely to increase your costs, so it’s always best to make sure your car is empty.

Using car transport services is a convenient way to ship your car across the country, and as long as you avoid these 5 common mistakes your experience should be a good one.

Be sure to get multiple quotes from car shippers

Interstate car transport is a huge industry with some reputable and some not so reputable companies out there.
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