Auto Shipping 101 for Newbies

You’ve packed up everything except the kitchen sink and arranged the movers, the cleaners, and the storage containers. Wait–what about your car? Yes, you’ll need your trusted vehicle to get to work, school, and the grocery store. If you’re moving cross-country or selling a car online or simply moving your car to a different location, you’ll want to consider an auto shipping service.

Work with a Broker

Brokers have access to thousands of carriers. They’ve already vetted the carriers, making sure they have the appropriate licenses, insurance, and reliability. Because they have such a broad range of carriers to choose from, they can offer door-to-door shipping. With specific carriers, you might be limited to certain cities or regions.

Ship Between Two Cities

Your shipping costs will be much lower if you can ship from one major city to another. That’s because more trucking companies are likely to cover that route. If you must insist on getting your vehicle shipped from or to a more remote location, be prepared for extra fees.

Arrange for Pickup & Delivery

Although auto shipping brokers often promise door-to-door shipping, you will need to determine locations on both ends that can accommodate a semi truck. A truck can be as much as 75 feet long and needs plenty of space to turn around. Semi trucks are usually not allowed in residential areas.

Besides, you don’t want to be responsible for a semi truck getting caught in telephone wires or the low-hanging branches of the neighbor’s tree. Often, a large, empty parking lot nearby will do the trick. If you’re transporting a car from or to a business, you’ll need to inform the broker of business hours.

Prepare Your Car for Shipment

Before dropping your car off for shipment, you’ll want to make sure your set of wheels is prepped and ready to go. Be sure to remove all your stuff from the inside of the car, as well as any extra outside accessories, such as spoilers, bike racks, luggage racks, and antennas.

Disconnect the alarm or, if you’re not able to do that, give the driver written instructions on how to silence it if it goes off. (He’ll be ever so grateful.) Wash and photograph your car in order to provide a clear record of its condition before shipment.

And do let the driver know about any fluid leaks. (You don’t want to be responsible for an oil leak on the top of someone else’s car!) Make sure the tires are inflated, but don’t bother filling your car with gas. It only needs about a fourth tank of gas to get on and off the transport trucks. Plus, it minimizes the weight of the car–and possibly your bill too. After it’s loaded on the truck, lock it to prevent theft while it’s in transit and give the keys to the driver. Voila! Your car is ready to go!

These days, auto shipping is the way to go, especially if you’re moving or selling cross-country. With affordable shipping, there’s no need to drive your car thousands of miles or risk passing up a car buyer because they’re too far away. Auto transport is just a few clicks away.

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