If you’ve ridden on a plane recently, you know how strict the rules are for passengers: size restrictions for carry-on luggage, checked bags typically cost extra, many items are prohibited, liquids in carry-on luggage must be 100ml or less, and on and on the list goes . . . So before you head to the airport, it’s necessary to prepare yourself (and your baggage) for the trip. Similarly, when you’re preparing your car for transport, you’ll need to do a little research to find out what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, and how auto transport companies recommend that you prepare your car for the long journey ahead. To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy list.
Preparing Your Car for Transport
Different transport companies have different rules regarding how to prepare your car for shipment, but the following recommendations are fairly consistent across the board. Before your car is shipped, be sure that it . . .
1. . . Contains 1/8 to 1/4 a tank of fuel. This isn’t an exact science, but it’s important that the tank is less than a quarter full, because it lowers the overall weight of the car.
2. . . Doesn’t contain personal items. Sorry, folks! When you ship a car, you’re only paying to ship the car, so don’t try to fill it with various household items and personal belongings that also need to be shipped. Not only is this prohibited by the Federal and State Department of Transportation, but transporters can be fined up to $10,000 if they’re found to be transporting personal items without proper and legal authority. Plus, personal items aren’t covered by the transport company’s insurance.
3. . . Doesn’t contain illegal items. Firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, and contraband are not permitted under any circumstances. Remove them before the shipping date.
4. . . Is in its most basic, condensed form. By this, we mean that you might want to remove extra accessories from your car if they could be damaged or lost during the trip (ex: fog lights, ground effects, spoilers, tire covers, grill covers, bike racks, luggage racks). If you don’t want to remove your accessories, make sure that they are very secure. It’s also a good idea to fold back your mirrors and retract any antennas.
5. . . Is in good shape. This is a great time to give your car a check-up. Check that the tires are fully inflated, the fluids have been topped off, and the car isn’t leaking any fluids. This last point is especially important. If your car is leaking fluids and you aren’t able to fix it before the shipping day, let the transport company know so that your car can be stored on the lower level of the transporter (and its fluids won’t drip onto other vehicles).
6. . . Has been examined, recorded, and photographed. Photograph your car before it’s shipped, making note of any dents or imperfections and dating your records. That way, if anything happens to the car during its journey, you’ll have evidence of its pre-shipment condition.
Preparing your car for transport won’t take long, and it could be the difference between a simple, smooth delivery and a frustrating, headache-inducing problem.
Ready to ship your car? Contact Professional Auto Transport one of the largest auto transporting companies in the industry. Whether you need to move cars for an auction, a dealership, or a rental company, Professional Auto Transport can help. We also safely, quickly, and efficiently transport single vehicles. If you’re interested in learning more about how auto transport works, or if you’re ready to place an order, please give us a call at (559) 568-1000 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most people think that the pre-shipping stuff is the most stressful when it comes to moving a vehicle. There’s certainly no reason to stress yourself out for days if you’ve picked the right, dependable auto shipping company, there are a few things to keep in mind when your car is being delivered to its final destination.
If you happen to be on the receiving end of a car shipment (even if you were also the sender), there are a few things to expect when you pick up your car, or when the car shipping service delivers it to your house:
Know When, Where, and Who
It’s always important to have the details down regarding when your car is being delivered or where you’ll have to pick it up (with multi-car carriers or long distance trips, in particular, car shipping companies may not deliver your car directly to you). You’ll also want to have the contact information of the company that’s transporting the vehicle.
This might sound a bit obvious, but especially if you’re in the middle of a big move, it’s easy to forget about small details like these. Additionally, it’s important to remember that there could definitely be unforeseen traffic problems and delays, so if the carrier isn’t exactly on time, that doesn’t mean your car is never going to be seen again.
Be Sure You Understand the Rate For Hauling Your Vehicle
Most reputable car transport services will make sure that the payment process goes smoothly — either customers pay in advance or agree to pay upon delivery. Vehicle transport companies may all calculate costs in completely unique ways. You’ll want to make sure that you’re on the same page as the company when it comes to the price — before you pick up your car.
