The automotive industry operates in a global marketplace and that means that cars get shipped to all sorts of different destinations around the world.
Whether you are wanting to transport a prestige or classic car because you are a motoring enthusiast or need your wheels to follow you to another country you because you are moving for work or a new life, there will be a way to get it there safely.
Here is an insight into how the auto transport industry operates and a look at what to expect when you use someone to take care of your precious cargo.
Understanding the basics
If you have never had to ship a car to a foreign destination before it is perfectly understandable that you may not be up to speed with how the process works and what you need to look out for to ensure the transportation is a success.
Once you get a better handle on what’s involved with car shipping you will most likely find that it is not such a stressful thing to do and you can use your knowledge to make sure you get everything right when organizing the logistics of moving your vehicle.
Getting the vehicle on the road
A good starting point would be to work out whether it is possible for the transport company to come and collect your car or whether it is more feasible or cost-effective to get it to them.
There are a number of key questions you need to ask and answer in order to decide which is the best option.
If you and your car are located in a residential location where access for a large transporter might be complicated or not suitable, it might prove better to agree on a convenient alternative pick-up location if you can see an issue with a big truck negotiating its way through tight residential roads.
If your car is roadworthy and can be driven to another location it is worth discussing your options with the transport company so that you can choose a plan that satisfies logistical challenges and keeps a lid on costs.
Sharing the journey
Another key question that you want to be asking your transport company is whether your car is going to be traveling with other vehicles when it is being carried to its destination.
Unless you specifically ask for a single transporter for your vehicle there is a good chance that the car will be put on a multi-car trailer and share the ride with others.
There should be no cause for concern if your car is traveling on a multi-car trailer as all reputable transport companies will be using a trailer that will have several built-in safety mechanisms that are designed to protect your cargo.
There are strict rules and regulations in force when it comes to transporting multiple vehicles safely and the cargo securement rules in place dictate that each car is restrained by chocks and wedges, and other equipment designed to prevent any rolling or excessive movement.
If you do want your car to travel alone on its journey be sure to tell the transport company so that there are no misunderstandings on that score.
Open to the elements
As well as wanting to know that your car is properly secured for its journey you will also want to know that it is properly protected from the elements and other potential hazards that could cause damage to the vehicle.
It can sometimes prove to be a bad move to try and cover your car as it has been shown that a loose cover can potentially scratch and damage your car during transit.
This is the main reason why covering a vehicle for transit is not standard practice. To prepare your car for its journey, a good clean and a wax coating will often prove effective in providing resistance to dust, direct, and damaging salt deposits.
When something goes wrong
You don’t want to experience a nightmare scenario where your car gets damaged during transit but accidents do happen and it is wise to ensure that you have arranged suitable insurance cover to protect in the event that something goes wrong.
Be sure to check whether your existing insurance provides cover for the journey and check what insurance arrangements the transport company offers.
Make sure you get written confirmation of the insurance details and take plenty of photos of your car to confirm its condition at the time you hand it over for transport.
Prepare ahead by keeping low on gas
Most safety regulations across different countries will require that cars being transported have an empty fuel tank.
Once you have set the date for having your car picked up, make sure you keep the fuel level as low as possible and take it for a quick drive shortly before the transport date so that the gas tank is empty and the car is ready to travel safely and meet regulations
Just like some shipping companies who provide access to tracking details so that you know where your item is at any point, you can expect a good level of communication from a reputable transport company.
The sort of information you want is an arrival date and approximate time when you can expect your car to be delivered to its chosen destination.
Regular updates along the way will help ease your concerns and it would be a good idea to ask the transport company how they keep in touch with you throughout the process and how you can check on progress.
Check what documentation is required
Another vital aspect that needs sorting out beforehand is having the right documentation in place to allow your vehicle to be transported.
Liaise with your transport company to confirm what documents and permits will be needed to allow your vehicle to travel across state lines and international borders.
Once you have the answers to these questions and sorted out a quote that you are happy with, it will be time to say goodbye to your car before greeting its arrival at the other end.