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Shipping A Car To Los Angeles: What You Should Know

Shipping a car to Los Angeles
If you need to ship a car to Los Angeles, this article is for you. We ship hundreds of vehicles to Los Angeles every month, it is an easy and convenient process.

The first step is to choose your car carrier.  Do not rely on just anyone to handle this job: conduct some research. Get honest answers about what will be involved.  What reputation does the shipping company have and how are you protected?  Check for things like BBB accreditation, and read reviews from other customers that have shipped their vehicles to Los Angeneles, or along similar routes.

One of the great things about Ship A Car Direct, is our damage-free guarantee and 100% insurance coverage. We ensure that your vehicle will be delivered to Los Angeles by a screened, professional car carrier.

How much does it cost to ship a car to L.A.?
The cost of shipping a car to Los Angeles depends on the condition, the make and model of your vehicle, where it is being shipped from, and whether you want an open or closed carrier. Open carriers cost less.

Fill out a simple form on our website here to get an instant quote.

How Do Car Carriers Deliver To Heavily Populated Urban Areas?
Large auto transport trucks have to have enough space to easily access each address and load or unload vehicles safely. Such loading is not always possible in tight downtown areas, especially with one way streets and congested traffic, steep hills or security restrictions.

A popular solution is to meet your carrier outside of the urban area, or in an area that is easily accessible, such as a nearby shopping mall parking lot.  Your driver has most likely already made hundreds of deliveries to the Los Angeles area, and may have suggestions to make the delivery convenient for both parties.

Call our customer service agents if you have any further questions.  We are always eager to take your call at 866-221-1664.

Transport Brokers Now Required To Be Bonded Up To 75K

auto transport

In July 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new regulations after the President signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress Act-21. The new law included a series of changes to the old FMCSA programs, which amended the guidelines for transport brokers and freight forwarders who are bound by the FMCSA rules.

Beginning October 1, 2013, all FMCSA regulated brokers and freight forwarders must obtain and file with FMCSA a surety bond or trust fund agreement in the amount of $75,000. The new guidelines are meant to increase consumer protections in the event of damage during car transport.

These statutory provisions took effect on October 1, 2013, and all brokerage firms dealing with transportation are bound by this new regulation.  Here is a link to the new regulation

Aware of the need for increased consumer confidence and protection, Ship A Car Direct had already been in full compliance well before this new regulation was signed into law.

Ship A Car Direct is taking an active role in keeping the auto transport industry safe, trustworthy, and reliable.  The result is more customer protections, satisfaction, and a better overall reputation for that car shipping industry.

When you are looking for a car shipping company, choose Ship A Car Direct – Home of the industries only Damage Free Guarantee.

Free Car Shipping Quote

Can I Just Book the Car Carrier Directly?

Carriers vs Brokers or, Why can’t I just book the trucker directly?
Car Carriers
If you are like many first-time shippers, you may be surprised to learn the person who quotes your auto transport is not going to be driving the truck. He or she is in an office with a phone headset, and nowhere near a truck. In fact, everyone responding to your quote request is a broker who uses that quote to contract a carrier. Not everyone will tell you that. Some brokers are perfectly content to let you make assumptions about the industry. And some are aggressively telling you whatever you want to hear.

It may seem more convenient and cost effective for you to just deal with the guy with the truck. The truth is, the truckers are busy driving the trucks. They don’t have time to take phone calls, to haggle, to explain the process – they have to drive and keep driving. As soon as they finish one run, the have to turn around and hit the road again. There aren’t office hours for truckers.

All truckers find their loads through broker listings on the industry hub: Central Dispatch. That is where all of the waiting jobs are listed, and where truckers can pick and choose the routes – and the pay – they want. Frankly, they respond to the easiest, best paying jobs. They will lock down a good contract immediately. Jobs that have lots of time restrictions, are located in rural areas, or are for super-sized vehicles or offer low pay don’t get contracted. Or, if they do get contracted, it’s to a desperate carrier.

