Shipping your vehicle can be a nerve wracking experience. It’s not easy entrusting your vehicle to complete strangers to be transported across the country. With so many auto transport companies to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which company is right for you. Here are a few things you can expect from a reputable car transport company.
Proper Licensing and Registration
Any reputable auto shipping company should provide you with a complete list of their licensing and registration requirements. They should even provide you with their USDOT # so you can check safety reports.
A List of Costs and Fees
When you hire a car transport company, they should provide you with a complete list of fees and charges. This should also include any penalty fees that you could incur. Make sure you have read and agreed to these terms and conditions prior to signing the contract.
An Explanation of Coverage
In addition to providing you with upfront pricing, a car transport company should also provide you with an explanation of their insurance coverage. In the event that your vehicle is damaged during transport, you need to be aware of your coverage options.
An Inspection Report
It is important for your vehicle to be thoroughly inspected prior to shipment. Any cosmetic or mechanical damage should be reported and verified before your vehicle leaves for transport. This will protect both you and the carrier in case any damage occurs during transport.
Some car shipping companies offer GPS tracking so you know exactly where your vehicle is at all times. This also gives you a better idea of when your vehicle will arrive at its destination.
Prior to shipment, the company should explain their delivery process. Some companies offer door to door shipment while others deliver your vehicle to a terminal. In addition, they usually contact you when the truck is close to your location so you can schedule your pickup time. Upon delivery, you should complete another inspection report and report any new damage.
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.