Picking Up Cars – What Can You Expect From Your Vehicle Shipping Company?
Getting a vehicle from one place to another is sometimes more complicated than simply turning the key and stepping on the gas pedal. Whether you’re moving cross country, selling your car to someone living several states away from you, or attending a car show with your vintage vehicle, driving to the destination isn’t the most suitable solution.
If you want to save time and spare your car from thousands of unnecessary miles on its odometer, a vehicle collection and delivery service can help. However, many are intimidated by the logistics behind these services and the prospect of leaving their valuable asset in strangers’ hands.
Prepare yourself and your vehicle by reading about how the process works and what you can expect from car pick up and delivery services.
How Does Car Delivery Work?
Outsourcing the delivery of your vehicle to a reliable company can take a lot of work off your shoulders. Professionals will pick up your vehicle at the agreed address and drop it off at your destination, all while you can focus on other things that require your attention.
The exact process of pickup transport service will, nevertheless, depend on the services you opt for.
When it comes to the type of pick up and drop off, most vehicle shipping companies offer some version of the following services:
Door-to-door vehicle pick up is the most convenient solution for clients. As the name suggests, the delivery company will transport your car from and to the address you determine. You can give the delivery company your home address, and your car will travel from your garage to its new home directly.
The door-to-door service is not only convenient for those who don’t have a lot of time. It’s especially helpful if you aren’t too familiar with your destination. Finding the designated pick-up terminal in an unfamiliar area can be stressful and time-consuming. You’ll also need to figure out how to make the trip to the pick-up area without your vehicle. Another person might need to drive you to the location, which further complicates things.
With door-to-door service, you can prepare your vehicle for shipping right at home and just wait for the company to show up at your new doorstep. From the moment your vehicle is picked up, you have nothing left to do but wait for it to arrive at the agreed location.
The door-to-door service costs more than regular terminal-to-terminal services but can be the smartest solution in many cases.
Terminal-to-terminal vehicle pick up service is a cost-effective solution. Nevertheless, it requires slightly more involvement from the client. If you choose this option, the vehicle delivery company will pick up your car from a terminal instead of your home address. You’ll have to get the vehicle to the terminal yourself and pick it up later from another terminal near your destination.
Most companies maintain numerous terminals across the country to ensure that clients won’t have to travel too far for their cars. This means that even a terminal-to-terminal service is significantly more convenient than driving your vehicle all the way to the destination. With some planning, getting to the terminals won’t be an issue.
Ask delivery companies about their pickup and dropoff locations and factor their proximity into your final decision.
A Mix of the Two
Many delivery companies also offer a combination of the pick-up services mentioned above.
In some cases, there are limitations to the door-to-door option. Certain streets might not allow large trucks, so the delivery vehicle won’t be able to drive to the desired location. Narrow streets can also be problematic if a lot of maneuvering is necessary to turn the delivery truck around. In such cases, having the vehicle delivered from terminal to door or vice versa can provide a solution.
Combining door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal pick up transport is also a great way to save money while keeping the endeavor as convenient as possible. Good delivery companies will be able to advise clients on the best solution for them depending on their address and individual needs.
How Will My Car Be Transported?
Those planning to have their vehicle transported might be wondering what kind of vehicle will pick up their cars. Generally, companies offer two options:
Open Car Transport
The most common method of vehicle transportation involves open carriers. These trailers can accommodate several vehicles at the same time, which helps lower the costs of transport. This solution is usually suitable for vehicles that don’t necessarily need special protection, unlike luxury cars, for example.
While the biggest advantage of open car transport is its lower cost, its biggest drawback is that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements the entire way. Nevertheless, reliable companies will provide ample insurance to give customers peace of mind.
Enclosed Carrier Transport
Those who need a higher level of protection should opt for enclosed carrier transport. Enclosed carriers keep dirt and debris away from the vehicles they transport. The car is less likely to get damaged and is even protected from the curious eyes of the onlookers.
Naturally, this option is more expensive than an open carrier. Enclosed carriers can’t transport many vehicles at once, which naturally increases the costs involved. However, this option is absolutely crucial for owners of vintage or luxury vehicles.
What Can I Expect From a Vehicle Pick Up and Delivery Service?
Whether you’re only beginning your search for the right vehicle collection and delivery service or you’re already anxiously waiting for pick-up day, knowing how the process will work can remove a lot of stress from the equation. Here’s what you need to do prior to having your vehicle picked up, and what comes after.
Choose a Reliable Shipping Company
The first and arguably most important step of vehicle delivery is choosing the right company for the job. Steer clear of delivery brokers and placing the fate of your vehicle in the hands of a company you know nothing about. Do your own research, and don’t skip reading reviews. Check insurance, cancellation, and delay policies carefully.
