Tips for Transporting Your Car During a Move
You’re making a long-distance move, and all of your household belongings are loaded up in the moving truck. But, how exactly are you going to transport your car to your new home at the same time? Towing your vehicle to a new state can be a great option. Whether you’re towing the car yourself or hiring a company to help, keep these helpful tips in mind as you transport your car during your move.
Towing Your Own Vehicle
You may decide that you’d like to tow your own vehicle during a cross-country move. If so, there are two types of trailers commonly used to transport a vehicle: a tow dolly or car carrier. A tow dolly lifts your car’s front wheels off the road and pulls the vehicle by its rear wheels, says Angie’s List. A car carrier lifts your vehicle completely off the ground and has its own wheels.
While towing your own car may be a cost-friendly option, remember that it may not be the best option depending on the weight and size of your car, says Moving.com. For example, if your car has a low front end, you may have some trouble getting it up the loading ramp. Tow dollies and carriers may also limit the mobility of your moving truck, especially when it comes to backing up, adds Moving.com.
When hooking up a tow dolly or car carrier to your moving truck, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help you ensure it’s safely installed.
Hiring a Vehicle Transport Company
If you choose to hire a transport company to move your vehicle, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, know your options. Most vehicle transport companies offer open or enclosed car carriers, says Move.org. An open carrier is exposed to the outdoor elements, and your car is usually one of many being transported at the same time. Enclosed transporters protect your car from the elements but can cost up to 80 percent more than an open car carrier, according to Move.org. Typically, enclosed carriers are ideal if you’re transporting a high-end or classic car.
As you research car carrier services, be sure to check their reviews and pricing. According to Edmunds, some factors that might affect how much you pay include:
- Your current location
- How far you are moving
- Size and weight of your vehicle
- Time of year
You should also ask each transport company if they’re insured — and call your insurance agent to see if your auto insurance covers your car while it’s being transported by a third party. And remember, auto transport brokers (someone who arranges the transportation service for you) and car carrier companies are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, says the Department of Transportation.
When you’ve hired a vehicle transport company and are ready for the move, Angie’s List recommends taking the following precautions:
- Inspect your car before it’s loaded onto the carrier and document any imperfections (such as dents or scratches). It may be a good idea to take photos as well.
- Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle.
- Confirm if the carrier needs your car’s alarm deactivated or a certain amount of gas in the tank.
Whether you decide to tow your vehicle or hire a company to ship your car, doing some research can help you be better prepared when moving day arrives. Choose the option that you’re confident in so you can get on the road to enjoy your new adventure.
Originally published on April 4, 2013.