Is Shipping a Car Worth It?

If you are faced with the task of getting a car across the country, it may feel like a logistical nightmare. Perhaps you are moving, buying a car out of state, or simply do not want to put countless miles on your vehicle. If this sounds like your situation, shipping your vehicle is one of your options. There are many advantages to shipping a car. Here is a breakdown.

The Pros

Shipping your car is beneficial for several reasons. It keeps unwanted miles off your vehicle, in addition to the regular wear and tear associated with driving. It also can keep your car safe during its journey. There are different levels of protection, so be sure to pick the best one for you.

The most invaluable plus of shipping a car is the convenience and peace of mind it provides. Instead of dealing with a potential logistical nightmare, you simply leave your car in the care of a trusted professional.

The Cons

Shipping a car does not come without its drawbacks. Your vehicle may still get damaged. If you leave anything inside your vehicle, it may be seized.

Long journeys often come with a steep price tag, too. The average cost to ship a car for 1,000 miles is just under $1,200. If this number gives you pause due to budgetary constraints, remember long journeys, while costly, offer the best deal per mile. Consider your financial situation before you commit to this decision.

How to Ship a Car

You have decided to ship your car, but where do you start? Nobody has expressly taught you how to ship a car. The first thing to consider is how much protection you need.

The most budget-friendly option is open-air shipping. You have likely seen this ubiquitous form of travel on the highway. This method involves loading your vehicle onto the back of an open-air truck. This gets your vehicle to its destination while exposed to the elements.

If that does not sound appealing, you may opt for closed-container shipping. This option offers protection from the elements by loading your car into a covered truck or shipping container for the duration of the trip.

If you want a convenient option that avoids the hassle of pickup and drop-off points, door-to-door shipping is likely right for you. This method ensures your vehicle is both picked up and dropped off right at your front door.

Lastly, some companies offer premium options reserved for classic and exotic cars. This method ensures your vehicle gets the utmost care while in transport.

Choosing a Shipping Company

Once you have surmised how much coverage your car needs, it is time to start looking at auto shippers. You have many options here, so start with the best car shipping companies. Call three to five providers and ask for a quote. Do your research to make sure you are getting the best deal. You want your vehicle to be taken for a ride, not you.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Although automotive shipping has its drawbacks, you can circumvent some of them. Create accountability for any damage incurred on your vehicle by performing an inspection both before and after shipping. This is easily done by making a list of any existing damage to the car and having your shipper sign off on it. Be sure to take pictures and repeat the process when the vehicle is returned to you. This way, if your car is mishandled, you have recourse.

You will also want to empty your car of personal effects before shipping. While some automotive shippers will allow up to 100 pounds of personal belongings, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) forbids them outright. Just because your shipper is fine with it does not mean your belongings will not be confiscated if the transport truck is stopped. Get ahead of this issue and clean out your car.

Shipping a car is a great idea if you value your car or you value convenience. While it comes with some associated risks, some forethought and planning can help you minimize these. Whatever your reason for shipping, do your research, and you and your vehicle can enjoy a safe, worry-free journey.

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