Auto shipping is a convenient option for transporting your vehicle across a long distance. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t come without its challenges. Your vehicle is a valuable and highly-priced item so you want to be sure it is in the right hands and you are well prepared. Any time you are moving a valuable possession, it can be fraught with stress. Although you cannot anticipate every problem you may encounter with auto shipping, there are certainly a few challenges that are more common than others. Here are some of the most common challenges you may face with auto shipping and how to overcome them.
Potential Risk of Damage
Though it is not expected, there is always the possibility that your car could get damaged during the shipping process. Between loading and unloading vehicles onto trailers and then driving those trailers over bumpy roads, there is always a chance that your car could incur damage. It’s also possible that damage could occur from heavy rain, ice, snow, or flying debris on the roadway. The best way to avoid potential damage is to choose a company that provides the right equipment and experience to handle your vehicle safely. As for the weather, you can always opt for an enclosed trailer if you are shipping a luxury, antique, or brand new vehicle that may require additional protection.
Delayed delivery is one of the most common challenges that can arise with car shipment. Though car shipping companies try their best to deliver your car on the expected delivery date, there are a lot of factors that can affect shipping times that are completely out of anyone’s control. For example, your driver could encounter bad weather, traffic jams, road closures, or even unexpected maintenance issues with the trailer carrying your vehicle. Keep in mind that it is impossible for any company to provide an exact delivery date, but try to work with a reputable company that has a history of timely delivery.
Scams and Fraudulent Estimates
Unfortunately, not all companies are legitimate and there are scammers out there. The best way to avoid being scammed by a fraudulent company is to do your own research ahead of time. Confirm the company’s licensing and registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This is also a good resource for checking their safety history. Inquire about insurance and make sure your vehicle is covered in the event it gets damaged. You also want to read reviews and ask around to see if friends or coworkers can provide a reference. Finally, ask for your estimate in writing and verify that there will not be any additional fees or charges.
Lack of communication is another common challenge in auto shipment and unfortunately can interfere with the shipping process. To avoid this, be sure your car meets the travel-specific requirements ahead of time and let the carrier know if there are any concerns or issues. You should also request to exchange contact information with the driver so you can stay up-to-date with your car’s delivery status.
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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