Many people who are shipping a car are doing so for the first time so they might not be fully prepared. Although there are many shipping companies that promise to transport your vehicle safely and on time, it’s important to note that not all of them provide the same quality of service. Taking the right steps to research auto shipping companies can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches. Furthermore, you want to take the right steps to make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for shipment. When it comes to shipping your vehicle, here are some common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not Doing Your Research
There are hundreds of auto transportation companies advertising online so you need to do adequate research to make sure the one you choose is reliable. The government has regulations in place that require companies to register with the Department of Transport. Additionally, they are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The company should be willing to provide you with its registration number, MC docket number, or DoT number. In addition to checking for proper registration, you should read reviews and check the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau.
Mistake #2: Going with the Cheapest Price
There is nothing wrong with comparing prices to find the best deal, but never go with a company that is drastically cheaper than the competition. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Some companies will try to lure customers with lower prices but be cautious about these companies. Lower prices don’t always mean better deals. Oftentimes, these companies fail to mention all of the additional fees and charges that will be added to your final bill. It’s also possible that this could be a scam. Reputable auto shipping companies are typically comparable in price.
Mistake #3: Not Verifying Insurance
Your car is one of your most valuable assets so you want to ensure it is properly insured during transport. Make sure you inquire with the auto shipping company about their insurance coverage to be sure it is sufficient in the event that something goes wrong.
Mistake #4: Poor Vehicle Preparation
There are several things you need to do prior to shipping your vehicle to be sure it is ready for transport. For instance, you need to thoroughly clean your vehicle inside and out and take pictures of its condition prior to shipment. That way, you can compare your vehicle’s condition after transport and provide documentation of any dents or scratches. You also want to make sure your gas tank is only ¼ full, your tires are well inflated, and your vehicle is running properly before transport.
Mistake #5: Leaving Belongings in Your Vehicle
Some people might think it’s wise to pack their vehicle with personal belongings for shipment, especially if they are moving. However, most shippers advise against this. Not only could it cause your vehicle to surpass its weight limit, but the items in your vehicle could be subject to theft or damage during shipment and the auto shipping company will not be responsible for any items left in the vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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