That’s why you want a reputable broker handling the contract. A good broker will recommend a realistic, market price to confirm a good carrier. A good broker will check the carriers documentation to make sure their license and insurance are up to date. And a good broker has a history with carriers, knowing which ones have responsible track records and which are loosey-goosey with safety. A good broker is available during office hours to answer your questions, to provide you with industry information and realistic expectations.

Of course you will have access directly to your driver later in the process, but carriers do not offer estimates directly or prepare customers for pre-transport. That is a reality that has evolved logistically for both the good of the driver and the good of the customer. Your broker is there for a reason, and that relationship is industry standard.

Luxury Car Shipping

luxury car shipping
Here at Ship A Car Direct, every day, we help luxury car owners transport their valuable automobiles safely and on time.  We understand how important some vehicles are not only in terms of monetary value, but sentimental value as well.  Our customers needs are viewed as all important, and we strive to keep our pricing fair, our service friendly, and our results guaranteed.  If you have considered the benefits of shipping your car vs. driving or having it driven to the destination, but aren’t sure how the process works, then this blog post will help.

Ship A Car Direct can transport your car to just about anywhere nationwide.  We offer free instant quotes with no obligation, and have a support staff available to answer any questions that you may at any time during the shipping process.  In fact, we are A rated with the BBB, and have earned the top spot on transportreviews.com.

Step 1 For Shipping A Luxury Car:

The first step is to look at and research the different car shipping companies, and request a quote.  If you are not sure what to research, here is an image that might help you ask the right questions.

checklist_rev5

Step 2 – Choose An Enclosed Carrier Type.
For luxury, or high value vehicles, and enclosed car carrier is recommended.  It costs more than an open carrier, but offers the ultimate protection during shipment.

Step 3 – Schedule Transport
You don’t need to plan months in advance, when you are within a week or two of your desired delivery date, call and schedule.

Step 4 – Prepare Your Vehicle For Pickup
Not too much to worry about for preparation, retract your antenna, remove any items from inside the vehicle, and have a key ready.

Step 5 – Accept Delivery
Upon delivery, you will have the opportunity to inspect the vehicle, and sign off on the final inspection report.   You dont have to be there to personally accept delivery, but we recommend it is someone you trust.

Ship A Car Direct has a long and stellar history of shipping all types and models of luxury cars without incident and in the safest manner possible.

Give us a call today or request a free quote online

Open carrier versus enclosed car carrier

Car insurance policyOne big choice to make when choosing auto transport options is whether to go with an open car carrier or an enclosed car carrier. The most obvious difference is that the open carrier is open on all sides while the enclosed carrier is a walled container truck. There are benefits to each option.

If you choose the open carrier, your vehicle will be loaded onto and securely attached to an open trailer that can accommodate several vehicles per load. On standard open trailers there are typically two levels, so your vehicle may be top loaded or may be secured on the bottom level under other vehicles. The open car carrier does leave your car exposed to the weather. It does not leave your vehicle more exposed to damage by road debris, however. This is a common concern but the truth is that road debris flies into the cab in front of the trailer, not sideways into the side of your loaded vehicle. It’s also important to note that there is no safe way to secure a cover over your vehicle during transit.  If you choose this option, your vehicle will arrive dusty or rain-spotted.

If you choose the enclosed carrier option, your vehicle will be secured within the walls of the truck. Your vehicle is not exposed to the elements during transport, and is typically shipped with only one or two other vehicles, front to back. There is nothing above your vehicle in the enclosed trailer except for the truck ceiling. And since the enclosed option accommodates only two or three vehicles per load, there are fewer stops so the turnaround time is typically faster.

With Ship a Car Direct, both carrier options are fully insured.  The open carrier is the more common method of auto transport as it is the more affordable option. The benefit to choosing the enclosed carrier is that your vehicle is less exposed and the transit time can be faster.  Please give us a call for more information about carrier options, or if you have any auto transport questions: 866-221-1664.

Why auto shippers need a great transport broker

auto transportWhen first time auto shippers learn they are working with a transport broker, often the first instinct is to drop the middle man and find a driver directly. Many auto shippers don’t understand why they would need a broker to contract an auto hauler. But actually, it is in the shipper’s benefit to go through a broker. In fact, working with a good broker is the best protection for a safe, smooth transport.

