Shipping A Car – A Step by Step Process

Lots of people hate shipping cars because they believe it to be difficult and aggravating. But truthfully, car shipping is neither of those things — it can actually be pretty straight forward. Just like any other process, be that making your bed, fixing a sandwich, or literally anything else that can be broken down in small chunks of work, car shipping can be done with just a few simple steps.

We guarantee that following these steps will ensure successful car shipping:

  1. Clean the exterior of your car - Your car needs to be clean so that a proper insurance inspection can be conducted.Auto Transport Car Wash
  2. Remove all personal goods from your car - While it is sometimes the case that a driver will allow you to transport personal goods in your car during car shipping, it is technically illegal to do so. You should remove all personal goods from your vehicle before shipping!
  3. Remove or disable your car’s alarm system for transport - Just imagine for a second that you’re a hauler moving a 10 car load on an open car carrier. Suddenly, a car alarm goes off on one of cars. How do you get to the offending car…? There’s an easy way, and then there’s a hard way. Drivers WILL disable your alarms by any means necessary. They may not always be so kind as to offload the cars in front of yours to disable your alarm. Read between the lines and DISABLE YOUR ALARM!Auto Transport Car Alarm
  4. Run your gas down to at least 1/4 tank - It’s not always necessary to run your gas down to a quarter-tank, but it is always acceptable. If you’re trying to avoid the hassles of shipping a car, be proactive and make sure that your car’s tank is only 1/4th full before shipping.
  5. Remove Your Body KitIf your vehicle has removable modifications, such a body kits, spoilers, and so on, remove them - These sorts of modifications can complicate your shipping. With certain modifications, such as suspension drops and body kit modifications, you may actually need to use enclosed car transport. If you can remove these modifications, it is suggested that you do so before shipping.
  6. Retract all retractable car components (including antennae and folding mirrors) - This is a pretty simple profilactic step; lower your antennae! There is no sense in risking accidental damage to your antennae. Simply detatch or retract any and all retatchable components of your vehicle.
  7. Convertible TopIf Shipping a convertible, ensure that the top is properly attached and secured - This is a very important, yet often overlooked. Convertibles are generally stored on the top deck of auto transport carriers and auto transport trailers to avoid drip damage. Thus, the only line of defense between the interior of your convertible and the elements is the top. If the top isn’t secured properly and the driver doesn’t notice,  you could possibly lose the top AND ruin your car’s interior.
  8. Ensure that your vehicle is able to start, steer, roll, and brake - Some do not realize that the operability of a vehicle makes a difference between how and if it can be shipped. If your car runs, then you’re good to go. If not, it needs to at least roll, stear, and break, and you must also notify your auto shipper that your car is inoperable.
  9. Document your vehicle’s condition - If your car is undamaged before shipping, you need to have documentation. Although every car moved by American Auto Move is subjected to a full inspection before being shipped. If you’re not using American Auto Move or a company that performs full inspections before shipping, you need to document your vehicle’s condition.

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to get the best auto transport experience possible! Take it from the experts — follow the best practices for success!

Car Prep 101 – What to Do and What NOT to Do Before Shipping

It’s been said that preparation is everything. Not only is this true of life, but it’s also true of auto transport. Here at American Auto Move, we know that when you make the proper preparations before you ship, the chances that you’ll have a smooth transport increase dramatically.

Here’s a small guide about the things that you should do before you get your car shipped.

DO: Always Wash Your Car

Whenever you ship a car, it is covered by the hauler’s auto insurance. But in order for the insurance policy to cover any damages incurred during transport, it is necessary to take a proper accounting of your car’s condition. Specifically, a driver will want to do a pre-shipping inspection of your vehicle before it is actually loaded up for insurance purposes.

For this reason, it is necessary that your car is clean enough that any scratches or dents can be identified easily. It should also be noted that only the exterior of the car needs to be cleaned, not the interior.

