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Moving by itself can be tiring. But what if you need to move your car to a location that is not an easy drive away? You might not be moving just one town away and it can be daunting to consider moving your SUV or minivan to your new home if you are going to have to drive a long distance to do so.
Some people get frustrated at the idea of moving their car across the country, and they simply sell it and get a new one when they have settled into their new home. This is not practical for everyone, and it is not always the best solution for your needs. Shipping your SUV or minivan to your new home is easier than you might have thought and you will be able to remove this task from your moving checklist by engaging a shipping company to bring your car to your new home.
If you are ready to learn more about shipping your SUV or minivan to your new home, you need to read on!
Do Your Research
Not every car shipping company will be able to transport an SUV or a minivan with ease. These are larger vehicles that might need to be shipped on specific trailer styles. You will want to be sure that you consider this factor first when you are looking into shipping companies for your car’s transport. Many companies will make it sound like they can move any kind of vehicle on their website, so you should call and ask any company that you might want to work with if they are actually able to ship your larger vehicle.
When confronted with a direct question, these companies will be much more likely to be honest with you about any limitations that they might have for hauling larger vehicles. You can also look at reviews that other people have left online about the company. You want to be sure that this company seems to be fair and nice to work with and reviews can tell you a lot about other people’s prior experiences with the company.
You might also ask these companies to produce their insurance and licensing documentation. This is important to check on since there are shipping scams that crop up from time to time and you do not want to accidentally get involved with one of them. Asking for professional documentation that proves that the company is legally in business and has appropriate insurance can make all the difference in choosing the right shipping company for your needs.
Consider the Cost of Shipping Your SUV or Minivan
Many people are a bit shocked at the cost to transport their vehicle across a long distance. You might have been shopping around for quotes and become frustrated that they are all so high. There are some considerations that go into the decision to ship your car rather than driving it yourself, and the cost of the transport can be one item that makes people elect to drive their car on their own.
Most people do not think about the fact that they will need to pay for gas, food, and lodgings during their own drive across the country to relocate to a new home. Their car will also have miles put on it that it would be spared if it were shipped. While the total cost of the shipping job might still be higher than you want to pay, there will likely be commensurate costs that would need to be laid out to take your car to your new home yourself.
Brokers VS Direct Contracts
You might have noticed that some companies offer direct contracts that you can make with them or they might use a broker for their booking services. This might seem confusing to you since the broker will not be handling the actual shipping process. Brokers can be a helpful middle ground between you and the shipping company in some cases, however.
A broker helps people get connected with shipping that is affordable and meets their requirements. This makes it much easier for the company to find the right cars to bring on trips that are already scheduled and saves them time and money that would have to go into booking their own transport jobs all day. A broker will typically not work with a company that is not of the best quality, so this can be a big benefit for your needs as well.
Direct contracts can sometimes save you a little money but they are more difficult to arrange in many cases and you will not have someone that you can readily call if you need help with your shipping plan or if there are issues with the way that your car was delivered. Most shipping companies work with brokers these days, so you will find that only smaller companies will be likely to contract with you directly in most cases. It is usually a good rule of thumb to work with a broker to improve your shipping experience.
How to Choose the Right SUV or Minivan Shipping Company
There are a lot of companies out there that will promise to deliver your car to you for a great price. It can seem like they all offer the same things, but these tips will help you to sort the right shipping company for your needs out of the crowd.
1. Ask for a Quote
You will always want to see a quote from every company for the transport job that they are offering. The company will need to layout the costs in more detail when they create a quote, which can help you to see what services you are really paying for when you engage with each particular company. You might also ask about terminal-to-terminal services rather than door-to-door delivery if you want to save some money. When you choose to drop off and pick up at a terminal, you can often save the shipping company time, fuel, and effort, which can bring the cost of your quote down.
You will want to be sure that the quote makes sense for the time of year that you are looking to ship your car and that the company has provided what appears to be a legitimate quote. Scams will not deliver you anything but a price that they want for the work, so you can easily rule out companies that will not give you an itemized list of charges and potential special costs related to hauling your larger vehicle to its new home.
2. Ask for the Certificate of Insurance
As mentioned before, you will want to see the certificate of insurance for any company that you are considering working with. All legitimate shipping companies will be able to produce this paperwork and this is one of the key ways that you can avoid scams and be sure your vehicle will be covered while it is in the hands of the shipping company.
Making sure that you have all the right paperwork in hand can also be really helpful if there is an issue that comes up related to your shipping contract. You will find that having the insurance information for the shipping company can make it much easier to file a claim if your car is damaged during the trip to your new home. While this is not likely, you will have the paperwork that you need in hand, just in case.
3. Ask About Transport Types for Your SUV or Minivan
There are different transport options that most companies will offer for your vehicle. You might not know what they are or how they might impact the cost of your shipping quote. There are two main options for shipping, enclosed and open. There are pros and cons to both.
