Millions of cars are moved every year, with many units even crossing borders and international lines in order to arrive at their destination. Shipping and transporting cars requires meticulous attention to details in order to ensure that the vehicles reach their destination in good condition. Car carriers are responsible for taking charge of the whole process of moving cars, from pick-up to transport to delivery. To get the most out of their services, here are the most important things to consider before hiring an auto carrier:
Know your preferred mode of transport.
Car carriers offer different types of services and some may offer more than others. Know which type of car transport service you need and check if the company offers it. Consider your budget, time frame and other requirements that may be specific to the type of car you wish to transport. Some carriers, for example, may only offer terminal-to-terminal delivery which may require you to find another company to complete the transport to a specific address.
Decide on open or closed transport.
Open transport moves vehicles usually on flatbed trailers or trucks. The advantage to using an open transport system is that it allows for more cars to be moved at one time. It saves time, is quite efficient and cheaper. It does, however, expose the vehicles to the elements during transport. This includes wind, rain, dust, snow, hail and ice. Closed transport, on the other hand, offers protection since it uses enclosed trucks to move the cars. It does provide transport for a limited number of cars for every truckload and is more expensive than an open auto transport system.
Make sure car carriers are pre-screened by your broker.
Brokers are third parties that assist in getting cars transported. They do not move the cars themselves and instead work with carriers to do it on your behalf. They pre-screen carriers, and offer additional customer service and insurance benefits. It is very difficult for a car carrier to get added to Safe-Direct Car Shippings approved car carrier list, and very easy to be removed.
Look for a registered carrier.
All auto carriers and transporters are required to have a Department of Transportation registration. Check to see if this, along with their MC number, is active.
Ask about insurance.
Car carriers are required to carry insurance and information about this should be provided on their website or brochure. Ask about insurance coverage for cargo and liability information before signing up for the service. Safe-Direct Car Shipping has the INDUSTRY'S ONLY DAMAGE FREE GUARANTEE. Our Carriers cover your vehicle 100% or WE PAY!
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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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