Shipping a Car Across the Country: 10 Facts to Know

03.12.2019

 

When you need to transport your car cross-country, you should reevaluate the impulse to drive it to its final destination by yourself. Here are a few cogent reasons to consider.

First, shipping a car across the country is much safer. It is no news that interstate highways are some of the most dangerous roads in the U.S. In fact, it may be compelling even for a professional trucker to navigate some routes skillfully and smoothly. Professional drivers know how to cope with road conditions caused by severe weather elements. They are trained to avoid road hazards.

If you are relocating long distance, then a cross-country drive may add more stress, especially if it is a last minute move. There are a lot of move related tasks such as packing/unpacking, change of address, dealing with contractors and utility providers. Would you like to drive your car across the country, too?

You may think that driving would be cheaper than shipping a car across country, but tolls, gas, food, and accommodation can add up fast. When you hire a professional auto transport company to ship your vehicle, you save money and time.

The cost of shipping a car across the country is elastic

How much does it cost to ship a car will depend on a few basic factors: The type of car you are transporting – make, model, modifications is essential. Another factor that concerns the car shipping rate is the method used to haul your vehicle – whether it is on an open or an enclosed trailer. The distance your car will travel will also weigh into the cost, along with the exact pickup and drop-off locations.

If you are on a tight budget, then hauling your car via an open carrier will cost you less than shipping it in an enclosed trailer. It can also be less expensive to arrange pick-up and drop-off to be in the nearest city metro if you live in a rural area. Being flexible with the delivery date is also another good way to reduce the car shipping cost.

TCI Logistics offers fair pricing for cross-country auto transport. No upfront deposits are required and there are no hidden fees. The best way to find out how much it will cost to ship your car is to simply fill in our car shipping cost calculator.  

Shipping a car is good for your health and car’s health too

When you ship a car across the country, you also avoid the extra wear and tear. If you have just bought a new car, a long road trip may be tempting. However, when your car is older or even antique, the extra miles can add up and lead to costly repair bills.

Relocation is a stressful time and a road trips can add to that stress. And so, it is wise to hire an auto transport company to handle your cross country car transport. That way, you may have more time to focus on managing all other move related tasks.

Shipping a car across the country can be less expensive

By shipping your car to another state instead of driving it, you will avoid the costs related to gas, food, tolls and hotels. When you compare the cost of car shipping to the cost of driving your car, shipping a car across the country is often the most cost-effective option.

Once you have compared both options, keep in mind that there are still a lot of tasks to complete. You need to find a reputable auto transport company. Next, you will have to change registration and take care of the insurance in your new home state. 

Researching auto transport takes time

Your car is one of your most precious assets that you may own, so it is worth taking the needed time to find an excellent car shipper. Know that running an online search is just to start away! Look for companies that have shipping quote calculators and transparent pricing policies. Additionally, it makes sense to read some auto transport reviews.

Start your search well in advance before your move date. Remember that shipping a car to another state takes time. One way to avoid paying extra for expedited shipping service is to start the process early enough. For example, it will take from 7 to 10 days to ship a car from New York to California.

You can learn a lot about whether a car shipping company is trustworthy and reliable by simply asking them questions about the services they provide. A professional transport specialist will thoroughly answer all of your questions, without condescending to your concerns.

Price should not be your single reason

The chances that the cheapest bid will offer good customer service are very slim. Many auto transport brokers will give you a ridiculously low car transport quote in order to get the job. However, the price on the estimate will not be enough to cover the cost and so the auto shipper will lately increase the price to cover those expenses.

Whereas you are looking to save money, make sure you weigh in all the pros and the cons of each quote. Shipping a car to a rural area, or shipping an inoperable vehicle require more resources and time. Once you start comparing shipping quotes, make you sure that you completely understand what is included in the price offer. Ask if there are any potential costs that may incur.

If you are shipping a super car or a vintage car, you may consider procuring a more comprehensive insurance option. Usually, most car carriers offer an adequate coverage and you will be good to go. After all, it is said that less than 5 % of all auto transport jobs have claims to settle.

You need to prepare your car for its cross-country move

It is a good time to look for any mechanic issues. Make sure that there are no leaks, or any other damages. Check your battery tire pressure, and all fluids. If you leave a full gas tank, that will be a potential safety hazard. Furthermore, a full gas tank will increase car weight, and respectively your final bill. Instead, leave it with about a quarter of a tank.

Next, you should remove all personal belongings from your car. Remove automatic parking passes and toll tags, and secure exterior parts so they won’t cause problems during transport. You also need to prepare a second set of keys for the driver. Last but not least, do not forget to disable or remove your car’s alarm system prior to pick-up date.

Giving your car a bath once you have confirmed your pick-up date facilitates inspection. Keep in mind that your vehicle will go through an inspection, before it is taken into shipper’s custody. When you are shipping a car across country, note (even take a photo!) every scratch, chip, or dent. That way, you will have the information needed to file a claim in case your vehicle does not arrive intact.

Shipping a car across the country involves dealing with paperwork

On the pick-up day, you will have to sign off your bill of lading. The latter is the actual agreement between you and the car shipping company. Read your bill of lading and make sure you understand its terms and clauses. That document consists of all the important information, outlining the conditions under which the shipping process will happen. Do not lose or misplace it.

Make sure that your transportation company has an up-to-date insurance policy. By federal law, auto shipping companies are obliged to be able to present a copy of insurance certificate. It is also recommended to get in touch with your auto insurance company and check if it covers your vehicle in transit.

Some insurance policies will not cover shipping a car across country as part of their standard policy. Take some time to research your insurance options. It will pay off to speak directly to your representative and discuss this matter meticulously.

You will need to be available to sign off inspection report

Your driver will inspect your vehicle at pickup and they will note damages such as scratches, dents, and chips. Upon delivery, you will need to go through another inspection to confirm that your vehicle is as it was upon loading. This delivery inspection is essential as it is the time when you can file a claim, should you have to.

If you won’t be able to attend pick-up and delivery days, make sure you designate a person you can trust. Claims that are not submitted accordingly are often being dismissed. Inspection is an important step so, do not negate this process.

Putting your car into someone else’s custody can be stressful for you. The good news is that statistically shipping your car across country is a smooth and seamless experience. Choose your auto transport company wisely and make sure you take time to prepare your car for the trip. If these steps are completed successfully, chances are that your car will arrive on time and in good condition.

At TCI Logistics, we have a large network of car carriers to cover the whole US. Let our experienced drivers take great care your car and enjoy the travel!






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