Is this you? You purchased the car of your dreams recently or a few years ago. You worked hard in your career for several years, moving up the ladder until you realized that your dream car –one you promised yourself you’d get when you “made it” was within your reach. You researched different makes and models over several months and you test drove quite a few.
After weeks and months of careful consideration – you purchase the car!
And, dare we say it? It’s probably almost but not quite as valuable to you as your children!
So when it comes time to move your four-wheeled precious one long distance, we have some guidelines and recommendations for you to ensure it arrives in the same great condition it was in when you caressed it goodbye as you handed it over to the care of the transport company.
Make sure the transport company has experience in transporting high-end or vintage vehicles.
And we’re not talking that it ships a luxury car or two every couple of months. Instead, we mean that it transports high-end cars every day. Ask the shipping firm how long it’s been in business, how many cars it’s shipped over all, how many luxury cars it ships each week. Finally, ask for names and contact information of previous luxury car shipping customers and call those individuals for their feedback.
Arrange that the car be shipped alone or with no more than one additional high-end car.
Yes, this will cost you more to ship the car because most cars are shipped via what is called an “exposed carrier.” You see them all the time on the freeway: a truck hauling a double-decker trailer filled with six or eight cars. Those cars will arrive at their destination dirty, dusty, possibly somewhat pock-marked from small rocks, and so on.
Instead, make sure your car arrives as safely as possible by arranging to have it shipped in an enclosed carrier. Doing so keeps your vehicle safe from the elements. The enclosed trailer also is fitted with shock absorbers to help cushion your vehicle from the bumps, holes, sudden braking, etc. the trailer will encounter in transit.
Transporting your luxury vehicle via either alone or with one other car also means your car will arrive at its destination more quickly because your driver won’t be making other stops to drop off other vehicles.
Don’t be shy about discussing insurance. In detail.
Most car transport carriers have cargo coverage insurance from $100,000 to $1,000,000. If your high-end car is of considerable vintage you may want to talk to another insurance company for additional coverage, just to be safe.
Never engage a transport company until you know exactly what it will and won’t cover should anything happen to your vehicle during shipment. Many carriers cover for negligence on their part but this usually doesn’t cover natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, etc. Know thoroughly what the company is liable for and what you are. If you don’t understand something, make sure to ask and keep asking until you understand.
In fact, it’s a good idea to ask if the transport broker offers additional insurance options such as Othex, which is a zero deductible coverage that comes into play just in case your carrier fails to pay for damage and you need to put a claim in through your own insurance. Coverage such as Othex covers the cost of your deductible up to $1,000.
Prepare your luxury car for transport. Carefully.
What you do to prep the car for shipping does have an impact on its condition when it arrives at its destination. Be sure to:
- Put enough fuel in the car’s tank to make sure the transport company’s drivers can get it off and on its trailer. There’s no need to leave it with a full tank of gas; no more than a quarter tank should be more than enough.
- Leave no items in the car. This includes its trunk.
- Take video of the condition of your car. Video its underside as well as its top. Don’t forget the exhaust pipe, rocker panels, tires, wheel rims, the car’s interior, and its trunk. You want to have a real-time record of your car’s condition before giving it to the transport company.
- Document its mileage because it does sometimes happen: your luxury vehicle is taken for a joy ride of a few dozen or hundreds of miles.
- You may want to video tape when the car is loaded into its carrier/trailer. This way you have a record of how well it was secured before it made its journey in case there’s any disagreement later.
In fact, here at Ship A Car, Inc., we expect our customers to take photos of their vehicle (front, back, driver’s side and passenger’s side. Video is an excellent add-on to protect our customers’ interests.
Try to be there when the car’s delivered.
If you can’t be the one to take actual possession, ask a trusted friend or family member to receive it. If you can’t be there, make sure the person who will be has a checklist of what things to look go over before accepting the delivery:
- Photograph the car in detail. Take pictures or video that match the pictures/video you took of the car before shipping.
- Video or take pictures while the car is unloaded.
- Check the odometer against what it was before shipping.
- Check tires for unusual wear.
- Check for marks and damage on the car’s exterior, interior, etc. Film/video/photograph any that you find.
- Make sure you get a signed bill of lading from the driver when you receive your car. All damage must be notated on it.
- Tip: if you’re receiving your car at night, bring a flashlight and make sure to inspect your car carefully.
Understand that having such thorough before-and-after documentation will make it much easier for you to file a reimbursement claim with the transport company should you find any damage.
We love luxury cars here at Ship A Car, Inc. and always recommend to transport such vehicles in an enclosed carrier. We have considerable experience shipping high-end and classic vehicles and have shipped more than 35,000 vehicles total since we started in 2012.
Whether you need to move your car across the country or just a few hundred miles, we’ll work hard to ensure it arrives in the same gorgeous condition it was when you entrusted it to us.