For one thing, a good broker will recommend a reasonable price to contract a hauler. Many first time shippers don’t know that the auto transport market varies from week to week, from route to route. In fact, there are even seasonal changes. Auto shippers – especially bargain hunters – can undermine their own efforts to ship a vehicle by offering a price that is too low. Sometimes a low price is one that only dodgy haulers will accept. But a reputable broker can help you set the right price to contract a great hauler for your transport job.

And when it comes to getting your valuable car across the country, you want to contract a safe transporter. There are carriers our there who don’t carry good insurance, or they let their licenses lapse. Some have a careless track record. A transport broker has access to industry tools providing information on specific carriers – more information that average consumers can find on-line.

In addition to industry tools, a great broker has direct experience with hundreds of different haulers. In fact, here at Ship a Car Direct, we have a “Do Not Use” list. We keep a list of independent haulers we have worked with who have not delivered to our standards – or worse, haulers who have not resolved issues that have arisen. If a hauler is on this list, we will not contract them for any of customers. Even if there aren’t many options for a particular route, we will not use a hauler that does not take responsibility for quick and safe service.

A good broker is your best bet for a smooth and safe transport. If you have any questions about how we choose the best independent hauler for you, give us a call: 866-221-1664. We are always happy to explain our vetting process to potential auto shippers.

This Car Shipping Broker Has Your Back

car carrierA car shipping customer recently described the transport process as “mysterious”. And it’s true, auto transporting does not reflect most shipper’s initial expectation of service. First time auto shippers usually expect transport service to be more like travel and are often surprised to learn that there aren’t grand schedules and regular, dependable routes with large, brand named fleets. Or sometimes folks assume service is on demand, that they can just summon a cross-country carrier the same way you call a taxi. Instead, there are brokers who contract small business carriers on a case-by-case basis, and schedules and prices may vary. It may seem like a hassle to have brokers involved in the auto transport process, but let’s cover the big reasons why they are good for you.

A good broker vets out your carrier. There are literally thousands of auto haulers across the country. There aren’t large fleets like Greyhound or JetBlue in the car shipping industry, there are dozens of independent carriers who could potentially ship your vehicle. But not all carriers are made alike. Some are stellar, but some have issues with insurance lapsing or poor scheduling, etc. A broker has access to more industry information and can be a better judge of a carrier’s worth.

A good broker will explain the process. From timing to pricing to preparing your vehicle for shipment, a good broker can educate you on the reality of the process. Drivers don’t always have time to take your call with questions when they are on the road. But brokers work in offices, so they are available to take calls and emails about your concerns.

A good broker helps smooth communication. Sometimes customers have a scheduling change or want to make a special request. Sometimes there are misunderstandings between customers and drivers, or missed calls, or other issues. Your broker can help you reach your driver with updates, changes, and address miscommunications should they arise.

We are here for you, so give a Ship a Car Direct broker a call: 866-221-1664. We are happy to answer your car shipping questions and find the perfect carrier match for you!

Get An Instant Car Shipping Quote!

Car Shipping in Winter

Car ShippingFirst time car shippers are often surprised to discover that there aren’t precise advance schedules for car hauling. Unlike trains or planes or buses that have regular schedules out of common hubs, car shipping schedules vary from week to week because every route is unique.

While car haulers serve the same general areas (some cover just the Midwest, for example), they don’t start and end at the same place. Car haulers don’t even follow the exact same route every time. They have new pick-up locations and different delivery locations for each customer. Some runs are longer than others, and sometimes the logistics allow for a quicker turn-around.

Not only are the routes different with each truckload of unique customers, car shipping drive times are always subject to the demands of weather, traffic, holidays and even maintenance issues. There are situations that arise that your driver simply cannot predict or prevent from behind the wheel, so no matter the season it’s realistic to allow for flexibility in your car shipping schedule.

That said, it should be no surprise that winter presents the most obvious challenge to predictable drive times. Obviously, the weather can be terrible – one bad snowstorm can effectively shut down in an entire region for a few days. And that slow down effects vehicles on trucks being hauled as well as vehicles waiting for transport. (In fact, there are some months when the backlog of waiting customers is so great that frustrated shippers cancel and resign with multiple haulers, as if there are some truckers not affected by the snow!)

