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A Guide to Shipping Your Car

Shipping your car can be a tedious task, so let us help you break it down into small chunks and make the process much easier!

Follow our Auto Shipping Guide to learn the best way to ship a car with AmeriFreight

Auto-shipping can be an overwhelming task, yes, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide, you will learn all the ins and outs of car shipping your beloved car safely and with a reputable auto transport company, such as AmeriFreight. The goal is to let you make informed decisions about one of your most prized possessions and have a worry-free auto transport experience.

Our auto shipping guide will start from the beginning; how to choose a vendor all the way to what you should do once you get your car delivered to your home or the auto transport company’s storage facility. So, let’s dive in!

1. Call us for an immediate quote or fill in the “Get a Free Estimate” section, and submit it to AmeriFreight

Before you embark on your journey, the first question you’ll want to be answered is “What is the total cost?” It all starts with getting an idea about what the move will cost you. Jump to the rate calculator and input your requirements.

As a general rule, the cost per mile gets cheaper the longer the distance. Anything from $3.00 per mile for instate deliveries to $0.50 per mile from coast to coast. Car shipping has many variables, but the first and primary factor is distance.

Auto-shipping services usually need to know only the following in order to give you a relatively accurate estimate.

  • Origin zip code
  • Origin city
  • Origin state
  • Destination zip
  • Destination city
  • Destination state
  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • Type
  • Running condition
  • Carrier type (open or enclosed)
  • Departure date window for pick-up
  • Type of service desired (e.g., car shipping vs. drive-away)
  • Special requests (e.g., drop off at a terminal vs. at your home)
  • A way to get in touch with you

If you follow the Auto Shipping Guide and go with AmeriFreight, you can rest assured that your personal contact information will remain private and you won’t be bombarded with a plethora of marketing emails! We do not sell your information to anyone.

2. After the quotation process, you can respond by email or go online to confirm your order.

The quote will be delivered to you via email. Apart from the distance, there will be several other factors that may increase or decrease prices as well.

Once you have decided to move forward with your order, your agent will send you an email to secure your permission for AmeriFreight to represent your vehicle shipment. AmeriFreight will get all the pertinent information from you to ensure nothing is missed. We want you to be fully informed. Please see our auto transport FAQ’s for better insight into how we work. Your auto transport reservation won’t be placed until we have your order confirmed. Once you have placed your first car shipping order with us, you will be able to use the same information for future shipments, and you will be able to track your shipment and rate how happy you are with our service.

You will also immediately be assigned a personal concierge – a customer service agent – who will be overseeing the car shipping process personally. You can get in touch with them anytime to know the status of your asset. The customer service agent knows the importance of the Auto Shipping Guide.

3. Auto transport payment

Once your agent has found a carrier and you have agreed to all the terms of the shipment, a deposit will be required. This is the amount you will pay when a truck (carrier) is assigned to your vehicle. Upon delivery of your vehicle, the balance will be paid in cash or a cashier’s check. And now the action begins.

4. To protect your valuable vehicle, please prepare it for auto shipping.

Our driver will call you 12 to 24 hours before he arrives at the pick-up point to schedule the actual meeting. Be sure to provide AmeriFreight with all necessary phone numbers and cell phone numbers for both the pickup and delivery contacts. Depending on access to the pickup location, the carrier may require you to meet in a better location. Many residential locations cannot be reached with a large car carrier, so a nearby parking lot is usually acceptable.

Generally, you want to have at least ¼ of a tank of gas in your vehicle. The driver will need to load and unload the vehicle onto the carrier, and potentially drive it a short distance to your given location. Unless otherwise specified by your agent with the carrier, the vehicle will need to be emptied of personal belongings and items.

If you are selling your car or having a neighbor pick it up, give us their information as well, and inform the driver about it. For your car to be shipped in the estimated time frames the driver, as well as AmeriFreight, needs to be able to get ahold of everyone involved. We’ll call both parties before arriving.

5. At pick up, the truck driver will inspect your vehicle, noting its condition and the mileage on the odometer.

At the time of pickup, there needs to be an inspection; both from the carrier and from you. This is for insurance purposes and to ensure that when your car arrives safely at the destination, there is no dispute. Before you and the driver sign the Bill of Lading inspection, please look it over to see that it is filled out completely and accurately. Be sure you get a copy of this inspection and check it against your car at the auto relocation destination point. Carriers are required under US law to provide a bill of lading at pickup and delivery. Never hand your keys to a carrier without securing the Bill of Lading filled out by the carrier.

This report basically tells you, us, and all other parties that may be involved in the auto transport what condition the car was in when being transported and what condition it was in when it arrived at the destination. If you have any disputes at the time of arrival, let the driver know and make sure the report reflects the damage.

6. Your vehicle will be transported on an open or closed auto transporter.

Despite what people may think, the auto transport industry is a rather competitive and busy one. There is always a car or two ready to travel with your’s… or ten. The auto transporter will be anywhere from a three to ten-car-carrier, just like the ones that are used to deliver new cars to the dealerships. Except for loading and unloading, your car will never be driven without your knowledge. And depending on whether you choose an open or closed auto transport, your costs will also vary, so make sure you make a decision accordingly.

7. You or your agent will receive a call for the auto transport delivery.

Just like you received a call 12 hours before the car was picked up, the driver or one of our representatives will get in touch with you 12 to 24 hours prior to the actual delivery. The carrier will reach out to discuss the area, directions, and estimated meeting time. Please be sure that you have your COD payment, if any, ready for the driver.

8. It is your responsibility to inspect your vehicle for damage when it is delivered.

As mentioned above, you will have to inspect your car for any damages noticed at the time of delivery. If there is any, it must be noted on the Delivery Bill of Lading. Make sure to review the Bill of Lading before signing the paperwork. It will be the backbone of any insurance claims that you may make.

9. AmeriFreight can only help you file a claim for damage against the auto transport truck if it is noted on the delivery bill of lading.

The process of claiming any damages is quite simple. If you notice any damage to your vehicle which wasn’t there before car shipping:

  • Take a picture of the damaged area. Try to get it from the same angle as the picture taken before car shipping.
  • Make sure the damage is documented in the Bill of Lading. If there is a diagram of the car, make sure you indicate the area of damage to it as well.
  • Get the Bill signed by your driver.
  • Get an estimate on how much repairs will cost.
  • Get a written or email copy of the quote you got from the repair shop and send it to the car shipping company.
  • While the damage is being repaired, if you need a rental vehicle, make sure you document everything. When sending the receipts to the car shipping company, also send pictures of the damaged area and the rental car as well as its receipts so that the costs may be covered.
10. Once your vehicle has been delivered and you have paid for the services, we would greatly appreciate your feedback.

AmeriFreight appreciates all the feedback and welcomes you to rate and review your experience online. The auto transport isn’t the whole story, but how we deal with the situation (if any) after the auto transport is done also matters. If there is anything you would like us to improve in the auto transport process, we would love to know!

Be sure to read our Auto Shipping Guide carefully to be prepared for moving your vehicle.

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