Did you know that research shows moving is more stressful than divorce? In fact, six out of 10 people report it as the most stressful life event.
What makes moving so stressful? For one, it leads to disruption of the attachment we’ve formed with a given location and residence. It also involves numerous time pressures, weighty decisions, and the potential for financial disturbances.
How can you make this process a little less traumatic? Researchers offer a variety of solutions, from cultivating a positive mindset to doing your due diligence when it comes to practical preparations such as hiring a car delivery service.
Of course, arranging auto shipping can feel stressful, too. Especially if you’ve never done it before. With that in mind, let’s explore what you need to know about car shipping services.
1. Car Shipping Services: Do Your Due Diligence
When searching for the right auto transport company to work with, don’t go with the first name that comes up in Google search. After all, auto shipping companies are very different from one another.
What does that mean for you? For starters, different customer service philosophies, different rates, and different insurance coverage. Do your homework carefully before picking a company.
We understand that moving can make you feel frazzled like you don’t have time for anything. But you must commit to online research to find the best vehicle moving companies.
Read reviews, check out company ratings through the Better Business Bureau, and ensure that each one checks out through the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT). Remember, each company should be able to provide you with their US DOT number, which lets you explore its safety record.
After you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll have a much better idea of which companies are reputable. You’ll also have a thorough understanding of which ones place a premium on fantastic customer experiences.
2. Auto Transport Services: Open Up the Lines of Communication
Of course, reviews alone shouldn’t be the basis for your decision. You also want to call each company armed with a list of questions.
You’ll quickly gain a sense of whether you want to work with each company based on these phone communications. If a company can’t answer your questions rapidly and with confidence, keep looking.
Locating the best auto transport company for your needs means finding one that places customer service first. Keep this in mind as you reach out to each company.
Take notes while talking to company representatives and ask for their names. That way, you’ll have a clear list of pros and cons following each call and individuals you can speak to in the future.
Check out these car transport service FAQs to help you develop your list of questions.
3. Car Transport Service: Ask the Right Questions
The last tip raises an important question: what should you ask each company? While some inquiries will prove unique to your shipping needs and location, others are universal.
- What’s included in the quote?
- Does the quote include fees or insurance?
- If not, how much should I budget for these add-ons?
- Is the price guaranteed, or will it change?
It’s tempting to go with a lowball quote, but if it sounds too good to be true, it is. By asking the right questions, you’ll avoid nasty surprises later.
4. Explore Insurance Coverage
Don’t assume your auto insurance policy will cover the risks associated with transporting your vehicle. Instead, make sure that the carrier provides adequate insurance coverage.
And don’t take a company at its word. Get a copy of the carrier’s insurance.
Here’s a handy tip. Many companies keep a copy of their policy available on their website.
As you explore each carrier’s policy, pay close attention to what is and isn’t covered during shipping. What if you don’t feel the coverage provided is enough? Then, inquire into the price of adding additional coverage.
5. Auto Shipping: Don’t Book Last Minute
Procrastination only makes moving more stressful. To take some of the weight off your shoulders, stay proactive. In terms of auto shipping, that means booking early.
Giving yourself lead time will ensure the company you work with can meet your timeline demands. Remember that cross-country moves can take anywhere from seven to 10 days.
As for moves halfway across the country? You should plan on a five to seven-day shipping period.
In other words, last-minute bookings could mean you won’t get your vehicle when you need it. They also come with added rush fees, so plan early for the smoothest and most affordable experience.
6. Understand Pickup, Delivery, and Payment Options
There are some practical considerations that you must keep in mind as you prepare to move a vehicle. First, you’ll need somebody over the age of 18 to rendezvous with the auto shipping driver during pickup and delivery.
Ideally, this individual will be you. After all, you’ll need a photo ID handy. You’ll also need to be prepared to sign paperwork and participate in vehicle inspection.
What if you can’t make pickup or delivery? Then, arrange for a trusted friend, family member, or even neighbor to be there.
You’ll also want to know in advance which types of payment are accepted by the company you work with. That way, you can be prepared to pay and receive your car at the time of delivery.
For most carriers, you can’t go wrong with cash, a cashier’s check, or postal money order. Most brands also accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards. Just don’t make any assumptions without verifying payment methods in advance.
7. Prep Your Car for Transport
You’ll also want to do a few things before the driver shows up to take your vehicle. First of all, make sure your car’s in good mechanical shape. After all, it costs more to transport non-running automobiles.
Top off all fluids and make sure you’ve got about a quarter of a tank of gas in the car. You should also take care to remove all personal items.
Also, take photos of any existing damage. Yes, you’ll go through an inspection at pickup and delivery, but drivers are on a tight schedule. So, document as much as you can ahead of time.
Hiring a Car Delivery Service
Before hiring a car delivery service, spend time online exploring your options carefully. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, call up each company and ask them questions about your car transportation needs.
You want to work with a company that values customer service and keeps the lines of communication open. So, if a phone conversation leaves you with more questions than answers, move on to another company.
Last but not least, understand how pickup and delivery work, your payment options, and what you need to do to prep a car for shipping. By relying on the tips above, you’ll nix the stress associated with moving a vehicle, which means one less thing to worry about.
Ready to find out more about how the right car transportation company can make your life easier during a move? Here’s our ultimate guide to how the process works.