How to Ship a Car

Your Guide to Vehicle Shipping

Don’t worry if you need to ship your vehicle; it can be straightforward. To help you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to know about auto transport. We’ll cover essential considerations and steps you can take to make sure your experience is hassle-free. When you’re done reading, you’ll feel confident selecting a carrier for your vehicle.

Introduction to Auto Transport Services

When you need to move a vehicle from one location to another, a transportation broker can simplify the process by connecting you with reputable carriers. These brokers have established channels, and relationships with numerous carriers, allowing them to secure lower rates and streamline the shipping process. Utilizing a broker includes convenience, cost-effectiveness, and the peace of mind from entrusting your vehicle to a dependable carrier.

Key Considerations

Before selecting a transportation broker, consider the following:

  • Ensure the broker is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 
  • Check online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction with the company. 

Let’s explore the process of shipping a vehicle, beginning with the preparation stage.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment

To ensure a smooth auto transport experience, follow these preparatory steps:

  • Remove personal belongings from the vehicle. 
    • Typically allowed up to 100lbs
  • Clean & Inspect your vehicle for any existing damage and document it with photos. 
  • Check fluid levels and ensure that the vehicle has no leaks. 
  • Turn off any alarms and remove non-permanent accessories. 
  • Leave the fuel tank at approximately one-quarter full. (Optional)
  • Secure or remove loose parts or accessories, such as bike racks or spoilers. 

Choosing an Auto Transport Carrier

There are two main types of auto transport carriers: Open and Enclosed.

Open Carriers

Open carriers are the most common and cost-effective option, as they can accommodate many vehicles simultaneously. However, vehicles transported on open carriers are exposed to the elements, including debris, dust, and inclement weather.

Enclosed Carriers

Enclosed carriers offer more protection for your vehicle, shielding it from the elements and potential road hazards. This option is ideal for luxury, classic, or high-value vehicles, as it provides additional security during transit. Enclosed transport is more expensive than open transport, but this is a worthwhile investment for peace of mind. 

Booking and Scheduling Your Auto Transport

After receiving a shipping quote and choosing a carrier, book your order online or over the phone. You’ll receive a confirmation email containing all relevant details. Your selected carrier will then contact you to schedule a convenient pickup date and time.

Insurance Considerations

Before shipping your vehicle, please inquire about the carrier’s insurance coverage to ensure it meets your requirements. 

Tracking Your Vehicle During Transit

Many auto transport companies offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor your vehicle’s progress throughout shipment. This feature keeps you updated and reassures you of your car’s status.

Receiving and Inspecting Your Vehicle

Upon delivery, inspect your vehicle for potential damage incurred during transit. Use your initial photos for comparison, and document any discrepancies. If damage is discovered, you must note the damage on the Bill of Lading on delivery. Only sign the Bill of lading if all discrepancies have been appropriately noted, as the BOL is a legal document that you will use to file a damage claim. 

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Auto Transport Checklist

Take advantage of our free transport checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything along your way.

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