Can I Ship a Damaged Vehicle?

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Professional auto shipping companies help to ship vehicles of all sizes, shapes and conditions. Their main goal is to transport vehicles in a safe way, no matter how big, small, vintage or new they could be. Therefore, auto transport companies are prepared with proper equipment to load, carry, and unload different types of vehicles depending on their requirements. There are certain key components that differ within each process - starting with availability, costs and professionalism. Let’s check a few of them.

How is a Damaged Vehicle Transported?

Transporting a non-running or damaged vehicle is a bit more complicated and hard to do, compared to a standard car in good conditions. Why is it? Well, the loading and unloading process of a car takes time and special equipment so everything ends up fine and safe. Usually, cars are driven onto and off a carrier, therefore they have to be running well to start the shipment. But, what if your car is damaged and doesn’t run the way it should?

Probably the first thing that comes to your mind is pushing the vehicle. However, that isn’t an option, because that doesn’t guarantee a safe loading of your car and can result in more damage. Therefore the best way to get any damaged vehicle onto the back of a truck is to winch it. 

However, what makes the process more complicated is the fact that winching onto a truck demands skill and know-how to use it, and takes a lot more time and effort. Therefore, the driver has to do more work so the loading and unloading process ends successfully. There aren’t many auto transporters out there that know exactly how to winch or carry non-operational vehicles onto their trucks, which results in fewer carrier availability and also higher costs.

Prices of Shipping My Damaged Car Vs. One In Normal Condition

Shipping a damaged car can be more expensive than transporting one in normal condition. Considering that a skilled and experienced driver is needed for the process, as well as special equipment depending on the vehicle’s conditions, and the time it takes to do each loading and unloading procedure, costs will rise eventually. Shipping your damaged vehicle can cost you from $100 to $200 more than an operational vehicle, since the procedure is a lot more specialized. 

Meanwhile, shipping your car in normal conditions and with standard transport methods ends up being less expensive than a damaged one. The fact that there's more carrier availability, and the process takes less time and difficulty, makes it a lot easier and cheaper. Prices vary depending on the vehicle size, weight, and location principally. However, they also rely on the type of transport method you choose, since there are several options available such as open or enclosed auto transport, door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal transport. We recommend you to search for different auto shipping quotes on each company’s website, so you get a better estimate of your vehicle’s shipment. 

The Importance of Replacing Dead Batteries

Maintaining your vehicle in good condition is as important as pumping gas. Sometimes your vehicle cannot show you visible signs of damage, so you have to check constantly that everything works well. Car batteries have a life cycle; they die over time and should be replaced so the car runs again. 

Changing a car battery at home is easy, and also a good way of saving some money on vehicle preventive maintenance. You can buy a new battery anywhere, and install it yourself while searching for instructions online or from an expert. Car batteries typically range between $50 and $200 depending on the type of car, and the process should not take more than 30 minutes to complete. However, if you prefer asking for professional help, don’t think twice and take your car to a vehicle repair shop. 

A Few Signs of Bad Battery:

  • No response when you turn the key
  • Dim headlights
  • Battery warning lights
  • Battery cracks or leaks

What if My Vehicle Has No Keys?

Sometimes not having your vehicle’s keys or losing them is more frequent than you imagine. This is usually common for older vehicles that are being moved from storage units, or keys that simply go missing. As such, the car's transport turns a lot more complicated, since the vehicle is not in an operational state. So, is it possible to ship a car without keys?

Of course it is, however, certain conditions must be met before shipping a car without such an essential “key” element. 

Wheel Orientation: for a keyless car to be winched or loaded onto the trailer, its wheels must be parallel to each other. They should point straight so that loading and unloading can be done correctly, since wheels are the ones that define the car’s position and function when it comes to placing it on a carrier. If wheels are turned to the side, a tow truck will have to be hired to make the loading procedure easier. 

Transmission: The vehicle must be in neutral gear so it can roll without any kind of resistance. Some automatic transmissions require a key to do this, leading to a disconnection of the transmission shift linkage to reach the neutral position. Meanwhile, manual vehicles don’t have this issue and can be modified easily. 

In case any of these things cannot happen, then a forklift or a tow truck will be needed to load them and unload them. That eventually adds extra fees to your total price of shipping a car, but are “key” to a successful transport process. 

Tips for Shipping A Damaged Vehicle

Since shipping a damaged car is quite complex when it comes to loading it onto the carrier, factors such as the auto transport company and being informed about the procedure, among others, are extremely important. Check some tips so that shipping a car with running issues is no longer a problem for you.

Research and hire the right auto transport company

To safely transport your inoperable car, you should research for experienced and professional auto transport companies in the industry that guarantee and offer you damaged vehicle transport service. Check that the company has good customer reviews, customer service, an updated website, as well as good prices (not necessarily the cheapest ones). A professional expert is essential for your damaged vehicle transport; so keep this in mind. 

Tell the company about your vehicle’s condition prior to the loading date

This is an important step during the process, since the auto shipping company needs to request a special driver and equipment for the loading and unloading procedure, depending on the vehicle’s characteristics. Don’t wait until the shipping date, or you’ll be prone to experience added fees, time delays, or a reschedule of your shipment. 

Book ahead of time

Having your shipment scheduled 2 or 3 weeks in advance is a good way of having plenty of time for proper car shipping planning for you and for the carrier.

Know precisely what is wrong with your car

The more deeply you know about your vehicle’s damage, the more your carrier will prepare for loading it onto the carrier. Since the equipment depends on the vehicle’s type of damage, telling your agent or carrier what is actually wrong, will allow them to bring the necessary tools on the day of the shipment. 

AmeriFreight is an Expert in Damaged Vehicle Shipping

AmeriFreight is one of the leading auto transport companies in the country. With thousands of happy and returning customers, good prices, and professional service, we are the best option among car shipping companies for you. We utilize a team of expert drivers that know exactly how to load your damaged vehicle onto the truck, as well as an exceptional customer service team of agents that will track the entire shipment with you. Feel free to request a quote on our website or call us! We are more than happy to ship your car in the safest conditions possible.