Everything You Need to Know About Shipping Your Car for a Move

Jon Fesmire | August 7, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

If you’re used to moving with your car, the prospect of shipping your car for a move can seem like a tricky one.

You could always sell the vehicle of give it to a charity, but there are many reasons you might not want to do that, from upside-down equity in the car to not wanting to get a new car, with a brand-new monthly payment.

Fortunately, there are several ways to have your vehicle shipped to your new location.

Types of Shipping

There are three major ways you could have your car shipped on a truck.

Let’s say you’ve hired a mover to pack, transport, and deliver all your belongings to your new home. In such a case, you could have the same mover transport your vehicle. They will ship it according to its weight and size, since the truck carrying it will have to go through weigh stations during the trip.They will probably ship it inside a truck and not on a car-hauler.

That second option is to have your vehicle put on a car-hauler. This may be the cheaper option, but it comes with some drawbacks. It will be up on a trailer with a bunch of other cars, hence the lower price. However, car-haulers often use metal chains to hold vehicles in place, and these can damage the outside of your car and even the undercarriage, especially if they get slightly loose. Your vehicle will be subject to weather and debris damage will on the road. Also, people could potentially break into your car or damage it.

The third option is the safest. This is when the shipping company moves your car inside a large truck. Your car will be protected from the elements. This will also make it will be much tougher for anyone to break into or steal your car. Yes, your standard moving company would likely move your car inside a truck as well, but again, the professional car mover will generally do a better job.

A Fourth Possibility

Occasionally, you’ll find a company that will drive your car from point A to point B. Of course, it will be subject to the same sort of damage it could take if you drove it, and this will add to the normal wear and tear, as well as mileage. However, if you prefer this, ask around. Professional auto movers often have to schedule this type of service weeks or months in advance.

Variations on Drop Offs and Pickups

You’ll find two standard types of service for the company picking up and dropping off your vehicle. The first is door-to-door. Here, they’ll come to your home, pick up your car, and drop it off at your new home. The second is terminal-to-terminal. That’s where you drive the car to one of the company’s locations and drop it off. They then drive it to their location closest to your new home, and you pick it up. The second option can cost significantly less.

Depending on how far away each terminal is from each residence, you might want to do a combination. In other words, you drop it off at terminal 1, and they deliver it to home 2, or, they pick it up from home 1, and deliver it to terminal 2, where you’ll then retrieve it.

Details on Cost and Insurance

When looking for such a company, check their reviews on Yelp and Google. Get price quotes, too. They’ll want to know the weight, make, model, and operating condition of your car, as well as the total distance of the move.

One important thing you’ll want to learn is if the company actually hauls vehicles, or if they’re a broker for actual auto movers. We encourage you to work directly with auto movers both to save money, and to be sure you get a company you approve of.

Insurance offered by the hauler will generally cover cargo and liability as well as the full value of the car with no deductible. You may want to see if you can get a better price on the same coverage from your personal car insurance for the move.

Although you will likely need to pay any insurance costs in advance, you shouldn’t be asked for a deposit on the actual move. The moving company should take your payment only after they have delivered your vehicle safely.

Preparing Your Vehicle

Empty your vehicle and clean it. You may be tempted to pack it with items, but save those for the truck. Most companies will not ship it with personal property.

When they pick up your car, or when you bring it in, you’ll need to show insurance and vehicle registration. They will perform an inspection on the vehicle. That way, you can’t claim they caused damage that already existed, and they can’t claim that new damage that occured during their watch was already present.

That should do it! Now, you know what it takes to get your car ready for vehicle shippers, and what your options are. We hope you have a smooth trip and that your auto mover gets your car to you promptly.

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