5 Tips to Help Make It Easier When You Ship an Auto

A car carrier trailer

Most people ship a car once or twice in their entire lives — it’s not a process they have a chance to learn well. If you’re planning on picking a carrier to be able to send your car to a distant location, here are a few important ideas to keep in mind to make sure that you have a smooth experience.

Decide between closed and open carriers

Open trucks are both cheap and safe, and are the way 95% of car transportation happens. Your own car probably came to your dealership on an open carrier. For this reason, sending your car out using open carrier yourself shouldn’t be a bad idea. Compared to the alternative, it’s cheaper by between 30% and 50%. If you’re shipping a very valuable car, however, you might consider paying the premium to ship closed.

Remember to ask about insurance

Any reputable auto shipper will have insurance worth about $250,000 for a standard shipment of cars. The shipper’s insurance doesn’t pay for every kind of damage, however, so you should ask your own insurance company about what kind of coverage is available on your policy.

You need to think about how you might take advantage of these policies, too — it’s important that there is a responsible friend or family member present at the time of delivery. They need to be able to thoroughly inspect the car, and if they find anything, put in a claim with the driver.

Be sure to prepare your car for shipment

Your car needs to get on the truck and off under its own power. There may be transshipments to different trucks along the way, too, so, your car needs to be in running condition. You need to make sure that your car has some gas, a working battery, and that it starts easily. If your car isn’t in working order, that’s an entirely different kind of shipping requirement, and it can get expensive.

Set it up well in advance

Finding the right shipper, by itself, takes time. Even once you do have a shipper that you’d like to go with, you need to make sure that you set things up well in time so that you don’t miss a truck heading your way.

Whether you need an open or closed carrier, or need to have your car delivered to your doorstep, it takes time to set up the right mix of services. Researching your options a month in advance can help. For various reasons, prices fluctuate weekly; when you ask about the best prices well in advance, you get to pick the cheapest possible time to move your car. Just pay a deposit to seal the deal at the best price you see.

With the right preparations in place, getting your car to a different location, no matter how far away, can be smooth and cost-effective.