Whether you are moving to another state for a new job, to be closer to family, or just for a change of scenery, it's important that you make sure your car arrives at your new destination in excellent condition. However, if you've never shipped your car somewhere in the past, you may not know much about the process. To help you make the best decisions for your wallet and car, here's all you need to know when it comes to shipping your car.

An Open or Enclosed Trailer?

One of the first decisions you will make when shipping your car is choosing between an open trailer and an enclosed trailer. If you want to save money, an open trailer is your cheapest option since an enclosed trailer may be up to 40% more expensive. However, keep in mind that on an open trailer, your car will be exposed to various weather conditions and road debris, such as gravel that could damage it during the trip.

Certain Months are More Expensive

During certain times of the year, you may wind up paying more to ship your car to your new state. Generally, the summer months from June-September are the most expensive, followed closely by January. As to why you'll spend more to ship during these months, it's because these are the times of the year when most people choose to move to new locations. If you can work your schedule so that you can move during another time of the year, you may be able to save some money.

Choose a Reputable Company

When you start shopping around for an auto transport company, always compare several before making your final decision. Unfortunately, there are many fly-by-night operators out there who will charge you high prices and give you anything but excellent service. Rather than spend a fortune on a less-than-stellar company, choose one that has a high BBB rating, offers 24/7 customer support, wants no money upfront, and allows for free cancellations. By doing so, shipping a car to another state will be easy and hassle-free.

Prepare Your Vehicle for the Trip

There are several things you should do to your vehicle to prepare it for transport to another state. First, give it a good wash, clean the interior, and check the tire pressure and fluids to make sure nothing is leaking. Also take several pictures of your car before it is transported, since this will make it easier to spot any damage that might occur during the trip. Next, remove any personal items from your car. This is crucial since you don't want to take a chance on having these items damaged or even stolen during the trip. Finally, leave your gas tank only about one-quarter full during the trip. This helps lighten your vehicle's weight, which will reduce your overall shipping costs.

Where Will Your Car Be Delivered?

When selecting an auto transport company, make sure you and the carrier understand where your vehicle will be delivered. Most companies will offer you a choice of either door-to-door delivery or terminal-to-terminal delivery. Door-to-door delivery means your vehicle will be picked up at your home and transported directly to your new home's front door. Terminal-to-terminal transport means you will be required to drive your vehicle to a terminal for loading and transport, and you will need to meet the carrier at a nearby terminal at your new destination to pick up your vehicle.

Don't Sign Until You Inspect

Whether your car is delivered directly to your new home or you go to a terminal to pick it up, don't sign the bill of lading until you have thoroughly inspected your car and are satisfied with its condition and other terms associated with the transport. Once you deem everything to be fine, then sign the carrier's bill of lading. Remember that once you sign this document, you've got little recourse if you decide later on to complain about something.

While shipping your vehicle to a new state can feel daunting, it's actually much easier than most people expect. If you choose a reputable company and follow the tips provided here, you should experience no problems and save some money along the way.