How to Ship My Vehicle
How can I ship my vehicle? This is something that you’re likely to ask yourself if you’re planning to move in the near future, or maybe you are considering buying a car in another state because of an excellent deal. Whatever the reason you want to ship a car, the car shipping industry can be difficult to navigate, especially if this is your first time shipping a car, or if you had a bad experience with a car shipping company in the past. The good news is that there are guidelines you can follow to make the process of finding a good auto shipping company easier.
Pros and Cons – Should I Ship My Car?
Ultimately this is a question only you can answer, but here are some guidelines that will assist you with making an informed decision.
- The distance to be shipped: As a general rule it’s normal for the cost of shipping a vehicle to be higher per mile shipped the closer the shipping distance. So it might be cheaper per mile if the final destination is far away. Exceptions to this rule may be negated by the value of the vehicle, thus if you have a high value classic car that may lose a lot of value due to an increase in mileage, coupled with the risk of driving it on the road, it may be more advantageous to ship the vehicle, even for a short distance. Do the maths!
- The time it takes to ship a vehicle may be problematic: Shipping companies rarely ship a single vehicle, they wait for a Semi to fill up to ship vehicles from point A to point B. If your vehicle will be shipped on a busy route, this may not be too bothersome. However, there are instances where it may take considerable time for your vehicle to reach you. If you’re going to need a vehicle immediately at your final destination you’re going to have to rent, you’ll have to add this expense to the shipping cost. Best to ask and get a firm schedule before you decide to ship.
- Insurance: Car shipping companies usually all have at least basic insurance coverage for the load they’re transporting. But this might not cover your vehicle for its current value, and as mentioned it’s basic insurance, not comprehensive. The wise thing to do will be to determine exactly what the shipping company covers and what not. If you feel you require additional coverage such as for hail and weather damage during transit, contact your existing insurer and notify them that you intend to ship your vehicle. Remember that this may add to the cost of shipping the vehicle. Some insurance companies don’t consider shipping to be more hazardous than driving, but again, notify them of your intent and get written confirmation of their response.
- Cost: There are a great deal of variables determining the final shipping cost of a vehicle. As a general rule, the weight and size of the vehicle determines the biggest influence, as well as the distance to be shipped. Even the route and season influences the cost of shipping – it may be cheaper to ship in winter than summer. Route and traffic volumes on the route also has an effect, and so it may be more expensive to ship a vehicle in one direction than the exact opposite direction on the same route. The level of insurance coverage a specific shipping company has can also influence the cost of shipping.
The bottom line is that you may be required to spend some time to compare the quotes you’ve received from different companies and then take an informed decision regarding the shipping of your vehicle. Drawing up a spreadsheet comparing quotes and adding additional cost such as car rental and insurance can be a valuable in determining which company you’ll use to ship your vehicle.
Selecting A Car Shipping Company
As mentioned above, a spreadsheet comparison may be a valuable, but there are also other considerations. Read what other people have to say about their vehicle shipping experience. Make use of consumer complaint websites to determine whether you’re dealing with a reputable shipping company. Read reviews and don’t just look at the positive and negative ratings on a specific website. Reading the reviews will actually give you a “feel” of what to watch out for. Remember that where there is a buck to be made there will be scammers! Read your contract before signing and make sure that you’re totally informed of what’s written in the fine print. Also consider that the lowest price isn’t always the best deal. It’s up to you to determine what is included or excluded in a specific deal. Remember – what Company A sees as “complete insurance coverage” can differ completely from what Company B sees as the same.
Shipping My Vehicle – What to Expect?
There are two ways to deliver and collect you vehicle, they are:
- Point to point pick up and delivery, or
- Terminal to terminal pick up and delivery.
Point to point means that the shipping company will collect your vehicle at a specific point, such as your current residence and deliver it to a specific point, such as a street address. Terminal to terminal means you deliver your vehicle to the shipping company yard and collect it from their yard at the destination.
Enclosed and open shipping is also an option. Enclosed shipping is more expensive. There may be delays in shipping your vehicle due to a various reasons and it’s best to agree to a definite schedule or date of delivery. This should form part of the contract you enter into. An open ended contract may allow an unscrupulous operator to charge you great sums of money for storage.
Before handing your car over to the auto shipping company, take photographs of its complete exterior and interior. Make a note of the mileage by photograph. If weight is a consideration don’t deliver the vehicle with a full tank of gas, and remove all loose items from the vehicle. Don’t try to save money in moving cost by filling up your vehicle with stuff, it will end up costing you!
The shipping company should also make notes of all pre-existing damage to your vehicle, such as dents or scratches. This is to ensure you have an accurate description of what condition your vehicle was in upon delivery to them and in what condition you received it back.