Give Your Car a Onceover
Last but not least, perhaps the most important thing is to make sure that you perform an inspection of your car once it’s delivered, ideally with the driver or a company representative present and doing an official vehicle inspection as well. If damages have occurred to your car and you drive it away before those damages are noted, it will be very hard to prove that the damage occurred during shipment.
Now the conversation is being turned over to you — what tips would you suggest to someone who hasn’t shipped a car before, as far as the delivery process goes? Be sure to leave your tips in the comments section!
While there are many varied reasons people choose to use an auto shipping service, Central Valley Auto Transport has compiled the four most common reasons people have contacted them to relocate their vehicle.
You are moving – either permanently or for the winter/summer season
It definitely makes sense to keep your current vehicle rather than rent one (in the case of seasonal moving) or buy one in your new location, however driving across the country in your car or truck is not always the most cost-effective or pleasant approach to getting your vehicle where you need it to be.
Once you add in all the commonly-overlooked costs to driving your vehicle across the country you begin to realize that hotel stays, eating at a restaurant for every meal, fuel and the wear and tear on your vehicle can add up quickly and reach very expensive levels. Also, the increased risk of accidents or damage to your vehicle increase dramatically during the summer months and holidays – which also tend to be the times in which people choose to move either for the season or to their new permanent home.
With a reputable vehicle shipping company you can cut out all of the uncertainty and unforeseen costs, and when you choose enclosed auto transport you can even remove the stress of possible vehicle damage that can occur while on the road.
Your teenager is attending college a long way from home
Teens in school a long way from home usually benefit from having a car with them, but driving it all the way to their university can be dangerous and less ideal than having it shipped to their location. Your son or daughter could fly to school and have their vehicle already waiting for them. This would alleviate the kind of worry that comes with your child driving a long-distance alone.
You have a luxury car, antique auto or classic car that you present at auto shows
In the world of vehicle shows, a scratch, dent or damage incurred on a vehicle you intend to present can be catastrophic and costly. Antique, classic and luxury cars are an investment that require attention, care and delicate handling.
Many people choose to use an enclosed transportation service rather than risk driving the vehicle on the open roads. The potential damage generally outweighs the cost of having the vehicle safely and reliably shipped to the required destination.
You bought your vehicle online or from a dealership across the country
A common practice now more than ever before, buying a vehicle from an online dealership or from a dealer in another state has become incredibly easy, as has shipping it right to your front door. Often less expensive than the combined plane ticket and hotel, food, gas and wear and tear that would be involved with picking up a new vehicle yourself, choosing a quality auto transport service to deliver your new investment to your door allows you to avoid the hassle of coordinating the frequently confusing logistics.
The best way to feel comfortable with handing over your car to a vehicle shipping company is to understand exactly how car transport services operate — and this includes bringing up those common myths that are rarely clarified! Below you’ll find three of the most common misconceptions about the auto shipping industry:
Open carriers are unsafe.
It’s true that car shipping services usually advise customers to ship antique cars and luxury cars in enclosed carriers simply because there’s a little more protection, but for regular cars, an open multi-car carrier is usually just fine. Each car is securely fastened onto the carrier and the drivers are trained to operate the carrier safely, so for regular passenger vehicles, there’s no need to pay 60% more just for an enclosed carrier.
Auto transport prices are unpredictable.
It is important to remember that prices for shipping a car are likely to vary between companies, and even from season to season. Nevertheless, there are some trends that are fairly predictable, like higher shipping prices in the summer (usually about $200 to $300 more expensive than in the winter).
Auto transport brokers are a waste of money.
The vehicle shipping industry is pretty big (it’s worth about $12 billion in the U.S. alone), and because 98% of auto transporting services own and operate just one or two carrier trucks, the best way to provide consistent information for consumers is to allow a third party (the broker) to work between consumers and shipping services. Additionally, because there are so many legal and financial restrictions involved with auto transporting, a shipping broker will be able to help with the paperwork and restrictions.
Are there any misconceptions that we missed? Any myths you’ve heard about this industry before, or any questions you still have? Feel free to leave any thoughts down in the comments section!