You’ve found the car of your dreams for a fantastic price. Only problem is, it’s in another state – hundreds, even thousands of miles away. Now, in an ideal world the obvious solution would be to fly over and pick the car up yourself (if it’s legal to drive and you have the necessary insurance in place), or get a friend or family member to pick it up and drive to you in exchange for a huge favor. However, things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, either because of work commitments, time poor, or there is simply no-one to help. What to do next? Let’s take a look at the various modes of transport, as well as the pros and cons of car shipping.
There are four main ways to get your newly purchased car across the country.
1. Truck – The most common is by truck which has the advantage of delivering right to your door, and usually has two main options depending on your budget – ‘covered’ which offers protection from the elements, and ‘uncovered’ which is a cheaper option in which the car is transported on an open-air trailer. Using this method has its disadvantages however such as offering time guides of between days to over a week in some cases instead of a given time and day, holdups in traffic, or possible collisions.
2. Rail – This option offers a much safer and quicker way to receive your car. In fact, you have definite dates and times of arrival compared to transportation by truck, however there are fewer companies that offer this option, they will cost more, and they don’t deliver to your door.
3. Boat – We usually think of cars being imported when thinking of using this method, however if you live on an offshore location such as Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico, this is the most common and realistic way of receiving your car.
4. Plane – The fastest and safest way of getting your car, but also the most expensive, and the most out-of-the-way unless you live near an airport.
There are a stack of car shipping companies spread across America, but feedback and research are essentials. Having scoured the internet for the best companies, I’ve narrowed it down to the following five:-
Best Overall Experience must go to AmeriFreight
It’s all the extras they offer such as no up-front costs, extra insurance, various shipping methods including boat, and they have thousands of happy customers.
Best Comparison Available goes to uShip
More of an online shipping comparison website, you will get a range of quotes and ratings from different shipping companies, you just have to provide your name, email address and phone number to log in. This method can provide valuable comparisons across companies you are already thinking about using – perhaps a good tool to use just to see how the company you are thinking of using compares to the others.
Best Online Booking Experience is Montway Auto Transport
Montway has the advantage of dealing solely with the transportation of cars. Along with open and enclosed options, Montway has expedited shipping methods guaranteeing a definite pick-up date, classic and exotic car transport options, and shipping to Hawaii.
Best Value goes to Sherpa Auto Transport
Using professional transport drivers, Sherpa offers low-cost convenience and deliver to your door, and the website is simple to use. They also offer a new ‘clean car guarantee’ program where they will pay for a car wash (up to a value of $20). Check out their website for more information.
Finally, Worth Checking Out is Easy Auto Ship https://diytransport.com/
…who have become one of the leading contenders with over twenty-five years of experience, great reviews and many options available.
Some companies offer discounts to students, teachers, or people with prior/present military service. If you are not in a hurry or are a little more flexible with delivery times and dates, this also contributes to a lower cost, as does opting for an ‘uncovered’ transport option. Perhaps start by using a comparison website like uShip to get a general feel of the market before looking further into a couple that suit you and your budget. For the most part, the shipping firm assumes responsibility for the car while it’s in their possession and in transport, and while some companies charge a fee for additional insurance, Montway (for example) doesn’t. So make sure you double check any shipping company’s insurance policy.
Overall, if you see a vehicle you like online and want to take it further, even before you sign on the dotted line or hand over any money, use the comparison website to get an idea of cost to ship so you can factor this into the value of the car. Use only reputable companies who easily answer any or all questions you may have, and also provide great, satisfactory reviews.