In spite of improved customer awareness and the availability of information to protect consumers, fraud still exists. Each year, consumers pay billions of dollars for commercial fraud, most of which were avoidable had they considered the most commonly used fraudulent practices. Although fraud in the auto transport industry is rare, it is best not to take any chances, especially considering that cars are high-value assets. To avoid loss, theft, damage and unnecessary expense associated with scams, keep these red flags of car shipping fraud in mind:
No Business Address, License, Or Established Identity
One of the most common red flags of car shipping fraud is the lack of an established identity. A simple online search for the business name should identify the business on various listing and review sites. An established website filled with helpful content, FAQ's, Videos, and contact info, is a solid indication that you are dealing with an established business. You should also verify the business with reputable business review sites like the Better Business Bureau, and Transport Reviews.com.
Unable To Reach Customer Service Or Get Answers
Any reputable car shipping company will be immediately accessible to its clients. If you dial the company phone number and your call is rejected, ignored or if the person on the other end of the line fails to answer your questions about how the auto transport process works, you should avoid this company. A reliable company should be able to provide you with all the necessary information you need regarding any transaction you may make with them.
Payment Upfront Prior to Providing the Service.
Beware of car moving companies that require a significant amount as a deposit for their service. You may also want to avoid companies that require payments to be made through Western Union and other money transfer services that make the recipient hard to trace.
The Car Shipping Company Fails to Provide A Detailed Agreement.
Another way to spot a red flag of car shipping fraud is the company's refusal or failure to provide a quote or a detailed agreement. The quote should include the type of vehicle being shipped, the origin and destination of the shipment, the type of carrier (open or closed) that will be used, and other related details.
No Inspection or "bill of lading"
Another red flag is if the driver does not require or initiate an inspection of your vehicle. When the carrier arrives for pickup, they should initiate a vehicle inspection and fill out a report called a "bill of lading". They take note of any existing damage to the vehicle before shipment. You will inspect your vehicle upon delivery, and if all is well, you sign that bill of lading to release the truck from any liability.
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.