DO: Remove Your Personal Goods

Many rules regulate interstate commerce, including rules about how consumer vehicles as hauled by auto transport carriers. These laws provide for all sorts of things, including what can and cannot be shipped, and how those things can be shipped. Amongst the things that cannot be shipped are personal goods. Not only is it dangerous to ship personal goods in your vehicle, but it is also illegal! Remove your personal goods before shipping, or you run the risk of fines and of damages!

DO: Make Yourself Available

Though not often mentioned, making yourself available for contact may have a huge impact on how well your move goes. It can be difficult for an auto transport company to keep track of contact information, especially if your auto move coincides with a household move or relocation, and it is therefore incumbent upon you to keep your auto transport company updated with accurate contact information!

Why is this important? If a driver can’t get in touch with you at the time of pick up, there is a chance that he might have to leave your car behind. It’s an even worse fate if your driver cannot contact you on delivery — your car may be taken to a terminal, and you’ll likely have to pay $100 or more to get it out. Bottom line: pick up your phone!

DO NOT: Double Book Your Order

Using multiple brokers can cause problems for you, truck drivers, and brokers. It is understandable if you change your mind about using one company or the other, but if that is the case, let them know so that they can stop working on your order. Double brokered orders can create confusion amongst drivers and brokers, and generally slow down the shipping process. Don’t double book your order!

DO NOT: Make Last Minute Changes to Pick Up or Delivery Locations

Last minute changes to the details of your move can often create immense complications. In many cases, such changes can cause delays or even cancellations. So give ample time for your auto transport company to make the necessary adjustments if at all possible!

DO NOT: Forget to Mention Modifications to Vehicles

It’s surprising that this needs to be said, but it does: please make your auto transporter aware of any vehicle modifications. If your sports car has a lowered suspension, we need to know. If you have a lift kit on your truck, we need to know. These kinds of modifications can have a big impact on your auto transporter’s ability to get your car picked up, and to provide for safe transit of the other vehicles on the truck.

Following these few simple tips are guaranteed to pay off big time. Take our advice and get the kind of auto transport that you deserve. Use the best —  use American Auto Move!

Using American Auto Move’s Auto Transport Calculator to Get the Best Deals

We recently released a new auto transport calculator application to the public. The purpose of this tool was to compare auto transport prices between companies, validate the prices received, and then make a judgment about what price and company would work best to get a given vehicle transported. We’ve had tremendous success in getting people to use our application (it has been our most heavily trafficked page since release,) but we think that there is more utility there than people realize.

Today, we’re going to go over how to properly use this tool in order to get the best price for on your next auto transport move. First, let’s go over the basics so that we know what we’re working with.

The Basic Tutorial

auto transport calculator

The Date, Pick Up and Delivery fields are the primary fields

The primary fields that we’ll be working in are the Date, Pick Up, and Delivery Fields. Each of these fields are rather self explanatory; first, click on the Date field and enter a date:

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 3.50.53 PM

It is important that you enter a real date into the date field. Our calculator algorithm takes the estimated pick up date into account when computing your price. If you select a date that is within 72 hours of Today’s date, then your estimated price will increase. Use an accurate pick up date if you want an accurate price!

Next, you’ll want to enter in the zipcode of your pick up location. Your pick up location will be whatever location you choose, be that your home, the home of a friend, a parking lot down the street, or anywhere else that may be appropriate for a driver to pick your vehicle up from.

auto transport map

When you key in your pick up location zipcode, a map will appear so that you can confirm the location.

Once you’ve entered in your pick up location zipcode and confirmed it on the on-screen map, proceed to entering your destination zip. Your route will be displayed on the map for your confirmation.

auto transport map complete

Once you’ve entered in the date, pick up zipcode, and delivery zipcode into the corresponding forms, you’ll see your route appear on the map.

