I’m looking for a car shipper — what are my options?
Thinking about shipping your car for a long-distance move? An auto shipper may be necessary if you:
- Own more than one car
- Own an antique car
- Are flying to your new home
Fortunately, no matter where your new home is located, there are plenty of car shipping options to choose from. And with a little research and advanced planning, you can find a reliable auto transporter to quickly and efficiently relocate your vehicle.
Types of auto transporters
There are two types of auto shippers — brokers and carriers. Brokers don’t own their equipment or employ their drivers. Instead, they operate as the middle man and arrange vehicle transportation between the customer and the company. One advantage of using a brokerage service is that they usually have access to a variety of shippers, so you may have more options to choose from.
On the other hand, carriers own all of their equipment and their drivers, and will work directly with you instead of as a third-party. Using a carrier typically means more flexibility, better customer service and more control over pickup and delivery.
Where you’re moving to and from, the vehicle type and the company you use will determine what type of equipment is used to transport your vehicle. Here are the options:
- Open-air truck. This is the most popular way to move an everyday vehicle and usually the cheapest. However, keep in mind that the trailer is exposed on all sides, which means cars are subject to weather and road debris during transit.
- Enclosed trailer. A fully enclosed trailer provides the greatest protection to cars (especially luxury and vintage vehicles), but normally comes at a higher cost.
- Train. Another way to ship is via a rail line — it’s economical and keeps your car safe from outside elements.
- Ocean container. You may find using a cargo container is the best car shipping option when moving to destinations like Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
Choosing a reliable car transportation company
While researching auto transporters, you want to choose a company that’s trustworthy and well-known. After compiling a list of potential companies, ask friends, family members and colleagues if they’ve heard of them and what they’ve heard. Then take a look at reviews on credible sites like the Better Business Bureau® (BBB) and ConsumerAffairs®. You’ll find that reliable car transportation companies are licensed, bonded and insured, and can present a valid insurance certificate upon request. They’ll also operate with a valid Motor Carrier (MC) number. If anything seems suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, keep looking. And before signing any contracts, be sure to read through them very carefully. Doing your research and being aware can help you find a dependable company to ship your car.
What company does U-Pack recommend for shipping vehicles?
Sometimes shipping a vehicle is necessary, even if you’re moving with U-Pack. We refer our customers to Mr. Car Shipper®. You can contact them at 877-528-9627 for a quote.
Note: Although U-Pack is not equipped to ship vehicles, we do allow customers to load motorcycles, lawnmowers and small ATVs in our equipment. Just make sure all fluids are drained.
Suggested Reading: How to Ship Cars and Motorcycles
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