Guide on How to Ship A Car:

1. Research Auto Transport Companies

  • Compare Services: Research several auto transport companies to find one that suits your needs. Compare services like open vs. enclosed transport, door-to-door vs. terminal-to-terminal service, and pricing.
  • Read Reviews: Check online reviews and testimonials to gauge the reputation and reliability of each company.
  • Verify Credentials: Ensure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured. Check their USDOT number and MC number for legitimacy.

2. Get Quotes and Book Early

  • Request Quotes: Contact your shortlisted companies for quotes. Provide details like the type of vehicle, pickup and delivery locations, and desired transport dates.
  • Compare Costs: Compare the quotes, considering not only the price but also the services offered and the company's reputation.
  • Book in Advance: Secure your booking well in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability and possibly lower costs.

3. Prepare Your Vehicle

  • Clean Your Car: Wash your vehicle thoroughly inside and out. Document any existing damages with photos and written notes.
  • Remove Personal Items: Remove all personal belongings from the car. Auto transport companies typically do not cover losses of personal items left in the vehicle.
  • Check Fluids and Tire Pressure: Ensure your vehicle has sufficient fuel (typically less than a quarter tank) and check fluid levels. Inflate tires to the recommended pressure.

4. Choose Transport Type

  • Open vs. Enclosed Transport: Decide between open transport (more common and cost-effective) and enclosed transport (offers more protection but is more expensive).
  • Door-to-Door vs. Terminal-to-Terminal: Choose whether you want the car picked up and delivered directly to your specified locations (door-to-door) or if you're willing to drop off and pick up at designated terminals (terminal-to-terminal).

5. Review and Sign the Contract

  • Review Terms and Conditions: Carefully review the contract from your chosen auto transport company. Pay attention to details like insurance coverage, pickup/delivery dates, and cancellation policies.
  • Sign the Agreement: Sign the contract only after you understand and agree to all terms. Keep a copy for your records.

6. Vehicle Pickup

  • Inspect the Vehicle: Before the carrier loads your vehicle, conduct a thorough inspection with the driver. Note any pre-existing damages on the Bill of Lading (shipping document).
  • Receive Documentation: Ensure you receive a copy of the Bill of Lading from the driver. This document serves as a receipt and outlines the condition of the vehicle upon pickup.

7. During Transport

  • Tracking Your Vehicle: Some companies offer vehicle tracking services. Stay informed about the transport progress and estimated delivery date.
  • Communication: Maintain communication with the auto transport company for any updates or changes to the schedule.

8. Vehicle Delivery

  • Inspect Upon Arrival: When your vehicle arrives, inspect it thoroughly with the driver. Compare its condition to the notes made during pickup.
  • Complete the Process: Sign the Bill of Lading to acknowledge receipt of the vehicle. This document confirms the condition of the car upon delivery.

9. Finalize Payment

  • Payment Terms: Follow the payment terms outlined in your contract. Many companies require full payment upon delivery.
  • Confirm Receipt: Once payment is made, ensure you receive a receipt or confirmation from the auto transport company.

10. Follow Up

  • Feedback: Provide feedback to the auto transport company based on your experience. This helps others in their decision-making process and allows companies to improve their services.

By following these steps, you can navigate the process of shipping a car smoothly and ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and on time.