Optional Fields: Price Modifiers

Notice that there are a few check boxes below the main fields. You may click on these check boxes if they apply to your move. It is important that you use this check boxes if they do apply, because they will modify your quote price. In certain way

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 4.10.53 PM

The size of your vehicle may affect the price of your move. If you have a large vehicle (a pick up truck, or an SUV, for example,) please click the corresponding check box. The operability of your vehicle may affect how much it costs to move it. Because non-running vehicles require special equipment to move, they often cost more to move. If your vehicle doesn’t run, check the “My Vehicle is Inoperable” box. Lastly, if your vehicle requires an enclosed trailer for shipping, click on the “My Vehicle Needs to Be Enclosed During Transit” button.

Comparing and Receiving Auto Transport Quotes

validate auto transport price

The Rate Comparison Tool allows you to validate prices given my other companies

The most innovative feature of our calculator is the ability to compare auto transport quotes and validate prices. You can enter in the prices given to you by other auto transport companies and compare then with each other, and also against a baseline price.

Our algorithm for computing the baseline price for auto transport is perhaps the most advanced of its kind. Other auto transport calculators assess only the distance between two points and ignores most other conditions. This can lead to dubious pricing. Our calculator takes into account specific information about routes to provide more robust pricing. Where other calculators might over or under-quote you for certain routes at certain times of the year, our calculator will not, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the most accurate price for your move, no matter where you’re moving to or when you’re doing it!

Receiving and Comparing Quotes

There are several options for receiving and comparing quotes. In some cases, you might come to the Rate Comparison Tool to get a quote from American Auto Move. In other cases, you might only want to compare quotes that you’ve already received. You might want to both compare quotes and receive a custom quote from American Auto Move as well. The Rate Comparison Tool allows you to do all of these things.

compare auto transport quotes

You can compare and receive quotes at the same time with the Rate Comparison Tool.

You will receive a quote from American Auto Move by default. If you’d rather not receive a quote, simply uncheck the checkbox. Also note that American Auto Move will never save or sell information about companies that you key into the competitor price fields. The purpose is the rate comparison tool above all else is to grant auto transport consumers the ability determine whether the quotes that they receive are accurate. Therefore, we don’t require you to enter in any personal information in order to compare auto transport quotes.

Evaluation the Competition

auto transport information

Once you’ve entered in all the required information, you’ll get a bunch of information about your move.

The final page that you’ll land on is the quote page. This is where you’ll receive your price (if you chose to receive one,) as well as the validations of competing prices. When we detect a price that falls outside of the “standard rate,” we let you know that the price is either too high or too low, as well as a description of how we calculated this. Thus, you can tell right away if you’ve received a valid (i.e. accurate) quote!

Standard Rate

If you’re price falls within $150 of the standard rate, then you should have confidence in the ability of the issuing company to provide service.

Higher Than Average Rate

When you enter in a price that exceeds the baseline price by $150 or more, the Quote page will return Higher Than Average Rate. In the event that you receive a higher than average rate warning, me sure that the quote provider has given you an accurate quote, or that you have given your quote provider accurate information about your move.

Lower Than Average Rate

The Quote page will return Lower Than Average Rate when you enter a quote that more than $150 lower than the baseline price. Receiving a lower than average rate can may mean that the issuing company may have forgotten to charge for an oversized vehicle, or forgotten to add a premium for the location, or any number of mistakes. It could also mean that the price is purposely lowballed to get your business. Either way, you might want to contact the issuing company again to rectify the issue.

Conclusion

We are constantly making changes and adjustments to the way that our Rate Comparison Tool works. We plan on adding many features in the future, including the ability to check reviews of a given company right through our client. Our goal is to make sure that you get the most accurate information about your auto transport, period.

Check out the Rate Comparison Tool today and get your free instant auto transport quote right now!

Classic Car Shipping Made Easy with American Auto Move

There are few things in this world that are more valuable to you than your classic car. Not only is it an asset, but it’s your pride and joy. That’s why it’s important why you think long and hard about who moves your car, and how they move it.

