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Shipping Your Vehicle

A Beginner’s Guide To Shipping Your Vehicle

by Alex James

When moving a long distance, car owners might wonder about how to transport their vehicles. Driving a car 2,000 miles to its destination isn’t an option, but utilizing a car shipping service may prove workable. Understanding a few fundamental points about car transporting could make the process easier.

What Car Transport Involves

Shipping a car involves choosing a transport service to move the vehicle via a car carrier truck. These trucks are often multi-level trucks designed to haul several vehicles at once. The trucks may pick up/drop off several cars before yours and pick up/drop off others after them. 

Essentially, these transport trucks operate in a manner not much different from the way a tractor-trailer hauls cargo. Some might think that transport companies drive the car to the location, but that is not how they work. Hiring someone to drive a car to a location is possible, but this would add miles and wear and tear to the vehicle.

Pick-up and Delivery Options

When working with a car transport service, convenience factors into decisions. Persons shipping a car may want the company to pick the car up at their home and drop it off at the door of their soon-to-be-new location. Sometimes, the customer might want the vehicle picked up and dropped off at locations different from their residence. The customer may work out the deals with a car service.

Enclosed or Open

A car shipping truck could be open or enclosed. For several reasons, some owners may prefer their vehicles to be transported on an enclosed trailer. Namely, the vehicle won’t be subjected to the elements or risk scratches from falling objects. Other owners might not worry about such things and would have the vehicle washed upon arrival. Costs vary but expect an enclosed transport to cost more than shipping a vehicle on an open transport trailer.

Costs and Quotes

Car shipping costs depend on several factors, with the mass and weight and the trip’s distance being the essential elements. A compact car will require less space than a full-sized SUV or heavy-duty pickup truck. Also, the lighter car will affect the transport carrier’s fuel efficiency. Simply put, it costs more to haul heavier loads than lighter ones. Distance adds to the overall costs. Shipping a car from New York to Virginia would likely cost far less than shipping a car from New York to California.

Additional costs, such as the aforementioned door-to-door service request, could factor into the shipping price. Also, the time of the year may impact pricing. Traveling during the winter months could be costlier because drivers may need to take longer routes to avoid areas known for heavy snowfall.

Anyone who wants expedited shipping would incur additional costs. Requesting a faster delivery might require hiring two drivers to handle the trip so the vehicle stays on the road longer.

Getting a Quote

Those wondering about the price of shipping their vehicle could request a quote from the service. Often, the service allows the potential customer to submit general information online, such as make, model, departure and arrival locations, and more. The received quote is a ballpark figure, and the final price will likely arrive when a representative from the service speaks to the customer and procures more details.

Ship Only the Car

Shipping customers should check with the service about keeping personal items inside the vehicle during shipping. A service might allow a limited amount of personal belongings, although the service might stipulate no items should be inside the car. Placing personal items inside a shipped car could be ill-advisable for several reasons. Besides adding more weight to the vehicle, the belongings might suffer damage. Insurance may not cover any damage to those items.

A vehicle transport and shipping service could help those who want their cars moved a far distance. The prices vary based on several factors, and would-be customers should review competitive quotes. Ultimately, a car shipper takes burdens off the customer’s shoulders by eliminating the need to drive the vehicle or sell it and buy a new one at the new location.

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