Transporting your car to another state can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and research, it can be a smooth and affordable process. Whether you’re a vintage car enthusiast, gifting a car to someone out of state, or relocating across the country, it’s crucial to do your homework to ensure a successful car shipping experience. Here are some key steps to consider when transporting your vehicle to another state.
1. Select the Right Transport Company to Ship Your Vehicle
Selecting the right auto transport company is essential when shipping cars from state to state. If you reside in a bustling metropolitan area like Miami or Los Angeles, you’ll have numerous car shipping companies to choose from. However, if you live far from major interstates, your options may be more limited. To determine the reliability of a car shipper, a good starting point is to check Google Reviews. Real customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered by different companies. Additionally, it’s advisable to verify the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they are a trustworthy vendor experienced in transporting cars to other states.
2. Calculate Shipping Costs
Calculating the cost of transporting your car from one state to another is another crucial step. If you know someone who has previously shipped their car, consider asking them about their experience and the associated costs. However, you’ll likely need to conduct additional research. Contacting different companies, either through their websites, phone calls, or in-person visits, can give you an idea of their pricing. Many top car shipping companies now offer online quote calculators that provide fast and accurate quotes within seconds.
3. Choose Your Type of Transportation: Open-Air vs. Enclosed Transport
When it comes to choosing the type of transportation, you’ll typically have two options: enclosed transport or open-air transport. Enclosed transport provides your vehicle with added protection as it is transported in a truck with walls, a roof, and a floor. On the other hand, open-air transport moves your car without an enclosure. The choice between the two depends on your car’s make and your specific needs. It’s worth noting that open-air transport is the most common method, with approximately 97% of all vehicles shipped in the U.S. being transported via open-air carriers. Statistically, it has proven to be nearly as safe as enclosed transport.
4. Schedule Your Car Transportation Early
Scheduling the transportation of your car early is crucial, especially if it’s your first time shipping a vehicle to another state. While the route may seem straightforward, the logistics of transporting vehicles cross-country can be complex. Transport trailers often have multiple stops, encountering various conditions that can affect the process’s speed. When obtaining quotes from different auto shipment companies, ask for estimates on the shipping time for your vehicle before finalizing your booking.
5. Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport
Preparing your vehicle for interstate transport is an important step to ensure a smooth experience. Unlike items sent through postal services or courier companies, cars require some extra preparation. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the interior and exterior of your vehicle. This will help document its condition before shipping, preventing disputes regarding any pre-existing scratches, dings, or scuffs. Taking pictures of your vehicle from different angles can serve as additional evidence.
Additionally, make sure your gas tank is filled to about a quarter of its capacity. This amount should be sufficient for the journey from the trailer to its destination without requiring additional refueling. Removing personal belongings, including items in the glove compartment and trunk, is crucial. These extra items can add unnecessary weight to the car, and they are typically not covered by the shipping company’s insurance.
6. Gather Important Documents You Will Need
When shipping your car, it’s generally not a requirement to present your registration, title, or proof of insurance to the shipping company. However, it’s recommended to keep your car’s insurance active throughout the cross-country move. While transport companies typically provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit, having additional insurance can offer extra peace of mind.
By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you can ensure a successful and hassle-free experience when transporting your car to another state. Remember to select a reputable auto transport company, calculate costs, choose the appropriate transportation method, schedule early, prepare your vehicle, and gather any necessary documents.