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If you need to ship a vehicle during the nationwide shutdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re in luck. The Department of Homeland Security designates Transportation as an essential industry, meaning that auto transport carriers continue to haul vehicle shipments to all parts of the country. You may be a college student who suddenly needs to get a vehicle home from school or a snowbird who had their plans change unexpectedly. Or you could be someone forced to shelter in place somewhere besides home who discovers the value of having their own vehicle on hand. Because of COVID-19, many people who have never needed to ship a vehicle before suddenly need to ship one immediately. Shutdown orders won’t affect your ability to ship anything, but for the sake of your own health and that of the car transport carrier you work with, you should take some basic precautions when meeting. Follow these protocols to hand your vehicle off without putting anyone at risk.
Before Drop Off
Preparing your vehicle for transport hasn’t changed much. You will want to clean the interior and remove your personal possessions, especially anything of value. Depending on the circumstances of the transport, you may want to create a kit of supplies – disinfectant wipes, face masks, hand sanitizer – that you ship with the vehicle and have on hand whenever you (or someone you authorize) picks the vehicle up. If you need to visit the bank to get cash to give the carrier, ask the teller to put the bills in an envelope. Don’t count them out to limit your exposure, which also will keep the carrier receiving the bills safer.
During Drop Off
Meeting face-to-face with an auto transport carrier during COVID-19 isn’t more or less safe than meeting with anyone else. Take the same protections you usually would when going out in public, starting by wearing a face covering. If you don’t have an N95 mask, the CDC recommends making a face covering out of materials you likely have around the house. No matter the materials or the quality of the construction, having something over your mouth and nose reduces the risk of infections and transmission. Wear disposable gloves throughout the drop off and stay six feet away from the other person at all times. When exchanging money or paperwork, place it on a surface and walk away rather than handing it off directly. To further limit exposure, bring your own pen instead of sharing one. After the meeting with the auto transport driver, wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
You will want to follow all of the same safety measures when picking a vehicle up: wear a mask and gloves, keep your distance, etc. A vehicle riding on the back of a truck is probably unlikely to have been exposed to Coronavirus, even if traveling through areas with high infection rates. However, it’s still the best policy to treat any vehicle you pick up as a potential risk. Have some disinfectant wipes on hand to use on every surface before touching it with your hand – even if you are wearing gloves. Be sure to address the door handle, gear shift, and the steering wheel: the parts of the vehicle the car transport carrier likely touched. At this point, the vehicle should be safe for you to drive, but you may choose to do a more thorough cleaning later.
Staying Safe With Your Own Vehicle
The best way to keep yourself, your family, and everyone around you safe during the pandemic is to stay at home as much as possible. That being said, driving remains incredibly important. Sheltering in place becomes a lot more sustainable when you’re able to venture out for supplies as necessary or pick up some takeout instead of eating your own cooking again. You can also help relieve feelings of cabin fever while still limiting your exposure and maintaining social distance by going for a drive (if allowed in your area). In fact, with gas prices lower than they’ve been at any time in recent memory, now’s a great time to take advantage of the open road to get a feeling of freedom. Don’t venture too far though, it is increasingly more difficult to find a public restroom. The point is, getting through this unprecedented time in history, no matter how long it lasts, feels much easier when you have your own vehicle at your disposal. Keep that in mind as you start thinking about what you want and what you need to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Direct Express Auto Transport – Continuing to Serve
Direct Express Auto Transport connects shippers like you with auto transport carriers. If you need to ship a vehicle to any part of the country, it’s easier than you think and probably more affordable too. Find out by getting a free quote today. Do you have questions about anything? Feel free to reach out to us by calling 800-600-3750. Be safe!