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The Auto Shipper Needs My Car Keys?

The Auto Shipper Needs My Car Keys? It’s moving day and you’re excited as you see the automobile transport driver coming down the road to pick your car up for the move. When the driver pulls up he gets out of the truck and introduces himself to you and then proceeds to walk around your car performing an inspection. That’s great to see him working hard to make sure your car is in good condition for the long trip it has to make on the transport truck. Once he completes the inspection and you have both signed his paperwork, he asks you for the spare key to your car. Why does the driver need a key to my car? After all, the car won’t be driving anywhere. Right?

My Car Is Not Being Driven!

Although your car is going to be transported on the truck and won’t be driven during the journey, there may still be times when it will have to be moved. When cars are shipped throughout the United States and even overseas, there are often other cars parked either in front of them or behind them on the transport carriers that will have to be moved off before your car is. When this happens, the driver will need your keys in order to move your car forward or backward to allow the other car to be driven off at their stop.

How Car Shipping Works

When automobiles are loaded onto a transport carrier the driver tries to make sure they are loaded in the order they will be delivered. Often, cars are not picked up in the same order as the delivery. The driver will drive your car onto his carrier truck when he arrives for pick-up and he will make sure the car is secured in place for transport before he leaves with it. At the next pick-up location along the way he may need to back your car up in order to load another car in front of yours because the next car may have a later delivery date than your car. There are many stops along the way with a car transporter and usually each car on the truck will have to be moved at some point during shipment. The driver will take care of every car on the transporter and rest assured that your car will arrive in the same condition it was in when it left the point of origin.

Ready to Have Your Car Transported?

When you’re ready to have your car transported by a reputable company you need to contact Professional Auto Transport for superior services and the best performance ratings in the auto transport business. We provide quality shipping for all of our customers nationwide.

Tips – The Right Way to Prepare for Auto Transport

YoRight Way to Prepare for Auto Transportu’re preparing to move across the country and you have already signed the paperwork with the auto transport company to haul your car for you. Here are some handy tips for you so you’ll better understand why some things need to be done while other things are definite no-no’s when it comes to having a car transported with a professional car shipper.

Things You Should Definitely Do:

Make sure you clean everything out of the car as thoroughly as possible. Since your car will be heading down highways and stopping to fuel up, many people will be around the car and you definitely don’t want to entice anyone to steal anything they may see through the windows. If you have CD’s or a removable stereo you will want to pull those items from the car before it is loaded onto the truck for transport. You will also want to clean the car to be sure no debris will begin flying off of it while it’s speeding down the interstate at 60mph potentially flying into someone else’s car. You also want to make sure you vacuum or steam clean the interior of the car. Having a completely clean car allows you to see any dirt or damage that may incur when moving the car much easier than you would be able to if there were dirty floor mats or seats. Debris inside of the car can fly around during transport potentially damaging the interior.

When the driver arrive to load the car onto the carrier you need to make sure that a complete inspection is done and to better safeguard yourself it’s a good idea to take some time/date stamped pictures of the car. With pictures you will be able to see scratches or dents that can happen during shipment that you may not have noticed without the pictures. The driver will do an inspection at the time of pick-up as well as when the car is delivered and you will both need to sign the inspection report.

Definite No-No’s

Now that you are aware of some things you should definitely do when preparing your car to be transported, let’s talk about some things you want to steer clear of. Although you are moving to a new state you won’t want to pack anything inside of your car while it’s being transported unless you are using containerized car transport. For open transport, which is by far the most common way to transport a car, you will want your car to be completely empty. While it may be tempting to try to pack some things inside, it is not only a temptation to thieves at the fuel stops but it is also very dangerous to have things inside a car during transport. Think of it this way. If you have a CD collection sitting in your car as it speeds down the interstate and the transport truck has to stop suddenly because of an accident or a traffic back-up, your CD collection is now a dangerous item in your car as it flies all around potentially cutting into your seats or even busting your windows out. Even worse, it flies through the window and hits someone potentially causing bodily harm. So you see, it is always safest to make sure nothing is left inside the car.

Another thing that is a definite no-no when having your car transported is fueling up right before the car is loaded. While most people enjoy having a full tank of gas when driving around in town, having a full tank when hauling will cause the transport carrier to use more fuel due to the heavier weight thus costing you more for the cost of fuel to transport your car. You don’t have to drain the fuel all the way out but try to keep it at ¼ tank or less when having it shipped.

Your shipping agent will go over all the details of things you need to do when preparing your car for transport. While the items above are usually pretty standard, there will be other things you may need to do as well depending on the method of shipping you’re using and the distance your car is travelling. When you’re ready to have your car shipped anywhere in the United States or to countries around the globe, call Professional Auto Shippers let us take care of all of your car shipping needs.


Image Courtesy : freedigitalphotos.net /  Gualberto107

Prepare Your Vehicle to be Shipped

After you have selected and secured a reputable auto transport company, you will need to prepare your vehicle to be shipped.  Because each auto transport company differs slightly, it is in your best interest to verify the proper steps directly with the company your select.  However, the following steps are a good starting point.

