Shipping a car can seem like a pretty overwhelming ordeal –considering that the $12 billion industry is made up of hundreds of independent car shipping services and agencies, it’s easy to feel like you don’t know where to start (even if this isn’t your first time moving a vehicle). There are plenty of articles and blog posts that will give you basic tips on shipping a car — make sure you have insurance, make sure you’re actually there to pick up your car at the final destination, etc. — but there are a few important points about vehicle transport services that are often overlooked:
The rules and restrictions for each car shipping service will vary, so it’s important to make sure that you know exactly which restrictions you’ll be facing with the service you choose (especially if you’ve used a different car shipping service in the past). The vehicle shipping industry is fairly unregulated and complicated, so it’s important to remember that you can’t expect one company to have the same rules and services as another. If you’re concerned about certain regulations — whether or not a service will allow you to store extra cargo in your car during shipment, for example — it’s best to contact the company directly and ask about their policies.
Shipping rates vary — not just from company to company, but even within the same company. Car shipping services are usually the cheapest during the winter months; summer months tend to be the peak time for vehicle shipping (usually hovering around $200-$300 more per trip). You probably won’t be able to choose exactly when you want to ship your car, especially if you’re looking into car shipping services because you’ve just purchased/sold a car or you have to move to another city. But the important thing to remember is that while you’re doing some research into car shipping companies, the rates you’re viewing may not be current. The best way to find out exactly what it will cost you to ship a car is to contact the vehicle shipping company directly and ask for a quote.
Every vehicle shipping company is likely to have a handful of bad reviews, just like any commercial or retail company would have. Although you want to stay away from a company that has bad reviews consistently, don’t let a few poor reviews turn you away from one particular shipping company. In many cases where the poor reviews are sparse, those particular customers had bad experiences with the company due to many factors that aren’t consistent with the services that the company provides.
So now we’re asking you for your input! What tips would you give about shipping your car through a professional transport service? We’d love to hear any advice you have!