Auto shipping is growing in popularity as more people move long distances. Shipping your car may not only be the most convenient option, but it may also save you a bundle of money and trouble.
Before you decide, read reviews and get quotes from car shipping companies in your area. Think of all the road expenses you’ll save by shipping your car with professionals. No lodging woes, road food, or a zillion bathroom breaks. You can travel in style while your vehicle makes the trip without you.
Read on for five facts you didn’t know about auto shipping.
1. Truck driver requirements
Did you know that the truck drivers responsible for transporting your vehicle go through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests to determine their competency for the job? Truckers must pass the following tests before they can go out on the road:
- Physical tests, including overall body health
- Mental stability and comfort in solitude
- Education and mechanical knowledge to fix minor problems on the road
This should make us car owners feel better about the kind of drivers behind those big rigs. Especially if you are going to entrust your vehicle to one of them, you want to make sure you’re in good hands.
2. Shipping time and price depend on a variety of factors
There are lots of things that make it more expensive or more difficult to transport a car. Going across the country or overseas is one, but so is transporting an inoperable vehicle. Here are some quick tips to know when you check into shipping companies:
- Distance. The greater the distance your car travels, the more expensive the trip and the longer you can expect to wait for your vehicle. This is probably the biggest factor deciding what your vehicle transport will cost.
- Fuel costs. Just as if you were to drive your car yourself, you must consider the cost of fuel for the distance your vehicle must travel. You won’t be paying for fuel directly since this cost should be part of the price you’re paying the auto shipping company. However, fuel costs should be a consideration for your budget.
Depending on how far you go, the fuel savings will vary from one vehicle to another. It’s worth comparing how much fuel it would take to drive and the costs of shipping.
- Time of year. The timing of your shipping date has a lot to do with the price of your auto transport. For instance, auto shipping companies are usually busiest in the summer months and after the winter holidays. They will be transporting more vehicles so it’s imperative you get a reservation early. However, if you choose a single transporter, the time of year may not matter as much.
- Open or closed transport. If you’re transporting your sedan or family van, you can probably opt for open transport and be fine. This is just what it sounds like: your car is transported in an open carriage or trailer. Think of all those trucks you’ve seen transporting cars. Closed transport is exactly what it describes as well. Your luxury or sports car would be better protected in an enclosed trailer, but you will pay more for the privilege.
- Operability. If your car works like normal, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re trying to transport a vehicle with a shot transmission, expect an extra labor fee. The fee offsets the added difficulty of moving an inoperable vehicle.
3. Quotes are free, and rates are reasonable
One of the marks of a good transport company is transparency in their dealings. Each company you consider should be upfront about the factors that affect the car shipping costs and their timeframe for delivery. They should be able to give you an accurate quote based on the make and model of your vehicle, the distance to be traveled, and so on. You should be able to get a free quote either online or over the phone, and you should never have to put down a deposit.
Reliable auto transport companies also charge reasonable rates. Most companies charge in a range of $.50 to $.75 per mile. If a car shipping company charges lower, you should look out for hidden fees to stack up and significantly affect your final cost.
On the other hand, shipping rates that are higher are probably unreasonable. Look carefully at the factors each company charges for and decide based on all the information you can gather.
4. Insurance comes standard
Every transport company should have basic liability insurance coverage in the event something happens on the road. You should know exactly what this policy covers and check with your own insurance company to make sure everything is in order. Some companies insure up to a quarter of a million dollars just for road liability. Make sure your company has a good insurance policy and that it covers all eventualities.
Check with your insurance provider to see if you need additional coverage while your car is on the road. Never take someone’s word for it that your car is covered. You should have a copy of the insurance paperwork before you hand over the keys.
5. Shipping Your Car Involves Paperwork
If you’re going to ship your car, you need to prepare some paperwork. Along with cleaning out the vehicle and running it to a quarter tank of gas (the maximum allowed), there are some things you should gather before the transport company arrives.
- Pictures: Take pictures of the vehicle’s interior and exterior, so you know exactly what your looks like before it gets shipped.
- Title: Aside from the vehicle title, you may also need to provide documents proving ownership of the car.
- Certificate of insurance
- Confirmation number
- License or photo ID
Takeaway: The More You Know, The Better
The more information you have on your car and on the trip it’s about to take, the better. You might not be responsible for getting it where it’s going, but it’s still your vehicle. Ultimately, you’ll be happy to know so much about how auto shipping and car shipping companies work.
Trusting an auto transport group can make the difference in an easy and difficult move. Make sure to check out all the car transport options available to you.
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