Moving to another state is hectic. The state-to-state roads might confuse you and it will take a lot of time and energy to drive your car. Most people hire a professional driver or an auto mover to transport their cars across the country. Hiring an auto transport company is cost-effective and hassle-free. When shipping your car there are three things that you should do: find a reliable transporter, prepare your car, and inspect your car after delivery. Let’s see how to go about through this shipping checklist.
Step 1: Hire a reliable auto transporter
To ship a car to another state, invest some time investigating your auto transporter. When considering a shipper, consider the following;
- Will my car be delivered in good shape? When delivered, your car should be as good as when your shipper picked it up. However, in the case of accidents and damages, your car should be insured. Ensure that you get your insurance certificate before shipping.
- Will my car be delivered in good time? You will probably move by air and wait for your car from the other end. An accurate estimation of the delivery time will help you make the necessary arrangements. A late delivery might cost you and disrupt your program. Depending on your destination, delivery may take 2-3 weeks. However, most auto transporters will charge you an extra fee to ship a car to another state faster.
- Is your company licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration? By law a legitimate interstate moving company should display their U.S DOT number on their website.
- Is the company cost-effective? Consider several quotes before settling for a transporter. For most companies, you will get a free online quote to help you make a decision. The final cost will depend on the transit distance, the shipping options, the size and weight of the car, and the delivery window.
Step 2: Prepare your car
Follow these steps to prepare your car for interstate shipping
- Remove your personal belongings from the car: by law, a shipping company should not carry personal items. These additional items are not insured for transit and you might lose them in case of an accident. And as a rule, auto shipping companies charge extra fees for cars that exceed the standard weight of a car.
- Disable the alarm: If the alarm goes off during transportation, the driver will not be able to deactivate it.
- Drain your tank to about ¼ full. Your car will only be driven when loading and unloading. Therefore, a quarter tank is enough. Note that you might be charged an extra cost to degas your car. In addition, more fuel will add weight to your car and eventually increase the shipping cost.
- Check the condition of your car: Since you want to avoid a damaged car at delivery, inspect it together with the trucker. Wash and clean it thoroughly to make the inspection easier. Take pictures and document any dings, dents, or scratches.
- If your car has mechanical problems, fix them before shipping or inform the driver beforehand.
- Remove any attachments on the car, e.g. racks.
Step 3: Receive your car
If you selected a reliable company to ship the car to another state, you should have your vehicle at the right time. When preparing to receive your automobile;
- Use a tracking device: you should have a way of seeing the transit progress of your car through a tracking device. Most companies will also give you contact information to keep you updated on your shipment.
- Avail yourself at the delivery location: your shipper will probably be delivering other vehicles alongside yours. Make sure you are at the agreed delivery location when your car arrives to avoid delaying other clients.
- Inspect your car: Some transport options may expose your car to damages. Make sure that the condition of your car has not changed.
- Sign the bill of lading: As a protocol, your shipper should give you a bill of lading which documents any damages at the pickup. Once you are satisfied with the condition of our car, sign the document. If there are damages, you will use the bill of lading to make your claims.
Hurray! You have just shipped your car to another state. If you follow the above steps, you will find it easy to do the interstate shipping. If you need further help, feel free to contact us and we will guide you through.
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.