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Car Transporting 101

December 17, 2018

Written By: Mike

Chances are, you’re probably only familiar with one method of getting a car from point A to point B — driving it yourself. But there are some instances in which that just isn’t practical or preferable. For example, you may be relocating to another part of the country and don’t have time to make the cross-country trip. Perhaps you purchased a vintage piece at auction and don’t want to risk damaging it in transit. You might have one in need of serious repair work and it won’t run. In any event, transporting it could be your best choice.

If you’re unfamiliar with the process, here are a few pointers to help get you started.

What Is a Car Transporter?

Simply put, these businesses specialize in arranging for vehicles to be transported from one place to another. Transport companies own the trailers and handle the actual moving. Brokers serve as a go-between for you and the transporter.

How Do I Choose the Right Transporter?

You want to be confident that you’re putting your trust in the right hands. Make sure the company is fully licensed, bonded and insured. Look up the transporter’s information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website as well as the Better Business Bureau. Get quotes from multiple transporters to better ensure you’re receiving the best deal. Always read the contracts carefully to avoid being surprised by any of the terms or conditions.

What Are My Options?

Depending on your preferences, schedule and budget, your experience may vary. Here are key questions to ask while reviewing your options:

  • Enclosed or open trailer? An open trailer will be less expensive, but leaves your car exposed to the elements and the road. Typically, an enclosed trailer, is chosen for vehicles that require special care.
  • Scheduled pickup or not? You may be able to specify precisely when you want your vehicle picked up and delivered. Expect to pay extra for this, though.
  • Door-to-door or terminal service? Taking your car to a terminal for pickup or retrieving it from one can save you money over door-to-door service. On the other hand, having it transported directly from your starting point to your destination is more convenient.

Most of the time, sitting behind the wheel is the best way to get your vehicle from one point to the next. For those times when it isn’t, however, arranging for transport will get the job done for you.

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