A luxury car is a big investment so you want to be sure it is in the right hands if you need to ship it. Working with the right auto transport company is crucial to a positive car shipping experience. Before handing over your prized possession, you want to make sure that you conduct thorough research to help you find a reliable auto transport company. If you are looking to ship your luxury car, here are some important questions to ask to help you find the right shipping company.
1) Is your company licensed, registered, and insured?
When you are entrusting a shipping company to handle your luxury vehicle, you want to be sure they have the proper credentials to do so. All interstate transport companies are required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation and they should be able to provide you with their DOT number. In addition, they are also required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and they should be willing to give you their MC number. You can verify their MC number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. It is also required by law that car shipping companies be fully insured. Be sure to inquire about their insurance coverage and if you find that it is not adequate to cover your luxury vehicle, ask if you can increase your coverage for an additional cost.
2) What kind of transport services do they provide?
Most auto transport companies offer the option between open or enclosed transport for your vehicle. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, it is recommended that you choose enclosed transport when you are shipping a luxury vehicle. The outside elements can be hard on your vehicle during interstate travel if it is left unprotected. An enclosed carrier provides the protection you want for your luxury car. Though it costs a bit more, enclosed carriers are the best way to ensure maximum protection for your luxury vehicle during shipment.
3) How much experience do you have shipping luxury vehicles?
You wouldn’t want to trust just anyone with your luxury vehicle. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find out as much as you can about the shipping company you plan to work with. Start by finding out how long the shipping company has been in business and ask specifically about their experience shipping luxury vehicles. It takes additional time and care when handling a luxury vehicle and you want to make sure the shipping company takes those additional steps to ensure your luxury vehicle arrives safely and on time.
4) Can you provide a list of references?
One of the best ways to find out if a shipping company is reliable is to ask people who have used them. A reputable car shipping company that has been in business for a while should have no problems providing you with a list of satisfied customers. Contact a few of these references to see if they can provide additional insight about their experience working with this shipping company. You always want to check references and read reviews, especially when you will be shipping a luxury vehicle.
5) How should I prepare my luxury vehicle for transport?
In order to ensure a smooth and safe shipping experience, there are a few things that need to be done to prepare your vehicle for shipment. Be sure to talk with your shipping company about specific steps you need to take to get your luxury vehicle ready for transport. These steps will likely include:
- Washing the exterior of your vehicle
- Taking photos of your vehicle’s condition
- Removing all personal items from your vehicle
- Removing any exterior accessories
- Checking the battery, tire pressure, and fluid levels
- Performing any necessary repairs or maintenance
- Making sure the gas tank is no more than ¼ full
Given that each car shipping company has its own rules and regulations, be sure to inquire about any additional steps that need to be taken prior to shipment.
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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