Auto-Transport. How it works?
So, you’ve planned the perfect budget-friendly relocation. You’ve packed up your belongings, you’ve toured your future neighborhood, you’ve hired a moving company and you’re getting excited about your move.
Then, you realize: You have a car that you need to get to your home. Maybe you don’t have the personnel available to drive it over. Maybe you’re moving somewhere overseas where you can’t drive it over. Regardless of the specific reason, you need to get your car to your new place, and you need to think of savvy shipping solutions in order to make it happen.
For this type of moving solution, it’s very typical for brokers (instead of movers) to pick up your car. Why? Auto transport is a niche field that often requires very targeted expertise. Auto transport is often a skill that brokers have that movers don’t—so, if you’re generally scared or concerned about working with brokers, as long as you do your research, in this case you don’t have to be.
- auto-transport truck moving quickly.min.jpg
- mover and a box.min.jpg
- car within a car.min.jpg
- Four simple steps.min.jpg
- Just give an auto transport carrier or broker a call, and a sturdy truck will be en route to help you as quickly as it can. Many cars are transported in exterior transport options, such as this one. Your car may travel with several others
- A rental truck zooming down a highway with blue sky background
Wondering how to manage auto transport? Interested in learning more about this niche part of the relocation industry? Don’t worry – we’ve got everything that you need to know in this handy guide. Read on to learn more about how to ship a car when you’re planning your budget-friendly move.
How to ship a car
Let’s start talking about the specific method you can use to ship a car as easily and as affordably as possible. It starts by searching for good cost estimates that are accurate and that can fit your proposed budget:
Get a quote
When you’re trying to figure out how much shipping your car is going to cost, you’ll need to speak directly with auto transport companies in your area about their normal rates.
There are several factors that will likely go into how expensive your car shipping bill is going to be, including the weight of your car, the specific date of your move, and (perhaps most importantly) the distance that you’ll need your car to be shipped. Here are a few examples to help you figure out what you can expect in terms of the price structure you might find:
- Local auto transport: Fort Worth, TX – Dallas, TX: $499
- Long-distance auto transport: Connecticut – New Hampshire $850
- Cross-country auto transport: California – Texas $1200
- Schedule your auto-transport. The next step in getting your auto-transport off the ground is to make sure that you have a scheduled moving date. This might sound simplistic, but it’s a good idea to have a moving date as early as possible in order to make sure that your move goes off without a hitch.
- Know how shipping a car works. Before you give your car to the broker or carrier, there are a few common-sense preparation steps that you’ll need to complete in order to make sure that your car will be safe and ready to go during the car shipping process.
First, you should remove any moving items from the interior of your car, so nothing damages the cabin of your car while it’s being shipped. You should also empty the tank of your car and take pictures of the outside to document its condition prior to the move.
Then, make copies of any keys, just in case something happens to the originals. After this, your broker or a representative from your auto transport company will pick up your car at your agreed-upon pickup time. You’ll likely get to choose between open auto transport and enclosed auto transport; and you’ll have to arrange a delivery time that works for you. Door-to-door delivery is a good option, because that way you don’t have to figure out how to get to a central location without your car!
Manage the delivery as wisely as possible
Once you’ve moved to your new home, make sure that you are available when it’s time to manage the delivery for your vehicle.
Have all of the paperwork that you collected in hand; and, when the representative or broker arrives to deliver your car, make them wait until you’ve performed a visual inspection of your car and gone over the paperwork with them. This will just protect you in the event that something strange happened with your car in transit.
Enjoy having your car in your new space!
Once the delivery is complete, breathe a sigh of relief! You’ve made it to your new home in one piece, and you have a vehicle that you can use to get to know your city better. Now, you can tick ‘manage your auto transport’ off your moving checklist. Hopefully, this experience represented a stress-free moving activity – and, perhaps, if you think about it, it was even a little bit fun to move your car in this way.
- Don’t stress too much about moving! Keep your eyes on the prize or end goal: Having your treasured car with you in your beautiful new homeland. When things get hard, just keep that in perspective!
- Truck driver holding a moving box
As you see, shipping a car doesn’t have to be difficult. It is a good idea to know that there are several things you’ll need to manage a little differently – like cleaning out the inside of your car, for example – but, for the most part, shipping a car is a task that goes quite similarly to other parts of your moving experience.
The same tenets that go for other parts of moving, such as making sure that all of the paperwork is in order, getting quotes, and checking customer reviews – go for shipping a car as well.
We get it: This can feel a little more high-stakes because your car is important to you! However, you’ll find that if you do the research and select an auto transport company or broker who knows what they’re doing, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your car at all.
We went a little into detail into the process of an auto transport above. In the next section, we’ll pass along five helpful tips to get the most out of your auto transport experience in 2021.
