The car shipping industry has grown in recent years and along with the growing industry comes a growing list of scammers. While many car shipping companies are legitimate, unfortunately, there are some that aren’t. Shipping a vehicle can be an expensive undertaking and it’s one that should not be taken lightly. Finding a reliable car shipping company requires thorough research. Here are a few reasons why it is so important to do your research as well as a few things to look out for when choosing a car shipping company.
Check Customer Reviews
Research is key when it comes to finding a car shipping company that will do the best job at the best prices. Since you won’t be able to physically visit the car shipping company you are interested in, you have to make sure you find out everything you can about it and how well it actually performs. One way to do this is by checking the customer reviews. The way they treat their customers says a lot about a company. Another way to research the company’s credibility is by checking the Better Business Bureau database. The BBB will be able to provide reviews and any complaints that the company may have received.
Plenty of companies claim to be able to ship your car long distance but not all of them are who they say they are. It is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) that all auto transport companies be registered. The most reliable car shipping companies will have a six-digit MC Docket number displayed on their website. This is your only guarantee that the company is legitimate so always check to be sure the company is properly registered.
Compare Shipping Prices
There are thousands of car shipping companies online and the most reliable ones should provide a free online quote and should also compare well with other companies. If you notice a quote that is drastically cheaper than all of the other companies, this should be a red flag. While it might be tempting to go with the cheaper price, a cheap price can often be equated to poor service. Choose a company that is upfront about their prices and offers prices consistent with market rates.
Make Contact with the Companies
Once you have narrowed down your choices, try to make contact with them by phone. Ask questions about the company’s history, their policies, and their shipping process. You also want to clarify their insurance policy. The shipper should offer insurance coverage on your vehicle during transport. This is a good sign that your car will be delivered in good shape. When you speak to the representative, make sure they thoroughly answer your questions, understand your concerns, and explain their services clearly.
Read Terms and Conditions
When you are researching car shipping companies you have to read the fine print. You have to make sure you understand their terms and policies and what kind of liability insurance the company has in case your vehicle gets damaged. You should also check with your own insurance company to see if they offer additional coverage.
Shipping a vehicle can be tricky and it can be overwhelming to wok with a company that you might not get to see in person. That’s why it’s important to take your time and do plenty of research prior to choosing a shipping company. The more research you do, the less stressed you will be about entrusting this company to handle the transport of your vehicle.
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.