For nearly a decade, Justin Baron has helped movers learn how to transport a car from state to state to get their vehicles across North America. He’s moved everything from an average sedan to a $12 million Ferrari, and his company is the go-to business to move cars featured in the popular TV show American Pickers.
“Eighty-five percent of our customers are people relocating to a new state for work,” said Baron of All American Trucking and Transport. “And it’s important to know that not all transport companies have high standards, like us. Our industry has so many grimy brokers, and the public really does deserve the tips on how to weed out the bad companies.”
If you’d like to hear these tips from Baron, as well as another Northern California transport expert, then keep reading! Both gave us helpful information to prepare you and your car for a cross-country move!
Research Car Transportation Companies
When you’re choosing a transportation company, make sure to do a lot of research on well-known review and business websites, said Baron.
“Stay away from online quote systems, because some sell your information,” said Daniel Misin of RCG Auto. “Call companies directly, and talk to people. Feel them out, and if they give you a bad vibe, you’ll get a sense of how reputable they are.”
The Better Business Bureau, Google and Yelp are all good sites for research, according to Baron, but beware of review sites that you’re unfamiliar with. Baron said some websites are full of fake reviews that do not reflect real experiences.
“Don’t ever pay for a deposit, because your car is the deposit,” said Baron. “The companies that ask for deposits are probably fraudulent companies. They just want the money upfront. You should always pay the entire balance after delivery or pickup.”
Both our experts recommend getting three to five quotes before choosing a car transportation company. And they suggest asking these questions when you call for a quote:
“A lot of companies will give you base rates and then charge you later for things like fuel and insurance,” said Baron.
How to Transport Your Car From State to State: Clean It!
Before your move, our experts say you want to clean your car inside and out to protect yourself in case of future insurance claims.
“Washing your car may sound unnecessary, but it makes it easier to inspect for any dings and scratches,” said Misin. “You want any damages to be easily noticed at the beginning and end of trip.”
Misin also recommends taking photos of the car inside and out before your move to prepare yourself in case of damage.
“When you clean your car, make sure you close the vents in your car so the exhaust from the trucks doesn’t get in and leave a bad smell,” said Baron.
A transport company’s insurance will not cover any thefts of items from inside vehicles during transport, so it’s important to take out anything valuable from the car before its journey, Baron added.
“And make sure you don’t have any more than a quarter-tank of gas in the car,” he said. “The more gas in the car, the heavier it is, and the more you’ll have to pay since the price is determined by weight.”
Move Your Car to the Nearest City Center
If you live, or are moving to, an area outside a big city, you can save money by dropping off and picking up the car in town. This allows drivers to transport more cars in a shorter timeframe, say our experts.
“If you live far away from a metro area, prepare to meet a driver in the city,” said Misin. “It will be much cheaper, because drivers won’t have to go out of the way to make the delivery.”
When Baron’s customers go the extra mile, literally, to meet a driver in a major city, they can save up to $400.
“If you look on a map, you can almost make a rule of thumb that if you’re within those major city’s beltways or freeways that it will be cheaper than if you move outside of them,” he said.
You will save even more money if you move before or after summer, and you have a flexible schedule for pickup and drop-off dates, said Baron.
“We’re quoting routes $200 to $250 higher during the summer months, because we’re so busy,” added Baron. “If you have wiggle room in your schedule, you can get better or discounted rates. The more cars a transport driver can move at one time, the cheaper the price will be for customers.”
Photos courtesy of Daniel Misin, RCG Auto.