7 Great Tips to Ensure a Safe Car Shipping Transaction

The increasingly connected nature of world commerce has given rise to a marked increase in demand for car shipping services covering all types of vehicles — from cars to motorbikes, vans and trucks. Online car sales and car auctions have recently accelerated this demand.


As a result, consumers have a wide range of car shipping companies to choose from. But how do you select a car shipping service that is right for you? Here are a few tips to help you make that choice.



  1. Choice of containerEnclosed Or Not Enclosed

Generally, enclosed containers are more expensive but the advantage is your car will be protected from weather during transportation.


I recommend the ‘enclosed’ method of transportation if your car is brand new or expensive — a vintage car or an expensive sports automobile for example.



  1. Cost

Make sure the first question you ask the car transporter is, ‘What will be the total cost of car transportation?’ Do your homework. Get quotes from several auto transport companies and compare rates. The cost of transporting your car is most often calculated by auto transportation companies using five key pieces of information:


  • Origin and destination
  • Vehicle Type
  • Departure date
  • Service type (door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal)
  • Closed or enclosed shipment



  1. Payment Type

Ask about the payment method. Most auto transport companies will not demand full payment in advance. Some request a deposit, though this should not exceed 25% of total transportation cost.


Cash or check is generally accepted, but credit card payment can carry a surcharge of 2 to 3%.



  1. Check the small print

Never make a decision based solely on the verbal promises of the auto transporter. Ensure that all important information and offers are given in writing.


Make sure that the paperwork contains a clause requiring the company to pay penalty charges should it fail to deliver your car within a specified time period. Just remember that penalties may apply to the purchaser too — if you cancel the contract after a certain time limit for example. Though any such penalty should not exceed $250.


  1. Shipping Routes & Delivery Destination

If you want your car shipped door-to-door terms be sure to check whether your chosen transportation company offers such a service.


Some companies deliver only to major cities on their shipping routes or to clearly defined pickup locations (such as a Freight Depot). If so, that’s no problem, just remember you are responsible for collecting the car from these locations.

Other car shipping companies charge an additional fee for a door-to-door service. Be sure you understand the basis on which you are trading before you ship your car.



  1. Car Inspection

Most car shipping companies use a car inspection checklist before and after the car is shipped. Don’t lave this to them! Go through the checklist and make sure the condition of your car is properly checked before shipping.


Take time to check your car for damage when it is delivered. Examine your car’s condition carefully and slowly, including roof and bumpers. Note the mileage too.


Instances of damages are rare, but they do happen. If so, list the damage and get the delivery driver’s signature on it.



  1. Car Shipping Insurance

Most car shipping companies include insurance in the total shipping cost but some don’t and levy an additional charge. Ask the shipping company about shipping insurance coverage on your car and get a breakdown of the costs involved.


Your car should be insured for any kind of damage by the car transporter. Demand a copy of this insurance and make sure you understand the type and extent of your coverage — ask whether it’s primary or secondary.


Your car insurance provider is responsible for paying for the damage occurring during transit. Just bear in mind that the auto transport company will not be responsible for the damage or theft of any personal articles left inside the car.


As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when thinking about moving your car from one place to another. Hopefully my hints and tips have given you some ideas so that you can deal with this aspect of car buying in future. All 7 steps are important. However, especially don’t forget to decide whether you wish to ship enclosed or not, what shipping terms you prefer (Door-to-door? Port to Port?) and always, always, always read the small print!


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