Car Transport Advice

By: Idan Lavi

Most car shipping by truck can be handled on a "door-to-door" basis. How close the transport vehicle can get to you "door" depends, since auto transport trucks can be 75 feet long.

Open transport by truck is by the car carriers you occasionally see on the highway that are delivering new cars to a dealership. Open transport is less expensive than enclosed transport, but your car or SUV is exposed to the weather during the trip, which could take 8 to 10 days to cross the country or longer, depending on how many pickups and dropoffs the driver has to handle enroute.

Door-to-door service in an enclosed container is the "Cadillac" of auto transport options. Not only is your car, SUV, RV, motorcycle or boat not exposed to the weather but you won't have to go anywhere to pick it up, either. The driver will get as close to your specified pick-up or delivery spot as he can legally and safely get. When access is restricted the auto transport company or moving company driver may ask that you meet the truck somewhere else, like a nearby parking lot, mall or store.

Most Moving Companies and Auto Transport Companies offer this service. Moving companies may offer to ship your car right with your household goods. However, as a rule moving companies charge more than auto transport companies when it comes to car shipping. You should compare the moving company's insurance or valuation for your vehicle if you select a household goods mover to move your car, just as you would for the auto transport company.

Auto transport companies pick up and delivery dates are estimates and are typically not guaranteed. A lot of factors, many of which are not within the auto transport company's control can impact pick up and delivery dates.

While some car shipping companies may not require it, many will require a 10-25 % deposit or even full payment in advance. The balance due is always required at time of delivery. While some auto transport companies will accept a credit card for payment, most will want you to have a cashier's check or cash when the truck arrives. You'll want to know what payment arrangements are required when it comes time to select an auto transport company.

You'll also want to know if the car shipping company is licensed and insured. Find out what type of insurance is provided for your vehicle in transit and whether you can buy additional protection if you need it. Also check with your insurance agent to see if your car insurer has any restrictions on coverage while your vehicle is in transit.

It's not uncommon for a car transport service to use an agent for shipping vehicles, especially in some locations. If this is true in your situation, ask the auto transport company to see the agent's certificate of insurance. Brokers also arrange for car shipping through auto transport companies they work with. You'll want to see the insurance certificate for the company they're using to transport your car. In fact, you should always ask to see an insurance certificate no matter who moves your car.

Using an auto transport company to ship your vehicle makes a lot of sense. After all, they're the experts and most have plenty of experience.

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