Obtain quotes from several car transport companies. Estimates are free, so take advantage of them. To get accurate information, be prepared to provide the following information:
Perform some "due diligence" regarding the company you are considering. The cheapest quote you receive may not always be your best bet. If you pay too little, the likelihood that your vehicle will be transported in a timely manner is diminished. Pick a transporter that responds well to your request for information, has a solid track record and can provide you with good value.
The company with whom you contract to transport your vehicle should provide adequate insurance to protect against driver negligence. Ask for a copy of the "certificate of insurance" and familiarize yourself with the types of coverage provided. Most companies specifically exclude road damage, damage or theft of personal items left in the car, small nicks & dents, and glass breakage. If you want to verify or supplement the coverage, call your current automobile insurance agent.
All reputable companies have customer service representatives who can provide information about where your vehicle is in the transport process. Be aware that most companies use "estimated" dates since it is impossible to schedule vehicle freight precisely. Some companies do offer an optional "guaranteed" or premium service that assures a specific date of delivery.
While some car transport companies may not require payment in advance, others require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost), or full payment in advance. If a deposit is given, the amount due (C.O.D.) is always required at time of delivery -- oftentimes with a cashiers check or cash. If full payment is required prior to car transport, consider using a credit card so that charges may be reversed if circumstances warrant such actions.
Ask for estimated pick-up and delivery times from your car transport company. You should be able to get a 3-day window for pick-up. Once pick-up is made, your car transport or auto driveaway company should provide you with a fairly precise estimated delivery date. If you need an exact date for pick-up, most car transport and auto driveaway services can pick-up your car and hold it at a terminal for an additional charge.
While individuals are generally reluctant to act as references because of the "nuisance factor," corporate clients are usually willing to do so. Also, van line companies refer many car transport and auto driveaway companies. Ask for several references, if possible.
Prior to leaving your car with a driver or car transport company, be sure you receive an "Original Inspection Report." This report provides pick-up and delivery information, current mileage, and most importantly, shows the condition of your car at time of pick-up -- pre-existing scratches and dents, cracked glass/mirrors, general paint condition, etc. Keep this report and use it when you receive your vehicle.
At the time of delivery, inspect your vehicle and compare the condition and mileage against the "Original Inspection Report" provided by your car transport company at origination (see item above). Many car transport companies also provide a copy of this report at time of delivery. If there are inconsistencies, note them as exceptions and be sure the driver signs it. Never accept your vehicle at night if you cannot verify its condition -- without being viewed and signed by the driver, you have little recourse if damage had occurred during transit.
The majority of car transport experiences are worry-free, with your damage-free vehicle arriving at the estimated time. On occasion, a vehicle may become damaged in transit. If this should happen, note all damage on your inspection report (see item above), obtain the driver's signature, and contact your car transport company. The car transport company should then work with you to reimburse you for verifiable damage done to your car.
In order to ship your car to your new home most efficiently and cost-effectively, it's important to know about different shipping techniques, such as open and closed trailers. The model of the car you have, and the destination where you will transport it, will help determine whether you need an open or closed trailer.
An open trailer is the more popular and the more frequently used trailer. They carry anywhere from 10-12 vehicles at a time.
Open trailers are cheaper than closed trailers. Price is determined by the weight of the vehicle being shipped.
Open trailers will be subject to the elements of nature. (i.e. rain, snow, wind, dirt and dust).
A closed trailer is a vehicle that has a covered freight area. It is most commonly used when shipping an expensive or classic car that you wish to protect. If your car will be traveling cross-country and going through some dry and desert territory, you may consider using a closed trailer to protect it from wind blown sand and heat. If the vehicle is not being shipped through extreme climates, consider using an open trailer.
The car is well protected from the elements of nature.
Closed trailers cost more. Remember, price is determined by the weight of the vehicle being shipped.
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