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    The 7 Steps to Shipping Your Car

    Most people only ship their car once or twice their lifetimes. As a consequence, there is the impression that vehicle shipping companies know everything about the process-and consumers know nothing.

    So, relax…and correct that imbalance by following these 7 basic steps to shipping your car:

    1. Identify the Vehicle to Be Shipped

    Not all vehicle shipping is the same. Because of the increasing popularity of vehicle transportation, the car shipping companies have responded by offering a wide range of options to all consumers. For instance, the type of vehicle is the first factor you should consider. Is it an economy car, luxury sedan, motorcycle, small trailer, SUV, van, or even an RV? Chances are good that you will find a vehicle shipper to meet your needs.

    2. Define Your Departure and Destination Points

    Transporting a car within your own town is one thing. It's simply a matter of calling a tow truck. But auto relocation is quite a different matter because it involves long distances and routes, added insurance requirements, and often, more skilled drivers.

    Transporting your vehicle from Philadelphia to New York is a different matter than transporting it to Los Angeles. Auto transport carriers and brokers may specialize in certain regions. How about if you were shipping your car to Hawaii? That narrows down the field of brokers and carriers considerably because ship transport is necessary, in addition to supplemental truck-based auto relocation methods.

    3. Decide on Additional Needs

    Type of vehicle and the departure and destination points are important. But there is a host of other factors you may need, as well. If you have a particularly expensive or exotic car, you may require a covered car carrier. Do you need door-to-door service versus terminal-to-terminal (where you drop it off yourself at a main departure/pickup point) service? All of these are extra needs, and we recommend that you use an auto relocation broker to help you identify those needs.

    4. Start Your Research and Get 3 Quotes

    Going online is the best way to research auto relocation options. Why? Vehicle relocation involves a complicated factoring of distance, cost, weight and size, routes, times of year, and many other aspects, in order to arrive at an accurate quote. Online-based systems allow you to often get shipping quotes. In other cases, these online systems allow you to contact an auto transport broker or carrier directly and get quotes from them.

    Another great advantage to doing your research on the Internet is that you can rapidly generate the recommended "three or more" quotes. When you rely on telephone, mail, or on-site methods of research, it can take several weeks to get those three quotes. As a result, many consumers get frustrated-and end up leaping on the first or second quote, whether or not it is a good deal.

    5. Decide on the Broker or Carrier and Arrange Pickup

    After you have completed your research, you will have decided on an auto transport broker or direct carrier that is right for you. A date will be set for pick-up.

    Three or more days before pickup, study their pickup and delivery instructions carefully---this is one situation where you must "dot your i's and cross your t's." When the carrier arrives, his schedule assumes that he has just a very limited amount of time. He does not have time for you to lower the fuel to recommended levels or empty out the car of possessions. If you are delivering your vehicle yourself to a terminal, all of these tasks must be taken care of ahead of time.

    However, do not allow the driver to rush you along as you study and sign the delivery invoice or inspect your car prior to loading. This is your last chance before the car goes away.

    6. Track Your Vehicle

    Today, many auto transport companies allow you to track the progress of your vehicle by yourself-online. If not, at least be certain that the auto shipping company has a contact phone number.

    7. Take Delivery of Your Vehicle

    At your destination, you will be expected to inspect your car once again to make sure that your vehicle has not suffered damage during the transportation process. Any claims that you make in this respect are checked against the inspection you made at the point of departure.

    If you have any claims, you must make those claims immediately-do not wait until after you have left.

    However, be assured that nearly every vehicle shipped by auto relocation companies arrives at its destination in mint condition.

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