Auto Transport & Storage

Finding a transport provider

How to find

1. Check Angie's List

2. Ask friends or family

3. If purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, ask what companies they use

4. Transport brokerage firms


1. Beware of scams

2. If shipping across state lines, check out the company's registartion with the FMCSA

3. Check out the insurance

Tips for shipping your car

If you plan on shipping your vheicle, follow these tips to help protect your car and your pocketbook when shipping:

1. Research the shipping company’s reputation and safety record
Ask family or friends who have shipped their cars about the companies they hired. Were they happy with the work? Was anything damaged or missing after the car was shipped? Next, read up on consumer reviews of classic car transport companies on sites like Angie’s List.

Once you have a few companies in mind, check their safety records with the local highway patrol, your state’s transportation department or with the federal Department of Transportation. If the company transports across state lines, they should be registered on the Federal DOT’s safety database, which lists inspections performed and major accidents. 

2. Ask about what kind of trailer or vehicle will transport your car
Depending on the company, you'll need to choose between shipping your car in a fully enclosed trailer or vehicle, or a an open-air trailer or vehicle, such as a flatbad trailer or truck.  Open transport can be cheaper, but it carries the risk of damage to your vehicle from flying road debris.

3. Check the company’s insurance coverage
Request a copy of the company’s insurance information. Verify that their policy is in effect, current and covers the type of auto transport you're looking for by calling the insurance company. This will help guarantee your car is covered in the event of an accident or damage.

4. Check your car's insurance policy coverage
Call your insurance company and check your coverage to ensure the vehicle will be protected during shipping. This will provide a fallback in case the transport company’s insurance doesn’t cover damage or loss that may occur during shipping.

5. Drain the tank
Many shipping companies require that your vehicle’s gas tank be no more than ¼ full before it’s loaded for shipping. Plan ahead by driving your vehicle before shipping to use excess fuel or drain the tank using a hand pump or siphon.

6. Remove valuables
If the car will eventually return to your possession, remove any valuables that don'thelp prevent any possible theft that may occur during shipping.

7. Document your car's condition before shipping
Take photographs of your car and any loose parts before shipping to document their condition. Should an accident or damage occur during the vehicle’s transport, photos will help you get maximum compensation for your insurance claim.

8. Take care of any nagging maintenance issues
Leaky fluid lines, tires that don’t keep air pressure and any loose or hanging parts should all be taken care of prior to loading your vehicle for transport. This will help ensure a smooth shipping process.

9. Get a copy of the shipping contract
Make sure you thoroughly read and review the terms of the shipping contract before you sign it. There may be hidden clauses or terms for storage fees and other items that you may miss if you don’t read all of the fine print before committing to the deal.

10. Thoroughly inspect the vehicle upon delivery
If your car will eventually be shipped back to you or you're meeting it at its destination, be sure to completely evaluate the vehicle and check for any damages before accepting it.

Alternatives to shipping a car

Amtrak auto train - only runs one route, Virginia to Florida, but you travel with your vehicle

Shipping by train

Renting a truck and car trailer or hauler - although this takes the convenience and time factor out of the vehicle shipping equation, renting a truck or van equipped with a trailer that can safely haul a car will prevent any additional wear and tear on the vehicle being shipped.

Fly and drive/drive and fly - if time is an issue and you're shipping the vehicle following a sale or purchase, consider flying and driving or driving and flying.

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