Whether you are moving or just going on a vacation, car shipping companies provide a convenient option for you to bring along your vehicle without driving it yourself. The service can be beneficial in several ways.
Finding a Car Shipping Company
Before anything else, you will need to find a car shipping company you could entrust your vehicle to. While it is easy to find one near you through Google, it pays to spend a bit more time doing your research first.
Try to get a couple of different quotes from different companies. They would have varying prices since their routes could differ from one another. Check with companies close to your current location and those in your destination.
Some can offer door-to-door delivery, which could get quite expensive. Some companies have terminal hubs where you can drop off and pick up your car. That is a great option if the terminal is close to your destination anyway.
Once you have a few quotes, the next step is to research user reviews on each company. Learning from the experiences of others can help you make the best decision on what company to choose.
You could try asking your family or friends who have done this before to get a more reliable review.
Prepare Your Documents
Prepare your car documents in advance to avoid potential last-minute hassles. Gather all of them in a folder for safekeeping. Once you are ready to have the car shipped, you have everything you need organized.
The documents you need to prepare include:
- Vehicle registration
- Insurance or proof
- Vehicle title and proof of sale
- Your identification card
You may also want to check with your insurance company regarding the shipment to ensure that you have the right coverage. If you are going on a vacation to see the attractions of Paisley, for example, you want to know how your insurance would cover that.
Wash the Car
With all of these out of the way, you can now prepare the vehicle itself. Start by washing the car thoroughly yourself. While this may sound counterintuitive, this is a crucial step before having it shipped since it allows you to find all the dents, dust, and other minor damages.
Make sure to do both the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Take physical notes of any problem you may find, such as small chips of paint.
Once you get your car back, you can review your notes to see if the vehicle has any new damage.
While cleaning your car interior, take the time to remove any small and loose objects inside like coins. All the rattling the vehicle will go through during shipping can cause these to jump around inside and potentially do damage.
Remove Personal Items
Your car insurance will not cover personal items like GPS devices, sunglasses, and chargers. It is better to remove them before having the vehicle shipped.
Make sure to remove things that have your personal information, too—your insurance, for example, and other identifying paperwork. You need to have all your documents separate and with you anyway.
Do a Maintenance Check
Similar to washing your vehicle, you should do a maintenance check too. The primary purpose is to ensure that everything runs smoothly before the car gets shipped. Document the results so you can refer to this if something happens after shipping.
The maintenance check should cover:
- Check your vehicle’s oil level.
- Check other fluids such as brakes, power steering, coolant, etc.
- Make sure the battery still has a charge. You can get fined if it does not start when the shipper tries to roll it off the truck.
- Check the inflation of the tires.
The goal here is to give the car to the shipping company in perfect working order and have them deliver it in the same shape.
Disable Your Alarms and Tags
The truck movement could trigger the car’s alarms, so it is better to turn them off before shipping. Otherwise, the alarm could be blaring all the time and draining the battery. If that happens, the car will not start when it needs to be rolled off the truck, and you can get fined.
Not turning off your alarm can lead to additional costs. Not to mention, it can distract the driver as well.
If you have toll tags, you would want to disable them too. As you can imagine, the truck will go through a lot of highways and tolls. Do you want to be charged for all of that as your car passes through?
Have More Than One Set of Keys
You will need to give the driver a set of keys so they can manage your car on and off the truck or container. It is a good idea to have at least another set on you just in case they lose the ones you gave them.
There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to realize you cannot drive your car because you lost the keys.
Car shipping is a convenient solution if you are moving to a new home or going on a vacation. But if you are not prepared, it can cause you headaches. Make sure to research and be prepared before you ship out your ride.