Here’s a little guide about how to get your classic car shipped the right way the first time!

Understand How to Ship your Classic Car

classicWe here at American Auto Move understands just how valuable a classic car can be to it’s owner. As with anything of value that you might hand over to others, it’s important that you a) you the precise requirements, terms, and conditions for your service, and b) trust the entity that will responsible for your property.

Understand that certain types of classic cars require special methods of transportation

Enclosed trailer transport is perhaps the most common way to ship a classic car, but there may be some cases to in which an open trailer may be more appropriate. Unless you’ve shipped lots of cars in the past, chances are that you won’t know what will work best.

Use a Trusted Auto Transport Company

This brings us to the second point: make sure you use a reputable auto transport company for your shipping! Because providing for enclosed auto transport can be logistically complicated, and because you won’t necessary know the best solution to your particular shipping situation, you need to be able to trust the judgment of your auto transport company!

Keep in mind that using enclosed auto transport can cost significantly more than open carrier transport (typically $.64-$1/mile compared to $.32/mile for open carriers.) Plan your budget with this assumption in mind.

Protecting Your Classic Car: Insurance Provisions

Any auto transport company that you use to ship your car should assume responsibility of your vehicle while in transport. Typically, these limits of the insurance extend anywhere from $50-100k. To ensure that proper coverage is applied where necessary, document the condition of your vehicle before shipping. This means take pictures of the exterior condition, odometer, and so on before you release your vehicle to the driver.

Getting Ready to Ship

Forethought ahead of shipping can prevent a multitude of problems that can be easily avoided. Specifically, make sure that your vehicle is in a reasonable condition for shipping. A vehicle that is leaking fluids or that cannot be properly secured may cause damage to your car, the hauling equipment, and the cars of others. Be thoughtful and check for common maintenance issues before you schedule your shipping.

Fluid leakage is a very common issue. If you can address this issue before shipping, you would be wise to do so. If you can’t, you should at the very least notify your hauler of this condition so that the proper adjustments can be made ahead of time!

The transport of extraneous parts, such as tires, spoilers, and so forth, may not be allowed, depending on the type of hauler. Make sure that your hauler is aware of such items prior to making your order so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

On a very important and related note: remove all personal goods from your vehicle before transport! It is technically against the law to ship personal goods within a vehicle, and any such goods will not be subject to insurance coverage.

The final step one should take before shipping is to empty the tank down to no more than 1/4 of a tank. The excess weight of tanked fuel can cost the hauler precious dollars, so be considerate!

Enjoy the Ride

If you follow the instructions laid out here, there’s no doubt that you’ll have a successful classic auto transport. And when you use American Auto Move, you can be sure that your vehicle will remain in the custody of the most trusted, highly trained, and professional haulers in the business. Interested in shipping your vehicle today? Get a your free instant auto transport quote online from our auto transport rate calculator right now!

Tips for Home Relocation

auto transport home relocation

Move your vehicle and your household goods at the same time — save yourself some stress!

As the economy begins to pick up, we’ve seen a major influx auto transport in conjunction with home relocation. Home relocation can in some cases include auto transport services as part of a package deal, but more often than not, it is left up to the transplantee for figure it out for themselves.

Though auto transport for home relocation might seem like a no-brainer for some, for others, it seems to slip the mind until the last moment, or even worse, never occurs at all. But using auto transport in conjunction with home relocation services can be quite powerful, and can often save you a great deal of time, stress, and money.

Why Use Auto Transport for Relocation

It might be helpful to define precisely what Home Relocation is before moving forward. In general, relocation is simply the act of moving from one place to another. It could be from house to house, apartment to house, house to apartment, and any other combination that you can think of. But perhaps the most common practice associated with the term relocation is professional relocation.

