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What to Know Before Using an Auto Transport Service

Whether you’re relocating to a new destination or going on your dream vacation, you’ll want to find an effective way to transport your car. If you can’t drive the vehicle to your new destination yourself, you may need to find a professional auto transport company to do the job for you. 

Remember that your vehicle is a valuable asset, so you’ll need to recruit a trained auto shipping provider’s expertise to ensure the process runs smoothly. Otherwise, you risk paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs should your car sustain damage during shipment. 

While auto transport services can successfully ship a vehicle cross-country or overseas with minimal hassle, one thing these car shipping experts can’t do is prep your car for transport. As a car owner, here’s what to know before using an auto transport service to ship your vehicle.

The cost of transport

The first and most crucial tidbit of information you’ll need to know is the cost of transporting your vehicle to your new destination. By comparing quotes or posted shipping rates on their website, you can choose an auto transport company within your budget. Conducting online research can help you weigh each shipping provider’s pros and cons according to their average costs. 

Although price should be a determining factor in your final decision, it should not be the only determinant that carries weight. It would help if you considered other critical factors such as the company’s qualifications, licensing, reputation, insurance options, safety precautions, etc. To ensure you receive the highest quality services, research auto transport companies like Guardian Auto Transport (www.guardianautotransport.com) and learn more about how your car can be transported safely and hassle-free. When you selectively trust shipping providers, you’ll protect your vehicle from costly damages. 

The hauler’s insurance

When it comes to transporting your car, insurance is a critical consideration. Remember that your standard car insurance might not cover for shipping-related damages sustained during the shipping process. That is why you must verify that your potential auto transport company provides appropriate insurance coverage. Sometimes accidents are inevitable, and when they happen, you may incur several unexpected repair expenses, which can be expensive if you have to pay out-of-pocket. 

To adequately protect your vehicle, experts recommend that you request a copy of the carrier’s insurance policy before making a final decision. Review the policy provisions and confirm with a representative what types of damage a shipping provider will cover. Failure to research the level of coverage the company provides during the shipping process could result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in expenses. 

Once you inquire about the types of accidents covered, you can determine if their insurance is comprehensive enough. If it isn’t, you can ask about increment or extension of the coverage.

Prepare your car

Another essential step is to prep your car. As you get the car ready for shipment, make sure it’s in excellent mechanical shape. You’ll also need to inspect your car’s interior and exterior for any defects. 

To prepare your vehicle for shipping, repair any minor or major mechanical issues, and top off all necessary fluids. Also, be sure to clean the exterior to identify any dents, dings, or scratches. If you spot any imperfections, document them beforehand. 

Before dropping off your vehicle, you’ll also need to empty your car’s gas tank until it measures to a quarter tank of gas, the recommended amount for shipping. Additionally, don’t forget to remove your personal items from the car, as you can’t use the vehicle as an additional storage unit. Lastly, take photos of the car, and note any existing damage.

Ask relevant questions

Transporting your vehicle is a high-profile task, so you’ll want to ask questions to ensure you understand everything about the process. Some of the questions you may need to ask include; What services are included in the quote? Do you provide insurance, or will there be extra fees? How does the company’s payment process work? Which personnel do you pay? Is the price fixed, or is set to change? 

If your shipping provider can answer your questions directly, you can rest assured that the transport process will run smoothly. If they tip-toe around your questions, reconsider your decision.

Experts recommend that you not base your decision only on price, as the auto-transport industry is highly unregulated. Focus on finding a reputable and reliable company to ship your vehicle. After all, you’ve invested thousands of dollars into your car. Care for your investment by splurging on your auto shipping services. More often than not, auto transport companies that charge significantly less than their competitors use less versatile equipment, provide questionable insurance policies, are less qualified, host a team of inexperienced drivers, and even slip in hidden fees.

Prepare yourself for on-site pickup and delivery

After you’ve prepared your vehicle for shipment accordingly, plan to be available during pick up and clear your schedule to receive your car upon delivery. Being physically present at pick-up and drop-off is essential, as it can help you ensure your vehicle is in top condition before and during shipping

Unfortunately, there’s always a possibility of mishaps popping up, so you’ll want to address them as they come. To avoid miscommunications or hidden fees, ensure the driver inspects the car before you hand over the keys at pick-up. After delivery, you should check your vehicle for any signs of damage before signing off on its condition. Otherwise, you’ll be held responsible for repairing any scratches or dents you discover following your drop-off date. 

Final thoughts

After scanning through online reviews and consulting with your auto shipping provider directly, you’ll be ready to ship your vehicle to its destination. With a reliable car shipping company, you can focus on other to-do list items related to your move on a long-term vacation. 

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