Gearing Up For Your Shipment? 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Shipping

Line them up
By Andy Lalwani
Photo: Laurel and Michael Evans

Cars are costly investments, so shipping them with a vehicle shipping company can be stressful. Knowing what to expect while shipping cars from state to state can help reduce your anxiety and help you enjoy a pothole-free auto transport experience. Here are seven frequently asked questions (and answers) about what it takes to ship a vehicle. 

What is the Cost of Shipping a Vehicle?

The price of shipping a vehicle from one state to another involves several factors. The shipping company figures the price by evaluating the weight and size of your car, the distance it needs to travel, and the starting and ending point. Part of the cost also depends on whether you choose an open trailer or an enclosed transport, with enclosed carriers falling on the expensive end of the spectrum.  

Will the Transport Company Insure My Vehicle? 

The auto transport company typically includes some insurance in their price. If you are looking for more security, most transportation companies can include it in your contract with them. Requesting more insurance can increase the cost of shipping the car. Before you send your vehicle, talk to your insurance agent about the best coverage for it. 

How Long Will it Take for My Vehicle to Arrive at its Destination?

Your vehicle might be on the road for up to three weeks. Most transportation companies will not send a transport truck until it is full, so you’ll have to wait until other customers bring their autos to the terminal. Once the truck is on the road, it could face delay factors by weather, traffic, breakdowns, and road closures. 

Where Will the Transport Company Bring My Car?

Some transport companies will deliver your car to your home, but the companies that use large semi-trucks often deliver to a local hub. Delivery to your home could increase the price and extend the delivery time. 

Organize your calendar to see your car loaded onto the truck and receive it at its destination. The truck driver will keep your keys and ask you to sign paperwork at the pick-up and delivery point.

How Quickly Should I Arrange for Auto Shipping?

All companies have different requirements for shipping appointments. You might be able to book your appointment a few days before you need your car to leave, or you might have to schedule a month before. Call the shipping company as soon as you know you need to ship a vehicle. 

Do Shipping Companies Offer Vehicle Tracking Services?

Most car companies offer tracking services. Some are comprehensive so that you can see your vehicle in real-time. Others send tracking details at checkpoints along the journey. 

What Should I Do with My Vehicle Before I Ship It?

Before your car is on the truck, take detailed photos of the exterior and interior to record pre-existing damage. Empty the storage compartments, inflate the tires, put some gas in the tank, and check the battery. 

Vehicle shipping companies have their reputations on the line each time they transport a vehicle. While drivers work hard to make each delivery trouble-free, they expect vehicle owners to help at their end. Knowing what to expect before shipping your investment helps the procedure flow smoothly.