Bargain Auto Shipping

Cost to ship a carEveryone wants a good deal nowadays. No matter the product or service needed, we are all looking for a bargain. But there are times when going for the lowest price can end up costing you more, and with auto shipping that is especially true.

As tempting as a budget shipping quote may be, it may not be such a great deal in the long run.

One common misconception about auto shipping is that the quotes provided are guaranteed set prices from each individual company. However, every quote you receive is from an auto shipping broker who will use that estimate to contract an independent hauler.

Each hauler accepts the jobs they want at the price that they feel is acceptable. Their routes may vary from week to week depending on the jobs available. The drivers themselves are not available to provide quotes for their services to customers, as they are on the road. The haulers go through the brokers listings for ready jobs and always accept the best paying jobs first. (And really, if you were a driver, wouldn’t you prefer the best paying jobs?)

If a potential auto shipper makes an offer to potential haulers that is too low, it will be ignored by the well-rated drivers. No matter how long you wait, if your offer is not acceptable to a driver it will not get set.

Even if you have given your credit card information to a broker, your final auto shipping contract requires hauler acceptance. So even if a broker is willing to make a low offer on your behalf, your final price is dependent on a hauler agreeing to it.

Also – keep in mind that if a low, low price does book a carrier, it’s often a “you get what you pay for” situation. Often, the lowest auto shipping offers only appeal to desperate drivers: those who don’t have a great track record and/or those who aren’t paying insurance premiums.

Is saving $50 – 100 worth risking your transport with a shady hauler?

At Ship a Car Direct, we make sure all of our transports are booked with well-rated and fully insured haulers.

Our auto shipping quotes aren’t always the lowest, but they are realistic for timely bookings. And in our experience, starting with a fair price for a quick and safe transport is actually the best bargain.

Protecting your vehicle during car transport

car transportReleasing your prized vehicle to a complete stranger for car transport can be daunting, whether your car is a genuine luxury item or an old, reliable family heirloom.

Many folks are hesitant to ship a car across the country because they are afraid of damage. Luckily, damage is not standard when shipping a vehicle by door-to-door carrier. Here are a few things to ease your mind about damage during car transport.

One thing many potential customers worry about is road debris flying up and hitting their car. But road debris doesn’t fly around a truck or fly sideways. If a pebble gets kicked up from the traffic in front of the carrier truck, the debris flies into the front of the rig. It’s the front of the truck that faces road debris, not the vehicles on the carrier behind it.

Because of a fear of damage due to road debris, some customers ask for a car cover. But there is no reliable way to keep a cover on a vehicle while in transit. In fact, trying to strap some kind of cover to a vehicle is likely to cause the very damage a customer is trying to avoid. That’s because the force of the wind in transit will lift off some part or corner of the cover or a strap may get loose and flap against the vehicle.

During car transports, damage is not a by-product of being on the road. Think of it this way – nobody wants their vehicle damaged so if most cars were damaged during the process, this industry wouldn’t have evolved!

But accidents do happen from time to time. In the unlikely event your vehicle is damaged in transit, it is due to an accident in traffic or a mechanical issue or human error while loading/unloading.

That is why it is best to take time on pick-up and on delivery to examine the condition of the vehicle, and make good notes. Should you need to file a damage claim because of an accident, documentation is required for a successful claim. Pictures or videos taken on pick-up and delivery are a great way to protect yourself.

Through Ship a Car Direct, not only is your vehicle is fully insured but we also offer an insurance guarantee. Please give us a call if you have any questions about insurance for car transports: 866-221-1664.

Basics Of Auto Transport

Auto transport TipsShipping a car isn’t usually an common experience for most, so for those who are first time car shipper, here are some auto transport tips that might help.

Here are a few things to remember:

Clear Out Your Vehicle Before Shipping
Personal belongings, valuables, documents, electronic gear, are best removed from the vehicle. Don’t assume you can ship your vehicle if it is packed full of personal items.  Some carriers will work with you on this, however, vehicle weight is a serious concern, and most carriers prefer that your car is empty, and if possible, with only a few gallons of gas in the tank.  This certainly lightens the vehicle saves on the auto transport costs.

Have Comprehensive Auto Insurance
Damage to your vehicle during shipping is very rare, but it does and can happen.  You have several layers of protection depending on who your broker and carrier are, however, it is always recommended that you carry your own current auto insurance on any vehicle you are shipping.  Auto insurance claims depend heavily on proofs submitted to support the damage caused during shipment. Take note of the condition of the vehicle, or even a few snaps of the car before getting it moved.

Have An Extra Key Made
Its and easy things to overlook, but its always a good idea to have an extra key if needed.

Perform A Thorough Inspection
Needless to say that the vehicle should be thoroughly inspected before and after delivery.

