Depending on the distance involved in your upcoming move, driving your car to your new home may not be the best idea. Long-distance or cross-country moves put a lot of wear and tear on a car, not to mention the time and effort of driving the distance yourself. And, the situation could be complicated by the need to move multiple vehicles. iMoving can help you connect with a reputable long-distance moving company that offers auto transport services.
What Is Auto Transport? What Types Of Services Are Available?
Auto transport can also be referred to as car shipping. It is the process of getting a car from one part of the country to another.
Auto transport can involve cross-country moving, such as getting a car from New York to California. Or it may involve interstate shipping, which refers to transporting a car from one state to another.
The two most common auto transport services offered are open-air and enclosed auto transport.
Open Air Transport
The most affordable form of auto transportation, open-air transport refers to the car being loaded onto an open-air trailer and then driven across the country. These trailers come in two forms, single-level, and double-level.
With open-air transport, the vehicle would be exposed to the elements during a move. The process is typically faster than enclosed auto transport, as more companies have more open car carriers on the road.
The major con of this service is the fact that your car is exposed to the elements. And that means hot sun during the summer, rain, potential blizzards in the winter and general road conditions.
Enclosed Auto Transport
People who have luxury sports or expensive vehicles may want to go with enclosed auto transport services instead. Such service involves the car being loaded onto an enclosed trailer and then driven to the destination.
Such a service is always more expensive than going with open-air transport. The covered trailers required to transport cars are more expensive, while there are fewer of them on the road. This can also translate to the transit times, which are often longer than open-air transport.
How Much Does It Cost To Move Your Car?
Using open-air transport, the cost of transporting a four-door sedan is anywhere from $600 to $1000. Such a price is accurate for a coast-to-coast transfer. The prices are lower with shorter distances. An SUV will cost slightly more, typically between $800 to $1100 for cross-country moving.
The cost of using enclosed auto transport is at least double the open-air quotes. And it could be even more, depending on the vehicle and the mileage involved.
What Insurance Do You Need? What Does It Cover?
A reputable auto transport company will have an insurance certificate. If you are recommended an auto transport service provider by iMoving, you can assume we have already verified the company’s insurance status.
Be sure to ask questions about the coverage of said insurance policy. Every company will differ in what type of damage coverage is provided. A deductible may be required when processing an insurance request for damages caused during the auto transportation process.
The typical process involves the auto transport company taking detailed notes about your vehicle before departure. They will provide you with this document, allowing you to verify those notes. Any major damage or scuff marks on the car will be noted in the document.
When the car arrives at the destination, you will assess it yourself and compare it to that document. If you notice any additional damage, take a picture immediately and notify the company.
Where to Find Auto Transport Service Providers?
The iMoving referral service can put you in touch with the top companies that provide auto transportation services. In some instances, you may get a moving service and auto transport service from the same provider.
We have a detailed process for vetting companies before adding them to our network. We check their certifications, insurance, and hiring practices, conduct an interview and assess previous performance.
Some companies can only handle shorter distances, while others can transport your car coast to coast. We will only put you in touch with auto transport service providers that can handle your request.
How to Choose The Best Auto Transport Service Provider?
Think about the type of auto transport service you require. What is your number one priority, speed, price or the safety of your car? Or a combination of those factors?
If you care more about safety, then choose a company that offers enclosed auto transport. The process may take longer and will cost you more money, but you will know your car is safe during those days and weeks it is on the road.
When price and/or timeliness is your primary concern, open-air transportation is your only option. Pick one of the vetted truck rental companies within the iMoving network so that you know you are dealing with a top provider.
The company should have proper insurance coverage that covers damages to the vehicle during the transportation process. And they must provide a binding date for the arrival of your car, with penalties for delays.
Preparing Your Car
By following this checklist, you can ensure that your car is ready for inspection and shipping. Follow these steps before sending your car off for auto transport:
- Wash your car and inspect it for any scuff marks or major damage.
- Take photos of the areas where damage is present.
- Remove any valuable items from inside the vehicle. Items such as DVD players, GPS devices, stereo systems, and other valuables should be taken out.
- If there are any parts of the car’s exterior that are loose, such as the antenna, take them off and store them in the truck.
- Complete a maintenance check on the car, assessing fluids, tire inflation, battery charge and other mechanical issues.
- Keep the gas tank near one-quarter full or a little bit less.
- Make an extra set of keys for your car. The transport company will take one set, while you keep the other set.
Now that you are aware of the process involved in different auto transport services, you will be in a better position to request the service suited to your needs. And with iMoving, you will be sure that any auto transport service provider you talk with is reputable, affordable, and reliable.