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Anatomy Of A Car Shipping Quote

Subscribe July 16, 2018
Car shipping process | Choosing an auto shipper

It can be difficult the first time you shop for a company to ship your car. You're really good at your job but shipping a car is foreign territory.

How do you know if you're getting the information you need to compare companies? What's in the fine print? How do you know if you've gotten everything in writing? What should be in a car shipping quote?

The Basics

First things first – make sure any quote you get is in writing. Don't rely on a handshake when it comes to your handing over your precious asset.

At the very least, your quote should include:

  • Shipping From: Where the car is located currently
  • Shipping To: Where the car is being shipped
  • Type of Vehicle: Whether you are shipping a car, truck, motorcycle or boat, it should be outlined here, as well as the make, model and year.
  • Operating Condition: This is important, because it may cost extra if the car doesn't run.
  • Type of Trailer: Do you want to ship your vehicle in an open or enclosed trailer? There will most likely be a cost difference if you go for a enclosed trailer, but a enclosed trailer would give you more protection. Some companies do not offer enclosed trailers, so make sure you get that clarified before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Insurance (valuation coverage): Is valuation coverage included in your quote or is it extra? Remember that valuation coverage typically only covers your car while it's being transported. You still need to have your own insurance coverage as well for complete protection. Please note that in the auto shipping industry, a carrier may provide "valuation coverage" for your vehicle. The term "insurance" legally refers to an insurance policy, which is not what is being provided. Only a licensed insurance agent can sell or issue an insurance policy. 


Along with the basics come extras, most of which are included in the fine print. Don't sign your name until you've read the fine print completed.

Some things to consider include:

  • Cancellation Fee: Is there a fee if you cancel prior to the shipping date? Make sure you know what the time frame is to get a full refund. Some companies give all your money back if you cancel at any time. Others refund completely if you cancel before the driver is assigned, while some even have a staggered refund schedule.
  • Cancellation Process: Can you cancel over the phone or does it have to be in writing? If in writing, will an email or fax suffice or does it have to be delivered by hand? It can mean the difference between a full refund or none at all.
  • Discounts: Some companies have a discount policy if you pay in cash or if you book a certain number of days prior to your ship date. Get it in writing to be safe.
  • Place of pickup and delivery: Is your vehicle going to be picked up and dropped off at the door or at a shipping location? Make sure this is also in writing.
  • Liability for Damage: Who is responsible for damage to your vehicle if something happens along the way to your new place? What if your vehicle doesn't start when it rolls off the trailer?
  • Use of Your Vehicle: By signing, are you authorizing the shipping company to operate your vehicle, i.e., drive it? If so, how far? Of course, they have to be able to drive your vehicle onto and off the trailer, but is there a limitation, or are you giving them carte blanche to use your vehicle?
  • Your Responsibility: Make sure you get in writing what you're supposed to do to prepare your vehicle for shipping. You do not want to be caught off guard at the last minute.

As you go through the quote, read it carefully and jot down any questions that come to mind. You have the right to ask questions and expect answers. The better prepared you are, the more smoothly your move will go.

You've spent a lot of time and money to pick out the right vehicle. Treat it with kindness and hire only the best, most experienced company. Choose DAS, powered by CarsArrive, for all your car shipping and vehicle transport needs.


No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal


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