Next, contact multiple companies to request quotes. Tell them the details of your shipping needs so that they can suggest the appropriate services and calculate their approximate price. Multiple quotes will give you a good idea of the average price of the service in question. Remember that a good company will be ready to give you a quote for free.
Establish the Details
Once you’ve selected the right company, it’s time to establish the specifics of the vehicle pick up service you want. First, figure out whether you’ll choose door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal delivery.
For the former option, the delivery company will need your home address and the precise address of the drop-off location. Delivery companies also communicate with clients to schedule the exact pick-up and drop-off times for the cars. Delivery hours will depend on the company in question.
For the latter option, consult with the company to choose the terminals closest to your location. The company will also let you know about the time frame you should leave your vehicle at the agreed terminal.
Finally, the company will inquire about whether you want any additional services, such as special insurance for valuable vehicles. Reliable companies won’t try to upsell you but will ensure you get exactly what you need.
In addition, don’t forget to let the company know about any unique features your car might have. This is crucial to make sure that their professionals will know how to approach the loading and unloading of the vehicle. Most delivery companies will ask you specifically whether the vehicle has been modified.
Reviewing the Contract
Before the pick-up is finalized, the company will send you the freight contract containing the details of the transaction. Be sure to read the contract to see if all the details are correct. If you find that something differs from what you agreed on with the company, contact them to have it corrected.
Besides the contract, the company will also likely send you detailed instructions on what you need to do before the pick-up day comes. The specifics will depend on the vehicle in question.
Once all of this is covered, you can schedule the transport pick up and start preparing your vehicle.
Ensure the Car Is in Good Shape
For safety reasons, you must make sure your car is in proper working condition before it is transported. Non-running cars require special shipping services. Many shipping companies will be ready to accommodate for this condition, but you must let them know well ahead of time, preferably during the initial consultation.
As for running cars, the vehicle’s door and window on the driver’s side, its brakes, and other essential features must all work properly. The battery should be charged, and the tires should be inflated. Fluid leaks and similar problems usually incur extra costs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have your car serviced before transport.
Clean and Prepare the Vehicle
As the pick-up day draws near, you’ll probably still have a few tasks on your to-do list. As mentioned, the shipping company will tell you what you need to do to get your car ready for transport. Here’s what the steps usually include.
Make sure you remove all your personal belongings from the vehicle. This also includes non-mounted accessories, garage door openers, and similar items inside the car. Anything that remains must be properly secured. Non-permanent racks, antennas, etc., on the vehicle itself should also be removed. Such exterior features can get damaged or damage other vehicles during transport.
The car should also be clean inside and out, so schedule a thorough cleaning session a few days before the pick-up. This is important because it’s the only way to properly note scratches and other damage that exists prior to shipping. It’ll also ensure the vehicle is ready for you to use as soon as it arrives at its destination.
Car shipping companies also prefer if the vehicle’s gas tank is about one-quarter full on the day of transport. This ensures the car doesn’t pack on extra weight. Still, the tank should not be too much below this level to ensure smooth loading and unloading.
Final Steps Before Pick Up
On the day of the pick-up, there are still a few things to get done. Firstly, make sure you take photos of the vehicle as an added layer of security, should it get damaged during transport. You should also capture the current odometer reading.
Prepare your car’s documentation and a set of keys for the delivery professionals – it’s a good idea to have an extra set in the first place. Finally, don’t forget to turn off your alarm system for the transport, so it doesn’t accidentally go off in the process.
Once you’re done, all you have left to do is wait for the pickup transport service to pull up or get your car to the terminal to drop it off. The rest of the work will be handled by the shipping company.
The handover is usually a smooth process, but picking up cars requires a lot of paperwork. The delivery team will inspect your vehicle prior to loading it on the carrier and prepare a bill of lading containing all the details of the vehicle and the transport. This piece of documentation needs to be signed by you, both at the origin and the destination of the transport.
Wait for Your Vehicle to Arrive
Once your vehicle is on its way, there’s not much left for you to do. If you opted for same day auto transport, your car will be at its destination in no time. The delivery company will let you (or an authorized person) know about its time of arrival so you can make the final payment for the service and sign the bill of laden.
Nevertheless, don’t rush the pick-up process. Make sure you inspect the vehicle upon delivery to verify that no new damage has occurred. Compare the photos you’ve taken before shipping to the current condition of the vehicle. If it’s dark outside when the vehicle arrives, use a flashlight. You might also want to start the car to check for mechanical damage on the spot.
Know What to Expect
Car pick up and delivery can be stressful, but much of this stress can be alleviated by simply familiarizing yourself with the process. Your vehicle’s safety starts with the pick-up preparations, so be sure to follow the delivery company’s instructions, and all will be well.
If you have any questions or concerns or are ready to request a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you figure out the services you’ll need and guarantee a cost-efficient solution.