Checklist for Shipping Your Car Safely at An Affordable Price

Car carrier truck transportation

Whether you’re selling your car or moving to another location, hiring a car shipping company allows you to transport your vehicle without you having to drive it yourself. Cars are typically transported on trucks, unless travelling overseas, in which case the car would be sent by ship.

The following car shipping checklist will help ensure the safe delivery of your car:


1. Research Prices, Quality & Scope of Services

Before deciding on a car shipping company, do your research to compare costs as well as the quality and scope of services they provide. You will need to give specifics in order to receive an accurate quote on price.

Any reputable vehicle transport company will want the following information upfront:

  1. Make and model of vehicle so they can determine its size and weight
  2. Final destination
  3. Scope of service, door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal
  4. Preferred date of departure

To find out what quality of service each company provides, ask for customer references, check online reviews and with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any serious complaints about the service and/or the company as a whole.

Have each car shipping company you’re considering give you a detailed list of the services they offer and the price for each. You will also want to know the policies they follow to ensure that all vehicles are delivered safely and on time.

When discussing price, find out what each company’s requirements are. Some will ask for a deposit or even payment in full upfront before they ship your car, while others might be willing to wait for full payment upon delivery.

2. Read the Contract Thoroughly

Make sure that you read the contract thoroughly before signing it. Go over it line by line, and make sure you fully understand every detail, especially the fine print. A comprehensive contract will include company policies regarding transport, an itemized list of all shipping costs, including costs you’ll be responsible for if you cancel your shipment, how they handle complaints, etc. Many companies that ship vehicles won’t promise to pick up or deliver your car on a specific date. Make sure you address this issue in advance so that you know what to plan for.

3. Insurance Coverage

Adequate insurance coverage is vital when you’re transporting a vehicle since they usually travel by truck on the open road or by shipping vessel across an ocean. Accidents can happen, and when they do it can cause severe damage to a car. Any reputable shipping company should be willing to provide you with a copy of their insurance coverage. Their company insurance might act as the primary insurer or be secondary to your personal insurance. Make sure you find out which coverage they offer. Contact your own insurance carrier to determine if your policy covers car transport. Any insurance should cover theft as well, just in case your car is stolen.

4. Retain Original Inspection Report

Before you leave your car with the car shipping company, make sure you have your car thoroughly inspected and an Original Inspection Report done. This report will detail the exact condition your car was in before it was left with the company. A thorough report will include any existing scratches, chips or marks on the paint, dents, condition of the tires, cracked or chipped glass, condition of the interior, etc. You should also take photos of every area of your car for your records. Retain a copy of this report for protection against false claims in the event your car sustains any damage. At the final destination and before you take possession; check your car thoroughly with this report acting as your guide.

5. Handling Complaints

In all likelihood there will be no problems when shipping your car because if you follow this checklist you will be dealing with a reputable vehicle transport company who will take great care to see that your car is delivered safely. But, if something does go wrong our advice is to do everything you can to come to an agreement with the company before you take any other action. Any reputable company will try all they can to resolve problems with customers. This is why we put so much emphasis on hiring a trustworthy company to begin with.

If you have a problem and have tried everything you can think of to settle the dispute with the company directly, but cannot come to a resolution, you can always turn to the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. This should be done in the city where the transport company is headquartered.

Professional car shipping, done by a reputable company, is a great way to transport a car long distance. By following the checklist above your car should arrive at its destination safe and sound.