Who’s had experience shipping their car from the east to west coast? What lessons can you pass on?
I’ve shipped two cars from the midwest to the east coast and moved one myself. Here’s my advice;
If your car is worth a lot of money or has special paint, go with an enclosed hauler.
There will be a form to be filled out showing any issues or pre-existing conditions. Make sure it is accurate. Take pictures of your car beforehand. Both of my cars had some damage (scratches, broken headlamp mechanism etc). You can’t have too much evidence to support your claims, if necessary. You may wonder why the form they fill out with you is important to your cause- it comes down to completeness. If there is obvious pre-existing damage not noted on the sheet, they may claim anything they did was pre-existing too. BTDT.
Check your car over thoroughly upon delivery. The hauler will want to move on but don’t be rushed.
Try to schedule delivery ASAP and be there to get your car when it arrives. This avoids any extra loading/unloading, moving, storage, etc where there are more opportunities for damage or abuse to occur.
The BEST way? Take ten days and drive it yourself 300-400 miles a day. Get up at a reasonable hour, have a liesurely breakfast, stay off the interstates as much as possible. See every reasonable sight along the way. Get off the road early. Take along a couple of DVDs of movies that you’ve always wanted to watch just in case you find yourself spending the night in someplace where there really is nothing to do and nothing to see. (But keep in mind that even Dayton, Ohio has a couple of museums worth visiting).
Second best. Have professionals move it. If it is a classic car, that you want to arrive intact have them use an enclosed carrier that is not shared with your other belongings. It if is just wheels, leave the method up to the movers.
At this very moment my son (24-yr-old) and a buddy are ferrying my son’s friend’s car from Maryland to San Francisco. The owner is paying the fuel cost of the straight miles, and the two drivers get to do some sightseeing at their own expense (Nat’l parks in Utah; Los Angeles and PCH to SF). They are minimizing lodging costs: overnighting w/ friends and relatives; maybe some camping. >>>If<<< your car is not too fancy, and if you have the time, maybe you can find some responsible young adults who are temporarily at loose ends.
Circa 1989, before there was widespread public use and robust public functionality of the internet, we shipped a car from Boston to Santa Fe. We drove across in our Saab, taking our sweet time.
A month later, no car. Car mover, very crudely, states that the car is somewher between NJ and FLA.
More days tick by, and car move has no clue.
We find out car mover is in receivership.
We are ready to report it stolen after two months and get a call from a driver that he is headed up the hill to Santa Fe. The car was fine, but we sure felt helpless.
I would avoid ever shipping another car based on this one experience, which isn’t fair to good movers, but so be it.
I favor driving it, even if it is your second car. I can go from Maine to Los Angeles in four and a half days by driving too much. Six days is easy. I like route 40 a lot, especially out west where the speed limits are 70 to 75 and one stretch is 80 MPH. If the car is not worth at least $1,600 then sell it and fly, or just drive the primary car. I miss Coco’s restaurant in Calabasas Ca. off rt.101 west of L.A. Tricky to get in and out of.
Take ten days and drive it yourself 300-400 miles a day. Get up at a reasonable hour, have a liesurely breakfast, stay off the interstates as much as possible. See every reasonable sight along the way. Get off the road early. Take along a couple of DVDs of movies that you’ve always wanted to watch just in case you find yourself spending the night in someplace where there really is nothing to do and nothing to see.
Good advice, but considering the gas prices these days, you may use the interstate. There would be a lot of 18 wheelers on it, so you’ll have the chances of drafting to save the gas. For the record, I’m not saying Dayton is one of the passing over zone.
My niece starts college this fall. My sister and brother in law plan to ship their daughter’s car by train from Pennsylvania to Utah. According to them, of all the options they looked into this is was the best route to take (no pun intended), much cheaper than the semi truck car haulers.
What kind of car?? Mileage? Some cars are not worth shipping. California has tough smog regulations. Can your car meet the California requirements?