How to Protect Your Car During Auto Shipping

Car Shipping

Handing your car over to a total stranger is hard, especially if your vehicle has sentimental value attached to it. It’s not unusual to be worried about shipping a car because you think about damages that could happen. Thankfully, the damage is rare, but you can cut the chances even further by protecting your vehicle during the shipping process.

Protection From Debris

When you think about car transport, you probably envision a semi hauling a long, dual-level trailer with cars strapped into them. That is what most people see when you see them on the road, but it’s not the only option.

Open transport exposes cars to the elements. When you are transporting a vehicle, it’s good to avoid this type of transport if you do not want to deal with the possible ding from a freak hailstorm. Most worry about pebbles bouncing off the cars, but that is not the way it works.

When pebbles or other debris gets kicked up from surrounding vehicles or the rig pulling the transport, rocks rarely hit the cars. It’s physics – stones do not travel sideways on a road when traffic is going straight. They fly behind you. With the rig pulling the transport blocking pebbles and debris, the rig gets hit, not the transport.

Even if you’re concerned about the possibility of hail or some other weather-related issue as your vehicle is transported, you may consider a cover or an enclosed transport instead. Covers can get loose during the drive, so for complete protection, you want an enclosed carrier.

Protection From Auto Shipping Companies

Companies that ship automobiles offer a variety of options, so you’ll want to call up a few car shipping companies to find one that fits your needs. While price is important, it should not be the deciding factor in choosing a company. If a company quotes a price that is too low, there is probably a reason like limited insurance coverage, or maybe it does not have the best reputation for transportation.

Shipping companies also do not typically demand a deposit to transport your car, so if you call one and request a deposit, that’s a red flag. More often, what happens is you will pay for transportation fees once the company has completed transport. Check reviews for any issues, complaints, and other negative remarks because that might clue you into what you need to avoid, too.

Be ready to answer questions, too, once you select your car shipping company. You will need to ask the company about insurance coverage, transportation pick-up and drop-off details, and policies on clearing out your car or the amount of gas in the tank. Do not forget to take pictures of your car before you drop it off, so you have visible proof of your car’s condition to compare after your vehicle has been picked up.

Protection With Insurance and Extended Warranties

If you decide to ship your car, you will want to discuss your coverage with your insurance company. Legally, you don’t need to have your vehicle insured for transport as shipping companies carry their insurance. Still, it does not hurt to verify coverage with both the company and your insurance carrier. 

Remember to ask the shipper about any deductibles, limits, or exclusions about company-provided insurance. You will also want to see which coverage would go into effect first if your vehicle does experience damage – your insurance or the shipping company’s insurance. If there is a conflict in coverage, you need to get that ironed out before choosing your company.

As always, get everything in writing from all sides and consider taking the time to compare car insurance coverage. Having everything available for you to refer to is critical in case you need it later. You may also be interested in searching for the best extended car warranty you can find. Depending on why your car is being shipped, the policy may cover part of the expense or possibly a rental for you.

Final Remarks on Protecting Your Car

You want to protect your car when you decide to ship it, so consider different types of protection available, whether it is a cover or a more secure transport. Do your research and shop around to find the best car moving company. Do not forget to verify insurance coverage or search for other options that best fit your shipping needs. Then you will be well on your way to getting your car shipped the way that works for you.

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