Archive for Car Shipping

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

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.

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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

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.

Lower Car Shipping Costs Coming Soon!

Car Shipping CostsThe U.S. Transportation Secretary made the announcement last week that a proposal has been made that, if accepted, will eliminate a hefty amount of paperwork that burdens truck drivers. Professional truck drivers are currently required to fill out lengthy stacks of documents both before and after taking a shipment on their vehicles. The federal regulations are designed to protect the safety of the public, but some of the paperwork requirements are unnecessarily burdensome, time consuming, and costly. Costs in the industry could be cut down by as much as a billion dollars a year if the proposal is accepted. (See the official Press Release Here)

The announcement is great news for consumers who may be looking into having a car shipped. Drivers of commercial trucks have to perform pre and post trip inspections of their vehicles and equipment. The paperwork that is proposed to be eliminated is what is known as the Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports, or DVIRs. Currently, the DVRIs must be filled out whether an issue is present or not. Only 5% of the reports that are filed contain cases where repairs are needed. By changing the paperwork requirements to include only reports when issues are present, both time and money can be saved.

Anne S. Ferro, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, supported the proposal, stating that the agency will be able to better focus on the reports that include problematic issues. Safety will not be compromised, since trucks and equipment that are in need of any repairs will receive the attention that they need. Trucks and equipment that are not found to have any problems during the inspections can continue to operate, and drivers will not have to take the time to fill in the paperwork.

President Obama has encouraged his administration to seek out viable ways to reduce burdensome paperwork regulations. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox announced the proposal on August 1st, and quickly garnered a positive response. It is positive news for the administration, for commercial truck drivers, and for consumers who use the services of the trucking industry. The savings of time and costs should be passed onto the consumers, making it beneficial for the professional drivers and those looking to have cargo shipped. Consumers who need or want to have a vehicle shipped anywhere in the United States will benefit from savings on the cost if the proposal is accepted and the changes are implemented across the industry.

Red Flags For Car Shipping Fraud

Car ShippingIn spite of improved customer awareness and the availability of information to protect consumers, fraud still exists. Each year, consumers pay billions of dollars for commercial fraud, most of which were avoidable had they considered the most commonly used fraudulent practices. Although fraud in the auto transport industry is rare, it is best not to take any chances, especially considering that cars are high-value assets. To avoid loss, theft, damage and unnecessary expense associated with scams, keep these red flags of car shipping fraud in mind:

No Business Address, License, Or Established Identity
One of the most common red flags of car shipping fraud is the lack of an established identity.  A simple online search for the business name should identify the business on various listing and review sites.  An established website filled with helpful content, FAQ’s, Videos, and contact info, is a solid indication that you are dealing with an established business.  You should also verify the business with reputable business review sites like the Better Business Bureau, and Transport Reviews.com.

Unable To Reach Customer Service Or Get Answers
Any reputable car shipping company will be immediately accessible to its clients. If you dial the company phone number and your call is rejected, ignored or if the person on the other end of the line fails to answer your questions about how the auto transport process works, you should avoid this company. A reliable company should be able to provide you with all the necessary information you need regarding any transaction you may make with them.

Payment Upfront Prior to Providing the Service.
Beware of car moving companies that require a significant amount as a deposit for their service. You may also want to avoid companies that require payments to be made through Western Union and other money transfer services that make the recipient hard to trace.

The Car Shipping Company Fails to Provide A Detailed Agreement.
Another way to spot a red flag of car shipping fraud is the company’s refusal or failure to provide a quote or a detailed agreement. The quote should include the type of vehicle being shipped, the origin and destination of the shipment, the type of carrier (open or closed) that will be used, and other related details.

No Inspection or “bill of lading”
Another red flag is if the driver does not require or initiate an inspection of your vehicle.   When the carrier arrives for pickup, they should initiate a vehicle inspection and fill out a report called a “bill of lading”.  They take note of any existing damage to the vehicle before shipment.  You will inspect your vehicle upon delivery, and if all is well, you sign that bill of lading to release the truck from any liability.

Don’t Ship A Car When It Is Full Of Stuff

car shippingWe know you want to pack your car before shipping it. Everyone planning to ship a car across country full of stuff assumes it would be an easy way to save costs on moving. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend loading your car with stuff before shipping it on an open carrier. We occasionally receive pictures from our drivers of what customers want to include during their transport. Don’t be like these folks. It will actually cost you more in the long run: in funds, in drama, and/or delays.

Your car shipping quote is priced for an empty vehicle. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the weight of a vehicle effects how much gas is required to transport it. Even if you only want to include a few bulky items, it adds up.  If every vehicle on the auto hauler has a few items, the total weight load is significantly increased throughout the transport. A driver may be willing to transport your vehicle with some items in it for an additional fee, but we can’t negotiate or guarantee the charge in advance for you.

But let’s be practical, leaving items in the car may increase the risk of theft. When your car is on the open carrier, anything visible in your vehicle is visible to every vehicle the truck passes. While your vehicle is insured during transport, items left in the vehicle are not covered. You may be willing to risk theft, but your driver may not want to take the gamble on your behalf – and he’d be most affected by any incident.

Most importantly, though, your driver has to be able to load your car safely on and off the hauler. When a car is packed, luggage obstructs his view. If the truck arrives to the pick-up location and finds your car packed to the ceiling, your driver will ask you to remove items or he will have to refuse to load your vehicle. (And even if he doesn’t load your vehicle, he is entitled to compensation for making the trip to your location.)

