There are several reasons to ship a car across the country. Perhaps you have left it elsewhere. Maybe you bought it and need it transported to you. Or perhaps you are in the process of moving. Whatever the reason, shipping your car can feel like a daunting process. You are likely unfamiliar with how to ship a car at all. If you find yourself in this situation, use the tips below to help you. With some know-how, you can transport your vehicle to California safely and confidently.
Know How You Want to Ship Your Car
The first thing you will want when shipping your car is some knowledge of the landscape of the car shipping industry. Shipping companies offer different levels of protection.
You have surely seen the most ubiquitous form on the highway. This is called open-air shipping, in which your vehicle is loaded onto an open truck.
If you want more protection, you will be interested in closed-container shipping. This method involves loading your vehicle into a covered truck or shipping container before transit. This protects your car from exposure to the elements.
The most convenient option is door-to-door shipping. Whereas most methods involve a pickup and drop-off point, this method ensures both pickup and delivery straight to your door.
Lastly, some companies offer premium options where the utmost care is taken when transporting your vehicle. This method is usually reserved for exotic and classic cars. Examine your needs and decide which method is best for you and your vehicle.
A Clutter-free Car
The next thing you will need to do is empty your car of your personal belongings. While most auto shippers will allow you to keep up to 100 pounds of personal effects in transit, this is ill-advised.
The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) bars auto shippers from transporting any personal belongings. Just because a shipper will accept your items does not mean your belongings will not be seized by the FTA if your courier is stopped. Play it safe and clean out your vehicle before you hand it over.
Nothing is worse than being ready to go and not being able to ship your car because you have failed to locate the requisite paperwork. This is easy to rectify, though. Most shipping companies require you to produce proof of insurance in addition to your registration, proving you are the owner of the vehicle.
You already know you need proof of insurance to ship your car. But consider your current insurance situation. Your current insurance plan may not cover damage incurred while in transit. Additionally, suppose you are planning a move to California. In that case, it may be worth your time to examine the best insurance options in California.
Insurance companies reward different kinds of drivers. Some may have special discounts, but you will never know until you ask. Do some research and compare different quotes. There’s no one-size-fits-all insurance plan, so make sure you look for the best coverage for you and your vehicle.
The last thing you will want to do before turning over your car is inspecting it for damage. Make a list of any existing damage on your vehicle, and have the courier sign off on it. Make sure to take pictures of your vehicle as well. Once the car is returned to you, remember to take photos.
Accidents happen. This simple truth is an unavoidable fact of life. This way, if something happens to your car, you will have some measure of accountability. Even with insurance, you do not want to end up paying for damage and repairs due to someone else’s negligence.
Shipping a car is an involved process. It is one where stress is compounded due to the innate value of what is being shipped. However, if you follow the above tips, you will be able to proceed confidently. With a little bit of research and common sense, your car will make its journey, and you can rest easy knowing you have prepared for every outcome.