AUTO TRANSPORT SCHEDULING
Schedule your auto transport at least 4 weeks before you need to move, giving enough time to arrange for a car mover carrier to pick up your vehicle. Basically, the more advance time your auto transporter has the better. If you are not available to deliver your car, please arrange an alternative authorized party such as your neighbor, a friend or relative you can trust to transfer the car to the car mover. Many automobile transporters offer door-to-door car moving services at additional cost to station transfers. However, in many residential neighborhoods it may be difficult to drive in a large car carrier hauling your vehicle. Because of potential difficulty in getting the carrier into your neighborhood, the car mover may ask you to meet them at a nearby local shopping center or garage for pick up of your vehicle transport. The same will apply for the delivery of your automobile as well.
AUTO SHIPPING INSURANCE
Make sure your car is adequately insured by the car mover for your upcoming transport. Upon pick-up of your truck or car, the truck driver will do a condition report (bill of lading) for any scratches or damages on the vehicle moved which should be signed by both parties. The same will occur upon delivery; make sure you check vehicle before signing. Reporting any damages or claims at a later time is not advisable. Auto shipping is a safe method of moving cars but it is unavoidable that some vehicles will get damaged. Make sure they pay when it happens.
PERSONAL ITEMS IN AUTOMOBILES
Do not leave personal possessions of any kind in your car. You never know where you car is going or who will have access to it. Items left in plain view can become targets for thives and vandals. Of course spare tires, car jacks, and other standard items that can be found in a trunk of a new car are not a problem. Make sure anything left in the car is tied down securely. Federal law does not allow for transport of household goods in an automoible being transported across states lines. Doing so can result in fines and the delay of your vehicle transport.
AUTO SHIPPING DELIVERY TIMES
Make sure that if you or an authorized party is not available to receive your car, that it will be stored in a secure storage facility where you will be able to pick it up at a more convenient time. This may be subject to additional charges. Make sure to discuss these things with your auto transporter.
AUTO SHIPPING COSTS BREAKDOWN
When working with an auto transporter, confirm what the total cost of the car shipping services will be. As you obtain quotes from several car transport and auto shipping companies, be prepared to provide:
- origination / destination zip code
- approximate departure date
- type of vehicle(s)
- type of car transport service desired (e.g., door-to-door car transport vs. terminal-to-terminal)
- special car mover or auto shipping requests (eg., deliver at a location other than your home vs. at your home)
PAYING FOR SHIPPING YOUR VEHICLE
While some car movers and auto shippers may not require payment in advance, others require a pattial payment or deposit and still others will require a full payment in advance. If a deposit is given, amount due is always required at time of delivery – often times with a cashier’s check or cash. If full payment is required prior to car transport or auto shipping service, consider using a credit card so that charges may be disputed if circumstances warrant such actions. Cash is great but easy to deny.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE PROPERLY INSURED FOR TRANSPORT
Your vehicle should be insured against damage and theft by your car transport or auto shipping company. Ask for a copy of the car mover’s insurance coverage before the car is loaded for transport. Find out how the car mover’s insurance works with your own insurance in the event of damage during transport.
Additionally, find out if there is any kind of damage deductible and the amount you will have to pay if your vehicle is damaged. Everything pertaining to the car move should be in writing. Your own car insurance policy may cover your vehicle in transit; make sure to contact your insurance company to find out. It is advisable that you do not leave any personal items in your car when it is shipped; items left in the car may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
GET DATES AND PLAN FOR PICK UP AND DELIVERY OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE
Get the estimated pick-up and delivery dates and times from your auto shipping company. Make sure to get a 3 day guaranteed window for the pick-up and delivery dates of your car, as suggested earlier get everything in writing. Once pick-up is made, your car mover or auto shipping company should be able to provide you with a specific delivery date. If you require a specific date for pick-up, many car moving and auto shipping companies can accommodate you and store your car at a terminal for an additional charge.
