Shipping a car across the country can be likened to sending a valuable piece of art. It requires diligence, care, and a thorough understanding of the process. But, unlike a road trip where the thrill is in the journey, when it comes to car shipping, the focus shifts to ensuring a smooth and uneventful transit. In this article, we spotlight the crucial considerations you should be mindful of when shipping your vehicle from one coast to another.
1. Selection of the shipping company
Not all shipping companies are created equal. When selecting a provider:
- Reputation matters: Check online reviews, ratings, and any potential complaints with bodies like the Better Business Bureau.
- Experience counts: Opt for companies that have a proven track record in car shipping.
- Clear communication: Ensure that the company is transparent about the process, timelines, and costs.
2. Understanding different shipping options
Two primary methods dominate the industry:
- Open car transport: A cost-effective method where cars are shipped on open carriers. While the vehicles are exposed to environmental elements, it’s a popular choice due to its affordability.
- Enclosed car transport: Offering higher protection, cars are shipped in closed containers, safeguarding them from weather and road debris. It’s a preferred method for luxury or vintage cars.
3. Cost Implications
Shipping a car can be an investment, and understanding the cost structure is pivotal:
- Distance and location: Naturally, longer distances have higher costs. Moreover, delivering to a metropolitan area might be cheaper compared to a remote location.
- Vehicle specifications: The size, weight, and model of the car can influence the price.
- Insurance: While most companies offer basic coverage, consider opting for additional insurance for enhanced protection.
4. Preparing your car for shipping
Your car needs some prep work before its big journey:
- Clean Inside and Out: This aids in a thorough inspection to identify any existing dings or scratches.
- Maintenance check: Ensure the car has no leaks and that the battery, tires, and brakes are in optimal condition.
- Document the car’s condition: Click photographs from various angles to document the car’s pre-shipping state.
- Empty the vehicle: Remove personal belongings and any aftermarket installations like stereo systems or GPS devices.
5. Legal and regulatory compliance
Ensure that the shipping company is:
- Licensed: They should have a valid USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number.
- Bonded: This offers protection against potential fraud.
- Insured: Check the extent and limitations of the shipping company’s insurance coverage.
6. Delivery and inspection
Once your car reaches its destination:
- Thorough examination: Before signing off on the delivery, inspect your car in good lighting, comparing it to the pre-shipping photographs.
- Check functionality: Start the car, check lights, brakes, and other functionalities to ensure everything is in order.
Shipping a car across the country might initially seem overwhelming, but with meticulous planning and by keeping the above considerations in mind, it’s a task that can be executed with precision. As you embark on this “journey without the drive,” ensure that every step is well thought out, paving the way for a smooth and efficient car shipping experience. Safe travels to your prized possession!