Many people who are shipping a car are doing so for the first time so they might not be fully prepared. Although there are many shipping companies that promise to transport your vehicle safely and on time, it’s important to note that not all of them provide the same quality of service. Taking the right steps to research auto shipping companies can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches. Furthermore, you want to take the right steps to make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for shipment. When it comes to shipping your vehicle, here are some common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not Doing Your Research
There are hundreds of auto transportation companies advertising online so you need to do adequate research to make sure the one you choose is reliable. The government has regulations in place that require companies to register with the Department of Transport. Additionally, they are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The company should be willing to provide you with its registration number, MC docket number, or DoT number. In addition to checking for proper registration, you should read reviews and check the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau.
Mistake #2: Going with the Cheapest Price
There is nothing wrong with comparing prices to find the best deal, but never go with a company that is drastically cheaper than the competition. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Some companies will try to lure customers with lower prices but be cautious about these companies. Lower prices don’t always mean better deals. Oftentimes, these companies fail to mention all of the additional fees and charges that will be added to your final bill. It’s also possible that this could be a scam. Reputable auto shipping companies are typically comparable in price.
Mistake #3: Not Verifying Insurance
Your car is one of your most valuable assets so you want to ensure it is properly insured during transport. Make sure you inquire with the auto shipping company about their insurance coverage to be sure it is sufficient in the event that something goes wrong.
Mistake #4: Poor Vehicle Preparation
There are several things you need to do prior to shipping your vehicle to be sure it is ready for transport. For instance, you need to thoroughly clean your vehicle inside and out and take pictures of its condition prior to shipment. That way, you can compare your vehicle’s condition after transport and provide documentation of any dents or scratches. You also want to make sure your gas tank is only ¼ full, your tires are well inflated, and your vehicle is running properly before transport.
Mistake #5: Leaving Belongings in Your Vehicle
Some people might think it’s wise to pack their vehicle with personal belongings for shipment, especially if they are moving. However, most shippers advise against this. Not only could it cause your vehicle to surpass its weight limit, but the items in your vehicle could be subject to theft or damage during shipment and the auto shipping company will not be responsible for any items left in 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.