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How is My Car Protected While Shipping?


Several different parties play key roles in the car shipping service. The vehicle owner is the most important, but working tirelessly in the background, there are auto transport management companies, car shipping carriers, and drivers. Every one of these has the protection of the vehicle being transported as a top priority.

If you’ve never shipped a vehicle before, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious. This post will put your mind at rest because it looks at the many ways different people ensure the safety of your vehicle throughout every stage of a protective care transportation service. 

Choosing the right shipping method

When it comes to car transport protection, choosing the best shipping method for your needs is crucial. You have a few different options: 

Open car transport

An auto transport company that offers open car transport will provide safe and reliable car shipping for standard vehicles. It also happens to be the most cost effective which is why thousands of people choose to ship their car this way every year. 

Typically, an open car carrier will load eight to twelve cars onto a two-level trailer and secure each one in place on the specially designed trailer. It is this type of truck and trailer that you often see hauling new cars on highways across the United States. 

With regards to car transport protection, you need to be aware that this method exposes your car to the elements, road traffic grime, and debris. This might sound a little scary but it’s no different than driving your car on the highway yourself. 

If you choose open car transport, the carrier will pick-up and drop-off your car as near to your chosen locations as possible. Bear in mind that these transportation vehicles tend to be very large and are often prohibited from certain areas. 

Enclosed auto transport

With enclosed auto transport, the truck and trailer offer the highest level of protection possible. It is the best method of shipping cars that are valuable or unique, such as high-end, custom, exotic, classic, antique, or luxury cars. 

The trailer the carriers use will be closed in on all sides. This means your vehicle is completely protected from road debris, weather, and prying eyes. 

In general, enclosed trailers are equipped with advanced loading devices such as hydraulic lift gates. These act as an elevator for loading and unloading. In addition, this loading method also provides added protection for low-clearance vehicles and removes the need for accelerating up steep open trailer ramps. 

In general, an enclosed carrier will be able to offer door-to-door services. The trailer they use is much smaller and the driver can easily maneuver it into areas and neighborhoods that can’t be accessed by large open carriers. 

Top load placement

Top load is when your vehicle is loaded on the second level of an open transport trailer for extra protection. Choose top load placement and your vehicle will be more protected from small rock chips, dust, and potential oil leaks. The cost is slightly higher than open car transport but is not as much as enclosed auto transport. 

Securing your vehicle

This is not something that you need to stress about, as long as you choose a reputable car transport company like SGT Auto Transport. 

To prevent your vehicle from moving side-to-side, forward or backward, and even vertically when the trailer is driving over bumps, your car will be immobilized. After the carrier has loaded your vehicle onto the trailer, the driver will strap it using a series of tie down ratchets and wheel straps. 

Typically, the best car haulers use four tiedowns, two in the front and two at the rear of your car. This should be sufficient to keep it secure. In general, most cars are secured by the chassis and over and around the wheels.  

Special situations

Cars come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no one-size-fits all scenario when it comes to securing your car. Every vehicle has its own stress points and areas that are particularly sensitive. These need extra protection during the transportation service. 

We have a long list of reputable carriers that we can call on when special services are needed. An experienced vehicle shipping company will know exactly what to do and what vehicles require special securements, regardless of a vehicle's age, condition, size, or shape. 

Classic or salvage vehicles, for example, are usually constructed using metal that’s often weak. An experienced shipping company will make sure that no extra strain is put on such vehicles. Often, this means additional strapping around the tires. 

Oversized vehicles also require special treatment. They require wider and stronger straps and larger ratchets because the weight of the vehicle increases the pressure. 

The interior and exterior of your vehicle

There are also things that you can do to improve car transport protection, particularly when it comes to the interior and exterior of your vehicle. 

You have to ensure that all exterior parts of your car are well-protected during the shipping process. For example, if there are any removable parts, you should remove them completely or make them secure. Consider securing them with tape, bubble wrap, or coverings. 

Retracting any antennas and folding in side-view mirrors will reduce the likelihood of damage occurring. 

Don’t forget about the interior of your vehicle as well. Make sure that it’s clean and all personal items are removed. Your car is likely going to get jostled during the long transportation journey. If you want to remove the risk of any damage occurring, remove all weakly secured accessories such as spare change, air fresheners, pens, and cables. 

3 ways to protect yourself

Let’s look at three ways you can protect yourself if you choose to ship your car from one state to another.

Cheap is not always good

When you’re looking for auto transport companies online, most of your results will be auto transport brokers. This type of company connects customers with car haulers across the country. They can provide a convenient service and competitive pricing for the customer. 

Unfortunately, not all brokers are committed to providing a high quality service. Some will provide a low price in order to gain your trust and business. The price is likely to be less than the market rate and when you make your booking, you end up paying more or be left with not having your car transported. 

SGT Auto Transport is a little different. We offer an auto transport management service that takes care of you from the moment you get in touch to the delivery of your vehicle. The prices we quote are competitive, fair, and affordable. 

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Check your auto transport contract meticulously

It’s not uncommon for reputable auto transport companies to ask you to sign a contract. Be sure to read that contract very carefully before you sign it and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand. 

Not all companies look after their customers in the same way and are open and transparent about what they do. Therefore choose one that’s communicative, easily traceable, and identifiable companies that are happy to work with and for you. 

Pictures speak louder than words

When looking for a car shipper, pick one that provides pictures and a thorough inspection report. A reliable company will take photos of the vehicle’s condition and provide a detailed inspection report, before and after delivery.

This protects you, the company, and the drivers. Failing that, make sure you take photos yourself. It’s also a good idea to check the company’s policies in case of damage and the steps you need to take to make a claim if necessary. 

Insurance and extended warranties

When you decide you want to ship your care, make sure you discuss your coverage with your insurance company. From a legal standpoint, you don’t need to have your vehicle insured for transport because shipping companies have cargo insurance. However, it’s not going to hurt if you verify coverage with your insurance company and the carrier. 

Don’t forget to ask the shipping company about any deductibles, exclusions, or limits with the company-provided insurance. You’ll also need to clarify which insurance coverage will go into effect, should your vehicle experience any damage. Will your insurance cover the damage or the shipping company’s insurance? If there’s any conflict, you must get it ironed out before you choose your auto transport company. 

Here at SGT Auto Transport, our shipping advisors are here to answer any questions you might have. From the first time you get in touch for your online quote or you’re talking with our agents about how to ship a car to another state, we’ll provide all the relevant information in a clear and transparent way. We work alongside you from pick-up to delivery and our agents work on your behalf, ensuring there are no hiccups along the way. 

You can speak with them directly by calling (864) 546-5038. Alternatively, use our Live Chat option. 


Should I use a car cover to protect my car during shipping?

Generally, car carriers will not allow you to use a car cover during transportation. This is because there’s no reliable way to keep a cover secured on a car that’s in transit. The force of the wind that’s created from a truck and trailer barreling down the highway is so great that there’s no cover to match it. 

Can I ship personal items in my car?

Generally, this is not allowed. However, we will allow you to have up to 100 pounds in the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. The items must be contained in a suitcase or single box. It’s important to point out that any personal items loaded in your car are not covered by the carrier’s cargo insurance. 

If you’re shipping your car to or from Hawaii, personal items are not allowed in your car under any circumstances. If any are found, the port will refuse shipment. 

How much to ship a car to another state?

The cost of shipping a car to another state depends on several things:

  • The distance between the pick-up and delivery location
  • The condition of your vehicle
  • The size and weight of your vehicle
  • How you want your vehicle to be delivered
  • Type of shipping service
  • Speed of delivery
  • The price of fuel
  • The time of year

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