When moving long distances, an area that may need your special time and attention would probably be the shifting of your car. While some may choose to go on a road trip and drive the car themselves, quite a few others prefer hiring professionals to ship their car. For those who choose the latter, one prominent question that worries them is about the safety of their vehicle during auto transport.
Fortunately though, there are quite a handful of reputed moving companies that are ready to assist you with the shipping of your car. And our article here covers the different aspects of shipping your car, the factors affecting it and the measures that you could follow. Just read along to understand how exactly is your car safe during auto transport.
Factors Affecting Safety Of Your Vehicle
The first few things that we would look at when talking about auto transport, are probably the factors that determine how safe that mode of shipment is. While there is an option of transporting your vehicle through rail freight or via air transport, the most popular method is through a car carrier. Basically, the safety of your car during transport would mainly be dependent on the method of shipment you choose. Along with that, a few other factors that could account for your car’s safety include:
Which company should you trust with the safety of your car when relocating, is an important question to deal with. Because this company would, to quite some extent, determine in which condition your car reaches your new place. Your best bet when making a choice for your moving company, is to read through as many reviews as possible. This will not only give you an idea of the level of service they provide, or the ethics that they follow, but also help you understand the level of trust they have built with their customers. We believe that numbers do hold some weightage. So, if you see a wide array of positive reviews or high rankings, chances are that the company has earned a reputation for itself in the industry.
Type of Service
Most auto shipping companies offer two kinds of service carriers to transport your vehicle – open air carriers and enclosed carriers. While both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, the type of service you opt for, would also influence the safety of your vehicle. Want to know how?
Open Air Carriers: These are usually huge, big trucks which are around 75 – 80 feet wide and have a two level trailer at the back to haul multiple cars. The main advantage of these open air carriers is that they are a budget friendly option. Plus if you have multiple cars that need to be shipped together, then this can surely be an economical choice as well. Some moving companies also provide individual open air carriers that are designed to only move one car at a time. However, these would cost a little higher than the trailers that can shift multiple cars together.
While these open air carriers are a popular choice among people, know that these are also prone to some downsides. As the name suggests, these carriers do not have a roof or sides, so your car is vulnerable to any weather that is prominent. What this means is that, if you’re planning to move during the monsoons or during winter, then your car would be exposed to all rain or snow when moved in an open air car trailer.
Another concern that could crop up with such trailers is their lack of security per se. Since your vehicle isn’t in any enclosed shelter, it may be vulnerable to thefts or break-ins. So, it is best that you do not pack any valuables inside your car while it is in transit.
Lastly, it may take a little longer for you to get back your car when shipped through an open air trailer, because there could be multiple cars that need to be dropped off at different locations. We advise you check with your moving company and be prepared with a rough timeline in place when shipping your car.
Enclosed Car Carrier: As is evident by the name, these carriers have roofs and sides, and are designed in a way to protect your car from all kinds of weather. This kind of service does offer extra protection, but it comes at a heavy cost. Yes, because of the few clear advantages enclosed car carriers have over open air carriers, they are way more expensive on your pockets. But we suggest, if you have high end cars or antique, classic cars, then maybe you would want to ship your car through an enclosed carrier as it offers more security and protection than the open air trailers.
Depending on the type of service that you choose, you could guarantee the safety of your car to some extent. While both these trailers may be exposed to the same conditions or circumstances, an enclosed car carrier can at least provide enough protection against any weather conditions. However, they could make your car shipping a costly affair, and may even take a little longer delivery time when compared to open air carriers.
It is always better to have your car or rather all valuables that you have, insured before you ship them. While you may have gotten car insurance at the time of purchase, it is best to check with your insurance company if your insurance extends to auto transport as well. Your moving company may also provide you with insurance options that would account for any damages that have occurred during the shipping, by the transporter. However, if the damages are caused by unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters or acts of God, your insurance company could cover that. So, we suggest you keep yourself prepared with all available insurance options because that could play a big role in ensuring the safety of your vehicle.
How Do I Prepare My Car For Transport?
Like you do detailed planning about how you’re going to move your house, the same way you need to put in efforts to ensure that your vehicle is safe during auto transport.
Wash and Clean your Vehicle
While you may think that this is a task that needs to be done after you get the delivery of your vehicle at your new place, it is an equally important step to be done before too. This is because your auto transport company will prepare a vehicle condition report with you, noting down every detail of your car as it is pre move. And if your vehicle is clean, it will just be easier and more precise to note the exact details.
Keep photo proofs of your vehicle
Now this is just one more way of making sure that no one takes your car for a ride, both literally and figuratively! Make sure that you take pictures of your car from every angle and have them clearly dated. This will help you compare the condition of your car upon arrival and will also serve as evidence in case of any damage or insurance claims. You can also take a picture of your odometer reading, so you know that no one has been using your car while in transit.
Pack and Secure Accessories Separately
If you have any vehicle accessories that are detachable, we advise that you remove and pack them separately. The route your carrier takes may not always be a steady one, so to minimize the damage to any, it is best you keep your vehicle as empty and light as is feasible.
Check the Vehicle Fluids and Tires
Before you load your car for shipment, make sure that all tires are in place and properly inflated. Additionally, ensure that there aren’t any fluid leaks in your vehicle, because chances are that your truck driver may refuse to load the car unless those leaks have been repaired.
Deactivate the Toll Tags
If you’re passing a toll, chances are that your vehicle toll tag will record it and add to your expenses. Now, whether you’re driving your car or it is getting shipped on a trailer, it wouldn’t make a difference. So, before you load your vehicle onto the trailer, it is best you deactivate your toll tags to not add unnecessary expenses to your budget.
Also Read: 11 Important Car Shipping Prep Tips
Things To Keep In Mind
When you’re making a choice for a moving company to transport your vehicle, there are a few things that you could take note of. These include going through reviews and verifying their credentials through known sources like the Better Business Bureau and checking their licenses and permissions through the FMCSA. We suggest that before finalizing on one, you get multiple shipping quotes and compare them wisely. Although the lower prices may seem lucrative, not always can they deliver the best service.
Even when you’ve taken all the necessary precautions and recruited the best moving company to ship your vehicle, there are some unforeseen circumstances that may affect the safety of your vehicle. Bad weather, or sudden natural disasters that always catch you off guard, are just some of these situations that may arise beyond control.
Another important aspect to keep in mind during auto transport is the rate of accidents. On an average, there are around 100,000 to 150,000 crashes involving large trucks that happen each year. According to the crime statistics shared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were around 118,382 crashes involving large trucks, in the year 2020 alone.
Now we don’t intend to scare you with these figures, but just want to keep you informed about how some things are beyond human control. The best thing to do here is to take all the necessary measures and leave nothing unturned from your end. And lastly, keep your thoughts positive and believe that all shall happen well!
Moving can genuinely be a little hectic for many, but with moving companies providing all the services you need, you can surely take a little stress off your shoulders. There are certainly a few measures that you also could take to ensure that your vehicle is safely transported. And now that you’ve seen what they could be in our article, there’s nothing much to worry when it comes to shipping your car through auto transport. If you’re looking for some suggestions for the Best Car Shipping Companies, just click and read away!
Related: How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car