Useful tips for shipping a car across the country

What are the advantages of shipping a car ?

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is that you could drive it yourself. But this always ends up being an exhaustive and potentially dangerous solution on very long distances. It also looks like the cheapest solution at first glance, but hidden costs can rapidly add up: Gas, hotels, meals, time off from work, and away from family and other pressing personal issues. Not to mention the added mileage that is especially unwelcome on older cars. When it comes to moving a car through any international border or even overseas to another continent, the complications sometimes become unmanageable. This is why many people turn to professional car shipping companies and their know-how. They have the logistics and manpower to cover all this for you, and much more. Shipping your car across states or the globe then becomes a much easier process.

Considerations before choosing a solution

The most important part of a decision is to do some basic research : If you are looking at shipping a car to another state or overseas, do a quick market search of the best companies to ship a car and compare methods and prices, contact them directly, and read their reviews to see how trustworthy they are and if they are a good fit for your needs. Moving a small city car, a family car, or a luxury old timer are not the same thing and some companies are more specialized than others. Be sure to decide between the two most common shipping options: open or enclosed shipment. Open transport is more common and thus cheaper, but not suitable if you have a unique classic car, as the car is exposed to weather conditions and dirt. Unless you are really in a hurry and prepared to spend a large sum on shipment, be flexible with your dates when booking as it will bring prices down by a lot. Avoid the busy season between April and September if you can.

And finally, if you are shipping overseas, know that fees, custom duties, and taxes are applicable depending on the destination and on the shipping company. Be sure to learn about the different laws in force in the country of destination.

The different shipment options

Depending on the company you choose and your preferred method, you can ship a car by train, boat, air, and even by truck. If you are shipping a car to another stat eor to a country nearby, train and truck are the most common methods used to make sure your car makes it safely to destination without the process costing you too much. There are covered and uncovered trucks and, depending on the company, it may be possible to get your car straight to a specific address. Trains are faster but also a bit more expensive when it comes to shipping a car. Some companies might also ask you for additional insurance if you choose that mode of transport. To ship a car overseas is another matter altogether, and boats and air transport are obviously used for that purpose. Shipping by air is the most expensive option but also the fastest and safest for a very special car you want to move. Boat transport is thus more common for most overseas shipping. Cars are pulled into individual containers or loaded in a bigger container with other vehicles, and then put on big ocean liners for major port destinations.

Finally, cars can be shipped by sea without using containers just by a popular method called Roll on/Roll off (RoRo): cars are just driven on large shipping vessels and secured for the crossing. It is a cheaper option, but your car needs to be in working condition( running and drivable), otherwise a fee is applied.

Preparing your car for shipment and delivery

Now that you have done all the preliminary searches and decided upon a shipping solution for your car, it needs to be prepared for the journey. Good preparation is the key to a hassle free and stressless shipping. First make sure your car is clean and washed in and out. This is not just a question of aesthetics. A clean car is easier to inspect before and after the trip so that any possible damages can be properly claimed. Trust is important and you want to enter your contract with the shipping company on a good footing. Remove any unnecessary load from the car, you are paying to ship a car not your things. Make sure your car has valid insurance and that it is working properly, especially the brakes. Finally, disable any alarms and don’t fill up the tank completely, it just makes the car heavier and is not very useful. Congratulations, your car is set to go!

Nowadays, shipping a car across country or internationally does not have to be a big stressful deal. Counting a 1 to 4 weeks period to arrange all the details, there are many reliable and efficient car shipping companies out there to help you with many different requirements. Take your time to compare quotes and make any calls you might need to answer all your questions. Be sure to remember that good planning brings costs down as well.