Submitted by Madeline Urban on 09/03/2020
What to look for when you are getting ready to ship?
You just found out that you’re moving to a new city. What an exciting experience! If you are anything like me, your first thought wasn’t about how your family is going to ship your car(s). You just know that they have to get your vehicles on a truck to haul them off to their new location.
When it comes to shipping vehicles, it may be hard trying to find what services are best for you. Sometimes it helps to find out the factors that determine the cost of shipping a vehicle. By the time you are done reading this, I hope that you will have a better understanding as to why vehicle shipments cost what they do and how you can pick the best service.
One of the factors that goes into your vehicle’s shipping cost is the distance being traveled. For my family, we were moving from Seattle, Washington to South Kingstown, Rhode Island. That’s a distance of about 3,018.5 miles! According to (consumeraffairs.com) the average cost to ship a car from the west coast to the east coast is $1,105. The average cost to ship a truck or SUV in the same distance is about $1,270. Broken down, it will cost you about $0.40 per mile to ship your vehicle across the country. It will take your vehicle(s) about 7-10 days to ship.
Another factor that goes into vehicle shipping is the type of car that is being shipped and the quantity. Shipping a classic car is going to most likely cost more to ship than shipping your family’s 10 year old car. If you ship multiple cars, that will have an impact on your quote as well. Electric cars have become more and more popular over the years and it can have an effect on the price of your shipment. Usually they should not cost more to ship but some companies believe that they have to have more precautions when they ship the electric cars. Because of the batteries installed in the cars there is a risk of the vehicle bursting into flames and spreading to other vehicles. This is highly unlikely but some companies want to charge for that additional
risk. In addition to the not so severe fire hazard, the weight of the batteries make the cars slightly heavier than other vehicles. It’s important to know if your transport company is overcharging you or not. One of the main choices that you will face when shipping your car is if you want to ship it by open car transport or enclosed car transport. Open car transportation includes your car being shipped on a trailer that doesn’t have walls or a roof. It may be cheaper but your vehicle may be exposed to all of the elements at every moment of transportation. In enclosed car transport, your vehicle has added protection of walls and a roof. It doesn’t make it easy for the driver to make routine inspections on the vehicles and it may cost more than the open car transportation option.
Most auto transit companies include a baseline insurance plan with your vehicle shipment. Each company is different and they may offer different coverages from one another. Make sure to take the time to look into what the coverage has to offer and see if it’s enough for you. You should also compare their insurance plan to yours. You can contact your insurance company and see if they will cover any damages that occur during transit. Based upon the make, model and other factors, you may want to opt for additional coverage that will add to your shipment price quote. It is important to be aware of what’s in your car before you ship. You shouldn’t ship anything of value with your vehicle.
Don’t forget to find out if you can be approved for discounts. There are many different discounts that different companies offer their customers. Some discounts include:
➔ First Time Shipper
➔ A Returning Customer
➔ Multi-Car shipments
➔ A First Responder
➔ Early Bird
Without doing research I would have never been able to discover that there were discounts for students or “early birds”.
Shipping your car includes getting it ready to ship. Based on the vehicle you’re shipping, there are certain maintenance things you have to do to ensure the safety of your car and auto transporter. For any vehicle, you have to make sure that there is little to no gasoline in your gas tank. On an ATV or motorcycle, you should take off the side mirrors so they don’t break off when the vehicle moves around. You should take out any valuables in your car or anything that might add weight to your vehicle that causes it to go over the weight limit. Make sure to take photos of your car internally and externally so you have proof of damages if there are any after the shipment. What some people might forget about is their automatic toll devices! Don’t forget to take out or deactivate your automatic toll device so you don’t have any additional charges to pay for as your vehicle is being shipped.
Most importantly, before you ship you should know about auto transport rules and regulations. According to American Auto Transport (AAT) it’s federal law that auto transporters are only allowed to carry a certain amount of weight on their trucks. Your car is usually not weighed before it is picked up but the weight is estimated based on the make and model of your vehicle while allowing for an additional 100lbs to be added to the vehicle’s estimated weight. Even though the trucks don’t usually get weighed before shipping, there are certain points in the road where drivers are required to get weighed to make sure that they are honoring the law.
(AAT) Why is this important for you to know? It will make you aware of a federal law that you could possibly be breaking and get fined for. Another regulation is “All standard carriers have height restrictions of 7’ or less.”(AAT) If your vehicle is over the 7’ restriction, then depending on the vehicle, you will need a special carrier to ship it. It’s important to know the measure of your vehicle because if it exceeds the regulation, then it can cause delays to pickup and shipments. Another regulation is how much time a driver can spend on the road transporting. An auto transport driver can not work or drive for more than 11-14 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. (FMCSA)
Now that you know a little bit more about vehicle transportation, good luck on the rest of your move! I hope that you find the service that fits well for you and your transportation needs.
Submitted by Madeline Urban on 09/03/2020