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What is a vehicle transport

03.03.2021

The term "vehicle transport" explained

The term refers to the transport of a motor vehicle from one location to another. The sender and receiver can vary. Examples of a vehicle transfer are the transport from a car rental company to a repair shop, from a repair shop to a customer or other tours that occur for customers. The necessity of a vehicle delivery can be of different nature. On the one hand, a service is provided to the customer, which can save a lot of time. On the other hand, companies such as car rental companies or repair shops can provide the customer with a pick-up and drop-off service and thus concentrate on their core business.

What methods are available for vehicle transports?

Basically, there are two options for transporting a vehicle, depending mainly on whether the car is roadworthy and the distance to be covered.

1. Transportation on its own axle

The first option is the so-called own-axle transport. The first thing to consider is whether the vehicle is still registered.

If the vehicle is not registered, you must apply for your own transfer licence plate for the vehicle transport. The prerequisite for this type of vehicle transport is a valid registration for the vehicle. The number plates for a car transfer within the EU are usually valid for five days and are recognised in most countries. If a vehicle is transferred to a country that does not recognise this transfer licence plate, an export licence plate must also be applied for, which is valid for 15 days up to one year. The respective regulations, also with regard to customs and import restrictions, should be clarified immediately before transporting the vehicle, as changes may occur. There are also companies or so called car transportation service that specialise in this area of vehicle transfer and take care of both the formalities for the customer and the transfer journey itself, with a driver completing the job.

2. Transportion on a foreign axle

If no additional kilometres are desired for the transport of the vehicle, or if the vehicle is not roadworthy, the only option left is to transport the vehicle on another axle. In this case, the respective car shippers must have semi-trailers, car trailers or tow trucks at its disposal in order to be able to properly carry out the vehicle transfer on a foreign axle.

This type of car transport is considerably more expensive than the transfer on one's own axle. Depending on the order, a three- to four-digit amount can be charged for a vehicle transfer. It should be noted that the owner of the vehicle is responsible for compliance with customs and import regulations when crossing the border, unless the transport company explicitly states this in its services. Depending on the vehicle and its condition, a special transporter may also have to be used, which may involve further costs. One of the most important points when transporting a vehicle on a foreign axle is the careful selection of the transport company. Reputable companies have specially trained drivers and also offer insurance should any damage occur during the transfer journey. Likewise, some transfer companies offer to take care of the bureaucratic necessities. You can also find offers from private providers, which are usually cheaper, but you have to take care of the formalities yourself. In addition, private providers usually do not have trained drivers to carry out the transport and are often not sufficiently insured to cover any damage. Therefore, you should carefully consider who you have transport the vehicle.

What preparations need to be made for the car transport?

When transporting a vehicle on your own, you must first ensure that the car is roadworthy and insured. If this is not the case, a transfer licence plate should be applied for in advance.

This can also be done by other companies, although additional costs will be applied here. Regardless of whether the car is being transported on its own or on a third-party axle, it is essential to document the condition of the car. This can also be seen as an indication of the seriousness of the company taking over the car transfer. If such documentation is refused, you should reconsider your choice, as otherwise you will have no evidence if damage occurs during the car transport. It is also advisable to remove all items from the vehicle that are not necessary for the vehicle delivery in order to prevent theft. If items remain in the vehicle, they should be recorded in writing, signed by the delivery person and checked for completeness after the journey.