CHECK AUTO TRANSPORTERS REFERENCES
It is important to verify the good standing and valid licensing of any auto transporters and shipping services you work with. We urge you to contact your local Better Business Bureau as well as to verify that the shipper’s license is valid and active with the appropriate transportation agency (such as the state or federal Department Of Transportation). Affordable Moving Company does its best to make sure that we list only quality service providers. However, we cannot guarantee continued quality of service of any car moving or auto shipping company if they lose their license. It is important that you take the time to check references and get all services agreed to by the company in writing.
INSPECT YOUR CAR BEFORE SHIPPING
It is advisable that in addition to receiving a condition report document from your car mover detailing any pre-existing damage to your car, that you take photographs of the car, date the photos, and attach them to the condition report provided by the car mover for your records. You must have a detailed description of the condition of your car prior to shipping. The condition report or other document used by the car mover should include: current mileage, pre-existing damage of any type including: glass, scratches, paint, dents, and so on. This report is important in case any disputes arise.
VEHICLE DELIVERY INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE
When your car is delivered, make sure to methodically inspect your car. Use the condition report given to you at pick up and go over all of the details. Look for damage not on the original report. Check for changes in mileage and check every part of your car carefully including the roof and under your car. Look for obvious damage or changes to the car’s condition that may have occurred during the shipping. If there are any discrepancies, make sure to note them on the condition report you received on pick-up of the car, and have the driver sign the document. Please be advised that you should avoid accepting your vehicle at night or at a location that does not permit you easy access to inspecting all parts of your car. It is absolutely essential that you perform a thorough examination of your car as described above. Remember that once you have accepted your car, your signed documentation is what protects you. If problems arise, reputable car moving and auto shipping companies will work out disputes with you in an amicable fashion, but you must have documentation.
1. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO SHIP MY CAR?
Obtain quotes from several car transport companies. Auto mover estimates are free, so take advantage of them. To get accurate information, be prepared to provide the following information:
- Origin city/destination city
- Approximate departure date (when your car is available for pick up)
- Type of vehicle(s)
- Special transport requests (e.g., drop off at terminal vs. at your home)
Perform some “due diligence” regarding the car moving company you are considering. The cheapest move quote you receive may not always be your best bet. If you pay too little, the likelihood that your vehicle will be transported in a timely manner is diminished. Pick a car transporter that responds well to your request for information, has a solid track record and can provide you with good value.
2. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAR IS INSURED?
The company with whom you contract to transport your vehicle should provide adequate insurance to protect against driver negligence. Ask for a copy of the “certificate of insurance” and familiarize yourself with the types of coverage provided. Most car moving companies specifically exclude road damage, damage or theft of personal items left in the car, small nicks & dents, and glass breakage. If you want to verify or supplement the coverage, call your current automobile insurance agent.
Beware of shipping your car with a company that is exclusively a “broker.” Many of these companies do not own auto carriers and depend upon the carrier that actually carries your car to provide insurance. If the truck driver’s insurance coverage has lapsed for any reason, you will be unprotected.
3. HOW DO I FIND OUT WHEN MY CAR WILL ARRIVE?
All reputable auto moving companies have customer service representatives who can provide information about where your vehicle is in the transport process. Be aware that most companies use “estimated” dates since it is impossible to schedule vehicle freight precisely. Some companies do offer an optional “guaranteed” or premium service that assures a specific date of delivery.
4. WHEN AND HOW DO I PAY?
While some auto transport companies may not require payment in advance, others require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost), or full payment in advance. If a deposit is given, the amount due (C.O.D.) is always required at time of delivery — oftentimes with a cashiers check or cash. If full payment is required prior to car transport, consider using a credit card so that charges may be reversed if circumstances warrant such actions.
5. WHAT ABOUT PICK-UP AND DRIVE AWAY CAR RATES?
Ask for estimated pick-up and delivery times from your car transport company. You should be able to get a 3-day window for pick-up. Once pick-up is made, your auto transport or auto driveaway company should provide you with a fairly precise estimated delivery date. If you need an exact date for pick-up, most car transport and auto driveaway services can pick-up your car and hold it at a terminal for an additional charge.
