5 Important Tips Before Shipping your Car | Citizenshipper

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · Updated January 16, 2024

Shipping Your Car?

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If you need a car shipped, you’re not alone. Per year, 17 million cars are transported across the US. Second-hand or owned cars account for millions more. With so much demand, there is plenty of untrustworthy advice and services floating around, vying for a market share. It’s important to get the right advice before entrusting your car to any shipping service, whether a jalopy or a Jaguar. That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together a one-stop all-you-need-to-know checklist to prepare you for transporting your vehicle cross country.

If you want peace of mind, and not for your car to arrive in pieces, read on!

1. Read reviews

Before accepting any company or driver quote, it’s worthwhile to do a little research. What do previous customers say? Did the car arrive on time? Were there hidden costs not included in the quote? Was the customer satisfied with the condition of the car when it reached its destination?

Here’s a tip: Any car transporting service worth its salt will make no secret of its customer reviews. Most services have a page devoted to the latest testimonials. If they’re a trustworthy service, they should look like this: no bots, no fake accounts, just customers giving honest opinions.

It’s the services that have no reviews section to watch out for. It’s possible they’re new to the business and haven’t received any feedback yet. Possible, but not always likely. Businesses that serve customers live or die on the basis of customer satisfaction – if you find a service that hides theirs, then beware.

2. Be cautious of ultra-cheap quotes

Once you’ve found a shipper or online shipping marketplace you trust, and have posted the details of your car, its origin, destination and timeframe for delivery, then the quotes come rolling in. It’s very tempting to accept the very lowest bid. It might be necessary when considering your budget. But often, it can be a fool’s economy

Why is the quote so cheap? Most established car shippers will not need to undercut their competitors to any great degree, because their skills and experience speak for themselves. Perhaps you’re feeling charitable, and want to give a new, eager car transporter a chance. But if you’re more cautiously inclined, you might assume the quote is so low because the transporter needs work after a string of bad reviews. 

We all know you get what you pay for, most of the time. Better to engage a driver at a reasonable price, than to introduce an unknown variable.

3. Make your schedule crystal clear

No doubt you realised the importance of this already. However, shipping cross-country necessitates a window of error. All kinds of drivers are subject to road closures, terror alerts, weather or even breakdowns. That’s why, to guarantee a kept promise, most car transporters will include a margin of difference in the quote they give.

But if you, the customer, need the car to arrive on a date that is set in stone, you must make this abundantly clear in your posting. Perhaps it’s your son or daughter’s birthday, and the car is a gift. Perhaps the vehicle is heading to a dealership that closes on Sunday. Whatever the case, make sure the driver is aware the date cannot be changed.

The shorter the distance your car needs to travel, the less likely any delays will occur. But if the vehicle is going coast to coast, the likelihood increases. As such, car transporters may charge extra to have the car arrive on a specific date, with respect to the risks involved.

4. Include quirks!

All our cars have that One Thing that makes them idiosyncratic. The trunk needs a waggle to open, the driver’s window sometimes slips down, the windshield vibrates in strong winds. Or minor things: one door’s a bit stiff or the alarm is trigger-happy. The more information you can give your car transporter, the better care they can provide in transit.

What’s more, mentioning those quirks, big or small, in your posting, will ensure you aren’t charged an extra fee for unexpected problems.

5. Pre-existing damage

This pro-tip is important for whatever is being shipped: car or otherwise. Before the vehicle leaves your sight, take comprehensive pictures of how it looks, every plane, every angle, every scratch already on the tailgate or trunk.

That way you have documented evidence and watertight legal grounding to raise a complaint if the car arrives in a different condition to how it departed. If any damage is noticed you should submit a claim as soon as possible to the auto transport company.

Dirt or mud your car accrues in transit is not included in this. That does not constitute damage, as it can be easily wiped off, and there are few ways to avoid it. If it is important to you that your car arrives as clean as it left, then opt for a shipper with a closed trailer, not the usual open-air trailer than nine out of ten car transporters use. However, be prepared for extra costs if you choose one.

6. Deposits: Should you be concerned?

Your spider sense should tingle if the shipper or shipping company demands you pay a deposit before delivery. There is a good chance it could be a scam! Most reputable shippers only require payment once the job is complete. This allows the customer to decide if the shipment has been satisfactory before handing over money. If your expectations haven’t been met, certain scammers will throw up obstacles to stop you taking you deposit back. You have been warned!

7. First steps

Now you’re forewarned and forearmed, it’s time to engage a car transporter that is right for your car, your budget and your schedule. We know a good one. Their drivers are vetted and screened, they do not charge deposits, they are well reviewed and experts at meeting schedules. We’re glad you found us.

What sets CitizenShipper apart from other car-shipping firms is the ease and freedom they give to customers. Free to pick and choose the right driver. Free to browse quotes and select the perfect option that suits your schedule and budget. With hundreds of drivers on the books, vying for your shipment, you have the rare guarantee of freedom to select the perfect one. Covering the entire US, CitizenShipper’s trusted drivers are among the savviest car-carriers in the country.

Simply post your shipment and let the market do the hard work for you. Within an hour you’ll be receiving quotes from some of the safest and most reliable drivers in the industry. Your car – and your wallet! – will thank you.

Featured Image Credit: www.moveit.ca