Here’s everything you need to know regarding shipping your car

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If you’ve ever faced the prospect of moving your beloved vehicle across long distances or needing to transport it to a new location, you’re likely curious about the ins and outs of car shipping. Fear not, as this comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process, from choosing the right shipping method to handling paperwork and ensuring a smooth delivery.

Understanding Car Shipping Methods

Navigating the road of car shipping begins with understanding the available methods. Open transport and enclosed transport are the two primary options.

Open Transport: Cost-Effective and Visible

Picture this: your car on a carrier, like a journey under the sun. Open transport is cost-effective and widely used, often seen on highways. However, it exposes your car to the elements.

Enclosed Transport: Protection at a Premium

Enclosed Auto Transport – For those with prized possessions or classic cars, enclosed transport is like a private garage on wheels. It’s more expensive but provides optimal protection against weather and road debris.

Researching Reliable Shipping Companies

Before embarking on your car shipping journey, it’s crucial to find a reputable and trustworthy shipping company.

The Power of Reviews and Recommendations

Don’t underestimate the power of reviews and recommendations. Check online reviews and ask friends or family for referrals to find a company with a solid track record.

Licensing and Insurance

Ensure the company is properly licensed and insured. This guarantees that your car will be in safe hands throughout its journey.

Requesting Quotes and Planning Your Budget

Getting quotes from various shipping companies is a crucial step in planning your car shipping budget.

The Importance of Multiple Quotes

Obtaining car shipping quote from different companies gives you a better understanding of the price range and helps you avoid potential scams or overpriced services.

Balancing Cost and Quality

While budget matters, remember that quality service often comes at a reasonable cost. Avoid overly cheap quotes that might lead to subpar service.

Preparing Your Car for Shipment

Before your car sets sail on its voyage, it needs some preparation.

Cleanliness is Next to Documentation

Give your car a thorough cleaning before shipping. This isn’t just for looks—it helps you document any pre-existing damage and ensures a smooth inspection process.

Empty the Trunk and Cabin

Bid farewell to the fuzzy dice hanging from your rearview mirror and any personal belongings. An empty car not only reduces weight but also eliminates the risk of items getting lost.

Choosing Pickup and Delivery Locations

Deciding where your car will be picked up and delivered is a key consideration.

Terminal vs. Door-to-Door

Choose between terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door service. The former might be more cost-effective, while the latter offers convenience.

Location Accessibility

Ensure that your chosen locations are accessible for the carrier’s truck. Narrow streets or low-hanging branches could pose challenges.

Booking the Shipping Service

With your chosen company and service in mind, it’s time to book your car’s journey.

Review the Contract

Thoroughly review the shipping contract, paying close attention to terms, conditions, and any hidden fees. Ask questions if something isn’t clear.

Setting Pickup and Delivery Dates

Coordinate with the shipping company to establish pickup and delivery dates that align with your schedule.

Preparing Necessary Documents

Gather the required documents to ensure a smooth shipping process.

Paperwork Essentials

Prepare your car’s registration, insurance documents, and any additional paperwork requested by the shipping company.

Vehicle Inspection Report

During pickup, both you and the carrier driver will inspect the car and note any existing damage on the vehicle inspection report.

Tracking Your Car’s Journey

Stay informed about your car’s progress while it’s in transit.

Keeping in Touch

Reputable shipping companies will provide you with tracking information or a point of contact for updates. Stay connected to ease any worries.

Addressing Delays or Issues

If there are any unexpected delays or issues, communication with the shipping company is key. They can provide insights and solutions.

Receiving Your Shipped Car

The moment has come—your car is reaching its destination.

Thorough Post-Transit Inspection

Inspect your car carefully upon delivery. Document any new damage that might have occurred during transit.

Reporting Issues

If you notice any new damage, report it to the shipping company immediately. Your documentation will be essential if you need to make a claim.

Payment and Reviews

As the journey concludes, it’s time to finalize payments and share your experience.

Settling the Bill

Complete the payment as agreed upon in the contract. Ensure you’re aware of the accepted payment methods.

Leaving Reviews

Consider leaving a review for the shipping company. Your feedback can help future customers make informed decisions.

Open transport is generally safe, but your car will be exposed to the elements. If your vehicle is precious, enclosed transport might be a better choice.

The duration varies based on factors like distance and route. Shipping within the same country usually takes a week or two, while international shipping can take several weeks.

Thoroughly inspect your car upon delivery. If you find new damage, document it and notify the shipping company immediately to initiate a claim process.

While some companies allow it, it’s generally not recommended. Personal items are not covered by the shipping company’s insurance, and they might contribute to additional weight.

Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and ensure the company is licensed and insured. A reputable company will provide transparent communication and excellent customer service.


Shipping your car doesn’t have to be a mystifying process. By understanding the methods, researching companies, planning your budget, and following the steps, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free car shipping experience.