6. WHERE CAN I GET REFERENCES ON AUTO MOVERS?
While individuals are generally reluctant to act as references because of the “nuisance factor,” corporate clients are usually willing to do so. Also, van line companies refer many car transport and auto driveaway companies. Ask for several references of car movers, if possible.
7. RELEASING YOUR CAR TO THE AUTO CARRIER
Prior to leaving your car with a driver or car transport company, be sure you receive an “Original Inspection Report.” This report provides pick-up and delivery information, current mileage, and most importantly, shows the condition of your car at time of pick-up — pre-existing scratches and dents, cracked glass/mirrors, general paint condition, etc. Keep this report and use it when you receive your vehicle.
8 .ACCEPTING YOUR VEHICLE FOR DELIVERY
At the time of delivery, inspect your vehicle and compare the condition and mileage against the “Original Inspection Report” provided by your car transport company at origination (see item above). Many car transport companies also provide a copy of this report at time of delivery. If there are inconsistencies, note them as exceptions and be sure the driver signs it. Never accept your vehicle at night if you cannot verify its condition — without being viewed and signed by the driver, you have little recourse if damage had occurred during transit.
9. WHAT IF DAMAGE SHOULD OCCUR TO MY CAR?
The majority of car transport experiences are worry-free, with your damage-free vehicle arriving at the estimated time. On occasion, a vehicle may become damaged in transit. If this should happen, note all damage on your inspection report (see item above), obtain the driver’s signature, and contact your car transport company. The car transport company should then work with you to reimburse you for verifiable damage done to your car.
10. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CAR TRAILER OR AUTO CARRIER TYPES?
In order to ship your car to your new home most efficiently and cost-effectively, it’s important to know about different shipping and car carrier techniques, such as open and closed auto trailers. The model of the car you have, and the destination where you will transport it, will help determine whether you need an open or closed car trailer.
11.WHAT IS AN OPEN AUTO TRAILER OR CARRIER?
An open auto trailer is the more popular and the more frequently used trailer. They carry anywhere from 10-12 vehicles at a time.
Open car trailers are cheaper than closed trailers. Price is determined by the weight of the vehicle being shipped.
Open car carriers and trailers will be subject to the elements of nature. (i.e. rain, snow, wind, dirt and dust).
12. WHAT IS A CLOSED CAR TRAILER OR CARRIER?
A closed car trailer or auto carrier is a vehicle that has a covered freight area. It is most commonly used when shipping an expensive or classic car that you wish to protect. If your car will be traveling cross-country and going through some dry and desert territory, you may consider using a closed trailer to protect it from wind blown sand and heat. If the vehicle is not being shipped through extreme climates, consider using an open trailer.
The car is well protected from the elements of nature.
Closed auto trailers and car carriers cost more. Remember, price is determined by the weight of the vehicle being shipped.
Tips: Remove all valuables from the car, leave as little gas as possible in the gas tank for weight and safety purposes, and always insure your car, just in case it gets damaged.
13. SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A MOVING COMPANY OR AN AUTO TRANSPORTATION COMPANY?
Car carriers generally charge lower rates than movers do. Shop around and compare pricing. If your quote seems extraordinarily low or high, ask the vendor why. Always remember that the lowest price isn’t always the best option. A company’s good reputation often goes a long way.
Always get a written contract with approximate delivery dates and carefully read the terms and conditions, especially clauses dealing with insurance. Check to see if there are cancellation fees before committing to service. There could be a charge of up to $200. Car or auto carriers generally have shorter delivery times than movers do.
Research the auto companies’ history before soliciting bids for car moving services. Some auto moving companies frequently change their names due to complaints. Others may even go by as many as five different names. It will be in your best interest to investigate this.
As of 1990 the Department of Transportation ruled that you may NOT load any items in a vehicle other than clothing. Auto carriers are NOT licensed to carry household goods or personal items. Any damage to your vehicle due to household goods shifting or breaking will not be covered by insurance.
Ask to see the facility where your car will be stored before being loaded on the truck. Many companies claim they have secure storage for your car, but in actuality, they don’t.