Can You Ship Cars?

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Can You Ship Cars?
Can You Ship Cars?

Can you ship cars?

The straight answer is yes. The car shipping industry is thriving under the increased demand for cars. If you are wondering whether you can ship cars, you have already decided not to drive it to your destination. Shipping your car, offers you a cost-effective and less-tedious means to move your vehicle from state to state or from country to country.

You can ship cars both locally and internationally. These two processes follow certain laws and procedures which you might not know. Understanding the protocol is important for a successful shipment.

So, can you ship cars? Follow the steps below and find out what it all entails.

Gather the certificate of title

Your car should have the original certificate of title to be presented to the U.S customs. This certificate shows the year of manufacture, the make, and the model. In the case that you do not have the original certificate, use a certified title. For new cars, ensure that you have the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

Book a shipment date

Shipping takes anything from 4 days to 4 weeks for local deliveries. The delivery period is subject to your transporter’s efficiency and location. Once you book to ship your car, your company will give you the pickup and delivery dates. If you want to have favorable dates, make an early reservation. Two weeks should be good for low season shipping. However, you can have a quicker delivery at an extra cost if you make such requests to your company.

Insure your car

The transit process is complicated and your car is exposed to damages. Your car should be insured before shipping. This is usually done by the transporting company. Ask your shipper about their insurance policy. Read the policy document and understand the extent to which your vehicle is covered.

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Prepare your vehicle for shipping

  • Clean your vehicle inside and out. This will help both you and your shipping company to understand the condition of the vehicle. It is also important that your car does not carry soil that could compromise the agriculture of your destination.
  • Check the condition of your vehicle. During transit, your car might be damaged. If your vehicle arrives in a poorer condition, you should be compensated by your auto transporter. Inspecting your car is your evidence of the original state of your automobile. Your transporter should give you a bill of lading to document the condition of your car.
  • Clear personal contents: The customs does not allow a shipping company to carry personal items. Note that your insurance does not cover household items. In addition to the personal contents, remove any removable parts of the vehicle. If you are in doubt, talk to your shipper about the parts you can leave in the vehicle. In the case that you leave some items, list them accordingly before shipping.
  • Leave only a ¼ of your tank full: If your tank has more fuel than necessary, you might be charged degassing costs. Fuel adds to the weight of cars which limits the number of cars a shipper can transport.
  • Give your driver the car keys

Open or covered carrier?

You may opt to have your car transported in an open or closed trailer. As their names suggest, the open carrier has no cover while the covered carrier is enclosed. With the open transport, you will ship for less money but your car is exposed to weather elements, and intrusion. On the other hand, the enclosed transport is safe from weather, public intrusion, and road debris. Generally speaking, both methods are safe.

Door to door or terminal to terminal service?

Depending on your location and availability, you may choose to have your car delivered to your location or pick it at the terminal. Usually shippers prefer the door to door method when delivering to clients in major towns. For remote areas, the terminal to terminal service works better.

At the delivery

Have your shipper provide you with a tracking method for your shipment. Mostly the GPS tracker will be used. In this case you may need to log on to their website, track from your mobile device, or email your transporter.

Once your company arrives, inspect it again. Make sure that you agree with the inspection report before signing it. If you do not, this is an important point to make a damage claim.

Can you ship cars? Hopefully, you can do so now. Although the shipping process is complicated, an experienced company will guide you through if you need help, feel free to contact us.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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