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How to Transport Vehicles

May 22nd, 2019 - 3:22 PM

What Should I Do with My Car or Motorcycle When I Move?

You depend on your vehicle to get to work, transport your family, and take you on adventures. And you’ll probably want to bring it with you when you move. While driving it might be an option, sometimes you need to get a vehicle to its destination in a different way. If you’re moving across the country, you may want the family to ride together (instead of spread across multiple cars). Or perhaps you’ll be driving the car and need to ship a motorcycle. No matter the situation, use this guide to figure out the best solution.

silver car on a yellow transport trailer

Exploring the Possibilities

There are three options to consider when transporting a car or motorcycle: 

Selling It

It doesn’t always make sense to take a vehicle with you. If the cost to ship is more than the vehicle’s value, or if you’re moving somewhere a car isn’t necessary, it might be better to sell it. You can then buy something comparable at your destination or use public transportation in the new city. 

Towing It

If you’re driving a rental truck or a vehicle capable of towing, you could rent a vehicle trailer. This is an option for cars, motorcycles or other small vehicles. But, there are risks associated with towing, so it’s best left to experienced drivers. Explore towing costs and options here.

Shipping It

Shipping is ideal if you don’t want to worry about self-transporting. For smaller vehicles, like motorcycles or ATVs, U-Pack® is a great option. You can move them with your household goods shipment, so everything arrives at the same time. Even if you’re only moving a bike or an ATV, U-Pack may still be comparable in cost to other shippers. Learn more about moving motorcycles with U-Pack.

For larger vehicles, like cars, trucks and SUVs, check out Mr. Car Shipper®. Contact them at 877-528-9627 to explore options. 

FAQs about Shipping a Car 

If you’re planning on using a car moving company, check out the answers to the following FAQs:

How much does it cost?

Because everyone’s situation is unique and transporting companies charge differently, there is no fixed amount for shipping a car. Instead, cost is based on factors like:

  • Delivery (seasonality and expedited shipping options)
  • Type of delivery (door vs. terminal delivery)
  • Current cost of fuel
  • Type of vehicle
  • Whether or not the car operates
  • Distance and location

When should I book my vehicle shipment?

It’s best to reserve your shipment at least 30 days ahead of time to get on the schedule. When choosing the shipment date, look at the transit time and your desired delivery date. Count backward based on the time it will take the auto shipping company to transport it. 

How do I prepare the car for transport?

You’ll want to talk with your car shipper to find out their protocol. Some companies require you to drain the fuel, disable the alarm and remove personal items. And they may have specific guidelines on whether or not you can lock the vehicle. Before loading, it’s a good idea to take pictures and note damage (or lack thereof) so you have it for your records. 

What is the process for receiving the vehicle at destination?

When you get the automobile back from the shipper, examine it for damage. It’s easier to check in daylight, so avoid accepting the vehicle at night, if possible. Get a copy of the shipping documents because you might need them to register the vehicle.

How long does it take?

Most auto shippers provide an estimated transit time determined by the distance between your locations. If guaranteed delivery is available (usually at a higher cost), the company will make sure your vehicle arrives exactly when you need it.

Is auto transport insurance included in the cost?

It depends on the carrier. In most cases, insurance is included to cover unexpected accidents or damages during transit. However, we recommend not only comparing the insurance provided by each company, but checking with your insurance provider as well to see what it covers for car shipping purposes.

Can I move without shipping my car?

If you’re looking for an alternative way to move that doesn’t require using a car transportation company, try U-Pack®! With our moving service, you load your belongings into a moving trailer or container and then we’ll transport them for you. This provides you the convenience of traveling comfortably in your own vehicle without worrying about finding an auto shipper. 

Questions about Vehicle Transport?

If you have concerns about moving a motorcycle or car across the country, leave us a comment below. We’re here to help.  

Looking for other services to help with your move? Check out other U-Pack recommendations here