8 Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Car

Moving to a new place is stressful enough, don’t make shipping your car to your new home part of the stress. It can be a seamless process if you are prepared and avoid these common mistakes. By reading this article, you are well on your way to helping yourself have a stress-free move.

From the start of the process to the delivery of your car, there are many steps to ensuring a smooth transition. Like this article from mercuryautotransport.com explains how you have to put your trust in the auto transport company with your beloved car, so take the time to make it an easy process.

Here are 8 mistakes to avoid when shipping your car:

Not Having the Proper Paperwork:

Everyone cringes a bit when they hear there is paperwork involved with a task, but it is a necessary part of the process of shipping your car. If your car is being shipped domestically, there is a less extensive list of documents, but you will need to have more information for international shipping. Have all of these ready before speaking to the transport company.

Depending on your country of origin and the destination country, you will need different information, but most of it is the same. You will need a valid passport, a copy of the title, a clean record for the VIN, and insurance papers. Some car transport companies will require more and other countries may have individual requirements, but these are the basics.

Not Enough Research:

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There are many transport companies available, and it is up to you to figure out which one works for you and your car. The mode of transport and the timeframe can vary dramatically between companies, reflecting the cost. A slow trip over the ocean on a large cargo ship will cost much less than air transport over only a short number of days.

Some transporters will offer door-to-door service where they pick up the car from your home and deliver it to your new residence, while others require you to drop it off and pick it up. These differences can make cost comparison challenging, but personal research is the only way to figure it out.

Not Preparing Your Car:

There are many other articles with tips to prepare your car for shipping, and it is essential that you follow those tips as they are there to help you with a seamless transition. These tips include checking the air pressure in the tires, topping off fluids in the engine, only having about a quarter of a tank of gas, etc.

By preparing your car correctly, there is less room for problems with your transport company. And do yourself the favor of cleaning out your car before you ship it because it will feel much better to get into a clean vehicle for your new start rather than getting a reminder that you still need to clean out your car.

Not Removing Valuables:

Everyone leaves things in their car that they probably shouldn’t but take the extra few minutes to go through your car and remove any valuables. There may be something you left in the glovebox and completely forgot about or hid something in your center console when you went into a store and left it there.

Valuables also include aftermarket radio systems that can often be removed to prevent theft and personal information you may have in the car. If you are shipping a sports car with a removable spoiler, consider removing it to prevent damage. Package it so it won’t slide during transport and leave it in the trunk.

Not Getting the Insurance:

It has become a common practice not to get the added insurance when renting a car, but you should definitely pay for the insurance when shipping your car. Your general policy does not cover shipment, and the added insurance will provide you with peace of mind.

In the event your vehicle is damaged during transport, the insurance will cover it, and you won’t have to deal with the added cost of repairs. That being said, be sure to inspect your vehicle before you ship it and document any damage so you can see if there is any new damage.

Not Expecting Delays:

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The cargo shipping industry is enormous, and there are many potential causes for delays. Transport over the ocean is subject to significant weather delays, and ground transportation is vulnerable to traffic and construction in certain areas and weather.

Your car is likely not the only one on the transport, and if there are problems with the paperwork or export/import, that could cause significant delays as well. Most companies will provide a window of a few days or a week to expect delivery, and you should be cautious of transporters that guarantee a specific day of delivery.

Not Being Ready:

When the driver comes to pick up your car, make sure the car is 100% ready before they arrive. They likely have many stops on their list, and if you are frantically trying to take things out of your car or in the middle of washing your car, you can cause delays for other customers.

If you drop off your car yourself, double-check the glove box and trunk before speaking to customer service. You don’t want to be the person that runs back to their car to grab something they forgot after giving away the keys.

Not Being Present for Delivery:

While it may seem convenient for them to deliver your car to your driveway and let it sit there while you are not home, you should make an effort to be present for the delivery of your vehicle. If you are not present, you cannot inspect the car before taking possession or compare scratches and dents to your documentation.
If your car did sustain damage during transport, you could have difficulty proving that the damage occurred during the shipping process and not while it was sitting in your driveway or parked on the street. By letting the company know you will be present, they are held to a higher standard of care for your car.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed:

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There are many steps to shipping a car, and your transport company should help you through all of them. Most of them will guide you through each step of the paperwork and put you on a path to success.

If the company you chose does not offer to help you with the process, it may be a good idea to find another company as doing it on your own can cause significant problems. International exporting and importing is a complicated system that takes time to understand. Do your research on the company, and the rest should be taken care of for you.

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