Shipping a Car Cross Country: Here’s What You Need to Know

When relocating to a new residence that’s further away than across town, transporting vehicles is an obstacle many people have to overcome. While you could drive the vehicle yourself, hiring an auto transport broker is an increasingly popular alternative. With that in mind, let’s look at what first-timers should know about shipping their vehicles cross-country.

Shipping Is Cheaper Than Driving

While many people may prefer to drive themselves, it generally isn’t the cheaper option. That may seem counterintuitive, but it becomes clearer why the more you investigate. Fuel, tolls and wear and tear add up fast, and transport companies can avoid those costs in some cases or at least lessen them.

Specific Destination Can Make a Price Difference

The big factors that determine shipping costs are size, weight and destination. Obviously, the further a vehicle has to travel, the more the service will cost. But specific destination can matter too. For instance, even if the nearest major city is 15 miles beyond the small town to which you’re moving, shipping to the city can actually be cheaper for logistical reasons.

Insurance Options and Cost

Statistics show that cars are rarely damaged during professional transport, but you’ll still want insurance. Your transport company may include some protection as well as offer more, but you may also want to shop around. Be sure to check with your current auto insurance provider. Protection during shipping is a rarely required, but you can usually add it to your policy temporarily, and that is often the cheapest option.

Prepping Is Recommended

It’s highly advised that you take your vehicle to a mechanic for a comprehensive examination. Tell the mechanic why you need the inspection and that you’ll require a written report. That report will come in handy later if there’s a problem with your car. Top off all fluids but not the gas tank, which should be as low as is practical. Remove all personal items from the vehicle, and then, have it professionally washed, which is going to make that inspection much easier.

You’ll Perform Two Inspections

You’ll perform an inspection of your vehicle once before departure and again at arrival. A representative of the company will be performing an inspection alongside you. Don’t rely on that report, however. Create your own, including taking images, so that you’ll have a point of comparison and proof.

Shop around a bit not just with transport companies but the viable alternatives available to you. In most cases, transport will prove to be the more cost-effective option. Then, it’s just a matter of taking the steps necessary to protect yourself in the event something does happen to your car.

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