Will a Moving Company Ship My Car?
Are you planning to move soon? A lot of planning goes into making your move a smooth one, but one area that most people often overlook is how they will get their car to their new location. Whether you want to drive it yourself, or have your moving company take care of it, you have many options available to you.
In this article, we are going to talk to you about the following:
- The different auto transport methods available to you
- The steps you will need to take to ship your car
- How to choose a reputable moving company
When you need to move your car, you have two choices: Drive it yourself and rack up tons of additional miles or hire an auto transport company to take care of it for you. The good news is that most moving companies have connections with auto transport companies, making it really easy for you to ship your car across the country.
You need someone trustworthy to ship your car so that you can pick it up at your new moving location. This is a daily occurrence that happens to many people. But shipping your car doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you know how the process works.
Moving is a taxing process.
You need to box up your possessions, figure out where you are going to send them (like a storage locker or to a new home several states over), and then find a moving company that can ship your stuff for you. In addition, if you have multiple cars, or even one car, you may think it is near impossible to have the moving company ship your cars. Don’t sweat it, moving companies can and will ship your car, and all things considered, the prices aren’t that outrageous.
The process of moving your cars is fairly simple too. Let’s take a look at the process and what you should expect when you are trying to ship your vehicles.
They will provide you with a shipping form
A shipping form is essential because it will contain your shipping details. You could be moving your car to the next state over, or even out of the country. Regardless of the final destination of your vehicle, you will need to fill this form out.
The moving company’s courier and driver will need the form properly filled out to ship your car correctly. If you are shipping your car out of the country, U.S. Customs will compare the form to your shipment in order to ensure that your car can be shipped.
A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.
It is essential that your shipping form is filled out correctly. Making an error on it can complicate the shipping process, leading to delays, and even rejection at the border. If your shipping company, or even U.S. Customs notices that the car you describe on the shipping form differs from your final shipment vehicle, the shipping process will be delayed or halted. Delays are costly, but shipping halts are even costlier.
Common information to see on a shipping form include things like:
- The location of pickup
- The final destination
- Any extra services you would like to request/notes for the company
- Contact information
- Vehicle information
- Other details specifically requested by the shipping company
Every shipping company’s form may be different, but the above information applies to almost every company you will do business with. Remember, if you have any questions, please contact the company. They will be more than willing to help you with your paperwork in order to avoid any potential delays and headaches.
The process of moving your car
The process of moving your car, once your shipping form is filled out and the company has been paid, is fairly simple, but requires some preparation. The process usually looks something like this. Your car will be picked up, loaded, transported, and handed off at the car’s destination to whomever you authorize to pick up your car.
If you designate a family member or friend to pick up your car, write that down on the shipping form. If you want to pick up the car yourself, or you are having it delivered to your new house for instance, you simply need to wait at the destination you selected at the expected time of delivery or detail a specific area at your new house that they can drop the car off at.
Moving companies can move your car. If a company cannot move your car itself, due to limitations on fleet vehicles available or logistics, the company will tell you who they are outsourcing the job to. Do not be alarmed if a different company drops off your vehicle. It isn’t out of the normal for a moving company to outsource their auto shipping. Consider this is necessary step for the moving company to ship your vehicle and to reduce your workload when it comes to completing the shipment.
Think about it like this…
Would you rather a company with no auto shipping experience shipping your vehicle, or an auto shipping company that has been in business for two decades? The answer is pretty easy. Your moving company (if they lack the experience) will outsource the project to the real experts, just like an auto shipping company would contract a reliable moving company to help them ship household items. This is how the shipping business works.
Choose a shipping method based on your pickup and final locations
There are many shipping methods available to you. These methods vary in cost, time to ship, and convenience. Here are the most popular options that you can generally choose from. Note that these options will vary from company to company based on the equipment they have.
Open Air Transport
Open air transport is a form of shipping where your car is loaded with a bunch of other cars on a low loader trailer being pulled by a big rig truck. The vehicle is exposed to the weather and to the elements, which is why it is called “open air.”
