There are important factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding to ship your car whether it is being transported a short distance or across the country. A decision to ship cars as opposed to driving them to a specific designation is often because of a long distance move and a desire to avoid driving the vehicle to the new destination. If you are hiring a professional moving company to move your household belongings, ask if they also provide car hauling services. Some companies offer a one-stop shop for all of you relocation needs including car shipping. If not you will need to search for a suitable car hauling company to transport your vehicle or vehicles if shipping more than one.
You should start researching car hauling companies once you’ve made a decision to hire one to hire one to transport your vehicle. One of the best methods of selecting a car shipping company is to ask for references from anyone you know that has hired professional movers or a car shipping company. They can tell you whether the car hauler company they chose picked up and delivered their vehicle as per agreement. Their feedback on specific companies will give you a huge advantage is determining the service and reliability of a particular carrier. You will be armed with knowledge which will enable you to discuss issues with car shipping companies with confidence. This information will aid you to make a good decision and enable you to have the best outcome.
However, in addition to this you should do your own homework. This includes looking at the track record and documentary requirements of the company to determine if the information given is in compliance with the proper authorities. They should have a valid business license, a Department of Transportation (DOT) number and valid operating authority. This can also be done by contacting the licensing departments of state and federal authorities.
Also, take a good look at their standard operating procedures. Determine if the company is efficient. Question the staff and determine if the answers given to you by the staff are satisfactory to you. Also, take the time to clarify issues which are vague to you.
It is important to ask car haulers questions before entering into a contract with them. For example, find out where they will pick up your vehicle. Some companies offer door to door pick-up and delivery. Others offer terminal to terminal pick-up and delivery which means you will drop off your vehicle at their terminal and pick it up from the terminal in your new location. Some companies may offer both options.
It is very important to make sure that your chosen company is licensed, bonded and insured. Check the amount of liability and cargo insurance carriers have as this will affect the amount of their liability if damages occur to your vehicle while in their possession. Also, if the basic amount of insurance offered is insufficient for your needs you may be able to buy additional insurance for an extra fee. This will allow your vehicle to be adequately insured if any loss or damages should occur. Other items to consider are:
1. Do they pick up the vehicle from your home or do you have to drive it to their
2. Does the company appear to be efficient?
3. Does the company return calls and answer questions in a timely manner?
4. Do they process complaints in a timely manner?
5. Is the amount of insurance offered sufficient?
6. What percentage of vehicles are delivered on-time as per contract?
7. How are damage claims processed?
Make sure that all of your questions are answered and all issues clarified. Once this has done you can go over the pros and cons in comparing companies. Discuss this with family members or others who can help you make a good decision. Compare prices, pick-up and delivery times, insurance and any other factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Finally, decide on the type of car carrier or car hauler that you want your vehicle shipped on. You will have a choice of open car carriers or enclosed car carriers. One type of open car carrier is the 10-car open car carrier used for transporting automobiles. Many of us have seen these types of carriers on the road. These vehicles are exposed to the elements but the cost is much cheaper than using an enclosed car carrier. Enclosed car carriers are like a garage on wheels. These carriers typically hold two to four vehicles. Vehicles are totally protected from the elements on enclosed car carriers. However, the cost is more expensive than an open car carrier. Enclosed car carriers are most often used for vintage, classic or very valuable vehicles. Many companies also offer express car shipping and specialty vehicle shipping services.
Taking the time to do good research will enable you to pick the best company for your vehicle. The driver will fill out a bill of lading when he picks up your car. Make sure that both of you identify and record any existing damage of your vehicle. When you pick up the car you will note any damages if any that occurred during shipping for reimbursement. Make sure you have all of the required documentation for your vehicle. Also, it is a good idea to have a reserve fund just in case any unexpected expenses should occur. For example, there might be storage charges if you don’t pick up your vehicle in the allotted amount of time. In any case it is best to be prepared.