If your move is taking you far away from your current home, it might be a hassle, or even impossible, to drive your vehicle to your new home. If that is indeed the case, you may want to hire a specialty mover to handle transporting your vehicle to your new home. Auto movers are moving companies that specialize in doing just that. A reputable auto mover will have all the tools necessary to ensure your vehicle makes the trip safely.
Types of Auto Transport
Before you select a company to handle your automobile relocation, you should decide how you want your vehicle moved. There are a few options available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. These options are:
- Open-air trailer
- Enclosed trailer
- Drive-away service.
The vehicle transport service that you use will largely depend on the type of vehicle you are transporting, where you are moving, and what your moving budget will ultimately allow. Read on for the different options available to you and what you can expect from each.
You've probably seen these big trucks, loaded with cars, driving down the highway. Open-air trailers are the cheapest shipping option available to you. When you ship your car via an open-air trailer, your vehicle will be placed on a truck along with several other vehicles also being shipped. The truck will then make its scheduled deliveries based on its designated route, meaning that it may take several weeks for you to receive your vehicle, depending on how far you moved.
As with any auto shipping service, there are pros and cons to choosing to ship your vehicle via open-air trailer. Here are the drawbacks:
- Your vehicle will be exposed to the elements while it is in transport. Perhaps that isn't a problem for your everyday vehicle, but you may want more protection for your high-end sports or luxury vehicle.
- Open-air trailers are also a less secure option. Your vehicle will not only be exposed to the elements while being shipped on an open-air trailer, it will be exposed to just about everything else as well, being that it's out in the open on the back of a truck along with several other vehicles. Keep this in mind if you choose this option.
- It may take longer for you to receive your vehicle. Since your car will not be the only one being shipped, it may take anywhere from 10-14 days for you to receive your vehicle after you've moved. You should consider whether this will be an inconvenience to you before making your decision.
However, there are some benefits for choosing an open-air trailer. For example:
- Open-air trailers are your cheapest option for shipping your car. If you're on a tight moving budget, going with an open-air trailer is your best choice.
- They are a great option for families who need to ship multiple vehicles. Since these trailers can transport up to 10 vehicles at once, they are a great choice for people who have multiple vehicles that they need to transport.
- They're the most common option of vehicle transport, meaning they are easy to find. Being that the majority of auto transport companies operate with open-air trailers in their fleets, you shouldn't have a problem locating a shipping company and booking one for your move at an affordable price.
The next step up from open-air trailers on the auto transport hierarchy is the enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers operate in a similar fashion to open-air trailers except for the fact that they keep the vehicles shielded your vehicle from outside weather and road debris and can also ship fewer vehicles at a time. Here are a few more important things to keep in mind when considering hiring an enclosed trailer:
- Enclosed trailers are more expensive than open-air trailers. If you're looking for the best protection for your treasured antique, sports, or luxury vehicle, then this is your best option, as your vehicle will be protected from the harsh outside elements and the hazards of the open road. However, you should expect to pay significantly more for this service.
- They may be harder to find, so plan in advance. Because they are the more expensive option and are not as common as their open-air cousins, enclosed trailer services may be more difficult to locate, so your best bet for securing one is, as always, to plan as far ahead in advance as possible.
- Their secure, climate-controlled trailers will keep your car in good condition during the move. In addition to protecting your vehicle from the outside elements, many enclosed trailers will also feature secure, climate-controlled interiors to keep your car safe and fully protected during the move, especially if you're transporting your vehicle to or from harsh conditions.
If open-air or enclosed trailers don't appeal to you, or if you're moving a shorter distance and are looking for a cheaper way to get your vehicle from point A to point B, drive-away services are a great option.
Drive-away service, though technically not a shipping service may be an inexpensive alternative to sending your car in a trailer. Drive-away service companies provide a driver to pilot your vehicle from origin to destination.
Drive-away services are great for people who aren't moving too far and don't mind putting a few extra miles on their vehicle to get it to its destination, because one of the drawbacks to this service is that your car will be driven to your new home, rather than put on the back of a trailer and shipped. It is the least safe way to transport your vehicle, as it will be exposed to weather, experience some wear and tear, and be subject to the possible driving errors of the hired driver and other drivers on the road.
Finding an Auto Mover
Once you've decided how you want to ship your vehicle, you can select a mover. Some of the best sources for locating an automobile shipping company can be friends and family. Use these trusted connections to find out about personal experiences with a particular auto mover. You could also use the Internet to find companies and to check customer reviews.
If you can, inspect the companies' trucks to make sure they are in good working order and are equipped to transport your vehicle safely. Check out each company with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are reputable. Then, select a few of the best companies and compare quotes and services. Choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
Of course, Movers.com has already done this work for you. All you need to do is click here and fill out the quick form to get free quotes from auto shippers in your area.
TIP: For more information on international and domestic auto shipping as well as how to prepare your vehicle for transport, check out the Movers.com video and guide, Finding an Auto Shipper.