Whether you’re shipping your car across the country or across the county, it’s extremely important to do your homework. Assuming you’ve already researched shipping companies in your area, read customer reviews and testimonials, checked with the Better Business Bureau, compared costs, and narrowed down your selection, there are still a few key questions you should ask before you finalize your plan.
To ensure your car’s safety and your peace of mind, here are 6 questions you should ask before shipping your car:
Are they registered?
To transport a car across state lines, a legitimate auto transport service must be registered with the Department of Transportation. You should be able to ask them for their DOT number, and they should be able to provide it without hesitation. This information might also be available on their website, but it’s good to ask for it as well.
Do they offer door-to-door delivery?
Some companies require you come to them. This might not seem like that big of a deal at first, but think about it – you’re shipping your car, which means once you hand it over to them, you won’t have a vehicle to get back home. It’s much more convenient for you if they come to you to pick up and drop off your car.
How will your car be transported?
Not only are you inquiring to find out whether your vehicle will be transported by boat, train, or truck, but you’ll also want to know if it will be enclosed. If you’re transporting a show car, an antique, or a luxury vehicle, you should consider an enclosed transport – even though this option is much more expensive. If you’re choosing an open-air transport, will your car be covered? Protecting your car’s exterior, especially for a cross-country trip, is a good idea, so find out what they offer, and if upgrades are available to keep your vehicle safe from damage.
What insurance do they offer?
Your automobile insurance is not enough to cover long distance shipping, so find out what coverage the transport company offers. It’s especially important to determine who’s responsible if your car is damaged during shipping. Be sure to give your own auto insurance company a call beforehand, so you know exactly what additional coverage you’re looking for from the shipping company.
How are payments handled?
Is there a deposit, and is it refundable? Some companies require you to pay a deposit, while others require payment in full. The safest bet is to get a shipping quote and to have them outline the payment structure so you’re well aware of what you’ll be charged and when.
What documents do you need to provide?
You’ll need to show that you’re the legitimate owner of the vehicle both when they pick the car up for transport, and when it’s delivered. Ask up front what information they need to see, so that you’re completely prepared and there’s no delay or issues with shipping your vehicle.
About the Author:
Robyn Lass is a writer for I DRIVE SAFELY, the leader in online traffic school in the United States offering Online Defensive Driving, Teen Drivers Education and Adult Driver’s Education, as well as Insurance Reduction courses. For more great articles, tips, and How-Tos, check out I DRIVE SAFELY’s blog The Express Lane.