Moving from one state to another can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you’re moving from the East Coast to the West Coast or vice versa. But there are other costs to consider as well, including shipping your vehicle across the country.
If you want to take your car with you when you move, it’s best to know all of the ins and outs of shipping your vehicle safely and securely. Here are ten tips for how to do just that.
Preparing For the Trip
When you’re shipping a vehicle, there are lots of steps to take in advance so that you don’t have any problems when it comes time to load your car onto a carrier. This includes making sure that your car is clean and ready to go and schedule an appointment with a professional auto transport company.
You should also make sure that you know exactly how much space your vehicle will need on a carrier, because if it doesn’t fit properly then it can get damaged during transport. It’s important to note that some carriers offer different types of services, such as open-air transport or enclosed transport.
If you choose open-air transport, then your vehicle won’t be covered by a tarp while it travels. If you choose enclosed transportation, however, then your car will be fully protected by a tarp while being transported across state lines.
Some people may choose one type over another based on their budget or personal preferences. The decision is ultimately up to you.
Finally, make sure that you leave yourself enough time before your scheduled departure date to prepare for shipping. Also, make sure that all of your paperwork is up-to-date and organized before transporting your car.
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Planning Where to Park In Advance
Not all parking lot companies are equal. When you’re searching around for a reputable car shipping service, look into your options and make sure you choose one that can accommodate things like oversized vehicles and other specific needs.
Also, be sure to check on their insurance status and how long they’ve been in business. These details will go a long way toward ensuring you get your vehicle safely from Point A to Point B!
After deciding which company to use, you’ll need to pick out a parking spot before your vehicle leaves its old location. The best time to do so is at least a day before—but ideally two or three—so there’s more time for people to see your listing and respond if interested.
Most companies won’t let you ship with them unless you have an acceptable space booked somewhere along your route. It’s also important to note that many shipping services require a specific type of lot (for example, one that has 24-hour security). Make sure you know what kind of place will work for your car!
In addition to making sure you book a place in advance, it’s also smart to start looking around as soon as possible after booking. There are several reasons why: First off, it gives you some extra wiggle room in case anything comes up with your shipment or delivery date.
Second, if you have time to look at other parking lots and compare prices and amenities, you might be able to save money on your overall shipping cost. Lastly, there’s no harm in getting familiar with the area where your car will be parked!
The first thing you need to do when shipping a vehicle across state lines is to contact your Department of Transportation (DOT). This will ensure that your vehicle meets all necessary requirements.
There may be fees associated with shipping, and having a resource on hand can save you some time and money. If you plan on using an interstate carrier, they will also require contact information for your DOT. With these two resources available, your shipping process should run as smoothly as possible.
Cleaning Up Before the Trip
Before you drive your vehicle over, it’s important to prep it for its long journey ahead. No matter how well you clean up after yourself during your trip, there will always be some amount of dust and dirt left over. If you want to make sure that your vehicle is in top shape when it arrives at its new destination, vacuum and steam-clean it before packing up.
Finding a Good Carrier
There are numerous options available when shipping your vehicle. When considering which carrier you want to use, consider how important it is that you pay a reasonable price versus getting a cheap price. If you are shipping a vehicle across the country and need it there within 7-10 days, there is no way in which you will be able to find any reasonable company that will not charge an arm and a leg for your trip.
You must decide what is more important to you: Price or speed? The best thing to do is to call around and get quotes from multiple companies before making a decision. Also, ask about their insurance policies if something were to happen during transit.
This may sound like common sense but it’s always good to make sure that they have the proper coverage in case of theft or damage during transit. Some carriers require you to purchase additional insurance while others offer it as part of their quote.
Make sure you know exactly includes with each quote so that there are no surprises once you pick up your car. Most importantly, check online reviews! A lot of times people post online reviews on Yelp and other sites detailing issues they had with certain carriers. It is much better to learn about these things beforehand!
Insure Your Car
The cost of insuring your vehicle while shipping varies depending on a number of factors. Make sure you check your insurance policy, as many types of auto insurance policies won’t cover you in other states.
If it does, your car insurance premium will most likely be more expensive than if you lived in that state year-round. Even if you have coverage, consider contacting your insurance company before shipping and see what they recommend. You may also want to contact several different companies and compare quotes.
Proper Handling of the Vehicle
The absolute most important tip for safely shipping your vehicle is to have it handled by a professional, licensed mover. This may seem obvious, but more and more people are deciding to try and ship their own cars without realizing just how risky that can be. It’s not uncommon for amateurs to drop expensive vehicles or damage them during transit because they don’t know what they’re doing. Going with a professional will ensure your car arrives in one piece and at its destination on time.
Use A GPS Tracker for Peace of Mind
Ship your car with a GPS tracker attached. That way, you’ll know exactly where it is at all times and will be able to follow along in real-time as it makes its journey. This is especially important if you’re using a less-than-reputable shipping company or transporting an antique vehicle worth thousands of dollars.
Document Everything in Writing
Always request a written contract and make sure all terms are clear before you begin shipping your vehicle. The last thing you want is to be on either end of a verbal agreement that gets lost in translation. It’s equally important to keep detailed notes, so if something goes wrong or you run into trouble, you have written documentation to back up your claim.
Never Leave a Car Unattended
If you’re transporting your vehicle over a long distance, you might have some difficulty finding an unoccupied area where you can stop and take a break. If you find yourself in a situation where it isn’t possible to park offsite, make sure your car is locked up tight before taking a break.
You should also never leave any items or belongings of value inside your vehicle—even if it’s locked. This is especially true when traveling through large cities like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, etc. Thieves are always on the lookout for easy targets; don’t be one!
It is critical that you find a car shipping company that you can trust. In most instances, shipping companies are totally reliable and legitimate businesses. But some shippers will try to cut corners, skimp on services or attempt other forms of price gouging.
Knowing how much your vehicle should cost, and understanding your rights as a consumer are key steps in ensuring a smooth experience when moving your car cross-country or across state lines. There’s nothing worse than paying more than you have to—or ending up with damage to your vehicle—when all you want is a simple move. If possible, it’s best to get several quotes before deciding who will ship your car. Doing so allows you to shop around and see if there are any discounts available (and negotiate them). There’s no harm in trying! After all, moving an automobile isn’t cheap—so why not save where possible?