There are plenty of reasons why you might want to ship your car out of state. Perhaps you’re a vintage car enthusiast who wants to show off your collection at a prestigious show, moving across the country, or gifting your car to a family member living out of state.
Whatever the reason, it’s vital you do your homework if you want your auto transport experience to be a good one. For that, you need it to go smoothly, quickly, and as affordably as possible.
Lucky for you, there are some things you can do to increase the possibility of this happening. Let’s share the top 10 tips for shipping a car to another state.
1. Find the right auto transport company to ship your car
Google is an excellent place to start your research. Another informative site is Trustpilot. Narrow your search to a few possible and affordable options, and then check out how they stack up according to actual customers.
Once you’ve read a good selection of reviews, it’s a good idea to double-check with the Better Business Bureau. Ideally, you want a company with a good reputation and one who knows what they’re doing when it comes to providing a car shipping service.
2. Work out how much it will cost
If you know someone who shipped their car to another state, it might be worth asking which company they used and how much they paid. This will give you a ballpark figure you can compare with.
To determine the cost of an auto transport service, you can click, call, or visit a brick-and-mortar location. Alternatively, many of the top auto transport companies offer online quote calculators. SGT Auto Transport is one such auto transport company.
3. Get multiple quotes
Shopping around is always a sensible thing to do. Whether you call an auto transport provider directly or use an online calculator to get the rates, aim to get at least 2-3 quotes.
With multiple quotes, you’re able to get an idea of the fair market shipping price, and it’ll help you find a car shipping company that suits your budget.
4. Choose the type of auto transport service wisely
When you’re deciding how you want to ship your car, it’s likely you’ll be given two options: enclosed vs. open car transport.
Enclosed auto transport is a service that protects your car with four walls, a roof, and a floor. On the other hand, open car transport means your vehicle is transported in a trailer that’s open on all sides. Which one you choose depends on your needs and the type of car.
Open car transport is the most popular choice. Your car may be exposed to the elements, but it is still one of the safest and most secure ways to ship a car.
On the other hand, enclosed auto transport costs 30% to 40% more, but it is the transport method of choice for people who own custom, classic, antique, luxury, unique, and expensive cars.
5. Be flexible with your pick-up and delivery times
If you want your car picked up or delivered by a specific date, you’ll almost always have to pay a premium. The cheapest way to ship a car is to be flexible.
It’ll also pay to be flexible with your pick-up and delivery locations. If you choose locations that are remote and far from cities or interstates, you’ll pay more to ship your car. You’ll get a better car shipping price if you’re flexible and willing to drive your car to a more convenient location.
6. Ship in the offseason if possible
The busiest months of the years in the auto transport industry are June to August. The slowest months are December to February. If you want low-priced car shipping, do it during the slow months of the year. The rates you pay in January are typically much lower than those in July.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Before you make your booking, make sure you’ve gone through all the essential questions with a customer service representative. If the company has a LiveChat service, you’ll be able to ask all your questions easily and quickly. You might want to ask the following questions:
- How many days is my quote valid for?
- Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?
- Is there a refund policy?
- Do you include insurance in your pricing?
- What is your cancellation policy?
8. Book in advance
It’s always a good idea to book your auto transport service as soon as you know you need it. By doing this, you can be confident you’re getting the best possible quote. It’ll also give you plenty of time to plan your move and get your car ready for its journey.
9. Prepare your vehicle for its journey
Once you’ve decided on the car shipping company and how you want to ship your car, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle. Shipping a car is not the same as sending a parcel through FedEx or UPS. For your car, you need to go the extra mile.
The first thing to do is clean the interior and exterior of your car. By doing this, all the scratches, dent, dings, scuffs, and cracks will be clearly visible. Make sure you take pictures for your records.
The next step is to fill your gas tank to around a quarter full. This means you’ll have enough gas to get from the trailer to its new home without needing to stop at a gas station.
Remove all your personal belongings from the vehicle, including anything you’ve got stored in the trunk and glove compartment. It’s also a good idea to remove any toll road beepers.
10. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation
When you hand over your vehicle to the carrier, it’s a good idea to have the vehicle’s registration, title, and proof of insurance. However, most shipping companies won’t ask to see them.