What to Expect When You Ship Your Car

Perhaps the most convenient and cost effective way of shipping a car to another state is to use one of the many interstate car transport services that move hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year.

As long as you choose your mover sensibly, car transport rates are usually quite reasonable, and it’s certainly a lot less hassle than having to drive the car yourself. If you’ve never had to ship a car before here’s a closer look at what you should expect.

Booking your shipment
When you’ve decided which car transport company you’re going to use, you’ll need to make your booking. They’ll require some basic details about your car, such as make, model and year, and also if it’s been modified, which will enable them to work out how much it weighs. They’ll then want to know where your vehicle needs to be collected from and where it should be delivered, and whether you need the standard service or another option, like enclosed car transport.

With all this information they should be able to give you an accurate car transport quote, if you haven’t already had one. If you’re happy with the price you can go ahead and book your shipment, and the company will organize when you want the car collected and give you an estimated time for delivery. The company may require full payment when you confirm your booking or they may take a deposit, with the rest payable to the driver when he delivers your car.

Getting your car ready
Most companies will expect you to get your car ready for transportation before they accept it. This usually means making sure it is clean and tidy, to help make the pre-shipping inspection easier, and empty of all your personal belongings, which the Department of Transport prohibits from being carried in transported cars. You’ll also need to provide your movers with the keys to the car, and be able to show them the appropriate documentation to prove you’re the legal owner with the right to ship the car across the country.

If you’ve arranged to drop your car off yourself, you’ll be asked to deliver your vehicle to a nearby depot on a particular date. Some companies will come and collect your car from your home, but as they often use large transporters that struggle with some residential roads, you should be prepared to meet the driver at a more suitable location that’s easier for him to access and load your vehicle. Before the mover takes possession of your car, they will do a thorough inspection with you, to assess the condition of the car prior to shipping.

A similar inspection will be done after delivery, to make sure there has been no damage during transportation. You should receive a copy of the inspection report, along with the Bill of Lading, which is effectively your receipt for the car and outlines the shipping contract that’s been agreed between you and the transportation company.

During transportation
The shipping company should have your contact details in case they need to get in touch, but if all goes well, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from them until your car is ready for delivery. Some companies allow you to track your car’s progress online, which is convenient way to find out where it is and how close it is to arriving. However, don’t be too concerned if your vehicle ends up in another city, or sat in a depot for a few days. Car transporters usually operate between hubs, which means your car probably won’t take the most direct route from where you dropped it off to where you want it delivered, and it may end up on the back of a number of different transporters in order to get there.

If your vehicle is going to be dropped off, you should get a call a couple of days before it is due to confirm the arrangements. Or, if you are supposed to go can pick it up from a depot, you will be called when it’s arrived and is ready to collect. Either way, you will need to carry out another inspection with the driver to see whether or not there has been any damage caused during transportation. If there has, you need to make sure it is noted on the inspection report and the delivery driver signs the report to confirm the damage, so you will be able to make a claim on the mover’s insurance. If there is no damage and everything is fine, you simply sign the report and you have your car back.

If you need to move your vehicle across the country and want to use a car transportation company, now you know what to expect you can start ringing around and getting some car shipping quotes.

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