- When it comes to riding in style, this car has it made! While your car will likely travel with others, if you pay extra for internal transport you may be able to give your automobile a luxurious rest en route
- Auto transport
5 tips for shipping a car in 2021
When you need to ship a car, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed. After all, it can seem like there’s a lot that you need to do! In order to make it easier for you to get this project done, we’ve broken down our five best tips for shipping a car in 2021 into this helpful checklist. If you manage to get these five things done, there’s a good chance that your move will be easy to handle!
- Make sure that the broker, mover, or other auto transporter that you’re working with has a valid, current registration with the Department of Transport. When you’re first getting your quote, you’re going to want to make sure that the entity that you’re working with has all of their paperwork and licensure in order. Ask the provider you’re working with to give you their DOT identification and all other paperwork to prove that they are up-to-date with their processes.
- Prepare your car well. You may not think that there’s much to do in terms of getting your car ready for its move, but there are a few processes that you can do to make moving your car easy and safe.
For example, it’s important to realize that your auto transporter may not have insurance to cover any damage that occurs in the cabin of your car. To help protect the cabin of your car from damage en route, it’s a good idea to make sure that there aren’t any valuables in your car or loose or hanging objects that could ricochet around your vehicle.
You’ll want to remove change, CDs, electronics, loose cords, and any parts of your vehicle’s interior that move freely.
Then, you’ll want to wash your vehicle and take pictures from every angle to document what the vehicle looked like prior to the move.
Finally, you’ll want to empty your gas tank completely, and make copies of any keys so that you have a set after you hand a copy to your auto transport broker.
- Check your auto transport broker’s certification again – particularly if you’re shipping your car overseas. International auto shippers need to have specific maritime certifications to make sure that their paperwork works out properly. Check the company’s shipping license, and make sure that you have copies of all adequate documentation.
- Get copies of everything in writing. Speaking of documentation, when you sign your contract, make sure that you get a copy. You’ll need hard copies of your quotes that you get during research, the insurance paperwork, the contract you sign, and any other documents that surface when you’re working with this company. This will allow you to compare charges to make sure that the company doesn’t sneak anything in on you, and will also allow you to hold the company accountable to what they’ve promised in writing. Make sure that the paperwork you receive has the company’s logo on it, and that it has a real, verifiable signature on it from the person that you’ve been speaking with.
- Make sure that you also obtain a ‘bill of lading’. Essentially, this document is a report that documents the condition of your vehicle when the auto transport provider receives your car. This document will act as a summary of all of the important information you need: It’ll include the carrier’s name, your broker’s name, the description of your car, the conditions of your contract, and any special instructions you might have had prior to entrusting your car to the broker or carrier.
And there you have it – the five most helpful tips we have for shipping your car! As long as you take care of those five things, you’ll most likely have a good experience with your auto transport.
Now, we’ll shift focus to even more practical information. Want to know what the 3 best car shipping companies of 2021 are? If so, you’re in luck – keep reading!
3 best car shipping companies of 2021
Finding a car shipping company that you trust can be a tall order. After all, you’re entrusting a vital investment of yours – your car – to their care! You’ll need to do your own research to make sure that the car shipping company that you end up selecting is the best for you. However, in order to make your job easy, we’ve done the heavy lifting. In our estimation, these are the three best car shipping companies of 2021:
Sherpa Auto Transport
- Offers a price lock guarantee, meaning that you won’t pay more than expected for great service. They boast exceptional communication, and even a clean car guarantee – they’ll wash your car en route, if you like!
|How Sherpa Auto Transport Stacks Up
|Relatively open calendar
|Average quote is $1040
|Tends to rely on service bots
|Insurance coverage included
Why Sherpa Auto Transport? Choose them because of their price lock – and if you’re willing to call in, because online quotes aren’t currently an option.
Montway Auto Transport
Montway Auto Transport is fast and reliable. It’s highly-rated, with hundreds of five-star customer reviews, and they have availability 24/7/365 – which is convenient for last minute moves or moves that don’t necessarily happen according to schedule.
|How Montway Auto Transport Stacks Up
|Round the Clock
|Average quote is $850
|Insurance coverage included
Why Montway Auto Transport: Select this carrier if you need service at odd hours, or if you need service to Alaska or Hawaii.
AmeriFreight’s customer service is the name of the game – they have professionals who are friendly and polite at every step to explain what could be considered a confusing process. They also have a list of major routes that they travel consistently to make selecting your journey a breeze.
|How AmeriFreight Auto Transport Stacks Up
|In all 50 states
|Average quote is $1060
|Positive customer reviews
|Insurance coverage included
Why AmeriFreight: The best reviews we noticed spoke of frequent discounts – so if you’re looking for solid service, it might be worth waiting for a sale to see what AmeriFreight can offer you.
