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Shipping your new car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Shipping your new car

Rob Tendick
June 19, 2006

Many people shop for used cars and trucks online today, especially when they are looking for a specialty vehicle. There are fantastic deals online, plus many websites offer great opportunities to search thousands of cars. But once you find what you are looking for, how do you arrange to have it delivered?

Car shipping is simply the method of transporting your vehicle from point A to point B. As consumers, there are a few things that are very important when choosing someone who is going to ship your vehicle. First, when considering car shipping, the cost to ship is very important. Is their price competitive and reasonable? Second, you need to know if the business has a good quality and safety record. Will the methods they use for shipping my car assure me that my vehicle will arrive safely and in one piece at the destination? Finally, it is important to consider punctuality when considering a car shipping business. Will my vehicle arrive when it was promised to arrive?

Some shipping companies are only domestic. Other shippers deal with international countries. When looking for a car shipping business, you must consider from where you will start and what your destination will be. How much experience does the company have in shipping to that destination?

I have learned the hard way about which questions to ask when shipping a car or other vehicle internationally. My experience taught me that there is a lot to learn before committing to a specific car shipping company. The costs to ship your vehicle will be significantly more than shipping domestically. Also, when shipping internationally, you must have clear title to the vehicle in order to get the vehicle through customs with both the outgoing and incoming countries.

When selecting a car shipping company, ask them in writing, when exactly your car will depart and when it will arrive. My last experience was not good. My car sat around waiting for other cars to go to the same country. It took an extra four months for my car to even leave port, let alone arrive at its destination.

It is important to verify the arrival date as well. You will likely have to pay some customs fees to receive your incoming vehicle. Be sure to have the original title with you as well as the original bill of landing when you want to claim your vehicle. The car shipping company should be able to provide you with an exact date of arrival for your vehicle.

The best advice is to shop wisely and ask a lot of questions when looking for a car shipping company. Choose someone who has a lot of experience and a proven track record. If your car shipping company does not have the experience needed, you may find that you have many paperwork headaches, not to mention the chance of your new car being damaged.

Jake Newberry sells for NuStar Motors, a used cars dealer in Sacramento CA, which specializes in lifted 4x4 trucks and fast cars such as Mustangs, Cameros, and Honda V-techs.

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