This method of shipping is very fast and the moving company will pick up and ship your car as one vehicle as part of a route to ship multiple vehicles. This method is also the cheapest, which can be a very big benefit.
Enclosed transport is a form of car transport where your vehicle is loaded into a trailer that is sitting on a low loader, again attached to a big rig truck. The trailer may contain only your vehicle, or it may contain other people’s vehicles as well if the trailer is very long.
The trailer is locked and secured between shipments, which helps protect your vehicle from the elements. Pebbles flying in the wind will not chip your windshield and birds will not do their business on your vehicle if it is in a secured trailer, rather than out in the open air.
This method of shipping is still affordable, but not as affordable as open air transport. However, many people wanting to ship their cars with a moving company do use this method of transport.
“Roll on, Roll off” (RoRo) Shipping
Shipping your vehicle overseas, or even to another port within your country (shipping your vehicle by sea from Florida to New York), makes the moving process a bit more complicated, but still very achievable. There are a few extra steps involved.
With “roll on, roll off” shipping, the moving company’s courier/driver will drive your car into the cargo hold of the ship, your car will be secured in place, and your car will be shipped. Think of the cargo hold like a parking lot on a ship. Many other vehicles will be shipped right alongside yours, each of them also secured to the hold’s floor.
A lightweight version of “roll on, roll off” shipping is a ferry. You drive onto the ferry, park where you are told to, and wait for the ferry to reach the destination’s shore. From there, everyone is efficiently directed to drive off the ferry. “Roll on, roll off” shipping is the same type of process, but much bigger and handled by the moving/shipping company.
A vehicle needs to be operational in order for a vehicle to be eligible for “roll on, roll off” shipping. Some companies will load your vehicle onto a ship using heavy machinery, but this will greatly increase your costs and is only recommended if the non-operational vehicle is worth a lot.
Trailer Shipping Overseas
If your car is non-operational, or if you specifically want to request enclosed trailer shipping overseas, you can have your vehicle shipped in a trailer. This option is more expensive than “roll on, roll off” shipping, however.
You are paying for the convenience of the shipping accommodations. Like the difference between open air transport and enclosed transport over land, you receive the benefits of having your vehicle secured and protected from the elements during transport.
This method is usually recommended for rare or exotic cars that are worth a lot of money. The extra protection will shield them from the elements and any other unforeseen damage.
Your moving company will walk you through the entire process
No matter what happens, your moving company will take the time to explain the process to you. The truth is, most people haven’t shipped their vehicle before and they know this.
Shipping a car, even with a moving company, is an achievable process. Millions of people have done it. Moving companies deal with this task every day all over the world. If you have any questions, contact your moving company. They will be able to help you with any issues that you may have.
A Few Tips for the Road
Moving is an overwhelming process on its own. Don’t let the thought of shipping your car make it worse. The process is really easy, even if you are shipping your car internationally. U.S. Customs may seem scary, but their rules are logical and easy to make sense of if you have experience dealing with them.
Always hire an auto transport company to help you take care of international shipping when it comes to your vehicles. Their experience is worth the price as they are familiar with the different forms, shipping regulations (both domestic and foreign), and they have a deep understanding of the process and how it works.
In this guide you have learned why you need to fill out a shipping form, the general process of having your car moved, and the various types of shipping methods available to you in order to successfully move your car over land and overseas. Moving companies are more than capable of helping you ship your car wherever you want. Whether they take care of the auto shipment themselves, or they outsource it to a company that they trust, moving companies have connections and they will get the job done.
While the price range and shipping methods will vary, the end result will not. Assuming that your vehicle is shippable, you will be able to ship it. All that you need to do is to contract a moving company to do so.
One more thing…
A-1 Auto Transport has been helping Americans ship their vehicles domestically and internationally for over a decade. Not only do we have a strong reputation, but we offer some pretty competitive prices too. If you are looking to ship your vehicle, we recommend that you call our competition and get some quotes because we know that we offer a better service at a better price.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us.
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.