The Different Ways to Ship your Vehicle

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Different Ways to Ship Your Vehicle

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It is time to move a long distance away from your old home. You don't want to leave your car behind so you need to take your vehicle with you, but you do not have the time or ability to drive your car the distance of the move yourself. You need to ship your vehicle. Luckily, there are a few ways to do this. You need to choose a method of shipping that fits with your budget, time-frame, type of vehicle, and safety concerns.

The three ways to ship your vehicle domestically are:

  • Hiring a driving service to drive your car for you (not technically shipping)
  • Open-air shipping
  • Enclosed shipping

Driving service

A driving service, also know as a drive-away service, is the cheapest way to transport your vehicle.  It involves simply hiring someone to drive your car for you while you move. You could simply have a friend do this for you if you trust them with your car and are willing to at least pay for their transportation back home. Still, a driving service will have a professional driver and, depending on the contract, they may be liable for any mishaps in a way that your friend may not be. Here are the important attributes to consider when choosing a driving service:
  • Cheapest method of transporting your vehicle short of driving it yourself. You will have to pay for gas in addition to paying for the service
  • It is relatively fast. There should be no detours so the car should get to its destination as soon as a typical drive will allow
  • Your car will be exposed to typical highway dangers/wear and tear. There is nothing to protect your car from accidents or the elements and it is actually being used so your mileage will increase and you will burn gas

Open-air shipping

This type of auto shipping involves carrying your vehicle in an open bed of a tractor trailer. Most people have seen trucks carting a group of cars in their beds while riding on the highway. Those are open air service trucks. This type of auto transport is the most common type of auto shipping. Some things to consider:

  • Relatively cheap. The open air service does not charge as much as enclosed service by quite a large margin. It is more expensive than simply hiring a driving service, but it still is an economical option that fits in most moving budgets
  • You can ship multiple vehicles at once with an open air service. Most truck beds can hold up to 10 cars at once, making open-air the ideal service for shipping multiple vehicles
  • Offers no protection from the weather or accidents but it does not put wear and tear on your car
  • Usually open-air services are readily available due to how commonly they are used
  • You may have to wait roughly two weeks for your vehicle to be shipped. Open-air trailers usually serve multiple clients at once, so the truck needs to make multiple car deliveries on a planned route, rather than simply driving to just your destination

Enclosed shipping

Enclosed shipping is the high-end alternative to open-air shipping. It is the same general idea as open-air shipping except now the trailer is enclosed and the interior is climate controlled. This type of shipping is usually used for expensive sports cars or vintage vehicles.

  • Enclosed trailer shipping is the most expensive way to ship your vehicle by road. It is not just marginally more expensive than open-air, it is usually quite a bit more pricey.
  • The interior is climate controlled and cars are secured more thoroughly. Your car should normally get to its destination in perfect condition with no fear or wear and tear or weather damage
  • Enclosed trailers can ship multiple vehicles, but not nearly as many as open-air trailers. Usually enclosed trailers can ship about four to eight cars at once
  • Like most high-end services, enclosed trailers are more exclusive so they may not always be available. Plan ahead if you want to use their services

International vehicle shipping

Of course all of these methods of shipping refer to domestic shipping, where you remain in the same continent and can drive to your destination. If you need to move to another continent, then you must literally ship your vehicle on a cargo ship. There are two options for this international vehicle shipping that are roughly analogous to open-air and enclosed shipping.

  • Roll-on roll-off shipping- Your vehicle will be driven or rolled up and down a ramp to get in and out of the ship. Once it is inside the cargo deck it will be strapped in. The car will be exposed to the ship's lower deck but it will not be exposed to outside elements.
  • Container shipping- This is the more expensive option of the two types of international shipping. Your vehicle is in its own container, braced by wooden blocks, and contained separately from other cars.
No matter where you are moving, you need to consider how much you value time and money against how much you want to protect your vehicle. Once you figure out the right kind of auto shipping for your vehicle, you can contact the movers and your vehicle will be moving to your destination you before you know it!

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on July 1, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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