Also important to note: drivers observe holidays just like you do! You may find that car hauler availability is limited between the weeks around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. This reality tends to push up prices around the holidays – and even through January for some markets.

We know how precious your time is and we wish we could give you timing guarantees. But the truth is that this time of year the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. It will save you frustration in the long run if you make contingency plans with friends and neighbors should your car hauler be affected by inclement weather or other seasonal issues. If you have questions about car hauling delays – or any other car hauling questions – please call us at 866-221-1664.

Car Shipping During Snowbird Season

Car shipping in winterIf you have to ask, you probably aren’t a Snowbird. Snowbirds are folks who head South and/or Southwest for the winter, and Snowbird Season refers to the time when all of them seem to “flock”. Because there are many more shippers heading one way than there are spots on trucks, it dramatically affects car transport pricing and availability on those routes.

The most common misconception about planning auto transport is that if you plan far enough in advance, you should be guaranteed a date at a guaranteed price. But the reality is that no matter how much notice you give, carrier schedules are not rigid. Scheduling a car shipment is not like reserving a seat on a daily flight from one hub to another hub. Transport routes vary as the pick-ups and destinations are unique with every new set of customers. Drive times can vary with weather conditions and traffic – things that can’t be managed by your driver. There is no way to guarantee a specific truck will be available weeks in advance.

Another expectation folks have is that the price quoted them in June should work in October, and that is just not the case. Car shipping price quotes are accurate only for about a week or two at the time they are quoted, as those quotes represent the car shipping market at that time. That June price may or may not still work months later – but it is definitely not going to work during Snowbird Season if you are shipping to a Snowbird destination (like from Connecticut to Florida, or from Michigan to Arizona). Pretend you’re a truck driver and you’ve suddenly got triple the amount of customers going a certain direction – how do you pick which jobs do you take? The best paying ones, of course. During Snowbird Season, it’s not the early bird that gets the worm (or the transport) but the bird offering the best pay.

Instead of expecting a rigid plan for car shipping during Snowbird season, it’s more realistic to plan for contingencies. Keep wiggle room in your dates, enlist friends and family on either end, and allow for a possible bump in pay to meet the market. As much as we want to keep it easy for you, we prefer to be honest about how the process works. Please call us if you have any questions about that: 866-221-1664.

Car transport “mystery” fees

There are lots of “horror stories” on the internet about how car transport companies surprise unsuspecting customers with mystery fees.  But there are legitimate reasons why your driver may require extra fees on top of the basic quoted transport costs. Let us take away the mystery and give you some tips to avoid additional car transport fees.

Your car transport quote is for a fully operational vehicle. Standard car carriers are not the same as tow trucks, your vehicle must be driven on and off the truck under its own power. The battery must be good, the vehicle must start up and stay running, and all tires must be inflated. Some car carriers cannot accommodate non-operative vehicles, and for those equipped with winches additional charges will accrue for additional labor required. Make sure your vehicle is in good running order before the carrier arrives.

Your car transport quote is for an empty vehicle. If you leave personal items in the vehicle, there may be an additional weight fee. We recommend leaving your car empty and shipping your household goods separately.

Your car transport quote is for a basic stock model. Extensions, lifts, and other add-ons that increase the height, width, or weight of a vehicle will affect the cost of your transport. Inform your representative of any modifications for an adjusted quote, and forwarding pictures can be helpful too.

Your car transport quote is priced for COD (Cash on Delivery). Most carriers will not accept credit card payments, most only accept jobs for cash on delivery. In rare instances where credit is the only option, the final charge will include a transaction processing fee.

Your car transport quote is for transport only, with direct person-to-person delivery. Storage for pick-up at your convenience is not automatic with this service, you or a contact must meet the carrier when the truck arrives in your area. If you aren’t available to accept delivery when your carrier arrives, you may be responsible for storage fees and/or re-delivery fees.

No driver wants to surprise a customer with mystery fees on delivery. Talk to your representative in advance about what exactly is included in the service. If you have any questions about car transport fees, please give us a call: 866-221-1664.