successful car shipping with a truck

Car Shipping Guide: 7 Steps for Transport Success


If you’ve never shipped a car before you’re probably wondering what you have to do. Your car is a valuable possession, and you want to get it right the first time. But there’s so much information online that you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

In this post, we’ll outline the car shipping process, to put your mind at ease. 

1. Decide which car shipping service is right for you

There’s no one size fits all car transport service. Therefore, we offer our customers a range of services for shipping a car. They include:

  • Open car transport.
  • Enclosed auto transport.
  • Guaranteed pick-up car shipping service.
  • Fast car delivery.
  • Specialist services for snowbirds, students, car dealerships, and the military.

To help you decide, we’ve got lots of information on our website. As well as service pages giving you further details of all these different options, there are also blogs for you to read.

You can also connect with our experienced advisors, either by telephone or Live Chat.

2. Get your free car transport instant quote

The first step in the car transportation process is for you to get your free instant quote. You can find out the car shipping cost in one of three ways. The easiest and most convenient is to use our free online quote calculator. Put in your shipping information and hit the “get a free quote now” button. You can also use Live Chat or speak directly with our shipping advisors.  

3. Book your service with a reputable car shipping company

If you’re happy with your quote, it’s time to make your booking. If you requested a quote, there are just a couple of checkout steps to complete your booking. For example, pick-up and delivery information must be added.

Those of you who are speaking with our representatives need to confirm the details and make your booking with them. 

As soon as your order is finalized and confirmed we can get on with making the arrangements for shipping a car.

We have two options when it comes to paying for your car transport services:

  • Billing: You pay once in full with a credit or debit card when we’ve assigned a driver for your shipment. We require no payment upfront.
  • Discounted cash rate: We collect a small partial payment from your debit or credit card upon dispatch. This partial payment reserves your spot on the car transport company’s trailer. You pay the balance to the driver upon delivery of your car. You can pay in cash, with a cashier's check, or money order. 

We do not accept international cards, but you have the option of paying using PayPal or sending a wire transfer. 

4. Schedule your car transport pick-up

As a top-rated car transport company, we aim to make our car transport services as punctual as possible. When you complete your booking, you must arrange a pick-up date. The first day your car will be available for pick-up is called your First Available Date. 

We generally manage to locate a carrier within a day or two. That being said, there are rare occasions when it might take a little longer.

Don’t worry if you’re not going to be available for the scheduled pick-up date. You can appoint someone to act on your behalf, as long as they’re over 18 years of age. The carrier will contact you before the pick-up date to schedule a convenient time and location. 

Before you load your car up for car transportation, the driver thoroughly inspects it and makes a note of its condition on the Bill of Lading. This is an important document and you or your representative must sign it to confirm it’s correct.

5. Get your car ready for transport

When booking a car transport service there are a few things you need to do to get your car ready for its journey. Here are ten tips to help make the car shipping process as seamless as possible.

  • Clean the interior and exterior so you can check for scratches and dings.
  • Visually inspect and photograph your vehicle so you can compare when your car is delivered.
  • Carry out some basic maintenance such as checking tire pressure, fluids, and the battery has a charge.
  • Secure or remove any removable parts, for example, luggage and bike racks, and custom spoilers.
  • Deactivate toll tags, parking passes, and the alarm.
  • Run down the gas tank to at least a quarter full.
  • Ask the car shipping company for proof of their liability and cargo insurance
  • Check with your insurance provider that you’re covered.
  • Check the Bill of Lading and keep this important documentation safe and check the details are accurate.
  • Check contact information so you keep yourself informed of the progress of your vehicles and be aware of any delays.

6. What to do while your car is in transit

Saying goodbye to your precious car can be very emotional. It’s only natural to feel worried about its upcoming journey. If you need to know how your car is progressing, you can communicate with the carrier for updates.

Our customer representatives can also be contacted by telephone or Live Chat. 

As soon as we dispatch your vehicle, you’ll receive a confirmation email with details of the driver’s name and a contact telephone number. You can call them at any time if you have questions. 

We should point out, however, that they might be driving on the highway when you call, so don’t expect an answer straight away. As we all know, it is an offense to use a mobile phone while driving. Rest assured; they will call you back as soon as it’s safe for them to make a phone call.   

7. Be ready for delivery

You will get a few hour's notice that your car is on its way so that delivery can be scheduled. The driver will need to know you’re available to receive your car. As with the pick-up, it is possible to appoint another person, maybe a friend or relative, to receive the car on your behalf. They do, however, have to be over 18 years of age.

When the car is delivered you get the opportunity to inspect it, alongside the driver, and compare it with the condition noted on the Bill of Lading. A Bill of Lading, or BOL, is a document that the carrier’s driver gives to you when they pick up your vehicle. It acts as a receipt for your vehicle and a contract regarding the transport of your vehicle. It’s important to keep this document safe.

If everything is in order, you sign the paperwork. You must also pay the remaining balance of the bill if you’ve not already paid in full.

The benefits of car shipping

There are several very good reasons for choosing to ship a car right to your door. 

  • It’s easy and convenient: Your vehicle is moved from A to B, and all you’ve got to do is book the service. There’s no need to worry about driving your car to a terminal or train station. It’s delivered to your door, or as close as is legal and safe to do so.  
  • It saves time and effort: It's much quicker than taking a road trip, and very little effort is required on your part. Once you’ve booked, you can get on with any other arrangements you need to make. 
  • It’s flexible: You get to choose the pick-up and delivery locations that are most convenient for you. As long as it’s safe and legal to do so, you can choose anywhere. It doesn’t have to be outside your home. Why not choose your place of work or a parking mall down the street? 
  • It’s a personal service: You get to meet the driver who is transporting your car when you choose door-to-door shipping. This can be reassuring. There’s also the opportunity to oversee the loading and unloading of your vehicle. 
  • Multiple-vehicles can be shipped at the same time: An increasing number of US households have more than one car. This isn’t a problem if you choose door-to-door auto transport because two, three, four, or more cars can be transported at one time. 
  • Better value for money: There are lots of additional costs to take into consideration if you ship a car in any other way. With door-to-door transport the car shipping cost is all-inclusive. 

As well as being very convenient, having a car delivered right to your door is one of the safest ways to transport a vehicle. 

How to find the best cross country car shipping company

It’s only natural that you want the best cross country car shipping company to transport your pride and joy. But what should you be looking for? Here are some factors to bear in mind.

  • Make sure they’re registered with the Department of Transport. Always ask for their DOT number and check it using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Make sure the company is bonded and insured
  • Look for a professional website
  • Search online for testimonials and reviews
  • Make sure they’re transparent about their services
  • Find out the process should damage occur
  • Look for 24/7 customer service
  • Always read the fine print of the auto transport contract

We hope you’ve found this car shipping guide useful. Use our online quote calculator to find out the cost of your car shipping service. Alternatively, pick up the phone and dial (864) 546-5038 or use Live Chat. Our representatives are waiting to hear from you. 

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