The auto transport industry is growing rapidly, as things like online car buying become more popular. In addition to buying a car online, you may need auto transportation if you are moving across the country, vacationing for several months in another state, or even sending a child to college. Whatever the reason, getting a car from one part of the country to another is no small feat and that’s where auto transportation companies come in. They handle all of the logistics of transporting your vehicle so you don’t have to. While this is a very convenient service, there is more to the process than simply handing over your car keys.The process is a bit more complex than most people realize and it requires a bit of planning, research, and preparation on the part of the customer. Here are some important facts you should know if you are considering auto transportation services.
1.Not All Car Shipping Companies are the Same
Just as you would shop around before hiring a professional painter or contractor, you also need to shop around before hiring a professional auto transport company. Like any other industry, there are multiple companies that offer the same services but not all them offer the same customer service. For starters, you want to verify that you are working with a reputable company that is properly licensed, registered, and insured. Next, you want to check plenty of reviews to be sure the company has a good reputation. Finally, you want to compare pricing, and be on the lookout for any company whose prices seem too good to be true. The last thing you want is to be scammed when looking for auto transport.
2.There is Not a Set Price
One of the first things people want to know about auto transport is how much it costs. It is important to keep in mind that there are a number of factors that determine the cost of shipment. These factors include: the size of the vehicle, the distance of shipment, pick-up and drop-off locations, open or enclosed transport, time of year, and current fuel prices. Any reputable company should be able to provide you with a free quote when you provide them with this information.
3. Delivery Times are Not Guaranteed
It is nearly impossible to guarantee exact delivery dates in the auto transport industry. That’s because there are a number of factors that are out of their control that can contribute to delays. These include weather delays, traffic jams, road closures, and possible mechanical issues with the carrier. Though most companies will do their best to accommodate your needs, it is important to be flexible and keep in mind that some things just cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, plan in advance and expect your delivery date to fluctuate by a few days.
4. There are Different Methods of Shipment
When you are choosing an auto transport company, there are a lot of things to consider, including what method of shipment you prefer. You will have the option of choosing between open or enclosed transport. Open carriers are the most popular and affordable option, although your car will be exposed to the outdoor elements. An enclosed carrier, on the other hand, is the most secure option, though it will come at an additional cost. It is most common for vintage, classic, exotic, or luxury cars that need to be kept in pristine condition.
5. You Will Need to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipment
It’s not quite as easy as simply handing over your keys. There are a few important steps you need to take to ensure a safe delivery of your vehicle. In order to prepare your vehicle for shipment, you will need to:
- Wash the exterior
- Take pictures and document and existing scratches, dings, dents, or other damage
- Top off all fluid including transmission, oil, brake, and washer fluids
- Check the battery and tire pressure
- Perform any necessary repairs or maintenance such as an oil change
- Leave no more than ¼ tank of gas in your vehicle
- Remove all exterior accessories including bike or luggage racks, retractable antenna, or customer spoiler
- Remove all personal items from inside the vehicle
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. 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.