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Auto Transport in 5 Easy Steps

Subscribe December 18, 2014
Auto Transport | Car shipping process | Choosing an auto shipper

Have you just received good news about your career? Or your spouse’s? A promotion? A lateral move with a pay raise, perhaps? Congratulations!

If your lateral intra-company move comes with a geographical interstate move, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to get yourself, your household, and your cars all to the new location. Safely and soundly and with as little hassle as possible.

Even if you’re not moving because of work, keep reading. These tips apply to anyone who has a vehicle to ship. Any type of vehicle. To any destination.

Professionals expedite every aspect of your upcoming move.

Even if it’s not interstate – it could be within your current state or on the other side of the world – hiring professionals who specialize in each aspect of your move is a smart, efficient, and effective way to go.

Naturally, you hire a real estate agent whom you trust to sell your house. Or rent it out to qualified lessors.

Then you find another one in the new city who knows the communities, schools, and traffic hot spots so you don’t (yet) have to. You retain a master moving crew with a reputation of experience in packing, shipping, and unpacking your household from the big furniture to the antique collectibles and china.

And, lastly, you book a professional auto transporter to make sure your vehicles arrive safely and on time to their new location.

1. Study up on providers and the process.

A little comparison shopping on the front end is always a good idea, especially when it comes to protecting and preserving big ticket items like your family’s vehicles. When it comes to auto shipping, comparison shopping has never been easier.

These days you can just do an internet search on “auto transport” or “vehicle shipping.” You will find companies, like DAS, who give detailed descriptions of the services they offer as well as easy-to-understand explanations of the whole process. If paying a professional to move your car overland (or overseas) is new terrain for you, feel free to read the available literature until you feel comfortable with it.

2. Choose a professional vehicle shipment partner.

Prepare any questions you may have and submit them to your short list of vendors from whom you will choose your partner. You can choose your preferred method of contact from among their channels. Usually they have a toll-free number, an online contact form, and an email address. Depending on their answers and how they treat you as a prospective customer, you may be ready to narrow your slate.

Then you can request free, no-obligation rate quotes from your remaining candidates. Three or four price estimates should be enough to satisfy your due diligence while not overwhelming your schedule or decision tree.

3. Schedule your vehicle move and service package.

Once you’ve chosen the vendor with whom you’d like to partner and once you know the details of your move, it’s time to set it up.

In scheduling your move, you need to specify the timeframe and whether or not you can be somewhat flexible in it. If you can’t, and you need the vehicle picked up and dropped off on specific dates, usually that can be arranged but you should mention it at the outset.

You will need to decide whether or not to drop it off at your auto transporter’s terminal or have them pick it up from your location. Likewise, after shipment is complete, would you prefer that they drop it off at your location or will you pick it up from their terminal?

Another decision to have made is how and where the vehicle should ride. That is, would you like it on the top rack so nothing is above it? Would you like it enclosed and protected from the elements?

4. Prep and clean your vehicle for transport.

Within a few days of the shipment, clean your car thoroughly inside and out. Remove all non-factory, aftermarket items that might shift in transit and cause damage. These might include car seats, CD changers, phone chargers, garage door openers, antennas, and roof racks, as well as any valuables.

Take photos or video of your clean empty vehicle so that you have dated documentation of its condition prior to shipment. In the unlikely event that damage occurs during transport, this small act will prove very helpful for the insurance team.

5. Be available for the pre-shipment inspection.

The last thing you need to be aware of is the requirement that yourself or your designee be present at both the destination and termination of shipment. Whether the transport company picks up and drops off your vehicle at your location or you bring it to and take it from theirs, you need to be physically present at that time. This is in order to complete the pre- and post-shipment vehicle inspection and sign the bill of lading. Again, this is for insurance purposes in the rare case that it be required for a claim.

You can always find out more.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know to get your auto transport booked and get on with the other moving pieces of your life.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to browse the rest of our site and blog. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more info. If you don’t see the information you’re looking for, please reach out to us anytime with your questions. You can contact us with this convenient form or call our toll-free number, 888.817.6203.

Testimonials

No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal
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