Ship your car: A ten step guide to a successful transport

by | Transport Tips

car transport interstate
If you are a first-time auto transport customer looking to ship a car you’ll want to get it right the first time. Your car is a valuable asset and shipping your car can be expensive. While the internet makes it easy to research auto transport companies, the sheer volume of information can be a bit overwhelming. The following is a step-by-step description of the process you can follow to transport your vehicle.

Get Instant Quote

Calculate your shipping cost

Ten step process to follow to ship your car

    • Step 1 – Submit Your Transporting Information

When you get interstate car transport quotes, make sure the information you are entering is correct. Double check to make sure the make, model, year, and origin and destination points are correct. Also, include information whether the vehicle has been modified (lowered/lifted), is oversized, and if the vehicle is running or not. If the vehicle is inoperable it can make a difference in the auto transport quote. This will ensure when you use our car shipping cost calculator that your quote is as accurate as possible.

    • Step 2 – Get auto shipping quotes

Shop around. Go online and get quotes from a number of vehicle hauling companies. Do price comparisons. When people shop for other goods and services they will look for the best value for the money and they should do the same when booking auto transport. Find out the cost to transport a car at a variety of companies. Remember, a cheap car shipping quote may not end up being the best value. The adage you get what you pay for applies to the auto shipping industry as well.

    • Step 3 – Is the quote for door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service?

Door-to-door car transport service means that if possible your vehicle will be picked up and dropped off at your destination. Neighborhood ordinances and road weight restrictions may impact whether the auto hauling truck is allowed in your area. Terminal-to-terminal service means your vehicle will have to be taken to and picked up from an auto storage lot at a transport hub. These terminals can be hundreds of miles away depending on where you live. A rule of thumb is that auto transport carriers offer door-to-door while auto transport brokers often offer terminal-to-terminal service.

    • Step 4 – Choose which kind of Auto Transport Carrier you want to transport your vehicle

Which kind of company do you want to move your car, an auto transporter or and auto transport broker? There are pros and cons to each type of car transporter depending on your needs and preferences. Do you have a big transport window? Then perhaps going the auto transport broker route is for you. Do communication and customer relations carry more weight in your decision? An auto transport carrier may be better suited to your needs.

In addition, you should research the companies you’re looking at to ship your vehicle. Check their ratings with agencies like the Better Business Bureau. Look on government sites like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Third party review sites are also a good resource when looking for a good car delivery service to transport your car.

    • Step 5 – Choose the Auto Transport Company you want to deliver your car

Work with only ONE company. If you accept a quote from more than one company it can lead to confusion regarding pickup and delivery for your vehicle and can significantly delay both if no one is sure who is supposed to do what. While getting multiple quotes is a good idea, accepting more than one is not. The exception to this is if the company you booked transport with fails to pick up your vehicle, which can happen with less reputable auto transport companies. In that case, cancel the initial order, get your payment refunded and find another company who will deliver your vehicle.

    • Step 6 – Communicate with the auto shipping company who will transport your vehicle

Once you decide on the car transporter that fits your particular auto shipping needs, fill out the quote form online or call the company to book your transport. If you book online, the auto transporter will contact you to verify the information you’ve submitted regarding hauling your car, such as the person of contact for both origin and delivery locations, and the best way to reach everyone involved. This is to double check the requested transport information, and for you to ensure its accuracy. If there are any revisions to the information submitted, now is the time to make them. In addition, if you have any question regarding the transport of your vehicle, now is a good time to ask them.

    • Step 7 – Receive & Agree to the Final Cost of transport

Once you and the car shipper have verified all the information you submitted in the quote form, the next thing to do is to schedule the pickup and delivery dates to ensure they work with your schedule. At this point most car carriers will ask for a deposit to reserve your auto transport order. Once you’ve read over and agreed to the terms and conditions, a contract with any additional information will be either emailed or faxed to you with the initial and final payment amounts which will either be paid when the vehicle is picked up or when it is delivered.

    • Step 8 – Prepare your car for transport

Get ready to transport your car. Wash the vehicle (this makes the condition report inspection much easier). Make sure there is only 1/8 tank of gas or so in the vehicle, the battery works and the tires are properly inflated. Empty the vehicle of your personal possessions. Lower the antenna, turn off any alarms, and disable any automatic toll readers. If the car is a convertible, make sure there aren’t any tears in the material. Seal them if there are any to prevent further wind damage during transport, and make sure to give an extra set of keys to the transport company.

    • Step 9 – Condition report

Within a few hours of the pickup of your vehicle, the transport driver will call you to give you a general timeframe of when you can expect them to arrive. Once there, you or your representative and the driver will do a vehicle condition report chronicling any damage prior to loading the car onto the car hauling trailer. The car will now be loaded and officially be in transit.

    • Step 10 –Receiving Your Car

When they are close to your vehicle’s destination, the transport driver will call you or the person the car is to be delivered to within a couple hours of their arrival at the destination. Once the car is unloaded, another vehicle inspection is done to verify the condition of the vehicle to see if any damage occurred during transport. Once the inspection is approved and agreed upon the transport of your vehicle is officially completed.

ship your car One point of contact throughout the transport of your vehicle! Get a free auto transport quote and ship your car with J&S!

Most people don’t have a lot of experience working with auto shippers, but sifting through the information to find a reputable car delivery service that fits your auto transport needs doesn’t need to be a headache. We hope this “how to ship your car” checklist helps you as you look for an auto hauling company to transport your vehicle.

Good luck and happy hunting.