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When it comes to shipping a vehicle that isn’t operating, transportation can become an issue without hiring a professional auto transport company that has the right equipment. However, due to the appropriate equipment these companies have can make the transportation process a lot smoother and quicker.
Auto transportation companies like A1 are here to relieve any stress you may have about transporting your non-op vehicles. Whether they are commercial use, heavy-duty, or everyday vehicles, here are the steps to ship a non-op vehicle securely and quickly.
Before you hand your inoperable car over to the auto transportation company, you need to determine where the shipment will be delivered. Is it local? Across the nation? International? Knowing where you are moving the car will be important information to your auto transportation company as they have specific shipping guidelines they have to follow based on your shipping destination. The moving location will also determine rates and cost. The farther your distance is, the more you should expect to pay. You also might need certain equipment to ensure safe travel if your location is across the country.
Your inoperable vehicle needs to be shipped by the right company. Meaning, the company needs to have the right equipment. For example, suppose you are shipping an inoperable classic car or heavy-duty machinery. In that case, you should look for an auto transportation company that has the right equipment to protect your valuable vehicle or carry a heavy-duty machine. You should also keep cost in mind and look for the transportation service that has the best deal and fits your budget.
The cost to ship a non-op vehicle depends on a few factors: distance to the drop-off location, conditions of the vehicle, services/equipment being used, and shipping location (international or local). Most inoperable shipping costs are between $150-$5,000, depending on its complexity.
Cost is a big deciding factor for finding the right transportation company to hire. You should do your research and consult with several companies that will ship your vehicle to compare prices. If the prices are not that far off, hire the company you trust the most and feel will safely ship your vehicle.
Some carriers—especially if you choose to ship with an enclosed carrier—will be hard to come by the longer you wait. As soon as you know you will be shipping an inoperable vehicle, it is time to start searching for the right company with the equipment and experience shipping non-op vehicles for a price that fits your budget. After selecting a company, book them immediately! Inoperable vehicles use specific and special tools, so the availability might be selective the longer you wait.
When you consult with the auto transportation company you’re working with, they will want to know the condition of the inoperable vehicle. Inoperable vehicles require the use of a winch to load onto the carrier if they do not run. If your car is not running, they need to know why it’s not running. Your company should not ask for in-depth details, but they need to know the basics of the car’s condition to handle it professionally and accurately. The condition of the inoperable vehicle will depend on the tools and services your company will use to load and transport the vehicle during its journey.
After you’ve discussed with your company the condition of your car and where you are shipping it to, it’s time to select your shipping method. You may have several options if you are shipping a personal car instead of a heavy-duty machine. Enclosed carriers are options that hide your vehicle from the public eye. These carriers use a liftgate to load the non-op vehicle, while an open carrier uses the winch. Again, it comes down to the amount of protection and concealment you want for your vehicle.
There are also shipping methods to choose from in regards to time. If you need express shipping, this may be an option your company provides for an extra fee. On the other hand, if you are not in a rush and are flexible with your shipping time, you could save money when it comes to shipping. Transporting an inoperable vehicle already costs more since it requires special and extra labor to move the vehicle.
Before your vehicle is shipped, you need to prepare it to be loaded. Depending on the type of vehicle you’re shipping, your auto transportation company may require you to do specific things. For example, personal non-op vehicles must be emptied of your belongings. So remove your valuables or items in the car and empty the gas tank to ¼ or lower. This helps with the weight of the vehicle.
You should aim to make your vehicle as light as possible for shipping. The same rule of thumb applies to boats, RVs, and motorcycles. Every inoperable vehicle you ship needs to be emptied with a low gas tank.
If you are shipping your non-op vehicle overseas, you should be aware of possible company regulations. Most transportation companies that ship vehicles overseas follow the rules of the country you are shipping to. If you are moving overseas and need your vehicles transported, it’s important that you communicate this to your company so they can be aware of what specific services will be used. Most vehicles are shipping international by boats or planes, and since you will be shipping an inoperable vehicle, the cost may be extra.
Before it’s time to drop off your car, you need to finish all paperwork except any that is filled out upon delivery. Typically, paperwork is completed before you drop off your car. This helps you and your company tie up loose ends so that everything is good to go when your car is delivered.
When you complete paperwork for the vehicle shipping, your transportation company may ask to see the original papers belonging to your vehicle from the day of purchase, insurance papers, and any paper the company has for you to complete. Therefore, when you meet with your company about shipping your vehicle for the first time, bring along any of your vehicle’s paperwork with you.
Since you are shipping an inoperable vehicle, your hired transportation company will likely pick it up at your home location. Before your transportation company picks up your inoperable vehicle, take pictures of the vehicle for when the vehicle is delivered. There is not much you need to do when you make it to this point. Your auto transport company will take care of all the work for you.
When it comes time to pick up your inoperable vehicle, you should inspect it upon delivery. Some auto transport companies may require the final portion of payment upon delivery. If that’s the case with your hired company, make sure you have payment with you when your car is dropped off.
With A-1 Auto Transport, you have 30 days after delivery to report any scuffs or damages acquired during shipment. Ideally, you should inspect the vehicle when it’s dropped off to report any damages to your driver. If everything looks the way it was before, congratulations! Your inoperable vehicle was shipped successfully!
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.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!
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