Car shipping is a convenient option to transport vehicles over long distances. However, vehicle shipping also involves certain risks that need careful consideration and planning to mitigate potential issues. This article discusses some key factors to effectively manage risks when opting for car transportation services.
Inspect Vehicle Thoroughly Before Shipment
One of the most important steps is conducting a thorough inspection of the vehicle before handing it over to the carrier. Check for any pre-existing dents, scratches or defects and note them down clearly. Take detailed photos or videos of the vehicle from all angles. This documentation will help validate the condition of the vehicle at the time of pickup in case any claims need to be filed later due to damage during transit.
Check Important Components
- Tires – Inspect for proper inflation and any signs of wear and tear
- Fluids – Ensure coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid levels are appropriate
- Brakes – Check brake pads and rotors for excess wear
- Suspension – Inspect shocks, struts, ball joints, bushings for issues
Proactively addressing even minor problems can prevent aggravating the conditions and voiding insurance claims during shipping. Get a vehicle inspection done by a trusted mechanic if needed.
Choose a Reputable Auto Transport Company
Choosing a reliable carrier is crucial for a safe and damage-free shipment. Some aspects to consider include:
Car Shipping Research Online Reviews
Go through carrier websites, third party review websites and social media to analyze customer satisfaction levels and feedback. Look for consistent positive reviews mentioning on-time delivery track records.
Reputable companies will registered with regulatory bodies like the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Check the USDOT number on their website to validate operating authority. Look for carriers bonded for cargo insurance as well.
Car Shipping Pricing and Services
Compare inclusive pricing for door-to-door services against hidden charges. Reputable carriers provide transparent quotes and track shipments every step of the way.
Insure the Vehicle Adequately
Cargo insurance is a must to cover repair or replacement costs if the vehicle gets damaged during transport. Most auto transport companies provide basic liability coverage as part of their services. However, it may have limited payout cap of around $5,000. To provide adequate coverage for expensive vehicles, consider:
Car Shipping Private Cargo Insurance
This can be purchased separately in addition to carrier liability coverage for higher liability limits up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.
Declared Value Coverage
Some carriers allow increasing their basic liability limits for a fee by declaring higher vehicle value upfront at the time of booking.
Ensure insurance policies cover perils like fire, theft, falling or collision with other vehicles during transit as standard auto policies may not provide coverage while in transit.
Prepare Vehicle Properly for Shipment
Correct preparation helps secure the vehicle safely on transport carriers without risk of damage:
Remove or Secure Loose Items
Clear out loose items from interior and cargo areas that can shift around during transit.
Car Shipping Parking Brake and Transmission
Ensure parking brake is fully engaged and transmission is locked in gear or park position.
Car Shipping Fuel Level
Fill up gas tank minimally to prevent gas spills but enough to carry vehicle for delivery distance.
Tires, Lights and Flaps
Inflate tires properly, secure tail lights, markers and mud flaps tightly to body with cord or zip ties.
Taking the time to thoroughly inspect vehicles, choosing vetted carriers, purchasing adequate coverage and properly preparing automobiles for shipping helps prevent damages and fulfill smooth transport of cars anywhere in the country. With careful planning and risk management, auto shipping remains a safe and convenient option.