Be Flexible
Auto transport costs are determined by the distance of shipping, the weight of the vehicle, the type of transport requested (closed or open transporters),  accessibility of the destination, fuel costs, and how full the schedule is for that particular carrier.  If you are flexible with the car shipping dates, sometimes you can get better rates.

Take Advantage
Remember that thousands of people use car shipping services every day, it is a convenient and affordable service that can save your time, money, and vehicle wear and tear.

Call Us With Any Questions or To Get A Free Auto Transport Quote

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.

When will my car transport be confirmed?

Car Transport ConfirmationMany customers will request car transport quotes weeks or even months in advance expecting to “lock in” an exact schedule for a guaranteed price. It makes sense, right? Especially when preparing a cross-country move, it’s just logical to plan ahead and cross things off of the big “to-do” list. But auto transports are not like bus schedules or other types of transit that have regular, dependable daily or weekly schedules. There isn’t a way to micro-manage the timing of car transports in a way to guarantee set schedules in advance. It’s just a totally different process no matter how much notice you give your broker to arrange your transport for you.

It has everything to do with the transitory nature of car transport customers for door-to-door service. Bus schedules are well-timed from stop to stop or station to station, but car carriers don’t operate out of hubs like buses do. Each and every car transport route is as unique as they individual customers being served with that run. It wouldn’t be cost effect to run fleets of carriers half empty from stop to stop across the country just to be able to have a master schedule. Each car transport scheduled has to include a full truckload of customers from the same general region to the same region going the same direction the same week. Because routes and schedules can vary widely from run to run and week to week, there is no way to guarantee one specific pick-up date months in advance. The car transport schedule is ever-changing.

No matter when you place your order, your schedule will be confirmed the week of your “First Available for Pick-up” date, most often within 24-48 hours of pick-up. And that date is an estimate; the timing can still be affected by traffic or road construction or a few other issues your driver can’t control. As much as your broker wants to put you at ease (and your driver wants to give the specific timing you want) it is realistic to plan on being flexible. We know you have to deal with your work schedule or try to catch a flight or any number of other hassles, but there just isn’t a way to guarantee a transport schedule with perfect precision in advance.

Please give us a call if you have any questions about the car transport booking process: 866-221-1664.

Auto transport times and estimates

Auto Transport TimesOne consideration when shipping a vehicle is the auto transport times. Most auto transport customers have jobs or school to schedule around. Many also have to coordinate moving trucks or air travel, so being able to cherry-pick the exact timing of the auto transport schedule would be ideal. But cross-country transport scheduling does not often allow for exact timing. In this industry, the standard is to provide estimates for carrier arrival.

Auto transport timing is different than a bus schedule because there’s a completely different process at work. In order for auto transporting to be cost effective, a carrier has to have a full truckload of cars going from the same general area in the same direction. But the carrier isn’t going from hub to hub, or even to the same city every time. Each truck scheduled serves unique customers, so timing will vary from the last run. Traffic and weather varies from season to season. And your driver is limited in the consecutive hours he can log in behind the wheel.

Drivers typically provide estimates for pick-up and delivery, rather than exact times and dates, and it is a prediction. Exact timing cannot be anticipated precisely or nor managed en route, so it is realistic to leave a little wiggle room for the estimates. The average transit time from coast to coast is 7 to 10 days, but a transport can be completed in less time or take longer than average. The timing estimated by your carrier at the time of booking is not a guarantee but a best guess.

We understand that it’s hard to plan around a “best guess”, but it is realistic to be prepared for a window of arrival rather than a guaranteed time. Many auto transport customers have to enlist a friend or a family member as a back-up contact. Or you may have to take a day off from work to meet your carrier, as drivers usually work regular business hours Monday through Friday. Your driver will give you an estimate for his arrival, of course. He doesn’t want to inconvenience you but every run is a new and untested route, so he handles what comes as it comes and then he’s got to keep rolling.

If you have any questions about auto transport timing, please give us a call at 866-221-1664.

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.

Door to Door Auto Transport

auto transportIf you were stuck with the duty of getting your car from one side of the country to the other, wouldn’t it be nice if a truck would come right to your home to pick-up your vehicle?

And after transport, wouldn’t it be great if they would drop it off right in front of the delivery address?

That almost sounds to convenient to be true, doesn’t it? In fact, the most common method of transporting your vehicle is door to door transit on a multi-vehicle carrier.

Yes, a truck will come right down your street. As long as it fits, of course. Many neighborhoods can easily accommodate a multi-vehicle hauler, but not all areas suited for big trucks.

While most auto transports can be scheduled for door-to-door, there are some legitimate issues that might affect a driver’s ability to meet you in your neighborhood.

