Once upon a time, shipping cars was purely a commercial activity conducted primarily by car dealers, car manufacturers and other big companies, but that’s no longer the case today.
Thanks to the Internet, it is now relatively easy for anyone to make shipping arrangements for a car anywhere in the world with just a few mouse clicks and at rates that are much more reasonable than before.
So, have you been eyeing a classic muscle car on eBay and wondered how you can get it in your garage? Here’s a quick guide.
1) Choose the carrier
A quick web search on the internet will reveal hundreds of companies that ship cars and trucks (Just type “car transport” into Google and see what pops up). You can even find comparison sites that compare the different shipping companies.
Getting a quote for the service is easy. Almost all of these companies have an on-line form that can be easily filled out to quickly get a quote. Common details and requirements on the form are where the car is currently located, where it should be shipped, and some contact information.
2) Don’t go cheap
Everyone likes a good deal, but as tempted as you might be, don’t hastily accept the lowest price quote you get. There are often reasons why a low quote is too good to be true — they may not include insurance, for example, and some shipping companies may actually be scams.
Consider this story if you have any doubts: A friend of ours who works at Kims Nissan of Laurel, a local Nissan dealer in Laurel, MS, purchased an unrestored 1962 Datsun Sports convertible on eBay several years ago. For shipping, he found someone on the web who quoted him a great price and didn’t hesitate to sign him up. Big mistake! During transport, the car got rained in because it wasn’t “covered transport,” damaging its interior.
The are even more horrible stories out there. The moral? Make sure you are getting what you pay for.
3) Preparing your car
You will be responsible for getting a car ready if you’re the one shipping it. This usually just means getting the proper paperwork ready, which your car transporter should be able to help you with.
Sometimes, many of the forms can be found on the shipper’s website. Just make sure you have everything taken care of before the truck arrives.
It’s not uncommon for a car to be damaged when its being transported, so it’s usually best to have insurance.
If it’s your car being shipped to someone else, check with your insurance company to see if they provide coverage. If they don’t, ask what they recommend.
If you are buying a car and having it shipped to you, consult your shipper and check to see whose insurance is covering the vehicle.
5) Open vs Closed Transport
Open carriers are the most common type of car transporters you see. These trailers expose the vehicle to weather and other conditions like flying debris, increasing the risk of potential damages.
Open carriers are generally the cheapest method of transportation, as a result. If that their higher risk factor concerns you, shop for a carrier offering enclosed transport.
6) When it arrives
Rarely are vehicle transport companies able to provide accurate pick-up and delivery times, often because of delays caused by traffic and other problems.
When the vehicle does arrive, check it out carefully for any damage and that everything is as should be.
The internet has made shipping a vehicle extremely easy today but exercise common sense when dealing with shippers. Accidents and unforeseen events can occur and make sure you are covered for any potential problems.