You’ve finally bought the car of your dreams. Now all you have to do is get it into your driveway. Or, perhaps you are relocating a distance away and need to get it to your new house safe and sound. In most cases, transporting a luxury vehicle is much easier said than done.
There are a lot of moving parts — in more ways than one — and you want your ride to arrive in one beautiful piece. With that in mind, get your car from point A to point B by heeding some of the safety tips below.
Record Its Condition
At such a high price, you’d expect luxury cars to be perfect. However, some do come off the line with defects or it can be picked up along the line. Before taking yours anywhere, record details of its overall condition.
Does everything under the hood function properly? Are there any issues with the interior? Is the custom paint job in mint condition? Jot down a few notes and take photographs of any design flaws, scratches or malfunctions.
Take a few photos of the entire car as well, even if it is flawless. This way, if you get in an accident or a driver scratches or crashes it during transport, there’s proof of the incident. If you must make a claim or file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or a similar body, having documentation handy will ensure that the issue is remedied in a timely manner.
If money truly is no object, one of the safest and quickest ways to transport a luxury vehicle is by sticking it on a plane. For vehicles worth more than 1 million dollars, air transport may be your only option, so prepare to pay top dollar to get it home.
Instead of riding in a passenger plane, your car will likely ride in a cargo plane, especially if you don’t fly there to bring it home. A professional will load the vehicle onto the aircraft and strap it to a secure palette on the floor. Then, they’ll put padding on the straps to avoid scratching the wheels and a cover over the entire body to protect it. Assuming there aren’t any major mishaps, your car should arrive in perfect condition.
Ship Your Whip
Not everyone wants — or needs — to use air freight to transport their luxury vehicle. If it must cross oceans to reach you, opt for ocean transport. With shipping prices between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, this option isn’t cheap. However, for many customers, convenience and safety is worth the cost. Plus, if you can ship it to the coast nearest to you, you’ll avoid racking up miles while driving it home.
For maximum safety, ship the vehicle in an enclosed container, especially if it will be travelling several hundred miles. If you’re shipping your whip by land, this is an incredibly important detail as an open transport will leave the car exposed to debris and inclement weather. Enclosed transport can also prevent oil leaks from vehicles stored above your own, thereby protecting your ride from other cars on the same transport trailer or ship.
Customers who are confident in their driving abilities — or don’t have far to drive — may choose to drive their new car home. If you plan to do the same, you must complete a maintenance checklist before hitting the road. Otherwise, you risk a breakdown or malfunction that may strand you on the highway — or completely wreck your vehicle.
Inspect the battery, check tire pressure and ensure all fluids are at the proper level. Hire a qualified luxury car mechanic or brand expert to inspect the entire vehicle and make any necessary repairs. If you’re planning on aerial or sea travel, you might also remove the radio, batteries and other vital components if insurance doesn’t cover them. Otherwise, vibrations and side-to-side movements may cause damages that require you to foot the bill. In order to help you more effectively, there are also companies like CarBibles where you can find a car battery tester that enables you to test and ensure that your battery is in good working condition all year round.
Embrace the Automatic Car Wash
Drivers who choose to sacrifice mileage for money may drive hundreds of miles before finally returning home with their shiny new ride. Depending on road conditions and the weather, your vehicle may accumulate dust and debris during the drive. If it becomes especially filthy, take it to an automatic car wash and get the works.
Contrary to popular belief, getting an automatic wash is actually safer than hand washing luxury vehicles. A hand wash typically involves a bucket or two or suds and fresh water and a porous wash mitt that absorbs dirt. As you dip and redip the mitt in the sudsy bucket, you unwittingly add more dirt to the mix, which can cause more micro scratches than an automatic wash ever would. So enjoy the ride — and a wash along the way.
Prepare a Modern Garage
When you finally arrive home, you’ll want to park your vehicle in a safe place out of the hot sun or cold winter winds. If you use your garage as additional storage space, make sure to clean and organize it before storing your luxury car in there. You don’t want to risk a rake or shovel falling off the wall and onto your brand new ride.
A temperature-controlled garage is ideal for those who want to keep their car in pristine condition. However, if you don’t have the time to build a brand new garage before bringing your vehicle home, you can use solid wood sheathing to cover insulation. Doing so will also add an extra layer of protection between your vehicle and the fluctuating temperatures outside.
Avid auto lovers can take every precaution and still end up with dings and scratches on their cars. Therefore, it’s best to insure your vehicle before driving it off the lot or shipping it to your home. Legitimate auto transport companies will carry basic insurance to cover your car. However, you may want to purchase additional coverage or a supplemental plan just in case transport causes any extensive damages.
Whether you purchase insurance or not, you should still inspect the vehicle after parking it in your garage or driveway. Is there any visible damage to the interior or exterior? If you don’t document scratches, rips and other issues, the shipping company won’t take responsibility and filing an insurance claim will be practically impossible. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.