When a family uses a professional relocation service, it is often a result of either a career change or promotion. In such cases, one’s corporation usually foots most or all of the moving bill. In our opinion, this is the perfect time to use auto transport for relocation. The benefits are as follows:

  • Employers will normally reimburse you for the costs of shipping/moving/transportation
  • It’s easy to get lost in the all of the preparation and decision making required to make a move successful. Auto transport can help ease some of that burden.
  • When coordinated with other relocation services, such as household goods moving, auto transport can be extremely convenient.

Using Auto Transport is Tax Deductible in Certain Cases

auto transport tax deductible

Did you know that auto transport is tax deductible?

It is a little known fact that auto transport can, in certain cases, count towards a tax deduction. If you’re using auto transport to move your vehicle from one city to another for the purpose of relocation, then you can actually write auto transport off on your taxes as an expense. And while some consider it to be a luxury, the IRS does not! So if you’re worried about the expense of auto transport as a person who is relocating for a job, fear not, Uncle Sam will give you a deduction.

Auto Transport is Convenient and Easy

easy auto transport quotes online

Auto transport is quick and easy if you get your quotes online.

There are few events that can be more disruptive to your life than moving. Between packing, dealing with utility companies, and finding a new place to live, your plate may get rather full, rather quickly. We don’t claim that we can make your move completely stress free (God knows that isn’t possible,) but we can get you part of the way there.

Where to Find Home Relocation and Auto Transport

American Auto Move doesn’t support any particular relocation service, but there are several places on the net where you can evaluate companies for yourself. If your employer does not endorse a particular firm, we recommend that you use a site like Mover Reviews. But when it comes to auto transport, of course you’ll find that American Auto Move is simply the best!

If you’re interested in moving a car in conjunction with a home relocation, give us a call at (888) 201-2370 today and mention this post for a discounted rate!

Inauguration Day Special: The President’s Ride

Today in Washington D.C., President Obama was publicly Inaugurated for his second term in the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America. In addition to the pomp and circumstance, the military band, the cheering and fraternity and general feel-good atmosphere — something rare in the capital — the one prominent feature that translated most clearly through the television was the parade. And the centerpiece of the parade is of course the President and the Presidential Motorcade!
Presidential State Car

One of the perks of being POTUS — Your very own, virtually indestructible limousine.

The current iteration of the Presidential state car was first put into service 4 years ago today, for President Obama’s first Inauguration. Previous versions of the Presidential state car have been use since Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency. The Obama state car, however, is one of the most high-tech and awesome additions to the fleet ever created. Obama’s state car is a 2009 Cadillac “Presidential Limousine” — a hybrid model with features of both the Cadillac Escalade and CTS. While the many details of the state car are classified for security purposes, there are some interesting features that known to the general pulic, including:
  • Armor plating
  • 5-inch thick bullet-proof and bomb-proof glass
  • Run-flat tires fitted into extra-large wheel wells
  • An advanced night vision system
  • Sealed crevices to protect against biological and chemical attacks
  • A blood bank stocked with Blood of the President’s type (Mr. Obama’s blood type is AB in case you were wondering)
  • “State of the art” electronics system
Bottom line: Obama’s ride owns you. Congratulations to the President on another 4 years as the Commander in Chief!

Crazy Auto Transport Stories – Part I

When you’ve been doing auto transport for as long as we have, you’ve come to see and hear just about everything there is to see and hear in the industry. And in an effort to deliver some interesting auto transport related content, we’ve decided to document some of the more crazy auto transport stories.

