Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Car
It is not every day that you decide to ship your car across the country. Nobody wants to see their precious vehicle carelessly damaged and left footing the bill. You also do not want to overpay, only to find a much better deal as soon as you have finished. Since most will be unfamiliar with how to ship a car, here are some pitfalls to avoid.
Overpaying or Underpaying
Shipping a vehicle comes at several different price points, all of which vary depending on how far the vehicle must travel. For the budget-minded consumer, open-air shipping is likely the best bet. You have probably seen these trucks on the interstate. This low-cost method will move your car while exposed to the elements.
For those who want more than a fraction of protection, you may choose to go with the aptly named closed-container shipping. Here the vehicle is transported in a covered truck or shipping container.
Some companies have convenient door-to-door options that cut out the hassle of pick-ups and drop-offs. Additionally, for exotic, luxury, or classic cars, some companies offer premium services in which the utmost care is taken. Look at your budget and decide which option is best for you.
Not all automotive shipping companies are created equal. Some may promise low rates but then will surprise you with hidden fees. Do your research. Some companies offer special discounts to special groups like students, seniors, and military personnel. You will not know until you ask. Call a couple of places and ask what deals for which you may qualify. Get several quotes to be sure you are getting the best deal.
Not Inspecting the Vehicle
The last thing you want is to have your vehicle returned to find damage. Even worse, if you have no way to prove when the damage happened, you may end up footing the bill yourself. Be smart and create some accountability.
Before and after you send your car off, be sure to get it looked at and take some pictures. At worst, it is just an exercise for peace of mind. At best, this can save you thousands by keeping you from paying for costly repairs. Some companies will do this as a part of the service. Keep your own records and make sure your shipper signs off on them as well.
Not Having Insurance
You would not drive your car without insurance, so why would you send it on a long journey without insurance. Even with the utmost care, accidents still happen. Make sure you are covered.
If you have insurance, make sure your provider has your back in the event of a shipping mishap. If you do not have insurance or are willing to switch, shop around to make sure you have the best car insurance for you. Even if not fully covered, some insurance and car shipping companies will let you pay a small fee to make up the difference.
Make Sure You Have the Right Paperwork
The last thing you want is to get everything in order, only to find your car will not be shipped because you have failed to provide the requisite documents. Usually, all most companies need is your registration to prove you are the owner of the vehicle and proof of insurance. To avoid any issues, make sure you have these ready to go.
Clean Out Your Car
It may seem innocuous to leave your personal belongings in your car. It is your car, after all, but this creates problems. Automotive shippers are prohibited by law from transporting a vehicle containing household items. Some shipping companies may allow some personal items to remain behind. However, bear in mind insurance will not cover loss or damage to these items. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the Department of Transportation will not seize your belongings. Play it safe and clean out your car.
Automotive shipping can seem like an overwhelming process. Still, with the help of the tips above, you can make sure you are not caught off guard by any number of events. Be smart, and with a bit of business savvy and care, you can rest easy knowing you are getting the best deal and that you have coverage if things go wrong.