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Hiring an auto transport company to ship your car from one location to the next is the most convenient option of moving your car. Whether you're having a short-distance or a long-distance move, auto shipping is the safest and most secure way to transport your car.
If you're moving over a long distance, add up the cost of gas, spending a night or two in a hotel, and food. Compare the cost to hiring an auto transport company and you'll clearly see the difference.
If you're having a local move, hiring a car shipping company can help you escape possible accidents, breakdowns, and wear and tear. Auto shipping offers you the convenience of having your car picked up at your doorstep and delivered to the exact location you want.
We have answers to all the key questions you have about hiring an auto transport company to ship your car.
The average cost of car shipping depends on the type of shipping service you choose, your car size and model, and the distance you're moving.
Open-air car transportation is usually the more economical option as opposed to the closed-air option.
Here's a simple breakdown of the average cost to move a car:
The open-air carrier is rated as the cheapest car shipping option.
Depending on the type car insurance policy you have, your automobile insurance may cover your car during car shipping. Contact your car insurance company to find out if your car insurance covers your car during auto transport and the extent of that coverage.
But even though your insurance might cover your car, it might not be a better option especially in this scenario.
Auto Transporters are required to have insurance on every car they transport in case there's any damage. Usually this cost of insurance is already rolled up into your car shipping quote. So it might be better to use that coverage rather than making a claim on your car insurance if anything happens.
Be sure to check both options before you decide which way to go.
By law, it is mandatory for all car shipping companies in the U.S. to be registered with the Department of Transportation. More so, all shipping companies are mandated to have insurance for every vehicle they are shipping.
Most car shipping company insurance will cover damages during shipping and the cost of that insurance is often rolled into the auto-transport fee. This insurance usually covers pick-up, transportation, and delivery.
You should ask the car shipping company you want to hire about their insurance policy, what it covers, and exclude, as well as its precise terms and conditions.
Here are the key damages most auto transport company's insurance cover:
Now before you start talking and booking anyone for your move, it's important to check a few things.
Make sure to check auto shippers reviews and ratings to confirm you're hiring a reputable company. We pre-screen all our companies to make sure they are great BBB ratings, valid licenses and excellent reviews by auto shipping customers, but do your due diligence as well.
Do a thorough background check on the car shipper to make sure they have extensive experience in the industry and good track record. Only use shippers that have had experience shipping the type of cars that you're shipping.
This becomes even more important when you're moving luxury cars like Mercedez, Ferrari, Lambhorgini or Rolls Royce, or any antique cars. If you're moving any of these type of cars, ask your shipper about an enclosed car shipping rate. (Read more about Enclosed Auto Transport below).
Many auto shipping companies you'll speak to are brokers. Which means that they'll book the job and then another trucking company will be contracted to pickup and deliver your car. Although it's always better to work directly with a car shipper that handles everything themselves, if you find yourself talking to a broker make sure to do additional checks. Especially reviews and ratings of the carrier they'll be assigning to your move.
Depending upon the type of car you're moving, there are two main types of auto shipping options to choose from. The first, Open Air Auto Transport. This is the most common type of car shipping.
I'm sure you've seen those large trailers on the highways carrying different cars. The one's that you always drive behind wondering what will happen if these cars come lose? Imagine the seen from Will Smith's Bad Boys movie.
These trucks are known as open-air auto shippers. The name is obvious as in this type of auto shipping, your car is exposed to the outside elements and it's out in the open.
The second option is called the Enclosed Auto Transport. Like the name suggests, in this type of transport, your car is in an enclosed trailer, safe from the outside elements. This option is generally used if you're shipping more expensive cars like luxury cars or antique cars.
Typically enclosed car shipping rates are higher than the other option. So make sure you check what kind of service does your shipper offer and what kind of rate they're providing to you.
Now that you've compared some car shipping rates and companies, it's time to see how the process will actually work.
Most car shipping companies require a down payment to secure the dates of your auto transport. Note that some might even ask for the full amount upfront. Ask your car shipping company for details on when you’re expected to pay and what forms of payment, including major credit cards, are accepted.
If you're tight on space, it might be tempting to use your car as spillover storage during your long-distance move. Unfortunately, the extra weight increases auto transport company costs—and liability. That’s why most companies require that your vehicle is completely cleaned out before being transported.
Be sure to remove all personal items, tools, and paperwork before handing over the keys.
Once your schedule pick-up date arrives, a representative of your car shipping company should perform a full inspection of your vehicle. Together, make sure to carefully check for any scratches or dents, and ensure that the report accurately describes your vehicle’s condition before signing.
It’s important to go over the inspection sheet with a fine tooth comb because, in the event that damage does occur during auto transport, this record is how the insurance company will decide what’s covered.
Most auto shipping companies will provide a window of delivery that spans three to five days. Be sure to confirm any schedule constraints and contact numbers in case you’re not home when they come by.
When your vehicle has safely arrived at your new home, it’s important that you perform a second, careful inspection before signing release documents. Check for damage, missing items, and even fuel levels, taking your time to cover every inch both inside and out.
Once you're confident that your car is in the expected condition, it's time to complete the final paperwork and payment.
To find the cheapest and most reliable auto shipping company near you, it’s important to shop around. We suggest reaching out to at least five different companies for the most accurate auto shipping quotes and rates.
Don’t have time to call five different companies to learn about auto shipping? No sweat!
MoverJunction has been a premier in the moving industry for over 10 years and is committed to working with industry professionals only. If you are in need of a car shipping company and require fast, friendly, and hassle-free customer service from fully licensed and insured providers, simply submit a request and get car shipping quotes from up to 6 of the industry’s best auto shipping providers.
As with all moving specialists you should be looking for one that has done it before. Our auto shipping network of vehicle transport companies are fully licensed, bonded and insured to protect your investment and give you peace of mind.
Why else should you use MoverJunction to find your next auto transport company?
When you use our Moving Cost Calculator (at the top of this page) to receive local auto shipping company referrals, not only can you feel confident that each provider has been screened for quality, you also save on cost!
That’s because our network allows auto transport companies to compete for your business, ensuring you’re quoted the lowest possible rate.
Moving to another state or moving 300 miles or over
Buying a car online that needs to be shipped to you
Shipping an Antique car that needs extra care
Moving high-end, luxury cars
Moving a car that doesn't run
Moving long distance and want to avoid putting miles on the car
Sold your car to a buyer out of state and need shipping
Avoid expenses like gas, tolls, maintenance
Avoid stress of driving long distance
Avoid risk of accidents & traffic tickets
Avoid risk of damage or accidents
Door-to-door pick up and drop off
Get full insurance coverage
No unnecessary miles
Choice of Enclosed or Open Air Transport