My original plan to move to LA (two years ago) involved driving across the country. That plan was quickly shut down and I ended up having to transport my car. Driving would’ve been cheaper, but unfortunately that wasn’t an option. I didn’t know where to start. Naturally, I jumped on Google and researched away. Here are a few things I learned:
1. To quote or not to quote?
The upside to getting a quote is that it will give you an estimate for the fees. The downside is that one year later (no joke) you may still receive the occasional quote from a company you looked into.
How can you get a quote and avoid the spam emails? I advise calling different companies. Typically they’ll get back to you via phone. Or if they email you it comes from a person and not an automated system.
Also, the “quote” is an ESTIMATE. The price is not guaranteed. Typically the company has the find a driver and then see if they will agree upon the price. If they give you a guaranteed price they are probably lying.
2. Research the Companies
Once you have a list (most likely based on quotes) look up the companies and their policies. Most importantly…
3. Read Customer Reviews
If you can find a review from someone that relocated from the same state you’re coming from and relocating to, that’s great! Either way you should still take a moment to read a few reviews. Take into consideration the number of reviewers and what year they were submitted. Some websites I recommend are consumeraffairs.com and transportreviews.com. I used the latter. It’s a bit disorganized, but it did the trick.
4. Choose a Company
Obviously you’re going to have to pick at some point. Remember, everyone wants a service that’s fast, cheap, and good. You can have two, but you probably won’t get all three. If you do, comment below and share with the group! Be sure to read the ENTIRE contract before signing anything.
I chose (in order) based on:
- Estimated Delivery Time
I wanted to use a company that had a good reputation. It made me feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of handing my car over to a stranger.
The delivery time was important. I didn’t want the car to arrive before I did, but I also didn’t want it to arrive too far after I did. I shipped it one week before I left. I was told that it would take anywhere from 7-10 days. I figured, best case scenario it would arrive the same day I did, worst case scenario it would arrive three days later.
It took exactly 10 days. I got a rental until my car arrived. If I had to wait for an obscene amount of time the rental would’ve been very expensive. Obviously the price is a factor. I want to pay as little as possible for the best service.
5. Prepare the Car
Once you pick a company and solidify a price and date, you will need to remove all valuables from the car. Some companies allow a certain weight worth of items in the trunk. It was 100 pounds for me. I chose to put a few clothing items (that I wouldn’t be sad about losing) in the trunk.
6. Inspect the Car
The carrier should inspect the car before loading it. Make sure they do so and make sure you do as well. Take pictures of any previous marks and dings before you hand it over. Once the car arrives…
7. Reinspect the Car
Make sure you reinspect it for dents and scratches.
Incase you’re wondering, I used Move My Automobile. The cost was about $1150 to have my car transported across the country. As stated above, it took 10 days (3 days after my arrival). The length of time will vary depending on the driver.
Feel free to share your experience below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.