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Moving Your Car

September 18th, 2015 - 8:55 AM

How to Move Your Car

Moving long distance involves plenty of planning, including finding a moving company for your household goods, making travel arrangements for yourself and your family, and figuring out how to move your car, too. While U-Pack is an excellent solution for your personal belongings, we don’t provide auto shipping services.  However, we have referrals to trusted partners and information to help make moving your car as easy as possible.

moving your car

How to Move Your Car

Depending on how you’re moving, there are different methods for getting your vehicle there. If you’re moving your car in conjunction with a household move, the easiest method is to ship your belongings with U-Pack, and then you’re free to drive your own vehicle.

If you have more vehicles than drivers, you may be able to attach a tow trailer and tow your car. If you aren’t comfortable towing your vehicle, you may need to hire an auto shipper.

For auto shipping, we refer customers to uShip, which will provide several options to choose from. Get a car shipping quote online using this form.

Tips for Choosing a Car Moving Service

Consider these details when it comes to selecting a car mover:

Customer comments. Just like choosing a moving company, one of the most important details to check when researching auto transport companies is customer feedback. Read reviews from customers who have actually used the service to find out if they were happy with their experience.

Insurance coverage. Another important factor to inquire about is the insurance coverage provided by the car mover. While uShip reports less than 5% of cars that are transported report any measurable damage, but it’s best to be prepared. Most transporters offer liability insurance, so ask about their coverage (including any deductibles you might have to pay if damage occurs). It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for a copy of the car mover’s insurance certificate to verify their coverage. If you need additional coverage, ask about extra cargo insurance options.

These are some good questions to ask potential car moving companies:

  • What types of damage are covered?
  • Does your coverage include the entire car?
  • Is there a deductible?
  • What are the coverage limits? 
  • Are extra parts covered (spoilers, hubcaps, etc.)?

You can also talk to your own auto insurance agent about how your policies may apply during the move.

Types of car moving. There are two main ways that a company will transport your car: open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is the most common, and this utilizes open trailers like the kind pictured above. This is often the cheapest option. For vehicles that require extra protection, there are also enclosed trailers, which can be great for higher value cars as they are protected from the elements. Make sure you understand which type of transport you are being offered in your quote.

How to Prepare your Car for Moving

Use up the fuel. Many companies require the tank to be less than ¼ full when shipping. While you can drain the fuel, the easiest way to ensure an empty tank is to use up the fuel prior to the move.

Fix any leaks. Monitor your vehicle for leaks, and fix any issues before moving your car. It’s likely that your car will be stacked above other cars, so it’s important to let your transporter know of any leaks so fluids don’t drop on other cars or create a safety hazard.

Clean out your car. You’ll most likely be required to remove any personal belongings from your vehicle prior to shipping. Most car movers are not licensed to transport goods, so they can't carry anything in your car.  Make sure to check all compartments and remove any items you have stashed away. (Get a household good moving quote from U-Pack if you have personal belongings to move!)

It's important to note that it's likely your vehicle will travel unlocked as it may be loaded and unloaded during transport, so you'll also want to remove aftermarket electronics like GPS systems and DVD players.

Also, don’t forget to remove any toll tags or parking passes.

Get out the camera. Before your car is loaded for transport, take detailed photos. Take pictures of every side, detailing any existing damage you have. These pics will document the vehicle's condition in case you need to file a claim.

Disable the alarm. Follow the instructions in your car manual to disable your alarm prior to moving your car.

Final preparations. Before you move your car, make sure the battery is charged, fluids are full, fold back your mirrors, and retract your antenna.

Give any special instructions. If your vehicle is modified in any way, give special instructions to your car shipper about the different ground clearance. That’s important information for them to have as they load and unload your vehicle. If possible, remove low-hanging parts like aftermarket bumpers to avoid any damage.

Door to door car moving

Most auto moving companies will pick up and deliver your vehicle at your home, as close to your driveway as possible. Remember, trailers and trucks can be large, so you may have to load on the street or in a nearby accessible location.  Talk to your car mover about their specific requirements for parking, and make alternate arrangements if necessary.  Make sure you or an authorized person will be present when they pick up and drop off your car to sign any documents and get a copy of the contract.

Questions about moving your car?

If you have any questions about car moving, please let us know in the comments below. We’re here to help!

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