Moving Your Car in Australia — the guide to interstate car transport by road or rail.

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Moving interstate and still deciding how you’re going to transport your car? If you have the time and energy, then you may want to consider driving your car to its new destination. However, if you want to be smart and keep the stress at a minimum level, we suggest using a professional car transport service.

Shipping a car is a big operation and not something you go through every day. If you have never used the service of a car transport company before, here are several things which you need to consider so you know what to expect and how you can get prepared:

Price $$$ – what’s the difference?

Prices for auto transportation can vary wildly. The best way to get a competitive price is to ask questions about the difference in pricing since it may have to do with what services one company provides that another doesn’t or valuation of your belongings. Price variables may also include the weight of the car, the distance travelled, how quickly you need the car shipped and the time of year you are shipping, just to name a few.

Compare “apples to apples” and look for offers that guarantee on time and safe delivery. And remember, never sign a paperwork that hasn’t been fully explained, you don’t want to be surprised with all the hidden charges you’ll have to pay at the end. Do not take verbal promises!

Safety – Chip chip chip the paint.

If your vehicle is not in a covered container, there is the chance of damage from flying debris, dust and even rain. Vehicles on trucks are exposed to the elements as well as the possibility of the truck getting into an accident. When choosing an interstate car transport company, find one that is able to provide a shipping container to place your car in. Make certain that the company is also insured, fully licensed and bonded. Also, verify if your car insurance applies during transport.

Pick me up big guy – door to door or depot to depot

Most truck transport companies pick your vehicle up at your home and deliver it to your door on the other end. This can be a real time saver and convenience when in the middle of moving. On the other hand, cars will normally have to be delivered and picked up from the train freight depot and can be a bit of an inconvenience.
While door-to-door shipping is typically considered nifty, there are some instances where using a terminal may be better particularly when you’re not in a hurry to get them and you have a limited budget.

How to get your vehicle ready for transport

You will be completely responsible for getting your car ready for shipment. Mechanical problems can cause delays and damages, and for this reason it is imperative to perform a maintenance check before shipping your car.

Use the following checklist to make sure your car is in working order:

  • Empty your petrol tank until it is almost empty.
  • Take the time to check your car over and determine if there are any leaks, or if anything is loose, like the roof rack.
  • If there are any problems, add them to the written document and ensure that the driver is made aware.
  • Check your tires and make sure the battery has a full charge.
  • Top up all fluids in the car.

Inspect your car for existing damage

This is a very important step and here is a quick list for you to get it right:

  • Wash your car.
  • Record any chips, scratches, or other damage.
  • Take pictures of the damage, and all areas of your car.
  • Date the photo and create a written record.
  • Ensure that the transporter makes your notes official

Remove personal and custom items from your car before transport

If you have any custom products or personal items such as a GPS, TV, Toll or parking passes, and any other removable items. It is good to remove these items and ship them separately. An automotive transporter’s insurance may cover your car, but it may not cover any personal items or custom jobs you have on your vehicle.

Finding car transporters that suit your time and budget may be a challenge, so make sure to also read online reviews to get information about the reliability of the companies. Proper documentation is also essential to avoid any issue when transporting vehicles; have your registration, insurance documents and other paperwork ready. For those buying or selling your vehicle, always check your states’ rules regarding this. Queensland’s department of transport and main roads has a great checklist for this.

There you have it, a few tips that will help you on your way!
Did I miss something? Tell me what you think should be added to the list.

Thanks for reading and catch you next time.

Sean O'HaganSean has been in the removalist industry for many years, and is an expert in moving. He prides himself on helping people move with as little hassle to them. Connect with Sean O’Hagan