Low hanging trees can damage cars on the top of the truck, so drivers have to avoid that. Steep hills don’t allow for safe loading/unloading, and some mountainous areas are too dangerous to pass. Very busy or narrow or one-way streets in larger cities can be impossible to serve directly.

Military bases can require security checks so demanding that it takes all day for the truck to clear inspection, so drivers usually deliver off base. Low bridges may not provide enough clearance for auto transport trucks or may not be able to bear the weight of trucks, causing detours and delays.

These are just a few issues we experience from time to time, there may be another legitimate reason unique to your hometown that affects your door to door transport.

All drivers would prefer that your auto transport be as convenient as possible, but sometimes there are issues out of their control. Oftentimes, it’s something that you may not notice or be aware of as you go about your town but it could seriously affect a drivers ability to deliver to you at your front door.

In fact we call it “person to person” service, rather than “door to door auto transport”, just in case your driver has to ask you to meet at a nearby shopping mall parking lot rather than at your front door.

If you have any questions about this service, please give us a call at 866-221-1664! We are always happy to explain the process!

How to Get Ready for the Car Haulers

Auto ShippersAfter you have done your research on car haulers, after you have contacted Safe Direct Car Shipping and placed your order, you may be wondering what to do to get ready for the car hauler. Here are the quick answers to the common concerns so you can be ready for the truck and driver on pick-up day.

 Your carrier driver will need your keys on pick-up and throughout the transport.

For standard, operational vehicles your car will be driven onto the car hauler. Since your car will be on a truck with a few other vehicles, it may need to be offloaded briefly during the transport depending on the route and the unique addresses of other pick-ups and drop-offs.  For that reason, your driver will need to hang on to those keys.

Your vehicle does need some gas in it.

As mentioned above, because your car will be driven on to the truck under its own power, it will have to have a little gas in it. A quarter of a tank should be sufficient, but if you have more gas left over when it’s loading day, that’s fine too.

 You do not need to provide documentation.

The driver will bring paperwork for you to sign, but you do not need to provide any proof of insurance or power of attorney or anything like that – even if you are leaving your car to a friend to load/unload.

You don’t need to wash it.

It is going to get dusty during transport. Really dusty.

Taking pictures on pick-up and delivery is a terrific idea!

It’s not required, but in the unlikely event you should need to follow-up on damage, photographic documentation is handy.

We don’t recommend leaving stuff in the car.

Though it would be convenient to use your transport to ship belongings too, we can’t include that in your car shipping quote. While there are some situations for which a bag or two in the trunk might be overlooked, you will have to defer to your driver. Depending on the weight of the entire load you might incur additional fees or you may have to remove your things before the car is loaded.

Still have questions about how to get ready for your car hauler? Give us a call at 866-221-1664, a representative will be happy to help get you the information you need!

Factors to Consider When Analyzing Car Shipping Quotes

car shipping quotesIn the past, getting a car shipping quote may have been considered a difficult or painstaking task. Today, car shipping companies have proved to be invaluable, when it comes to transporting your car to a new destination. Having a professional perform this task for you takes away the stress, and makes moving a manageable task. When looking for a company to transport your car, or fleet of cars, you should get one that provides quality services at an affordable price. You need to do your due diligence and ask for car shipping quotes from several companies, and weight the prices against several factors before you make your final decision. Some of the factors are:

• Quality of service – This is the premier consideration when it comes to seeking transportation for your vehicle. You want a shipper who will deliver your car on time, in the same condition as it was, and at a good price. Many people opt for the cheapest service, and then regret later, when their cars are delivered late, and sometimes with damages that were not there before.

• Mode of transport – In most cases, the transporters will use carefully designed trailers for the transportation of the cars. In some cases, you might find that your car will be loaded onto a flat-bed truck. The kind of car shipping quotes you get from these different transporters will reflect on the type of vehicle that you car will be loaded onto.

Special offers or discounts? – Car shippers can sometimes offer certain discounts depending on the circumstances of your transport route. Be sure to ask your car carrier agent if there might be something you could take advantage of.  It could be shipping at a particular date, or route.

If you are buying a pre-owned vehicle, from another individual online, or from an online auction, you should get independent car shipping quotes to compare against those provided on the website. Some online auction, and retail sites, will offer to deliver the vehicle at a certain price, but if you can get a shipper who will give you a better quote, then you should consider the alternative.

Do your due diligence and ask for opinions from people who have used these services in the past. Agencies such as the Better Business Bureau have a lot of helpful information regarding the companies operating in this industry. Compare car shipping quotes against reviews, referrals, and testimonials, before you make your final decision on which company to choose. Remember that your car is a considerable asset, and you need to protect its value, by getting the best shipping service possible.