If you’re moving to a new place, in addition to booking movers, you might also be looking to transport your car.
Automobile shipping can be rather scary, especially for a first-timer. You never know what can happen down the road, and your vehicle might end up damaged. With all the expenses that accompany a move, you’ll want to cut down the cost of shipping your car without compromising its safety.
Here are five useful tips to save money when transporting your car across the country.
1. Do Your Research
The main factor that will determine how much auto transport will cost you and how much you’re going to save is a good shipping company. Many people underestimate the power of research. Skipping this step is especially easy to do if you’re up against the clock.
That’s why you need to plan ahead of time so you can effectively evaluate your options. Here are some steps you should take when researching auto transport companies.
- Visit a company’s website and check their online presence.
- Read customer reviews and recommendations.
- Compare different quotes from different companies here and choose the best one offering services that meet your needs.
- If you want to be sure, contact someone who’s had experience with the company and listen to what they have to say.
You might ask: What do all of these have to do with saving money? Simple. Hiring a reputable company ensures your car’s safety, so you won’t have to spend more on repairs.
2. Check the Company’s Credentials
Without prior knowledge, a first-time customer can easily fall to auto transports scams. To avoid this, you’ll want to see if a company is authorized to run a shipping business.
- Check if the company is registered to the Department of Transport
- Ask for their DOT Number and run it on the SAFER website.
- The company should also be registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
- You can also contact the Better Business Bureau for information regarding a company.
All of these might seem like such a hassle but doing your research goes a long way to protect you from fraud. Better to be safe than sorry.
3. Don’t Make a Decision Based on Price Alone
Contrary to what you might think, a cheaper rate doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable deal you can get. Most reputable companies demand higher rates for the right reasons:
- Many years of being in the business.
- Served and satisfied countless customers.
- Good feedback and testimonials from previous clients.
- Certificates and awards for an excellent performance.
As stated earlier, a shady company offering suspiciously low rates can be dangerous for your budget. They might shock you with hidden fees or worse; your car will be damaged.
Still, you shouldn’t completely brush off companies with lowered rates. Start-up businesses also tend to do this. So, investigate first before signing up a deal.
4. Choose the Right Mode of Transport
After deciding on a shipping company, the next step to reduce your expenses is knowing how to transport your car.
You will save a lot if you opt for terminal-to-terminal shipping. On top of that, you’ll even save more if you transport your vehicle via an open trailer. The downsides of this method include:
- Your car will be exposed to various weather elements and external environment
- You have to pick up your auto at the terminal (rather than having it delivered to your door)
On the other hand, you might want to go for door-to-door shipping via an enclosed trailer if you’re shipping a luxury car. It might be more expensive, but it greatly reduces the risk of damage.
5. Prepare Your Car
Getting your car ready will save you from additional fees, such as excess weight and extra item costs. It also makes it easier for your company to proceed with the delivery without any delay.
Here are some ways to prep your car:
- Wash your car
- Empty the fuel tank down to a quarter.
- Inflate the tires.
- Perform necessary maintenance.
- Clear your vehicle of any items.
- Remove customized attachments and accessories
- Document pre-existing issues and mechanical problems
Wrap It Up
Shipping a car can be demanding. And you don’t want to be anxious on the day of your move. So make sure to follow these tips to save cash and make things easier. Wishing you a successful auto transport operation!