Frequently Asked questions:
When you’re transporting your car, naturally, you’re going to be very curious about how it all works. After all, your car is a major investment! You want to make sure that it’s taken care of properly during your upcoming move. Here, we’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions regarding how to transport cars safely. Read on to learn more about this vital relocation process.
- How does working with a broker work? We get it: The distinction between brokers and movers can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know. Brokers reserve the work and give it to carrier. This carrier will be licensed and can be owner-operated or a larger company who owns several trucks.
- How long does it take for my car to get picked up? If you’re wondering how long it takes for your car to get picked up, have heart: There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to help decide that information.
As long as you work far enough in advance with your auto transport company, you will likely be able to name the date of your pickup. Because of this, you’ll be able to coordinate a date that is easy for you.
Pro tip: You likely want to pick a date that is relatively close to your moving date, as you don’t want to be stranded in your city without a car for any length of time!
We’ve also found that some companies do have a minimum wait time of a week or two – so, depending on the company’s availability, you might not be able to schedule a pickup for the immediately following day. Because of this, you might want to put ‘schedule auto transport near me’ as far up on your moving to-do list as possible!
- Do you offer any discounts or savings? Any discounts or savings you may find will depend upon the brand and the time of year. It may be difficult to find savings or discounts if you have a very specific window of time in which you have to transport your vehicle.
However, regardless of the timeframe, this should always be one of the first questions that you ask when you start to research options in your area. There’s no harm in asking – and if you do ask, you never know how helpful it may be!
- If I want to ship a car and furniture, can you help me? While some auto transport services may offer both furniture and car shipment options, auto transport does tend to be a niche service.
Fortunately, auto transport tends to go through moving brokers, who will likely have contacts who can assist with full-service moving or other services. Generally speaking, if you’re going to need more comprehensive moving assistance with your upcoming relocation, you’ll want to find a professional apartment mover or an office/commercial mover first, and then find an auto transporter who can work with a similar time frame. However, just as with the previous question, it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask your broker or auto transport company what they can do to make your life easier.
- Need a rental truck or storage container? You’re not alone. There are several nationwide brands that can get you exactly what you need
- PODS simplified guide.
- How do PODS and truck rental work? Renting a PODS container or performing a truck rental work in a similar but separate manner: First, you determine when you need to move, then you reach out to storage container companies or truck rental companies in your area to learn what options are available to you.
Just like when you manage an auto transport procedure, you’ll want to do your homework when you rent a storage container or a truck. It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes for everything, to read through as many customer reviews as possible, and to get everything in writing before committing to any company that will support you during your upcoming relocation.
- How do I ship a car if I am a senior? Need to navigate your upcoming move or auto transport as a senior? You’re in luck: There are companies that offer senior services specifically targeted to make your life as easy as possible. When you start planning out your move, talk to your broker or moving company about senior specials or other services that ensure that you don’t have to lift a finger with your move or auto transport service. You won’t regret it – you’ll stand less chance of hurting yourself while you’re getting to your new home.
Other moving and cost-saving resources.
Interested in learning other ways that you can save money during your upcoming move? Fortunately, there are many ways that you can trim costs in order to have money left over for things besides your upcoming relocation. Here’s what you need to know in order to make your move as budget-friendly as is possible:
- Do your homework. When you’re going about setting up your move, go the extra mile and get as many moving costs estimates as you possibly can. This might seem like busywork, but it’ll pay off: You’ll be able to know that you’re getting the best deal possible for your money, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your moving costs.
- Source your moving boxes and supplies wisely. When you’re moving bulky items, it’ll be much easier and more convenient for you if you’re able to box your items up for uniformity. However, you’ll find that purchasing these moving supplies can cost a surprising amount of money. Instead of buying them new, see if you can work with your grocery store, friends in your area, or resale shops to get moving boxes for free or for reduced rates.
- Work with professionals when you need it. If you’re moving a hot tub, moving a pool table, or moving a piano, it’s time to face the facts: You’ll probably need to work with professional movers, because moving those large items can be very difficult. Other situations when you’re going to need professional movers include when you need to work with last minute movers or apartment movers. Their services may be expensive, but it’s important to realize that your sanity and peace of mind will be worth it!
- Realize when you’re working with a tougher move. If you’re moving with kids, with plants, or with pets, then you should know that your relocation will automatically be a little bit more difficult. This doesn’t mean that it’ll be impossible! It just means that you might need to invest a little bit more into working with professionals, or start working on your move a little earlier, just to make sure you get everything done in time.
And there you have it! Those are our best tips for enjoying a stress-free and budget-friendly move, even if you’re transporting your car along with the rest of your belongings. Interested in further tips? Read more articles from our site – there’s a wealth of knowledge here to enjoy!