Auto Shipping Basics Tutorial

Throughout the year, hundreds of thousands of vehicles are shipped across the country. Figuring out what company to use is akin to deciding what moving company you want to trust with your priceless antiques or family heirlooms. Fortunately, with the following auto shipping guide, you can discover what questions you need to ask, what information you need to document, and better understand how to choose a car transportation company.

Auto Transport 101 Within The United States
Before you ship a car within the United States you must first determine if you want to use a door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service. If you ship your car door-to-door, then a truck will come to pick-up your vehicle from your home and deliver it directly to your chosen address. In a terminal-to-terminal shipping service, you will be required to drop your vehicle off at a predetermined location; you will then pick your car up from a set terminal that is near your final destination. No matter which service you choose, you should maintain a detailed record of the following information:

  • VIN number, model, weight, dimensions, make, and license plate number
  • Any notable details or features about the vehicle
  • Photo documentation of the vehicle's current state, i.e. if it has any scratches, dents, is fully operation, or is in need of repair

What Types Of Transport Methods Should You Use In The USA?
Once you have chosen whether you wish to use a door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal shipping service, you will need to decide what type of vehicle transportation you want to use.

  1. Open-Air Truck -- An open-air truck is one of the most popular ways to transport a car within the United States. Your car will be loaded onto a truck with other vehicles and the most efficient route will be chosen to ship your car to its final destination within the United States. The shipper will let you know if you can use a protective cover on your vehicle during the journey; however, it is important to note that even if the vehicle is covered, it will still be exposed to the elements during the trip. If you are planning on shipping your vehicle to an area that experiences heavy snow, sleet, hail, or freezing rain, then you might want to consider using an enclosed truck instead of an open-air truck.
  2. Enclosed Truck -- An enclosed truck offers the highest level of protection for your vehicle while it is being transported, however the added protection does come at a higher cost. Generally speaking, shipping your vehicle via an enclosed truck can cost you up to 60 percent higher than the more popular open-air truck. With this in mind, if you are concerned about the weather or if you are shipping a particularly valuable vehicle, then you might prefer to pay the higher cost for an enclosed truck that will protect your car from the elements and provide additional peace of mind during your move.

No matter whether you choose an open-air truck or enclosed truck be sure that your chosen carrier has the correct liability insurance. You can check a company's insurance using the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) to ensure that they have coverage in excess of $50,000. Finally, be sure to contact a representative from your insurance company to ensure that your vehicle will remain protected during its transportation within the United States.

The Bottom Line: MoveWise Makes Auto Transportation Easy
MoveWise is here to provide the reliability and expertise needed to simplify the auto transportation process. Simply fill out our auto shipping form to receive a customized quote for your vehicle transportation needs.

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