The Dos and Don’ts of Requesting Auto Shipping Quotes
Heading to a new home and need your wheels to make the move, too? Shipping your vehicle across the miles can definitely make for a stressful situation.
However, getting a solid auto shipping quote ahead of time helps avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Here's what you really need to know when getting estimates for your car's big journey.
What Services Are Included in Auto Transport Quotes?
These quotes typically cover basic door-to-door shipping of your vehicle from point A to point B. The auto transport company will pick up your car, load it onto a truck or train, haul it to your new address, and drop it off ready to roll.
Quotes may also list any extra services offered, like:
- Enclosed shipping for extra protection
- Inspection reports on your car's condition
- GPS tracking during transit so you know where your wheels are
- Shipping personal items along with your car
- Faster expedited delivery
Be sure to confirm what's covered in the baseline auto transport quote versus any add-ons you want. Reputable companies explain everything clearly upfront.
Key Questions to Ask Before Requesting a Quote
Before reaching out for quotes, have the following details handy about your vehicle, pickup location, and delivery destination:
- Make, model, and year
- General condition
- Photo of the car
- Exact pickup and drop-off addresses
- Your desired shipping date or deadline
Providing this info allows transporters to give you the most realistic cost and timing estimates.
Securing Your Vehicle for Transport
You'll likely need to prepare your car to ensure safe shipping. This may involve disabling alarms, partially draining excess fluids, removing loose items or non-permanent racks/spoilers, and checking tire pressure.
Reputable companies will provide a checklist of transport requirements in advance so you know exactly what needs to be done beforehand.
What to Look Out For When Shipping a Car?
While most car shipping goes smoothly, it's essential to do your homework on companies before choosing one. Red flags include:
- Quotes that seem unrealistic. Super lowball prices often mean shortcuts.
- No online reviews or unanswered Better Business Bureau complaints. Look for proven experience.
- No cargo insurance. Make sure your car is fully covered.
Also, be wary of super high quotes too. Enclosed shipping and faster service raise costs, but crazy high prices could indicate a scam. Get estimates from 3-5 transporters to gauge fair rates.
Questions to Ask the Auto Transport Company
In addition to getting quotes in writing, ask prospective transporters:
- Are your drivers professionally trained and background-checked?
- What insurance levels do you carry?
- Can you provide real-time GPS tracking during transit?
- How are damages handled if they occur?
- What are your backup plans for breakdowns or delays?
Legit companies with professional transporters will have solid processes in place and should readily address any concerns you raise.
How Much Does Car Shipping Cost Per Mile?
Auto transport costs depend on various factors, including distance, vehicle type, transport method, timing, and more. However, as a general guideline for standard door-to-door open auto transport, costs typically range from $0.40 - $0.70 per mile.
So, for example:
- 200 miles = $80-$140
- 500 miles = $200-$350
- 1,000 miles = $400-$700
- 1,500 miles = $600-$1,050
Keep in mind that extras, like expedited shipping or enclosed trailer transport, could raise the per-mile price significantly. Always get a precise auto transporters quote tailored to your specific shipment details.
Don’ts When Getting Auto Shipping Quotes
When comparing auto shippers, steer clear of car shipping companies that show these red flags:
Unusually Cheap Quotes
Whether shipping your car to another state or across the country, look out for abnormally cheap quotes. We all love a good bargain, but beware of quotes that seem way too low compared to other estimates - that usually means extensive shortcuts or hidden fees.
No Insurance Paper Trail
Make sure whichever car shipper you choose can show proof they carry legitimate cargo insurance. Without coverage, you're left footing the bill if anything happens to your car in transit!
You need to press companies before deciding, and ask lots of specific questions about their business, safety standards, contingency plans - you name it. If the salesperson gets awkward or starts rambling nonsense instead of giving you clear responses, it is a sign that something isn’t right.
Large Upfront Deposits
Before any money changes hands, you should have signed contracts, info on which trucking company is doing the shipping, customer service policies - everything in writing upfront.
Some transporters try to score hefty non-refundable deposits before providing details. Don't let them sweet-talk you - if a company asks for a big payment but can't produce solid info about who exactly is hauling your car, walk away.
Finding a trustworthy auto transport company for your high-end vehicle takes research and diligence. Having an understanding of what to look for in auto shipping quotes, you'll be equipped to make the best choice for your car and budget.
Thankfully, Ship a Car Direct has you covered when it comes to getting you a fast auto shipping quote. No need to shop around – we make your car shipping journey as seamless as possible. Here's to smooth sailing ahead!
Looking to ship your car? Get a quote at our Ship a Car Direct website today!
Michael starting working in car shipping over 20 years ago, in 2002; back in the days when fax machines ruled the roost, being the first name listed in the yellow pages was King and google wasn’t yet a verb. Sometimes he foolishly thinks he’s seen every situation imaginable when it comes to shipping a car, but about once a year he’s proven wrong.