It’s important to say that, unfortunately, the craziest and most interesting stories to write and read about tend to not have the happiest of endings. And while no people were injured in any of the stories that we will posting, the same cannot be said about the cars. The reality of auto transport is that, while not a common occurrence, accidents and incidents that involve 50+ tons of motor vehicle tend to be messy. But so long as you understand that all vehicles transported on car carriers are completely insured, it’s quite easy to see these kinds of stories and laugh. Continue reading

2013 Is Already Shaping Up to Be A Good Year — Here’s Why

Last year, American Auto Move first opened its doors for business. By the end of 2012, we had already exceeded our own expectations of where we would be. And while 2012 was a pretty good year all and all, 2013 is going to be even better. Here’s how:

The Fiscal Cliff Was Averted

fiscal-cliff630 While taxes did go up for nearly everyone, the depth of the raises were shallow for those Americans that make less than $400,000 (or $450,000 for families) a year. And while it doesn’t solve the obvious problems that we have with the economy, it does keep the prospect of recession at bay for now. For American Auto Move, this means that we’re going to be able to invest into better content and services, so that we can continue to offer you the very best auto transport information on the planet. You can check out our full accounting of the Fiscal Cliff and how it affects our business here

Higher Barriers to Entry for Auto Transport Brokers

Barrier-BS-306- If you’ve ever tried getting your car shipped, then you know that the competition is fierce. And while competition isn’t a bad thing per se, it certainly can be in some contexts. Case in point is the auto transport industry. There are over 1,000 active auto transport brokers in the US, and the vast majority of them are less than a year old. The reason why there are so many brokers is because the barriers to entry in this field (namely a $10,00 surety bond) are relatively low. But changes in the regulation of freight brokeraging now require brokers to hold  a substantially higher bond, which should have the effect of pushing out some of the smaller, less experienced, and, dare I say, less professional brokers. Other costs of operation will increase as well, putting the squeeze on the smaller guys. So as a customer, you can expect a more friendly and professional sales experience, which is certainly a welcome change.

The Economy is Picking Up

growth-resize-380x300 Signs everywhere are pointing a rebounding US economy in 2013, and a rising tide lifts all boats. If more people are finding jobs (or keeping the jobs that they already have,) then more money will be floating around in the economy. More money in your pocket means you’ll be more likely to spend it, and that in turns puts a little bit of money into someone else’s pocket, and so on. Although the New Year has just started, there is plenty of good new already. We’ll see how things pan out, but American Auto Move is optimistic.

Happy Holidays from American Auto Move!

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013

With 2013 just around the corner, American Auto Move would like to thank everyone who has used our services over the past year, as well as welcome others who are thinking about using our services to do so in the next year. We are constantly striving to provide the very best possible service for all of our customers all over the country. In the past year, we’ve grown faster than we ever thought we could, but our work is not done. We need people like you to help us. If you’ve used American Auto Move in the past, we encourage you to let other people know about your experiences. Here are some ideas about how you can do that:
  • Message Us on Social Media – American Auto Move has Social Media accounts on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’ve got something to say, say it out loud! Let us and others know what you think about our services!
  • Write a ReviewTransport Reviews is one of the most heavily auto transport sites on the internet. If you want your voice to be heard by other potential auto transport customers, or to check out our company or any other transport company, go to Transport Reviews.
  • Drop Us a Link – One of the most helpful things you can do to help promote American Auto Move is to drop us a link in a blog or on your site. You can even contact us directly for advertising opportunities if you’re interested in partnering with us.
  • Tell Your Friends About Us – Word of Mouth is still the most common way that we acquire new business. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about us if you like what we do!
Thanks to everyone who’s helped us grow over the past year. We’ll see you all next year! -The American Auto Move Team

American Auto Move in the Press

Status

newspaperWe’re pleased to announce that American Auto Move has been getting some press lately.  A couple of interviews that were done have been picked up and syndicated by various news services, and we’re really excited about it! You can check out some one of the articles here. This just goes to show that award winning service goes to show that quality auto transport services can generate genuine interest and buzz, both on the internet and in real life. But we need more than just a few stories in the news — we need your help too! If you like our auto transport services, then it’s important that you let your friends and family know. Spread the word through social media like Facebook and Twitter. Use review sites like Transport Reviews to let us (and others) know how your move went. Although it doesn’t seem like much, it really does help