It’s less hassle to leave your vehicle empty of belongings. Leaving stuff in your car may accrue additional surcharges, or it may invite theft, or it may cause your driver to refuse your load. If you have any follow-up questions about leaving stuff in your car for car shipping, give us a call: 866-221-1664.

Will you ship my car if it is full of stuff?

Car Transport The most common request in the car shipping industry is the request to pack the car during transport. Many people shipping a car are doing so to start a new life in a new city, and it seems easier to just load the car with household belongings before hauling it. Unfortunately, that is not really the best way to save money on your move. Car haulers can’t always accommodate additional weight, and certainly not for the same price as quoted for shipping an empty car.

The truth is that the more weight you are hauling, the more gas it takes to move it. The more gas a hauler requires to get the job done, the more it costs. Here is a great article that explains fuel economy and how even 100 additional pounds in your personal vehicle can cost you. Now, if you imagine a multi-vehicle hauler carrying 6 to 8 vehicles, you can see how even a few additional belongings left in each of the vehicles add up and increase the weight (and therefore the cost) of the entire load.

Car shipping quotes are recommended for standard, empty vehicles. If your hauler accommodates any additional weight in your vehicle, you will be charged an additional weight fee to make up for the additional gas required for the load. And honestly, the additional fees are equivalent to shipping your belongings through the mail or other delivery service. Even if what you want to pack in your car doesn’t seem like a lot to you, it adds up. Ultimately, leaving additional items in your vehicle during transport is up to the discretion of the driver.

Of course we completely understand why you want to leave some stuff in your car. Sometimes, it’s not a problem. But it’s best if you are aware of the limitations and/or additional fees so that you don’t make assumptions that cost you later. If you have any questions about car shipping or what you can leave in your vehicle during transport, please give us a call! One of our friendly sales representatives will be happy to help: 866-221-1664.

Quotes For Car Shippers

car shipping quotesPricing is a big factor in decision-making for most potential car shippers, but it’s arguably the most confusing part. There are lots of companies eager to offer quotes, but it can seem like prices are all over the map. How can first time car shippers compare estimates when nothing seems set in stone in advance?

The truth is that every company offering a quote for shipping a car is a broker, who will then use that price to confirm an independent carrier. Your final price is dependent on a small hauler contracting your job through the broker, there is no standardized fleet for shipping a car door-to-door. While it may seem more direct to just hire a trucker without a “middle-man”, the carrier companies don’t have the resources to handle the customer service part themselves. It is only cost-effective for them to focus on the driving and the truck maintenance, so they rely on broker listings to find the best jobs compatible with their service area.

Carriers set their routes based on the customers available in a given area, and select the best paying jobs that logistically match their run that week. Because the customers are unique, routes may vary from week to week and seasonally. Gas prices vary as well, which affects the offers that carriers can accept (or not). There are some areas that are more affected by seasonal moves, so different rates will apply whether you are shipping in the summer or in the winter.

Auto Shipping QuotesAnother factor that affects final price is vehicle size. Different types of SUVs, for example, take up more space on a carrier,  they require greater pay than a standard sedan. However, the final cost will vary depending on the other vehicles on the same load.

For all of these reasons, brokers provide potential car shippers with a quote to be confirmed when a trucking company accepts the job for the offered pay. Reputable brokers offer best estimates in good faith, but from time to time it can be necessary to increase the offer slightly to confirm a carrier for under-served areas, for vehicle size, or for seasonal changes affecting the market.

If you have any questions about your quote or factors that may affect your pricing, give us a call at 866-221-1664. We are always happy to explain the pricing process to first-time car shippers.

How To Ship A Car To Another State

nx_logo_mech_digger_map_usa [Converted]With the increased demand for car shipping services, it is important to understand the basics of how to ship a car to another state. There are several factors to consider to ship your car safely, securely and on time to your new location.

  1. Properly research the companies that you want to use – You can get a wealth of information from the Internet about the companies involved in this industry. Visit their websites and read through carefully, making sure that you understand all the details. Contact the Better Business Bureau, and ask them for information on companies that they have vetted as being professional in the provision of this service. Contact friends and family who have used these services before and let them give you pointers as to which companies to approach. Online review sites, blogs, and forums, are also a good source of information on which companies to use.
  2. Consider the cost implications – You should get quotes from the companies that you intend to use. The quotes should serve as a guide helping you to select a cost-effective company. However, caution should be upheld so that you do not compromise quality of service, just to spare a few dollars. You should find out if the quotes include an insurance cover for your vehicle.
  3. Make the decision on the company to hire and make your booking – After going through the information you have gathered, make your decision on the company that you will hire, and then confirm your booking. Read the full package before you appending your signature to the documents.
  4. Prepare your vehicle for transportation – The weight of your vehicle is an important consideration when using auto carrier services. The fuel in your car should be about a quarter full. This will greatly reduce the weight of your vehicle. You will also be required to remove all valuables, and loose items from the car, so they do not get lost during transportation. Wash your vehicle before you deliver it to the transportation terminal.
  5. Be present during inspection of the vehicle – The auto transport company will inspect the vehicle when you drop it off at the terminal. This will determine if the car has any existing damage. At the end of this inspection, you will be given a Vehicle Condition Report, which you will have to sign. This is the reason why you should be present during the inspection. You will be required to sign this report, to confirm that you agree with the findings of the inspection.

Upon delivery, make sure to inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is in the condition described in the report.  As always, if you have any questions about how to ship your car, please call us at 866-221-1664.