If it’s your baby, the idea of shipping your car when you move can be scary. All those opportunities for scrapes and dings might leave you light-headed, but fortunately shipping cars is fairly common now and the pros know what they’re doing. Since your car is one of your largest assets, you’ll want to feel comfortable turning her over to the professionals for a long-distance move.
While driving your car when you move is one choice, that can mean wear and tear and mileage costs you may want to avoid. If you can afford it, consider hiring a car shipping or transport company for the job. If you opt to ship your vehicle, do your research and ask the right questions before committing to a shipping company and signing a contract.
Make sure your car is in tip-top shape
Have your car or truck checked by a trusted mechanic and get a full tune-up before you ship. If repairs are needed, have them done now so your vehicle is road-ready after your move. One important consideration is moving from a warm climate to a cold one—your tires, brakes and even windshield wipers may need to be “winterized” to work effectively.
Investigate the car shipping company
When researching shipping or transport companies, make sure they are licensed and have proof of insurance. Read customer reviews for favorable shipping experiences or negative comments.
Questions to ask:
- Are you insured against damage and theft? Have your personal auto insurance agent review the terms of the shipper’s policy to be sure your vehicle is adequately covered.
- Do you have both open and enclosed transport options? You’re probably familiar with the trailer trucks that transport cars and trucks that you see on the highway. Some companies also offer an enclosed option inside a transport truck or train that allows your car more protection from damage. It’s more expensive, but people with vintage cars or vehicles not often exposed to freeway driving choose this option.
- Will you deliver the car to my new home or to your terminal? Some shipping and transport companies operate out of terminals where you’ll pick up your car when it reaches your new destination. Ask the costs of these options. You may be weighing fees for storage at their facility vs. delivery fees to your home.
- How long will it take to ship? As vehicles are shipped continuously from transport companies, it shouldn’t take any longer than if you drove the car to your new home. Get a time estimate so you can plan.
Get accurate quotes
Moving is an expensive undertaking, so you’ll be watching your budget. But don’t be tempted to look for a bargain when choosing a shipping company. Get at least three quotes and make sure the terms of each cover the same services. Do a careful review of each quote before hiring an auto transport company.
Now relax and let the pros take good care of your baby!
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