Whether you just purchased a car from somewhere online or you’re moving to another state (permanently or temporarily), moving your vehicle from place to place should be easy, which is why many people choose to hire a company that ships cars. When you’re looking to ship your car from point A to point B, it’s important that you ask a few questions to help you find the right company to get the job done.
8 Questions to Ask Before Shipping Your Car
Once you’ve done the research and you have a few auto transport companies in mind, you should make sure you ask yourself, and the car shipping company, the following questions:
Are You Registered?
Any auto transport business, especially those that ship across state lines, will need to be registered with the Department of Transportation. They should be able to give you their DOT number as well as Motor Carrier Number so that the customer can check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. When it comes to shipping your car overseas, the company you work with will also need to be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission. These registrations are important because they can tell you whether or not a company is legitimate, which means you’ll be more trusting when it comes to shipping your automobile no matter the destination.
What Services Are Offered?
Every car shipping company will offer different services. Some may only offer auto transportation within a selected region. Others may restrict the type or size of the automobile you want to transport. It’s important you do your research before signing any paperwork that could potentially cost you additional fees down the line.
You may also want to know whether or not the company offers enclosed car transport, open car transport, or both. As you may know, interstate shipping can be detrimental to vehicles as they are left exposed to rocks and debris. If you want to ensure the safety of your vehicle, an enclosed auto shipping service might be right for you if you’re willing to pay for it.
What Are the Costs and Fees?
Rates for shipping your car will vary from state to state and business to business, so it’s important that you understand any costs and fees associated with the services you select. Make sure to compare pricing and services so that you can get exactly what you need. Many auto shipping companies will be able to work with you to give you the best rate for the service you require. Always ask for a free estimate when comparing companies so that you can choose the right one for your budget. If you plan on shipping more than one car, ask if there is an option that will allow you a discount for shipping more than one car at a time.
What Type of Insurance Is Offered?
The odds are that your auto insurance will not cover transporting your car across the country or overseas. For this reason, it’s important that you discuss insurance with your shipping company to make sure that they have the right coverage. It may be beneficial to ask to see their insurance documents to find out what types of coverage your vehicle or vehicles will have while it’s in their hands.
What Documentation Do I Need to Ship My Car?
No matter your car’s destination, you’ll need the right documents to ship it. This policy prevents car thieves from using auto shippers to do their dirty work and continues to keep your car safe while in the hands of the shipping company. No matter which shipping company you work with, you’ll need to provide your registration and insurance documents. Depending on the auto shipping company, you may need to provide additional documents that prove that you have the legal right to ship the automobile.
Do I Need to Prep the Car?
Before shipping your car, you will need to make sure that it doesn’t contain household items. Removing your property from the car is required by auto shipping companies, and it also ensures the safety of the items within the car. After all, only your car is insured, nothing else inside will be protected if theft or damage occurs. The Department of Transportation also requires that your keys are turned over to the shipper during the duration of transportation. Auto shipping companies also have their own set of guidelines, so make sure that you ask them what needs to be done in order for them to ship it.
What If the Car Is Damaged?
Once the car makes it to the destination, the owner should do a thorough inspection to ensure that there has been no damage during transit. If there is damage, it will be documented and signed by the driver so that you can make a claim against the shipping company’s insurance and be reimbursed.
Why Are You The Best?
When it comes to choosing the best auto shipping company around, make sure to ask why each company near you is the best for this specific job. There are tons of auto transport companies to choose from, and each one of them is different and will have their own services and guidelines.
Make sure to check references and ensure that the company you work with has a track record of happy customers, including individuals, dealerships, and more.