Preparation for Car Transport
A. COST OF SHIPPING A VEHICLE
The first question you'll want answered is "What is the total cost of shipping my car?" To get a good price, complete the quote form or call us at 561-923-0803
origin/destination - include ZIP codes if possible
approximate departure date
type of vehicle(s)
preferred shipping options (see Tip. B)
Just remember that the cheapest price is not always the best. If a broker/company should inform you that they can ship your car significantly lower than the other company, do not pay a deposit until your car is picked up. Today is June 18, 2015 and the rates for shipping is at an increase of nearly 30% since April and will not get better until around August 2015.
B. SHIPPING OPTIONS
To get an accurate quote and be able to compare quotes between companies, make sure you understand your shipping options and what your preferences are:
door-to-door vs. terminal-to-terminal - For door-to-door shipping, the car carrier picks-up your vehicle at your home or workplace and delivers your vehicle to your final destination. For terminal-to-terminal shipping, you deliver your vehicle to a vehicle storage location where the car carrier will then pick up your vehicle. It is delivered to a similar type of location near your final destination.
open or enclosed - Open transport is the less expensive and most common way to ship a vehicle. Enclosed transport is typically priced higher, and it protects your vehicle from dust, rain, snow and other elements. High-end vehicles are sometimes shipped enclosed.
operable or inoperable - Operable vehicles can be driven onto the truck.
Personal items are typically NOT allowed in your vehicle. Most carriers are not licensed or insured to transport household items. Also, the additional weight can put carriers over their weight limit and items of value are easily stolen from an automobile's trunk.
D. TIME IN TRANSIT
The time that your car is in transit will be dependent on a number of factors, including the origin and destination, time of year, and the actual truck that will be shipping your car. When you get quotes from car transport companies, you should also ask about estimated shipping time. The following are common time frames for shipping between different parts of the country. To ship car from Ny to Ca will be around 5 to 10 days.
East to West- 5 to 10 days
South to North - 3 to 7 days
E. PAYMENT METHOD
While some car transport companies may not require payment in advance, most require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost) or full payment in advance. If a deposit is given, the remaining amount due is required at the time of delivery – oftentimes with a cashiers check or cash. Some auto transport companies do accept credit cards, but they may charge a 3% surcharge. As of today June 19, 2015 the transport companies will take a deposit by either credit or debit card and ask that the balance be paid to the driver either by cash, certified check or money order.
READ YOUR CONTRACT CAREFULLY!!!
Ask for a contract clause (in writing) that waives the cancellation fee if the car is not picked up by your car transport company within some number of days of the scheduled pickup date. If you cancel within the allotted window, expect to pay some fee, which may vary from $50 to $250. Although most cars are picked up on the scheduled date or within a few days of that date, a 1 or 2 week delay may occasionally happen. Your cancellation clause should allow for at least a week beyond the scheduled pickup date.
It is difficult for any car transport company to promise a delivery date, however, if your car transport company offers a guarantee that covers a rental car, find out the cost of the guarantee (if any) and the maximum dollars per day covered.
Your vehicle(s) should be insured against damage and theft by your car transport company. Take the following four steps to be sure of the coverage:
Get a copy of Their Insurance Coverage.
Determine if the carrier's insurance is Primary or Secondary to your own insurance in the event of damage during car transport.
Ask if there is a damage deductible.
VERIFY EVERYTHING IN WRITING.
In addition, your own car insurance may cover your vehicle in transit – check with your car insurance company to verify. Keep in mind that many car transport companies may discourage or prohibit you from leaving personal articles in your vehicle. Any personal articles left in the car are not insured – your home policy may cover these articles, but you should check with your home insurance agent to verify. ALSO NOTE: overloading your trunk with heavy items may result in damage to your car's undercarriage. Your car transport company may not cover damage in that instance.
H. PICK-UP & DELIVERY DATES
Ask for estimated pick-up and delivery times from your car transport company. You should be able to get a 3-day window for pick-up – during the busy summer or snow bird season the window may be larger, but the car transport company should warn you of possible delays ahead of time. BE SKEPTICAL OF EXACT PICK-UP AND DELIVERY DATES promised by auto transport companies – If you are promised exact dates, get it in writing and state the remedy if service is not performed on the promised dates ($50 discount, no fee to cancel, reimbursement for rental car, etc.). Once the pick-up is made, your car transport company should provide you with a fairly precise delivery date. If you need an exact date for pick-up, most car transport services can pick-up your car and hold it at a terminal for an additional charge.