You might think this would never be your case … but since we love being optimistic here, we prefer giving you some tips in advance.
After all, you never know when you might find a winning lottery ticket at Trader Joe’s and we just want to be there for you when this happens.
When you have just invested half your fortune in a vehicle, you probably want to get it home safely. It’s very likely that this is the car you have always dreamed of and you surely don’t want to lose that gem before it even gets to your house.
It’s not just the price you paid that makes it important, it’s the imagination you put into dreaming about it or the effort you invested in selecting it.
This is why the transportation of the vehicle is no less important. It’s the last step before you can say “It’s finally mine”. But here’s a secret:
Transporting a luxury vehicle across the country or across the ocean can be complicated, even risky.
Sorry I spoiled it for you. But you would really want to take this seriously and do it the right way. You don’t want your investment to end up in bad hands, right? You would want to get your car home undamaged and on time.
So here is our advice on shipping a million dollar car:
1. Choose your shipping company wisely.
Think of this as choosing a bank for your savings.
Or a boarding school for your daughter.
You would want to see their performance and reputation, even previous cases of handling similar situations. You have chosen to entrust one your most precious thing to these people. So it’s not solely about the business – you have to know that you are able to trust the people behind the company.
Here you can find more guidelines on choosing your auto shipping company.
2. Do your online and first-hand research.
Make sure you spend enough time online looking into various ways and options for shipping your car.
Look for opinions and experiences of people who have already been through the process. Contact them personally and ask your questions.
Call you friends and ask them for advice or recommendations. Check if there are stories online of shipping expensive cars where the ending wasn’t so glamorous and make sure you figure out how to avoid such situations.
It’s all about proper research and planning, really.
3.Choose your way of transport.
Once you have plenty of information gathered on the topic, start evaluating each option – the shipping carrier and the actual shipping format. It’s best to choose a carrier that specializes in the shipping of high-end vehicles – it will be worth the money because you know their prior experience decreases the chances of experiencing unexpected issues on the way.
The drivers are also important – they will be taking care of your money after all. Next, choose the transport:
Ocean freight or by air?
Shipping by air is also an option for you if you insist of security and quick delivery.
You might be able to ship your luxury vehicle with a charter plane to avoid any transit delays. It will definitely cost you several thousands more, but the price allows for exclusive and speedy experience.
If you are importing your car, it is quite possible that you choose the ocean freight option, too. It uses container service for higher security, but the time it takes to see your beauty at your door, will feel like forever. Shipping by ocean freight is the most popular option for transporting a car overseas, but keep this in mind – if your vehicle costs more than $1 million, your insurance company will most probably require air freight.
Open or covered transport trailer?
What is the risk you are willing to take in exchange for the money you could save?
The open-air transport is the standard and it is cheaper. It is usually executed with trailers that can be loaded with between 5 and 10 cars, and it has no sides or roof. Rocks, dust, pollutants and Mother Nature could do something to your car, in most cases it would be something small and unnoticeable, but for a million dollar car it certainly will be noticed. On the other hand, the driver has more visibility of the vehicles on the trailer.
You will save a lot of money, too – it is said that covered transport may cost up to 60% more than open-air.
To decrease the chances of scratches you can use a cover, but this is still open trailer.On top of that, if you decide to choose the open-air transport, you will be helping the environment, because the trucks are much lighter than the enclosed ones.
Going for the covered transport, however, offers the highest level of security. This infographic can tell you everything you need to know in a nutshell. The main thing to remember is that it is more expensive and usually it takes longer to schedule a truck because covered trailers are only ten percent of the whole fleet in the US. However, it is worth the wait because these are drivers who know how to handle high-end vehicles and also offer higher insurance coverage.
Be cautious and weigh your pros and cons here. Let’s be realistic – it will be a little silly to risk your investment in the last stage of the process, right?
Calculate all of your expenses
We have mentioned this several times already, but you have to be honest to yourself.
Know how much you are willing to spend on shipping your beauty home, and decide on what exactly you will spend each part of the allocated amount. Some companies charge more for larger vehicles, so you have to take that into account. The size of your vehicle determines the type of carrier or how much space is left on the trailer for other vehicles, for example, and this constitutes a certain cost to the service company. Usually, shipping containers that go across oceans charge by volume, while airplanes charge by weight. Think of it this way – the less involved you want to be in the process, the more you should expect to pay to the shipping company. Convenience is not cheap, after all, but we think your beauty deserves good care.
Now here is where you learn all about costs – read our guide “How much does it cost to ship a car” and have piece of mind.
Speaking of good care, this is probably the most important aspect of your transport preparation. Your standard vehicle insurance normally does not cover your vehicle while it is being transported, so, research and plan on that. Be sure to ask your potential auto shipper about different coverage options as well. Make sure your transporters’ insurance covers stereos, GPS and other electronic additions. If not, have them removed before shipping.
This might all sound too simple or too easy to follow but once you start going through each step, you will see that it is a preparation process that could be overwhelming at times. Considering the amount you have invested in your vehicle, the pressure to take the best decision even higher could explode at some point. So be calm and start early. We advise you to not use websites such as Uship because this is where things will get messy and nerve racking. If you want to go with a known name you can choose the services of an enclosed only auto transport company, but this is never a guarantee for a professional service. However, research is the best thing to do first and then talk to some companies to check how they treat you. Once the process is over, you will have a real diamond in your garage! Congratulations!
If you have the fortune to own a $1 million car, but this is your first time using vehicle shipping services, start here, make sure you check out our abundance of auto transport tips – essential knowledge about the process and more practical advice is all here on our blog!