- Enclosed Transport
This shipping style uses a fully enclosed car trailer to haul your car. Not all large vehicles can be shipped in this way due to the limitations of the space inside the trailer that is being used for the trip. This style of transport will also usually cost more money since there will be fewer cars that are moved along with your vehicle.
This is typically a choice that is made for exotic cars only, but if you have some reason to want to protect your car completely during the trip, this is an option that you could ask about. Just be prepared for the increased cost and some other logistics that might come into play when you opt for this method of shipping your car to your new location.
- Open Transport
This is the most common style of moving a car from one place to another and you have probably seen open car transports when you were driving on the freeway. This is a great choice for saving some money as many cars will be hauled along with yours on this kind of trailer and these trailers are much easier to load and unload.
The downside to this kind of transport is that your car will be exposed to the elements, and to possible paint damage from road debris. This might be the best choice for a larger vehicle, however, since these transport trailers are much easier to fit uniquely shaped cars on. You will find that choosing this style of transport is almost always significantly cheaper than using an enclosed trailer.
4. Look at Reviews
You should always make sure that you look at reviews for the company that you are thinking of working with. While some reviews are clearly personal issues that came up during an interaction with the company in question, you can trust that the majority of the reviews that you will see are accurate. If there are lots of issues with the company, you should not keep their quote as an option for your trip.
Make sure that you look at various sources for reviews if possible. This can tell you some more about the company from different angles and you will get to see more reviews in this way. Not everyone will jump onto Yelp or another site to review a company, but they might complain or praise the company on their Facebook page. A lack of reviews can be a concern as this could be a new company or one that most people just don’t use for one reason or another.
5. Comparing Costs of Minivan and SUV Shipment
Getting more than one quote is a good idea so that you have some options to choose from when you are planning your shipping costs. You will want to consider very high quotes and very low quotes as being the less attractive options for your needs. Very high quotes can indicate that the company is trying to make it feasible to ship to a location they do not usually go to or to try and pad their costs for a light load. A very low quote can indicate a company that does not provide the proper protection for your vehicle or the right care and attention to detail when shipping your car.
The quotes that fall somewhere in the middle of these extremes are probably your best bet. Using the quotes and reviews as a guide, you should be able to narrow down your choices to a couple of good options. If you are not happy with any of the choices that you have been presented with, then you might want to keep looking for a company that will suit your needs. You should not take a chance and settle on a company that you do not really want to work with.
Things to Do After Your SUV or Minivan Arrives at Your New Home
If you have committed to shipping your car to your new home and have agreed to pick it up at a terminal or have paid to have it delivered to your new home, you might be wondering what the next steps should be. There are not many things to do after your car arrives but you should not miss the final key step of the shipping process.
Get the Bill of Lading
When you pick up your car, or it is delivered to your door, you need to be sure that you collect the bill of lading. This is the legal contract that states that your car is in good condition and that they have delivered the car to the proper location. The shipping company will need you to sign off on this document before you can take your car away.
The bill of lading is a guarantee between you and the shipping company that allows you the chance to look at your car and sign off on their statement that it is in good condition and was delivered correctly. If the car was not delivered in good condition or if it was not delivered per the details of the contract that you signed before you handed over your car to the shipping company, you should not sign the bill of lading.
You will always want to look at the condition of your car carefully before you sign anything that states that it was in great condition when it arrived. If you need to file a claim for the damages to your car that was sustained during the trip, you need to be sure that you did not sign the bill of lading. Always make sure that you look at everything in detail before you sign off that your car was delivered in good condition and per the terms of the contract.
When working with a broker for your shipping needs, you will reach out to the broker to coordinate the claims process and any legal work that will need to be done to resolve the issue. If you contracted directly with the company to ship your car, you will want to reach out to them to discuss issues with your car’s condition or the way that the car was shipped to you. While it can be frustrating to have to wait to pick up your car until these issues have been resolved, it is better to get help from insurance and the shipping company to resolve problems before you agree to just take your car as is.
Shipping Your Family Car to Your New Home Can Save You Time and Money
If you want to make sure that you do not have to drive across the country and you want to spare your car the miles that would be accumulated doing so, you need to think about shipping your car. This is a great choice for your needs if you are making a big move and just don’t want to deal with the factor of moving your car as well. Using this guide, you can get some great tips and tricks that will help you get connected with the right shipping company for your unique needs.
Hauling a minivan or an SUV across the country or across a long distance is somewhat harder than moving a car so you will need to be sure that you are working with the right shipping company for this need. You will find that picking a shipping company is much easier with these tips and tricks on your side!
David is a Senior Logistics Agent for Mercury Auto Transport. He enjoys helping others navigate the auto transport process through his informational articles.