Best Ways to Ship a Car

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Shipping a vehicle to your new place may seem like a daunting task, but luckily, there are many ways to move a car. Mentioned below are some of the best ways to ship a car to your new home. Choose the one that suits your needs and fits into your budget.

Tips for Shipping Car Safely

Self-transport

In this method, you transport the vehicle yourself. This involves renting a trailer, loading your car onto it, attaching the trailer to a moving truck, and driving it all the way to the required destination. The benefit of this method is that you can cut your gas usage down considerably. For example, if you have two cars, you can drive one, while you tow the other behind. The drawback to this method is that you still have to drive to your new home. Also, you must have a vehicle that can handle towing a heavy load.

Driving it yourself

If you are willing to drive the vehicle by yourself all the way to the new place, it's better to move the car on your own. However, unlike the self-transport method, you don't need a trailer or a towing vehicle for this. Either you can drive the car to the destination and hire professionals to move all your belongings or you can first move your belongings and then fly back to take your car to the new city. Although it's ideal for short distances, long distance moves are better handled by professionals.

Air freight shipping

You can ship your car by air internationally or domestically, and your vehicle will end up at its destination much quicker than shipping it by ocean. For very timely and specific shipping needs, you may even be able to ship your vehicle by charter plane avoiding potential transit delays. While this option can cost thousands of dollars, it provides a very exclusive and speedy experience, ensuring your vehicle reaches the destination unscathed.

Ocean freight shipping

This method is usually used for shipping vehicles overseas, and generally takes place in two ways:

  • Roll-on/roll-off service - Your car is driven or rolled onto the ship and then securely fastened within a containment desk.
  • Container service - Your automobile is placed inside an enclosed container which is then rolled onto the ship before leaving.

For more information, you may read about overseas freight shipping.

Shipping a car by train

This is a relatively green way to ship your vehicle and is often cheaper than other methods. However, a major drawback is that you'll have to pick your vehicle up at a train station rather than having the car arrive at your home directly.

You may also find out the cost to ship a car by train in detail.

Hiring an auto transport company

Unarguably, one of the best ways to ship a car is to hire an auto transport company. These companies work around your schedule and have a good deal of experience with shipping vehicles safely.

Further, you can choose one of the following services to ship your vehicle:

  • Driveaway service

    Using a driveaway auto transport service would mean hiring a company that provides a driver to drive your vehicle from your old home to your new home. Obviously, this saves you the hassle of driving yourself, but your vehicle is still vulnerable to the elements as well as potential driver error.

  • Auto transport trailers

    In this method, the car shipping company picks up your car, loads it onto a trailer and ships it to the required destination. The kind of vehicle that is to be transported determines what kind of carrier will be used for the shipping.

    Usually there are two types of carriers used by auto transport companies:

    • Open-air trailer : These are 75-80 feet long vehicles with the capacity of carrying multiple cars at a time with the added advantage of cost efficiency.
    • Enclosed trailer : These are closed carriers ideally suitable for shipping high-end, luxury cars.

Types of services

Depending on the area where you reside, car shipping companies offer two kinds of services for your convenience based on the picking and dropping points.

  • Door-to-door : In this approach, the auto mover picks up your vehicle from your home and delivers it at your new home. You can choose this service mainly in major cities.
  • Terminal-to-terminal: For those who live in relatively remote areas outside the cities, they can choose this service whereby the auto mover picks up and drops the vehicle at your nearby city terminals.

These are some of the best ways to ship a car for your move. Each of the method carries it own sets of challenges as well as benefits. However, you can make an informed decision by weighing your options around cost, safety, and risk factors.

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on August 27, 2009

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