Door-to-door Auto Transport: What it Means
All of the quotes provided by us are for door-to-door car shipping. Door-to-door means that the truck driver will get as close to your specified auto transportation pick-up or delivery spot as he/she can legally and safely get. Large towns and cities often restrict large Transport Car carriers’ trucks and prohibit them from entering into some residential areas. Car shipping trucks can be up to 75 feet long, and drivers will need lots of room to maneuver and turn around. When access to your residence is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees, speed bumps or tight turns, the driver may ask that you meet the truck at a large parking lot nearby, such as a grocery store, school, or shopping mall.
Selecting a Car Shipping Method: Open or Enclosed Vehicles Transportation
Open trailers are either partially or fully exposed to the auto transportation elements. There are many different types of open trailers, ranging from small three car carriers to the large 11 car carriers. Enclosed trailers protect your vehicle from weather conditions, such as rain or dirt, while your vehicle is being transported. Having your vehicle shipped in an enclosed trailer costs 25-50% more than having it shipped on an open car transportation trailer. Most cars can be shipped either on an open trailer or in an enclosed trailer, depending on how much you want to spend.
Scheduling: Having Realistic Expectations of Your Auto Transportation Delivery
The most important issue to understand is that car shipping is unlike UPS, Fed-Ex or the Postal Service. Pick-up and delivery AUTO TRANSPORTATION dates are car transport estimates. These are not guaranteed pick-up or drop-off AUTO TRANSPORTATION delivery dates. Unforeseen car moving problems from mechanical break downs, traffic, and weather all contribute to vehicle shipping delays. The biggest delays for vehicle shipping companies are usually caused by their own car shipping customers. Customers fail to show up on their moving car scheduled time, try to change pick-up or drop off car shippers locations at the last minute etc. Patience is required, and most shipping car companies want to get your vehicle to you as soon as possible. Please take these possible delays into account.
Payment Methods: Be Ready for Your Vehicle Transportation
While some car transport companies may not require payment in advance, others auto shippers require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost) prior to shipping. If a car shipments deposit is given, the balance remaining is always required at time of auto transporters delivery. You will need to have a CASHIERS CHECK or CASH ready when the car transport truck arrives. Some vehicle shipping companies may allow you to pay with a credit card upon delivery, but this is uncommon.
Make Sure You Are Properly Insured for Your Vehicles Transportation
Your car should be insured against damage and theft by your car shipping company. NOTE: with us you are 100% covered. You will not be required to pay should any damage occur. Everything pertaining to the car shipment should be in writing. It is likely that your personal car insurance policy may cover your vehicle in transit, and we recommend that you contact your automobile insurance company to verify this car coverage. We recommend that you remove any personal items from your car when it is shipped. Your personal items will not be covered by the car shipping company's insurance, and may not be covered by your car policy or your homeowners insurance.
Steps to Prepare your Car Before Shipping
- Wash your car thoroughly even if it will be shipped on an open trailer. You want to be able to note any automobile chips, dings, nicks or other cosmetic damage accurately on the condition report the driver will give you upon pickup.
- Remove any personal items from your car. Most vehicle shipping companies are not licensed and thus cannot legally carry any personal items in vehicles they transport. It will also not likely be covered by insurance.
- Shut off and or disable the car alarm.
- Do not top off your car’s gas tank, keep it low, in between 1/8th to 1/4th of a tank as this saves quite a bit of weight which the auto transporters appreciate.
- Please make sure to secure or remove any loose parts from your automobile or specialty items from your car such as ground effects, spoilers, fog lights. If you have wide mirrors fold them back and lower and remove/retract the antennae if possible.
- If possible, always ship convertibles with the top up and secured properly. Try to seal any holes or open seams in the top to prevent air or moisture from causing damage. If you cannot raise the top, you should attempt to cover it with a secure fitting tarp that can resist high winds.
- Make sure the battery is charged, the tires have proper inflation, and top off all of the fluids on the vehicle. Let the driver know if there are ANY leaks. Cars leaking oil, and brake or transmission fluid, should NEVER be on the top of a two deck open trailer. This is to prevent leaks onto the paint of vehicles below.
- Prepare a careful list of any operational problems or steps necessary to start, stop, or drive your vehicle on and off of the trailer.
- Do a Thorough Vehicle Inspection: Document Its Condition.
- In order to ensure any claims of vehicle damage are accurate and enforceable, make a complete report of any pre-existing damage your vehicle may have. You may want to take pictures (and dating them) of the vehicle prior to shipping it.
Car Transport - Pick-up/Delivery
Meeting The Truck: Be On Time
Make sure you are on time to meet the driver and that your meeting spot is clearly defined. Remember the size and maneuvering restrictions for the truck. Failure to meet the truck can delay delivery for not only your vehicle, but also all of the other customers’ whose cars are sitting on the trailer.
Releasing Your Car: Do the Paperwork
Prior to leaving your car with the car shipping company, be sure you receive an original inspection report. This report provides pick-up and delivery information, the car's current mileage, and documents the condition of your car at time of pick-up (pre-existing scratches and dents, cracked glass/mirrors, general paint condition, etc.). Keep this report and use it when you receive your vehicle. If you will not be receiving the car, send a copy of this report to the person who will be.
Accepting The Car: What to Look For On Auto Transporting Delivery
When your car arrives, make sure that you do a slow, methodical inspection of the vehicle with a copy of the original inspection report at hand. Look for any cosmetic or discernable mechanical damage that was not noted in the original shipping auto report. Make sure you look underneath the vehicle as well. If there is any damage not on the original car moving inspection report, note each incident of damage as exceptions and be sure the driver signs it. Ship Vehicles suggests never accepting a vehicle if you cannot clearly inspect it. Avoid accepting your vehicle at night, unless you can view it under good lights.
Steps to Take Should Damage Occur During Your Car Transport Delivery
Car shipping is typically worry free, and the vast majority of vehicles are shipped without incident or damage. However, damage does sometimes occur and it is important to understand that process of receiving compensation for the damage. If damage occurs, and you feel it is directly attributable to the shipping process, note all damage on your car inspection report, obtain the driver's signature, and contact your car shipping company. The car shipping company should then work with you to reimburse you for verifiable damage done to your car during shipment from your car hauler.
Dealing With Car Transportation Disputes: Who to Contact, What to Do
If for some reason you feel that you were not treated properly by your car shipping company, First Response recommends that you first try to work it out with the company directly. Most companies should work quickly to help resolve any issues. State your case politely, yet firmly as they will likely respond much more quickly if they feel you are reasonable and would like to resolve the issue with minimal fuss.
Accepting Auto Transport Deliveries of Your Vehicle
At the time of delivery, inspect your vehicle SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY and compare the condition and mileage against the "Original Inspection Report" provided by your car transport company at the place of origin (ALSO INSPECT THE ROOF AND UNDER FRONT AND REAR BUMPERS). If there are inconsistencies, note them as exceptions and be sure the driver signs it. ONLY ACCEPT YOUR VEHICLE AT NIGHT IF YOU CAN VERIFY ITS CONDITION without being viewed and signed by the driver. You have little recourse if damage had occurred during transit.