Moving around the country is a common occurrence in the United States. According to statistics published by MoveBuddha, the average American moves into 11 different homes throughout their lifetime. While moving companies are a big help for transporting furniture, appliances, and personal belongings, most of them do not include transport for one daily essential: cars.
This is where auto shipping companies come in handy. They take care of transporting your car to your desired location via a specially designed trailer. Whether you’re traveling interstate or cross-country, this is a useful option to consider. You get to cut down on your driving time, energy, and overall hassle.
But where do you start? With so many options available, picking the right company can be overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider when looking for an auto shipping company. Let’s get started.
Cost and Budget
Moving involves a lot of big and small tasks that cost a lot of money. Before you pick an auto shipping company, set your budget. Once you have a number, browse around and request quotes from different companies.
A car shipping cost quote will depend on several factors, like your car’s model and size, the distance between locations, the services you will need, the time of the year, and the price of gas. For example, research shows a wide range of $1,000 to almost $3,000 for cross-country moves. Comparing companies will give you a better understanding of the price range and help you narrow it down to the best deal.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that not all quotes are comprehensive. Be sure to ask the shipping company to include service fees, insurance fees, and cancellation fees in the quote to be sure you have an accurate idea of the final total.
Type of Transport
There are generally two types of trailers: open haulers and closed carriers.
- Open haulers are the most common because of their affordability. Although this is the cheaper option, you must take into account your car’s exposure to dust, rain, snow, and other possible weather conditions.
- Enclosed carriers are recommended if you want premium protection from external elements. This type of trailer is particularly good for high-maintenance vehicles like vintage cars, sports cars, and rare models.
Not all auto shipping companies offer the same services. Find one that fits your preferences and needs.
Take the delivery itself, for example. Door-to-door service will pick up and drop off your car to your exact location. In contrast, a terminal-to-terminal service will provide a specific location for you to drop off and pick up your car. This is cheaper but also more time-consuming. Again, consult your budget when making these decisions.
Other services include:
- Co-loading vs. single-car: Co-loading means the driver will transport your car alongside other vehicles, whether yours or another customer’s. This will help you cut down on costs. If you prefer private shipping and don’t mind spending more, you can opt for a single-car service.
- Expedited shipping: Most auto shipping companies offer expedited shipping, usually between one to two days from pick-up.
Convenience and Customer Service
Another important factor to consider is your potential customer experience. Make sure to choose an auto shipping company that is reliable and easy to coordinate with. Mobile tracking is a helpful feature offered by some. With that, you will be able to monitor your vehicle from pick-up to drop-off. This will give you peace of mind throughout the shipping process.
Credentials and Experience
We’ve all heard stories of fly-by-night companies, and the moving industry is no exception. To avoid this, do your due diligence before booking your auto shipping company. Research to find credentials that prove the company is legitimate, experienced, and trustworthy. If you want to make sure the company is registered, ask for its DOT (Department of Transport) number and FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) number.
Moreover, read what actual customers have to say through reviews and ratings. Unbiased sources of information are the best judge of the company’s experience and the average customer’s satisfaction.
If you’re still having doubts about a company’s credibility, you can consider seeking the services of auto transport brokers. They will recommend a shortlist of auto transport carriers based on your specific needs. uShip reviews show positive ratings from customers who have opted for this transport service.
Getting help from an auto shipping company is a good option for making long-distance moves easier. Although it will require you to spend a little bit more, it will save you a significant amount of effort and worry during the moving process. Before you decide on a company, make sure to consider factors like your budget, vehicle specifications, and the circumstances surrounding your move.