Auto transport has become increasingly popular in recent years and even more affordable. That said, there can still be a few hidden costs that customers might not be aware of, and no one likes nasty surprises. Despite a few of these lesser known costs, most reputable auto transport companies will be upfront about all of the costs beforehand. Still, it helps to be aware of these hidden costs so you know what to look out for before signing a contract with an auto transport service. Here are a few tips to help you avoid those pesky hidden costs when shipping your car.
Condition of the Vehicle
It is important to make sure the vehicle you are transporting is in good working condition prior to shipment. Otherwise, you might incur a few extra charges. For example, if your vehicle cannot be driven onto the carrier, you may be charged an additional fee for moving the car into position. This requires the use of specialized equipment, thus adding to your fees. As long as you aware of your vehicle’s condition, you shouldn’t be hit with any additional charges.
Size of the Vehicle
Larger vehicles such as trucks and SUV’s are usually heavier and might be subject to a hidden cost because they require more fuel for transport. In order to get the most accurate quote from your shipping company, provide them with the make, model, and year of your car when you are requesting a price.
Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations
The distance you are shipping your car will have the most impact on the price. However, you could also incur hidden fees if you are shipping your car from or to a remote location. Auto carriers sometimes charge additional fees to drive your vehicle to a less populated area, as this takes more time and is generally much farther from the carrier’s next destination. Be sure to specify your pick up and drop off location on the front end so you are aware of the price. You can save money by having your vehicle delivered to the nearest auto terminal for pick up.
Make Sure the Quote is All-Inclusive
When you speak to the auto shipping company, be sure the price covers the full cost. Double check to make sure the price includes insurance, pick up and delivery, and fuel surcharges. Reputable car shipping companies won’t hide any fees and will let you know exactly what is included in the price upfront.
Type of Carrier
Be certain of the type of carrier you are being quoted for before you agree to a price. Enclosed carriers tend to be more expensive, though they do provide additional protection than open carriers. However, you need to specify which type of carrier you prefer and know the price of each on the front end.
Use of a Terminal
If your vehicle is being delivered directly to your door, you won’t have to worry about terminal fees but if your vehicle is being shipped to a terminal for storage, make sure you are aware of the terminal fees ahead of time.
The best way to avoid hidden fees when shipping your car is to provide your auto carrier with all relevant information on the front end. You want to be as specific as possible about your vehicle and your needs and ask to make sure the price they are quoting you is all-inclusive.
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.
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