Moving a car is a big job for the first-timers as well as for the veterans in the business. For those looking "how to ship my car" on the internet, follow these 5 steps:
Step 1 – Choosing the Company
This is perhaps the most important step of all as this will be the determining factor between a successful move and a disastrous one. Of course, we all know the golden rule – check Google and other search engines. However, what most people do not know is that not all companies out there will do what they say. This means that it takes more than a simple online search to get the right company and that is why you need to do more to find the right company.
- Compare notes – The easiest way to choose the best company is to compare the reviews left by previous customers. You do not have to go anywhere or call anyone but it is all written there for you.
- Compare quotes – All moving companies will have a common set of criteria with which they will tell you their quote. However, there are a few details on which they will differ and that is what makes all the difference.
- Compare services – go in for competitive services rather than competitive rates. There may be companies which will give door-to-door delivery at competitive rates and it may be worth your while to go in for those companies rather than choosing a lesser priced terminal-to-terminal delivery.
Step 2 – Choosing the Right Kind of Carrier
Open carriers–This is the more economical choice and when you have to transport more than one car, this becomes the perfect choice. Open carriers come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to carry a lot of cars at the same time. Even if the carriers are open, your car will be secure and neatly strapped down.
Closed carriers–This is a more expensive option but it is the right choice for expensive custom, classic and sports cars as they will keep them safe and secure. They will also arrive at the destination without any travel dust or scratches. They can also carry multiple vehicles at a time but not as many as an open carrier can carry. Most people choose closed carriers only when they need to move their cars during harsh weather.
Step 3 – Get the Documents Ready
Now, this may seem confusing but when you know what to get, the job becomes easy.
- Original papers proving ownership – these include title and registration along with any lien document if you have it.
- Notarized letter – this is only in case you are not the owner of the car and you will need it if you are either picking or handing the car over to the moving company.
- Insurance – most of the time the moving company will offer to get one for you but you can also check with your existing car insurance company whether the move is covered.
- Photo identification – this can be your driver’s license or your passport and make sure that it is not expired.
In case you need to ship your car overseas, you will the following additional documents –
- Bill of sale – you can even give a Notarized Bill of Sale.
- Sales Tax–This is proof that you have paid Sales Tax in the state that you purchased your vehicle.
- Import Duty – You have to pay this tax which will vary upon the destination country.
- Power of Attorney document – This is needed when you are importing the car on behalf of someone else.
You can also check out http://export.gov/logistics/eg_main_018121.asp for further information.
Step 4 – Do Not Get Taken for a Ride
Read the documents - It is essential that you read between the fine lines so that you will know exactly what you are paying for. Sometimes, you may be paying for the entire pie when you only want a single piece. Reading the contract will also prevent you from making assumptions about their services and thereby eliminate the possibility of a bad experience.
Make no/part payment before delivery - The payment is a crucial step that you will have to consider before choosing the company. Do not pay the full amount beforehand. The understanding is that a car company promises to deliver the same in the same condition that it was picked up and so the customer pays a small amount upfront. This will act as a surety for you when the car does not get delivered in the same condition. However, there are some companies that are so sure of their services that they will not ask you for upfront deposit.
The Final Step - Getting the Car Ready for Shipping
There are a few steps before the car is ready for the journey.
- Empty the car of all your personal belongings
- The petrol tank should have only a quarter tankful of petrol so that it makes the car less heavy.
- The alarm should be disabled and the car company will take care of the safety of the car till its gets delivered.
- Inspect the car for any damages, scratches and dents to make a list and the company will also do the same. It would be a good idea for you to counter-check the company’s “Vehicle Condition” report with yours and keep a copy of it with you.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.