Learn How to Ship a Car Safely

Knowing how to ship a car can save you both time and money when you are relocating to a new town or city because of a job or other reasons. Such knowledge can also be useful in situations where you might have purchased a car over the Internet from a dealer or seller located in another part of the country, and now need to have it transported to your home.

Shipping a Car Can Be Convenient and Cost-Effective

People often have no hesitation in using professional movers for hauling their furniture and other personal belongings. However, they seldom make similar arrangements for their car, and often assume that the most economical way to transport one is to drive it themselves. The reality is that, if you know how to ship a car, you will find most professional shipping services to be as cost effective as, and more convenient than, a do-it-yourself relocation.

Know Your Options

Auto haulers can move your vehicle for you regardless of where you live or the destination to which you want it shipped. If you are unsure how to ship a car using such services, it is a good idea to first familiarize yourself with all of the options that car shipping companies offer and the manner in which they operate. Here’s a list of the most important items to keep in mind if you are looking for information on how to ship a car.

  • The first thing to know about how to ship a car is to remember that you can make your transportation arrangements directly with the car transport company, or you can make the transport arrangements via a broker or an agent. Transport brokers work with multiple car transportation companies, and are often able to secure more competitive rates than if you were to approach a shipping company directly.
  • To find a car shipping company, consider using an online quote comparison site. These are sites that allow you to submit your requirements once and get price quotes from up to five vendors. You can also receive free quotes directly from the website of the car hauler.
  • Car haulers use open carriers or enclosed carriers to transport cars. Open carriers are uncovered carriers that are designed to transport between 10 and 12 cars at the same time. This is the standard method for transporting most cars in the country. If you are concerned about your car getting damaged during transit, you can ask your car shipper for an enclosed carrier. Enclosed carriers cost about 60 percent more than an open carrier, but offer better protection for your car.
  • People who know how to ship a car often recommend that transportation arrangements be made well in advance of your intended shipping date. Most car carriers require at least one week’s advance notice. Transporters, typically, will not give you a definite date for pick-up or for delivery, and, instead, will give you a two or three-day window within which they will pick up and deliver your vehicle. The delivery time will depend on how far your car needs to be shipped. Coast-to-coast shipping can take at least 10 to 14 days.
  • Most car transporters will offer you the option of having your car picked-up and dropped off at your front door. Such door-to-door service can be very convenient, but, if you are on a budget, consider using a terminal-to-terminal option instead. In this case, you will be required to drop off and pick up your car from the car transporting company’s shipping terminal.
  • Make sure that your car transporter is fully licensed and bonded, and find out if they are insured to transport cars. Sometimes, cars get damaged during transportation. If your carrier has no insurance, you will end up having to bear the cost of repairs.

Other Facts to Consider

There are a few other details you need to know about how to ship cars. Generally, bigger cars cost more to ship than smaller vehicles. Similarly, it is often cheaper to ship cars between big cities than it is from smaller ones. Most importantly, expect delays. Car transporters usually wait until their carriers are fully loaded before dispatching them. Cars are usually shipped between major hubs on route to their destination. It is not unusual for a carrier to have to wait at a hub two or three days until it is fully loaded.

Shipping a car can appear to be a daunting task at first glance simply because of the sheer number of companies and options that are available. However, if you know how to ship a car, you’ll quickly discover that it is a lot easier and convenient than you expected.