COST OF SHIPPING A VEHICLE:
The first question you'll need answer is "What is the total cost of shipping my car?" To get a good price, obtain quotes from several auto shipping companies and be prepared to provide:
1. origin/destination - include ZIP codes if possible
2. approximate departure date
3. type of vehicle(s)
4. preferred shipping options
Just remember that the cheapest price is not always the best.
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:
1. 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.
2. Open or enclosed - Open transport is the less expensive and most common way to ship a vehicle. Sealed off transport is typically priced higher, and it protects your vehicle from dust, rain, snow and other elements. High-end vehicles are sometimes shipped enclosed.
3. Operable or inoperable - Operable vehicles can be driven onto the truck. Inoperable vehicles require special equipment to pull the vehicle onto the truck. If your vehicle is inoperable you need to let the auto transport company know, so they can make sure the truck that picks up your vehicle has the proper equipment.
Your vehicle(s) should be insured alongside damage and theft by your car shipping company. Take the following four steps to be sure of the coverage:
1. Get a copy of Their Insurance Coverage.
2. Determine if the carrier's insurance is primary or secondary to your own insurance in the event of damage during car shipping.
3. Ask if there is damage deductible.
4. Verify everything in writing.
In addition, your own car insurance may cover your vehicle in transport – check with your car insurance company to verify. Keep in mind that many car shipping and auto shipping companies may deject 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.
Note: overloading your case with heavy items may result in damage to your car's undercarriage. Your car transport company may not cover damage in that instance.
IF DAMAGE OCCUR:
The majority of car transport experiences are worry-free, with your damage-free vehicle arriving at the expected time. On occasion, a vehicle may be damaged in transit. If this should happen, note all damage on your inspection report, obtain the driver's signature, and contact your car transport company. The auto shipping company should then work with you to refund you for confirm-able damage done to your car.
If you believe that a car shipping company has not treated you properly, first try to work it out with the company. Car shipping companies are more likely to collaborate with you if they believe you are trying to work fairly with them. Be reasonable, but firm. If all else fails, you may consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Office in the city in which the auto transport company is listed. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation – http://www.dot.gov – regulates auto shipping companies – however they will usually not get involved until after you have a court judgment against a car shipping company.
For more information about car shipping, visit aaat.com.