There are many reasons why you might want to transport a car to a new location out of state. Whether it is a car you bought remotely through an auction site or perhaps you are moving. There are times when your car needs to go somewhere and it can't be driven by you. Luckily you aren't alone when it comes to transporting a car to a new location and there are lots of options to help make it as safe and easy as possible.
The most common scenario is when you purchase a car online and the seller requires you to take care of shipping your vehicle to your home state. Shipping your vehicle will require proper preparation, research, and sound decision-making. With these requirements in mind, here are a few helpful tips that will help the process run smoothly.
Choose The Ideal Shipping Method
There are several options for interstate, cross-country, or international vehicle shipping—ranging from hiring an auto shipping company to asking a friend or family member to drive the car to its final destination. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each method. Then, choose the most appropriate method based on distance, preference, convenience, and budget.
Hire an Auto Shipping Company
Hiring an auto shipping company is typically the safest, fastest, cost-efficient, and most convenient way to ship a car to a different country or state. Depending on your place of residence, you may have several different options to choose from and a few auto shipping companies in your general vicinity. For example, if you’re in the market for California car shipping services, you could turn to a reputable provider like Guardian Auto Transport.
You will need to research possible contenders for shipping companies in your area that offer excellent services at fair prices. Google reviews provide vital information to guide your decision-making. Once you narrow down some options, guarantee that you receive customer-satisfaction-based services by visiting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to investigate these companies’ reputations before making a financial decision. To ensure your vehicle arrives in its original state, hire a licensed and insured hauling company with a high BBB rating and stellar online reviews.
Once you’ve settled on a decision, you’ll need to decide between open-air or enclosed carrier transportation. Open carriers are more popular because they are cheaper, but keep in mind that they expose cars to elements like snow and rain. With this shipping method, your vehicle may move around during transit, and it’s more susceptible to break-ins and damages.
However, enclosed carriers eliminate the risk of damages from weather conditions and road debris, clamp the car in place to prevent jostling, and shield vehicles from prying eyes. With these added benefits, enclosed carriers will cost more, putting you at risk of exceeding your budget.
Hire a Driver
You can hire a trained and licensed driver through a professional driving company. If a professional shipping service isn’t in the budget, hire a trustworthy friend or family member to trek cross country. If you side with an auto transport company, anticipate high expenses. Despite the high cost of a professional, you can enjoy the beauty of dropping your car off at your chosen location hassle-free. Not to mention, a professional auto transport company will endure the long-drive and keep your vehicle under a watchful eye, so you don’t have to.
Don’t trust unqualified or possibly negligent drivers with your vehicle. Take the time to vet a company’s drivers and confirm that they have insurance.
Drive it Yourself
Making the trip yourself is probably the most obvious solution to your shipping needs. However, while it appears cheap and convenient on the surface, it may not always be the case. Before you commit to the road trip, consider the distance, your schedule, and your comfort. Realize that you’ll probably need to dedicate a day or two for your journey.
In the interest of savings, remember time is money. As you weigh the pros and cons of professional shipping services and driving the vehicle yourself, account for the cost of travel time, gas refills, food, and lodging. If you have to cross several state lines, it may be in your best interest to find a different shipping method other than self-transport.
Determine The Budget
Your research should include gauging reasonable shipping costs. As you gather information on various auto shipping companies, request a quote given that a company’s reputation, professionalism, experience, and reliability won’t matter if you cannot afford their services.
Factors that will influence the cost of shipping a car include distance, vehicle weight, size and model, and method of transport. Expect to spend more money on shipping services in the summer, as more car owners prefer to relocate and take extended vacations in the warmer months.
Prepare Your Car for Interstate Transport
You’ll need to put in some effort to prepare your car for transport to ensure it stays safe during transit. Document the car's condition by taking pictures that will serve as evidence for cracks, scratches, scuffs, or dings acquired along the way. Additionally, remove all items from your vehicle apart from equipment like emergency kits, a jack, and spare tire. You should also disable the alarms, and close the top if your car is a convertible.
Get A Temporary Registration or Transit Plates
In states such as California, the plates stay with the car. However, in other areas, the vehicle is registered under the vehicle owner's name, so they’re removed once a sale finalizes. Therefore, you’ll need to acquire a transit permit in the form of an affixed sticker or paper plate. This permit is necessary to ship the car home.
You should contact the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to collect your permits. With their assistance, you can also find out information on the required paperwork and determine if you will need to notarize documents like a sales bill.
Your dream car may be in a different country or state, so don’t restrict yourself to shopping in your local area. Besides, with many auto transport methods and companies, there’s no reason you shouldn’t ship your brand-new car to your doorstep.