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Finding an Auto Shipper

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Finding an auto shipper to transport your vehicle to a new destination can be overwhelming, especially when handling other moving details.

To find the right auto shipper, you need to first determine what shipment services would best suit your needs.

Domestic Auto Moving Basics

Most auto shippers will be able to transport cars, trucks, RVs, vans, SUVs, and boats to its new destination. Auto movers affiliated with Movers.com will likely discuss the following options for transporting your automobile:

Open-air trailers. You've probably seen open-air trailers stacked high with cars while driving. These types of trailers provide a convenient and time-saving mode of transportation for your car.

Using an open-air trailer can save you from driving through heavy traffic or waiting in line at gas stations.

Enclosed trailers. For treasured, luxury, or antique automobiles, you might want to use an enclosed trailer to ship your vehicle. Enclosed trailers can protect your automobile from debris and weather that could cause your automobile's exterior to be scratched, chipped, or cracked.

Overseas Auto Moving Basics

Open-air and enclosed trailers provide solutions for transporting your automobiles domestically, but what if your destination is overseas?

Before you are able to ship your vehicle overseas, you should ask your auto mover about regulations regarding the destination country. Many countries won't allow automobiles older than five years into their ports. There could be other restrictions regarding the size, weight, and structure that you'll need to be aware of before you commit to an auto move.

In terms of overseas service, you have a couple of options:

  • Roll-on and roll-off service
  • Container service

Roll-on and roll-off services involve a fairly straightforward process. Your auto will either be rolled or driven onto the ship. Then, it will be secured with braces onto an interior deck, well-protected from the weather. Upon reaching the destination, the vehicle will either be rolled or driven off of the ship.

If you want your auto to be even more protected, you can choose a container service. With this option, your auto will be stored in an individual shipping container and loaded onto the ship. Inside the container, the auto will be secured to wooden blocks and strapped in place to keep it from moving.

Preparing Your Auto

Whether shipping your vehicle domestically or overseas, your auto mover should provide you with the following instructions on how to prepare your vehicle for shipping:

Wash your vehicle for accurate inspection. Your vehicle may be inspected at any point during the shipping process, so you should wash and clean your automobile for an accurate inspection.

Remove any personal items from your car. Make sure not to leave any items like jewelry, important documents, or electronic devices in your vehicle.

Leave only 1/4 gallon fuel in the gas tank. Extra gasoline in the auto's engine can leak out in-transit. Ship your auto with a minimal amount of fuel—ideally a quarter gallon or less.

Remove or protect any loose parts. Remove the antenna and any other detachable parts. For parts that can't be removed, like spoilers, fog lights, and side mirrors, wrap them with protective covering.

TIP: Keep some extra gas on-hand when you pick up your auto. At least you will be able to drive until you get to a fueling station.

Finding an car shipping company can take time, but knowing what information to ask the auto mover will help you make the best decision for transporting your vehicle. Whether you are shipping your automobile domestically or overseas, you want your vehicle to arrive in the same condition that you left it in.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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