Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Steps to Make Auto Shipping Easy

Auto shipping may seem like an huge undertaking, especially if you have never considered the prospect.
1.      The first thing should be to thoroughly wash your vehicle.  This should be done even if you intend to ship it via open trailer transport.  Cleaning the exterior of your vehicle prior to shipping helps you identify any damage (paint chips, scratches, dents, etc) when the vehicle arrives at your new location.
2.      If your vehicle is equipped with an antitheft system, ensure that it is disabled.  This prevents untoward hassles during transport for the shipping company.  In addition, you should make sure that your fuel tank is only between 1/4 and 1/8 full.  This helps reduce the weight of the vehicle. The more your vehicle weighs, the more it costs to ship it.
3.      If you have exterior parts that may be damaged or come loose during transport, it is an excellent idea to remove or secure these.  The list of items that fall into this category is extensive, but can include spoilers (large wing spoilers, especially), ground effects, front air dams and much more.  If your side view mirrors can be folded, do so.  You may also consider removing the antenna. Also, make sure to remove your EZ Pass tags from your car since you do not want to be charged for all the tolls.
4.      A few other items apply during vehicle preparation for shipping.  For instance, ensure that the battery is fully charged.  If the battery dies during transport, you may incur extra charges and hassle.  Additionally, ensure that all tires are properly inflated and that all your fluids are topped off (brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc).
5.      Finally, make sure that you notate (in writing) any specific items of note before shipping, such as exterior condition, engine performance and other vital details.  Maintain these records for the future to help you check for new damage to the vehicle, or inordinate operation on delivery.  Make sure that you provide a copy of the list to the shipping company, as well.  You may also want to have a representative of the company present during your “walk around.”
Open trailer shipping is one of the most affordable and popular ways to ship a vehicle.  This method finds your car loaded onto a trailer without enclosed sides or a closed top.  While your car will certainly accrue road dust during the trip, the money saved will more than pay to have it washed.
Another option is to use a closed trailer for your shipping needs.  This is the best option for shipping restored classics and expensive cars, as well as vintage vehicles in original condition.  By using an enclosed trailer, you keep your vehicle safe from the elements, direct sunlight, sand and other corrosive forces.  Of course, this option is more expensive than using an open trailer.
Besides the type of transport method chosen, the largest factor in determining the cost involved will be the distance traveled.  The longer the distance, the higher the transportation charges will be. In addition, other factors may add to the overall cost, such as traveling through heavily congested areas.