Auto shipping requires your full time and devotion like every professional task. You cannot choose any shipper or expect nothing to go wrong during the process. Review the similarities and differences that are obvious between vehicle shipping and towing.
Similarities between Shipping and Towing
Auto shipping and towing are similar in several ways. In both situations, the car must be picked up at a certain time and location or additional fees will be added. Regardless of the type of service, all clients must be responsible for the safety of their own belongings.
Differences between Shipping and Towing
There are more different types of auto shipping than towing. Customers can ship locally, within the country or outside of the country. Towing is usually done locally with fewer trucks and maps needed to get the work done.
Auto shipping requires more planning and paperwork. First, research the different shipping laws along with the companies that provide this service. Make sure that the company is certified to ship cars legally and provides insurance to its clients. Once you know their credentials, compare the costs, services and reviews of different companies.
Shipping is more of a planned process and less spontaneous than towing. People ship their cars because they're moving, while many people have cars towed against their will, usually because of parking violations.
Towing the vehicle is supposed to be less complicated, but there are fewer protections if something goes wrong. The tow operator could damage the car by accident and rake up your repair bills. Since there is no insurance added, the operator could be more careless with your vehicle, and if that happens, you are usually left with the repair bills.
Many towing companies are small businesses in local neighborhoods, but most auto transport companies are run by brokers. A single broker can have access to hundreds of shippers. They connect people who are moving to companies that actually ship the vehicles. These shippers rely on the brokers because they lack the resources to market to the public.
Auto shipping is more than towing your vehicle a few miles to a junkyard. Shipping is a lot riskier and painstaking because there's more paperwork to fill out. In the end, the effort is worthwhile if you can ship your vehicle to a faraway destination without having to drive it there yourself. The first task to get started is to research the process and the different companies before you choose one.
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.