Guide to shipping your car stress-free

Regardless if you want to ship your car cross-country, or to another continent, it can be tricky. Keeping organized and on schedule is the key to shipping your car stress-free. From preparing the car for shipping to hiring movers Gulfport MS, there are many steps to cover and understand. If you know how to ship a sofa, you are well on your way to shipping your car. The process is roughly the same, with the preparation process being ever so slightly different. Before you prepare the car itself, you need to plan your budget and shipping options. After that comes preparing the car for the big move, sending it off, and then waiting for it to arrive at your new dream home. With our help, you will be informed, organized, and well-prepared.

Prepare before shipping your car

Before sending your car on its way to the new location, there are a few things you need to take into account. One of the first things you need to look into is the budget you are working with. After this, comes the decision of your chosen mover, as well as the shipping method.

Deciding on a budget and timeline

Shipping your car may take between three days to three weeks, depending on the distance your car has to cover. As a safety measure, add a day or two to the planned timeline, due to other changing factors such as the weather or traffic. Different commercial movers have different shipping times, so keep this in mind as well. To make sure everything goes smooth, book the shipping at least two weeks before the shipping day. For example, a shipment from the Midwest to the East Coast can take from 3 to 8 days. On the other hand, a shipment from East Coast to West Coast can take anywhere between a week and two weeks. Keep in mind that these are just estimations and can change.

white truck on the road shipping your car
The shipping process may take up to a few weeks so prepare in advance

As far as expenses go, setting your budget and sticking to it is crucial. Many factors can affect the price, such as distance, vehicle model and size, and the chosen shipping method. Most movers have a base price which is calculated by distance and mileage. Generally speaking, any distance under 500 miles will cost you $1 per mile. Anything between 500 and 1000 miles will cost 75 per mile, and in turn, 60 cents for 1000 miles and above.  As a reference, a distance of 1100 miles will set you back 660 dollars. You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $1500 when shipping your car. For best results, ask your chosen mover for a specific quote before booking them.

Picking a method of shipping your car

Different shipping options are differently priced, so it is important to find the one that suits you best. First, start by deciding if you want to ship your car uncovered or enclosed. Here are the differences:

  • Uncovered – This is the cheaper option of the two and a more suitable one for short distances. This method may also be faster since most movers have more open trailers onhand, however, the vehicle will be exposed to external elements. You may be charged for any damages to the car, since they are more common with uncovered shipping, depending on your insurance coverage.
  • Enclosed – Safer, but more expensive. If you are shipping your car cross-country, this is the option for you. Enclosed shipping is great if you run the risk of shipping your car through rugged terrain or snowstorms. Enclosed shipping may cost up to 50% more than uncovered, but it significantly safer in comparison.
red car with a damaged door
Uncovered shipping is cheaper, but carries a higher risk of damage

After selecting the trailer type, you need to think about the delivery method. Here are the most common ones:

  • Terminal to terminal – More economic, but relatively risky. The issue with this delivery type is that you are forced to take your car to a designated shipping terminal. The mover will deliver your vehicle to a similar terminal after shipping. These terminals may be miles from your location and may not be monitored at all times.
  • Door to door – Safer and faster. Initially more expensive, door to door shipping may be worth it in the long run. The mover collects and delivers your car at a specific location. As such, it is much safer and removes the risk of theft or damage.

Check the insurance details and coverage before shipping

Certain insurance companies will cover any damage done to your car during shipping. Regardless if your insurance covers damages, what you want to do, is make sure your chosen mover is insured. A reputable mover deals with at least $40.000 in coverage, and we advise you to carefully read the moving contract before booking a mover. Your car must have insurance even when not in transit. This should cover periods when your car is parked overnight, as well as pickup and drop off periods.

a man washing a black car
Before shipping, clean your car inside and out and take detailed photos of it

One day before shipping

Being prepared is the focus of this text, so to avoid digging through drawers for documents, do this in advance. Prepare your driver’s license, car registration, and ownership papers, and set them aside. The moving company will want to see these papers before shipping, so have them ready. Additionally, list any operational problems the car might have, so the movers can be familiar with them. Be as specific as you can, so they know what to do in case your car behaves unexpectedly. Lastly, empty any items which don’t need to be in the car. Check your glove compartment and trunk for any unneeded items. Some movers charge based on weight, so the only thing that should be in the car is a quarter to a half tank of gas.

The day of shipping your car

When the day of shipping comes, your car needs to be prepared. Wash it and take photos of it. Shippers are liable for any damage that occurs in transit. By taking detailed photographs of your vehicle, you will be able to tell if any scuffs appeared while under their care. Before the car is loaded onto the trailer, disable the alarm, fold the side mirrors, and remove the car antenna. Before you leave your keys with the company and bid your car farewell, ask them for a tracking number so you can check the status along the way. Now, all you have to do is sit back and relax, knowing that your four-wheeled pet is in capable hands of professionals.

make moving simplermoving preparationmoving tips

Latest Posts