Car transport over the Internet is experiencing a boom at the moment. As COVID-19 restrictions make travel (especially interstate travel) impossible, online shopping for classic and collector cars, motorbikes, has never been more popular. Having said that, you will also need to use the services of a transport company that is legally permitted to operate under those restrictions in order to deliver the purchase to its new owner.
No matter whether you’re a victim of Coronavirus or not, sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper to hire a car transport service rather than hiring a trailer. Alternatively, you can fly into the city to pick up the car and then run the risk of a mechanical failure on the way home.
It’s easier to hire a company to ship your vehicle from point A to point B than driving it yourself, regardless of whether you’re buying a car online or moving to another state. You should ask these ten questions before hiring a car transportation company to help you ship a car across the country or even around the world.
1. Do they have a registration number?
Businesses that offer transportation services across state lines, as well as those that cross international borders, must register with the Department of Transportation. DOT numbers are good to have, but you should also be able to check Motor Carrier numbers on the FRCSA website along with DOT numbers.
2. Which services are offered by the company?
Your car shipping company should be able to offer you a range of services. Some may only operate within a particular region, while others may limit the types or sizes of vehicles they transport. You should also inquire whether they offer enclosed or open car shipping. Leaving your vehicle exposed to the elements while shipping across state lines can be tough on it, but an enclosed service could be much more expensive.
3. What are their prices?
Getting a quote for several companies will give you a chance to compare them, and you need to know what’s included in the cost so that you won’t be surprised with ‘extra’ fees. You can usually get a free estimate from most companies if you provide them with basic information. You can ask about the discount when shipping multiple vehicles.
4. What insurance options do they provide?
Transporting your car across the country probably isn’t covered by your motor insurance, so you need to make sure your shipping company has adequate insurance coverage. Find out exactly how much insurance your car will have while it is being shipped, by asking to see their documents. Consider increasing the cover if you do not think it is adequate. The price may be a bit higher, but the benefits are worth it.
5. Is there any documentation you need?
Unless you have the right documentation, it would be very easy for car thieves to steal cars across the country. If you have to provide your registration and insurance documents, check with your transport company to see what type of documents they’ll need to ensure your car can be shipped legally.
6. What is the best way to prepare your car for shipping?
Most companies will want you to remove all your personal property before shipping your vehicle, as moving cars with household items in them is prohibited. Additionally, the Department of Transportation requires that all keys be handed over to the moving company, and it also recommends not filling the tank past a quarter. This helps the company avoid any charges for excess weight, and you avoid any surprises.
7. What is the shipping time?
It varies from company to company as well as where and how you are shipping your car. Quotes for delivery times are rarely guaranteed because things can sometimes go wrong with car shipping. In general, coast-to-coast travel might take one to two weeks, shorter distances just a few days, and overseas transport is much longer.
8. How are payments made?
Depending on the shipping company, you may need to pay the full amount up front, while others will require a deposit, with the remaining balance due upon delivery. If you are planning on paying for your vehicle in cash, be sure to ask the company what payments they will accept, as some may not accept checks, or prefer not to have their drivers carry large amounts of cash.
9. What do you do to ensure your car doesn’t get damaged?
A transportation company will evaluate the general condition of your car with you before picking it up so that both of you can agree on what it is like before it leaves. Similarly, you will check that there have been no damages during transportation with the driver when the order is delivered.
10. In the event that your vehicle is damaged, what happens?
If your car is damaged during transit, it is essential to inspect it thoroughly before the driver signs the delivery report. Your claim will be covered by the shipping company’s insurance.
Getting multiple quotes and shopping around is a good way to compare car transport rates and services offered by different companies. The time and effort it takes to ask these questions will definitely be worth it once your car arrives safely at its destination.