  1. Remove your personal items:  If you are moving, it may seem like a great idea to pack your vehicle full of things you need to also arrive at your final destination in order to save yourself some additional shipping costs.  Unfortunately, this is not a good idea for a number of reasons.  Most auto transport companies are not insured to cover your personal items, and many are not even licensed to have them aboard, so they will instruct you to remove them prior to transport, delaying the departure time, and messing up the shipping schedule.  The additional weight of your items in the vehicle can also put your over the pre-determined weight limit, which can lead to hefty fees and/or also cause delays.
  2. Wash your car:  This one may seem counter-intuitive, especially if your vehicle is being shipped in an open container.  However, prior to departure, the driver will be assessing your vehicle from front to back, top to bottom, making note of any scratches or blemishes already present, and a clean car is much more easily inspected.  A proper inspection will ensure there are no damage disputes when your vehicle arrives at its final destination.
  3. Protect Aftermarket Add-ons:  If your vehicle has any aftermarket alterations, you will want to make sure they are properly secured, or even removed, so as not to suffer any damages during transport.  Especially items, such as spoilers, that may extend the shape and size of your vehicle, and make it more likely to be scratched or dented.
  4. Ensure Gas Tank is LOW:  You will want to leave your vehicle with approximately 1/8 tank to ¼ tank prior to pick-up.  A full tank increases the weight of the vehicle which can lead to delays at weigh stations, and additional fees for you.
  5. Make Sure Battery is Charged:  Because your vehicle will need to be started after a prolonged period of disuse, depending on the shipping time, a fully charged battery will ensure there are no issues when it needs to be started back up at the final destination.

Again, confirm with your auto transport company additional steps for preparing your vehicle for transport prior to pick-up, but by following the steps above, you should be well prepared to having your vehicle shipped with no issues.

Delays in Shipping

More often than not, when shipping a vehicle, you will receive a range of time/days indicating the vehicle’s arrival at the final destination.  Customers often wonder what contributing factors would go into delaying the transport of their vehicle.  Unfortunately, there is a quite a variety of components that can cause the delay, many of which are completely unavoidable and unpredictable.

Weather Conditions:

The most inevitable of these factors would be unforeseeable weather conditions.  Whether, the vehicle is making the journey across country, or even across the ocean, weather can be extremely unpredictable.  Anything from snow which can cause road blocks, to a hurricane which can halt or delay a ship’s progress, there is simply no way to avoid these acts of God.  In some cases, alternate routes may be available, while in other situations, the transport driver may be forced to simply wait out the storm.

Weigh Station Lines:

Another inescapable issue can be long weigh station lines which can delay the transport of a vehicle across country.  Because these wait times cannot be predicted or avoided, the transport driver could be subjected to dealing with longer than average delays.

Flat Tires or other transport maintenance issues:

Although auto transport companies strive to keep their transport vehicles in exceptional condition, flat tires and other mechanical issues are unforeseeable and can cause temporary delays, especially depending when on route they are discovered and remedied.  While a flat tire may only push back arrival time a couple hours, a more serious mechanical issue in a rural area could cause a longer set-back.

Customer Reliability:

Unfortunately, sometimes the delay can be attributed to the customer.  If a drop off is scheduled, and the customer arrives late, it can easily throw off the entire transport schedule by hours or more.  Also, incorrect paperwork presented at pick-up can slow down the process and delay the vehicle being released.

Although, no one can have a direct influence on weather related or other unforeseeable circumstances, make sure to hold up your end of the deal by being prepared and on time, and be aware that a range of dates for arrival allow for a more accurate prediction.  Be wary of an auto transport company that provides the exact time and date of arrival because these often lead to tenuous expectations.

Costs of Shipping a Vehicle

There are many factors that go into determining how much an auto transport company will charge to ship your vehicle.  For someone who is not familiar with the process, the first step of obtaining a quote can be very confusing if you do not know what to expect.  It is always in your best interest to request a breakdown of the fees for each quote you obtain, so that you can more easily compare apples to apples when shopping for the best rate.  You should also be aware of the main components in determining the costs of shipping.

Contributing Cost Factors

  • Size of Vehicle– Larger and heavier vehicles are usually more expensive to ship as they take up more room and weigh down the transport truck, so you can expect to pay more for a heavy-duty truck than a compact sedan.
  • Type of Car Carrier– The most popular option for shipping a vehicle is to use an open container, but sometimes, you may determine an enclosed carrier is a better option for your car.  If that is the case, you can expect an increase in costs, simply because the carrier type provides much better protection against the elements.
  • Condition of Vehicle– If your car is non-operational and cannot be driven on to the carrier, the costs will increase significantly because you will require a truck with the proper equipment to load and unload a non-working vehicle.
  • Drop-off and Pick-up Location– Although the distance itself plays a large part in determining cost, the location of drop-off and pick-up also weighs heavily in the calculation.  More remote areas are more expensive than central locations, and you will find that you can save yourself some money if you are able to be flexible with beginning and end locations.
  • Terminal Use– If you are unable to have your vehicle dropped off immediately prior to shipping or picked up immediately after arrival, you may need to use a terminal for temporary storage.  The fees for terminal use vary by location, but the longer your vehicle will be in one, the more you can expect to pay.

If you gather all the relevant information pertaining to the above factors prior to requesting information, you will receive the most accurate and detailed quote.  If you are unsure about any information, feel free to ask your shipping company to elaborate.  The testimony of a great shipping company should be the willingness and ability to fully service their customers and handle all questions or insecurities.

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