The Ultimate Guide to Shipping a Car

Your big moving day is fast approaching and it’s time to make the decision. Should you sell your car and repurchase on the other side, or ship your trusty vehicle with you to your new destination? 

Starting over somewhere new can be exciting. However, just because you’ve decided to change location, doesn’t mean that selling your car for less than it’s worth is your only option. 

The fact is, shipping a car can often be more beneficial than repurchasing, and the companies responsible for the service are eager to help. Whether you are relocating across the country, or overseas, there are options to keep your ride no matter where you are going. 

Want to hold onto your ride for your new adventure? Follow along to learn everything you need to know about auto transport and how to ship a car today.

Methods of Transport

Before you start shopping for the best car shipping company, you’ll need to decide which car shipping method is right for your needs.

If you are sending your wheels overseas, you’ll likely be looking at getting your vehicle into a shipping container on a cargo ship. Alternatively, you can board your car onto a boat without an enclosed container, but the impact of the saltwater and changing weather conditions on your car may not be desirable.

For land shipping, most companies will offer either enclosed trailer shipping or open carriers. While enclosed options offer more protection for your ride, many shippers choose to go with an open carrier due to the budget-friendly prices. 

Open shipping does expose your car to elements such as road debris and potential accidents, but many companies offer realistic damage repairs and insurance options for further coverage.

Choosing Your Shipper

Now that you know which method of shipping is right for your transport, you can start shopping for a car shipping company. 

While comparing costs between shippers is a vital step in choosing the best option for your needs, the price of these services will often vary depending on your starting point and ending destination.

Check Reviews

Have a look at Google or Facebook reviews for a potential shipper and see what other consumers have to say about their service. 

Chances are, if a customer had their car arrive in a disaster or struggled to contact the service, they will be happy to share their experience. Steer clear of companies with poor communication or bad reputations. However, keep in mind that one customer’s experience doesn’t outweigh several positive reviews.

Make note of what customers said they enjoyed with the service and decide if these elements hold value for you.

Browse Extras

Before you look straight to the price tag, take a moment to see what extras the higher prices services are offering. Some companies will offer pick up and drop off services or incentives for multiple vehicles on board. 

It’s also a good idea to take note of what responsibilities the company takes for damages along the way and who is liable for repairs. Choosing a low-cost company may not actually be beneficial if you are sacked with a hefty repair bill upon arrival. 

Request a Quote

Take the time to fill out online forms and request a quote. This in no way obligates you to use their service. Instead, it enables you to see more details about their costs, special requirements, and extra features. As a bonus, you won’t even have to pick up the phone. 

You’ll be better equipped to compare prices and find a car transport service that meets all of your needs.

Preparing for Shipping a Car

Once you’ve scheduled your transport, you’ll need to take a few steps to prepare your car for the road. Your shipping service will likely supply you with a list of documents and paperwork to have on hand at drop off, but preparing for a successful transfer includes more than your signature.

Clean It Up

Clean your car inside and out. 

Before the transporter loads up your car, they will take note of the damage that is already on your car and document any issues. If your car is clean, this process will be a lot easier to perform.

Once your car is safely at the destination, the same inspection will take place, ensuring no new damage has occurred. Since dirt and grime have a sneaky way of hiding dints and scratches, you’ll have a better chance of identifying new damage and having it covered by the company if you have a clean canvas.

As for inside, during shipping, your car will likely shift and move around. To prevent items from breaking or damaging your interior, it’s a good idea to remove any unsecured elements from your car.

Disable Alarms

As we mentioned above, your car may be shifting and moving uncharacteristically throughout the trip. If you have any alarms that respond to subtle movements, it’s a good idea to disable them. 

This will save the transport driver from an unpleasant trip and ensure you won’t be receiving unnecessary calls from your alarm system about a break-in.

Don’t Fuel Up

Fueling up before a long trip is an intelligent habit, but since your car won’t actually be driven, you don’t need to top up.

In fact, fueling up will actually add unnecessary weight to the shipment and cause issues along the way for both land and water transport methods. Instead, aim for about 1/4 a tank of fuel to ensure a lighter ride and sufficient gas for the other side.

Car Shipping Simplified

From finding the best price to ensuring a seamless experience, now you know all about shipping a car to your new home. Whether you have multiple cars to transport or you prefer to fly, you can leave the driving to your shippers and rest assured knowing that your car will be joining you shortly.

Want to discover more helpful how-tos and DIYs? Check out our other articles to learn all the secrets and life hacks you need to ace it in your personal life and professional endeavors.