Transporting a vehicle from one location to another requires care, experience and coordination, especially since some car transports require moving vehicles long distances. Auto shippers perform an important role not just for the automotive and sales industries but also for many other industries that require the use of vehicles for operations. Dealers, brokers, manufacturers and businesses may require the services of car shippers at some point, but what exactly do they do?
The Car Transport Process
The process of automobile shipping may seem complicated, but can be simple if you understand how the process works.
Auto shippers are in charge of coordinating the time, day and manner with which vehicles must be transported. Depending on the location, preferences of the buyer or client or special circumstances, auto shippers may choose to transport cars by open or closed trucks. These are known as car carriers.
Prior to transportation, however, each vehicle must be inspected and carefully documented. The inspection is done in order to assess the condition of the car and to take note of important information such as make, model, brand, special features, plate number (when available), etc. In case of secondhand or used cars, automobile shippers must also take careful note of markings and damages. Assessing and recording the observable condition of the cars are important to shippers since the records can prove that they are not liable for any damages that may be present. Records will also prove that the damage occurred prior to transport.
Once documents have been prepared and forwarded, the carrier then proceeds with the transport of the car. Vehicles are delivered or shipped to a central point and later transferred, usually by truck to their destination, such as a car dealership, a showroom or a specific address.
Auto shippers are responsible for preparing inspection reports during pick up and prior to actual delivery. They should also ensure proper and accurate coordination with other parties to ensure that the vehicles are picked up at the right schedule and location and delivered in a timely manner to the right recipient.
To say that auto shippers are critical to the economy and to the success of many businesses in a wide range of industries would be an understatement. Car transport is not only a major supporting player for businesses, they have become increasingly popular and necessary for individual car owners as well.
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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