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Many clients consider the process of shipping a car troublesome. Most people think that if they’re shipping five cars at once, the stress and hassle will also be multiplied by five. So it comes as no surprise to find that many people dread the idea of shipping multiple cars simultaneously.
However, the technology and methodology used in shipping cars have changed dramatically over the years. This means that shipping multiple cars simultaneously will not mean more stress on the part of the shipper. Most shipping companies have the tools, training, and policies to deal with multiple car shipping. The only thing you should expect to increase is the price, not the number of problems encountered.
Still, if you’re shipping multiple cars, it’s better to be fully prepared on your end to minimize problems and road bumps. We’ve prepared this special guide to know how the process works and what to expect from multiple car shipping.
If you’re shipping multiple cars, you’ll want to look for a shipping method that allows you to ship your cars with one trailer or at least close together to prevent mix-ups later on. Currently, if you want to ship your cars by land, you can choose to do so either through open-air transport and enclosed transport.
The difference between the two shipping methods is simple. As their names suggest, open-air transport uses an open trailer, while enclosed transport uses an enclosed trailer or a shipping container.
Which of the two shipping methods is best for you? It depends on the number of cars you have, your budget and your preferences. First, let’s take a look at how many cars fit into these trailers. An open-air trailer can usually accommodate 7 to 10 cars, while an enclosed trailer can accommodate 3-5 cars, depending on how large the container is. If you have less than five cars, enclosed trailers are a good option. If you have more than 5, you may want to go by open-air transport.
Of course, you should also consider the amount of protection provided by these methods. With open-air transport, your cars are vulnerable to the elements. Yes, they usually put tarps or dust covers over the cars, but these don’t provide ample protection from rain, dirt, snow, and extreme temperatures. With enclosed transport, your cars are protected because the shipping container acts as their shield.
Because enclosed trailers provide more protection, it is more expensive compared to open-air transport. Enclosed car transport can cost twice as much as open-air transport for a single car. Multiple cars mean higher shipping costs, so if you’re on a tight budget, open-air transport might be better for you.
Because you’re shipping multiple cars, it’s only fair that you should look for an affordable shipping package without sacrificing the shipping quality. You can ask for recommendations, look at reviews on the Internet, and call around 3-4 companies to get several quotes. It’s important to get several quotes because a single quote won’t give you enough information. With several quotes, you can get the average market value of the service you’re trying to get.
The estimate the shipping company gives you will depend on several factors:
Go over the quotes you have at your disposal and compare what services are included in the shipping package offered by each company. If you are still unsure or have more questions for the company, ask them before making your final decisions.
When looking for a shipping company, there are some things you should consider before making your decision:
If you want to know more about a company, the best way is to search for previous customers and clients online. People usually give feedback through social media or online review sites, especially if they’ve had a bad experience with the company. You can also check the Better Business Bureau or FMCSA website for customer complaints against the company. You can also check the Internet for any news regarding traffic incidents involving the company.
If you’re shipping multiple cars, it’s crucial to book way ahead of time. Around 4-6 weeks in advance is the recommended time allowance because it allows companies to accommodate all your cars into one shipping trailer.
As stated earlier, your chosen shipping date can increase your shipping costs. The months of March to September are considered peak season for shipping companies, so booking outside of that may save you a lot of money.
There are several ways by which you can sufficiently prepare your cars for shipping day. Although most shipping companies are cautious with handling cars during loading and unloading, you can always give them a hand by making your cars easier to transport.
Decide on how to get your cars to the shipping company. Depending on your location, it might not be possible to park the company’s trailer at your home or your place of business. You may need to employ people to drive the cars to the shipping company’s lot or hire a moving truck to take them there. If your place of business has a large parking spot or a space big enough to accommodate a vehicle trailer, the shipping company might pick them up directly.
You have the option of watching as your cars are loaded into the trailer. We recommend taking a video of the entire procedure, just in case, there are disputes later on. The crew will either drive the cars into place or move them manually. Each car is secured in place individually. Once the necessary paperwork has been signed, you can bid your cars farewell and wait for the arrival date.
After booking your shipping date, you’re usually given an estimated day of arrival by the shipping company. However, these are just estimates, and unforeseen circumstances may extend your waiting time by a day or two. Some companies will send you emails or text messages giving you updates on the shipping process.
Multiple car shipping that is less than 1,000 miles usually takes around 2-3 days. On the other hand, long-distance shipping can take as long as two weeks.
Because you are shipping multiple cars simultaneously, you may want to avail yourself of door-to-door pickup. It’s more expensive than a terminal pickup, but it’s worth the cost if you’re shipping several cars. However, keep in mind that your destination should have enough space to accommodate a huge vehicle trailer.
Another pickup option is a terminal pickup, which means you will pick the vehicles up at the terminal or depot. This may be troublesome with several cars, but if you can get your employees, friends, or relatives to help you, you can drive the cars to your home or place of business.
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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