If you are in the market to have your vehicle shipped, you might consider enlisting the help of a personal car transport service. Depending on where you need to have your vehicle shipped, there are quite a large number of services available.
In order to find the best auto transport company that not only meets your needs but also works with your budget, you will need to start researching potentials ahead of time. Use the following guide to help narrow down your search, and before long, your vehicle will be en route via auto carrier to its final destination.
- Create a list of questions for the company - You will want to find a company that has experience dealing with your type of vehicle, whether standard sedan or dually truck or another recreational vehicle altogether, so make sure you inquire about company’s past experience. It is also helpful to find a company that has dealt with your origin location and destination point as well, especially if you need to ship your vehicle internationally. Shipping your vehicle to the Florida Keys, for example, requires a different level of knowledge and familiarity than shipping across the country from New York to California. Crossing international borders or traveling overseas is in a different class of transport entirely.
- Determine your own personal shipping requirements - Do you required a closed container for transporting your vehicle for added protection? Or are you okay with the standard and more affordable open carrier? Do you want door to door shipping? Or would you rather drop off at a port or other common location? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before selecting an auto transport company.
- Calculate a budget - This is a huge factor in helping you determine what company you choose. Contrary to popular belief, in the auto transport industry, paying the highest dollar amount does not necessarily give you the best service. There are actually many affordable options out there with great reputations and better reliability.
- Check references - If you have found a personal car transport service that seems to be a good fit, make sure to check references, either by requesting them through the company directly or looking online. Online review websites such as Yelp are a good place to start, but you can find a more professional overview by checking with the Better Business Bureau.
- Select a company and prepare your vehicle - Once you have found the perfect personal car transport service for your vehicle, you will need to take proper precautions and preparation. All companies will request that you drain your gas tank so that it holds less than ¼ tank. It is also suggested that you remove any aftermarket additions or customizations that may be damaged in transport. Finally, although some companies may allow you to keep some personal belongings in the vehicle, most will request that everything is removed prior to pick-up.
After you have completed the steps in this guide, you should be able to sit back, relax, and await pick-up of your vehicle. Be patient during the transport process, because it can sometimes take longer than anticipated, but a reputable company will always keep you in the loop regarding delivery timeframe.
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.