Hiring an auto transport company is a convenient way to move your vehicle long distances. However, it is important to do adequate research and ask the right questions to ensure you are choosing the right company for the job. Your vehicle is a valuable asset, so you want to work with an auto transport company that understands the importance of providing exceptional customer service. Research is the key to finding a reputable auto shipping company. Here are some of the most important questions to ask to ensure you find a trusted company.
Are you licensed and registered?
You want to be sure you are working with a company that you can trust to transport your car safely so you need to start by making sure they have the necessary licenses and certifications. Every transport company should be registered with the USDOT and they should be able to provide you with their USDOT # for verification.
What are your rates?
One of the most important questions to ask is, “How much is this going to cost?” A reputable company should provide you with their transport rates and offer an estimate with no obligation required. If the company doesn’t offer a complimentary quote, it’s a red flag that you should look elsewhere.
Are there any additional fees?
This is a very important question to ask because you don’t want to be surprised with hidden costs and fees. Ask the company for a comprehensive quote that includes all costs and any penalty fees.
Do you offer insurance?
Insurance is important when it comes to shipping a car. You want to make sure your vehicle is protected in the event of damage. Before signing a contract, find out about the company’s coverage options.
Do you have any references?
You can’t always trust online reviews as a legitimate reference. These online reviews can be easily manipulated. Ask for references from actual customers that you can contact directly. This way you can ensure you are getting an honest review.
Do you require a deposit?
Is it not uncommon for auto transport companies to require a deposit before shipping your vehicle. They should not, however, require full payment until your vehicle is actually delivered.
How will my car be transported?
When it comes to shipping a car, there are two primary methods for shipping: open or enclosed carrier shipping. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages and they vary in price so be sure you know how your vehicle is being transported.
Where will my vehicle be delivered?
Some carriers offer door to door shipping while others deliver the vehicles to a terminal for pickup. Ask the company what you can expect when it comes to delivery and which delivery options they offer.
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.