Is Your Car Relocating Too?

If you are relocating here to the Carlsbad area and own 1 or more cars, you have some planning to do.

Of course you can drive to your new home. But if the distance is significant or time is short you may want to make other arrangements. Or you may have a second car to get to its new home.

Here are some important issues to consider:

Car shipper in action

Work with a reputable car shipping company. Understand that a shipper may actually outsource to different carriers, as moving companies do, but make sure you know they have the experience and reputation. Check their references.

Some moving companies will also ship your car along with your household goods. Check to see if yours does, as this may be less expensive and more convenient than a separate shipping company. Ask how they are going to ship – in the same truck as your personal stuff or on a separate trailer being towed (car is not protected). That may matter to you depending on your car.

Obtain several estimates and be sure to compare the same data for each. For example:

  • check on the costs for insurance or will your auto insurance cover damage
  • overall costs (e.g., is cost by weight or some other factor)
  • time frames (how much of a window will they give you for pick-up and shipping time?)
  • availability
  • where do they pick up and deliver
  • how much lead time do they provide for pick-up and delivery.

I have seen estimates vary by hundreds of dollars so be careful.

Plan ahead, especially if you are going to be using a commercial shipper rather than your moving company. These companies often pick up and deliver multiple cars and have to coordinate, sometimes over a wide area, and may need substantial notice, sometimes weeks.

Once you have made the arrangements I recommend the following:

  1. Clean out your car completely (unless the shipper allows you to store some stuff in the car – this may be risky, and you certainly do not want to ship valuables in your car)
  2. Make a duplicate copy of the registration and insurance card for yourself, the other should remain in the car (but check with the shipper requirements).
  3. Double-check with your auto insurance provider to make sure of coverage for damage, etc.
  4. Take photos of the car inside and out. The shipper will provide a written damage summary before and after but having your own photos will help
  5. Keep an extra set of car keys
  6. Have a contingency plan and be ready for timing changes – they may pick-up earlier or later than planned; weather can slow a delivery. Make sure you have alternative plans in case your car does not arrive when expected.

Good luck in your planning.