Car Shipping FAQs: Answers to the Most Common Questions from Customers


What is car shipping and how does it work?

Car shipping, also known as auto transport, is the process of moving your vehicle from one location to another by using a car shipping carrier or auto-transport company. You can either ship through open trailers or enclosed carriers depending on your preferences and budget. To get started, you will need to obtain quotes from various auto transport companies, choose one that best suits your needs and timeline, and then have your vehicle picked up by the carrier on a predetermined date. The vehicle will then be transported to its destination.

What factors affect car shipping costs?

There are several factors that determine the cost of car shipping services. These include:Distance: The greater the distance between the pickup and delivery locations, the higher the cost.Vehicle type and size: Larger vehicles like SUVs cost more to ship than smaller ones.Weight: Heavier vehicles require more work for carriers, resulting in increased costs.Route popularity: Popular routes tend to be cheaper because there is more demand for carriers, which drives down prices due competition.Seasonality: Car shipping costs may vary according season; peak seasons such as summer may result in increased rates due it being busy period for many movers.Shipping method: Open trailers are usually more affordable than enclosed carriers.Pickup/delivery location accessibility: If the locations involve navigating narrow roads or hard-to-reach areas, additional charges may apply.

How do I prepare my vehicle for transport?

Before having your vehicle transported, there are a few steps you should take:Clean your vehicle inside-out: Remove all personal belongings from your car as they could shift during transit causing damage. Cleaning both interior/exterior can also help identify any pre-existing damages, ensuring accuracy during inspection.Inspect and document existing damage: Take note of any dings, scratches, or other cosmetic damage on your vehicle before transport, ideally with photos. This can help in case there are any disputes related to transportation.Turn off alarms: Deactivate your car alarm to prevent unnecessary delays during transit. Inform shipping company if there are any issues with turning off the alarm.Disable toll tags: Deactivate or remove toll devices such as E-ZPass or FasTrak from your vehicle to avoid being charged for tolls while in transit.Check fluid levels and tires: Ensure all fluid levels are filled appropriately including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant/antifreeze. Make sure each tire is properly inflated for safe loading/unloading.Leave some gas in the tank: Leave about a quarter tank of fuel in your vehicle so the carrier driver will have enough gas to load/unload it.

What is the difference between open and enclosed trailers?

Open trailers and enclosed carriers provide different levels of protection for your vehicle while being transported:Open trailers are typically flatbed trucks used to carry multiple vehicles at once. They expose cars to road elements like weather conditions and debris during transport due their lack of walls/roof. The cost-effective nature of open trailers makes them more popular among customers that do not require extra-protection for their vehicles.Enclosed carriers offer complete-covering with walls and a roof protecting the vehicle from sunlight, rain, snow, and road debris. Enclosed carrier shipping tends to be more expensive than open trailers as they provide a higher level of protection making them a suitable choice if you have a high-value or antique car that requires extra care.

How long does it take to ship a car?

The duration required transport a vehicle depends on several factors including distance between locations, weather conditions, route popularity and shipping method chosen.In general, transport times can range from a few days to a couple of weeks. You can track the status of your shipment through most auto transport companies by referencing either a tracking number or your booking information. Keep in mind that there might be slight fluctuations in delivery time due unpredictable events like weather-related issues or other unforeseen circumstances.

Are vehicles insured during shipping?

Yes, car shipping carriers are required by federal law to have cargo insurance for protection against potential damages during transit. It is important to verify any car shipping companies you consider working with have proper insurance coverage before contracting their services as insurance policies vary company-to-company.Typically, open carriers will provide slightly lower levels of coverage when compared to enclosed trailers, but amount can vary depending on the company. It is always best practice to review the insurance policy provided by the chosen shipping provider to ensure it meets your specific needs. Additionally, discuss any concerns or questions on coverage with the auto-transport company prior to finalizing contract arrangement.

How do I choose a reliable car shipping company?

Choosing reliable auto-transport company help ensure smooth worry-free shipment experience for your vehicle:Research: Utilize online resources like Better Business Bureau reviews Google Ratings find various car shipping companies customer experiences determine their reliability reputation.Compare quotes: Request quotes multiple service providers evaluate them based pricing,type of service offered (enclosed carrier versus open trailer), included features/add-ons (door-to-door service additional insurance coverage). Do not solely rely on the cheapest option;consider the overall value proposition offered by each company.Verify credentials: Ensure carrier has necessary registration/licensing required Department Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hold valid current cargo insurance policy.

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