Whether you are preparing for a cross-country move, purchasing a new car from another state, or just heading to your vacation home for a few months, you might be in need of car shipment services. Since this isn’t something most people do frequently, it might seem like a daunting task. The truth is, car shipping is a fast, simple, and reliable process but there are certain things to look for before signing on the dotted line. Most auto transport companies have specific terms and conditions so it’s important to read and fully understand your entire auto shipping contract before signing it. While these terms and clauses can vary from one company to another, here are a few important terms and conditions to look for when shipping your vehicle.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
Just like with anything else, there may be a time when you need to cancel your auto transport order after you have already made it. Even if you have made a deposit, it should be possible for you to cancel your order as long as you do so within the appropriate time frame. Since each auto transport company is different in regards to their policies, it is important to fully understand the parameters of your contract when it comes to cancellations. Keep in mind that even if you are able to successfully cancel your order, you might not be refunded right away. It could take several days to process your refund so be sure to check for this in your contract.
Pickup and Delivery Terms and Conditions
Be sure and read the full terms and conditions regarding pickup and delivery. In most cases, customers are only provided with an estimated pick-up and delivery date since it is difficult to give exact dates in this industry. Given that there are a number of circumstances that could impact delivery time, estimated dates are most common. In most cases, auto transport companies are not held responsible for any damages or loss caused by any type of delay, such as car rental fees and lodging. Furthermore, be sure and familiarize yourself with the dropoff and pickup locations.
It is important to understand the liability information fully. While the exact terms might vary slightly from one company to another, generally most companies have similar terms and conditions regarding liability. For example, customers are responsible for properly preparing their vehicle for shipment by removing any low hanging accessories, spoilers, loose parts, or external racks and alarm systems should be disabled. The vehicle should also have no more than half a tank of fuel and be in good running condition. Furthermore, most transport companies do not allow customers to leave personal belongings inside the vehicle during shipment. They will not be liable for anything that is damaged or stolen.
Insurance Coverage, Claims, and Damage Reports
Most reputable auto transport companies provide liability insurance for your vehicle during transport. This means that they are responsible for any damage that occurs to your vehicle as a result of their negligence. These conditions, however, might exclude damage from outdoor elements (acts of God) theft, or other conditions that are out of their control. Also, the amount of coverage might vary from one company to another so be sure you are well informed of your vehicle’s coverage. In the event that your vehicle is damaged, there are specific terms and conditions regarding claims and damage reports. Generally, any damage claims must be reported immediately, designated on the bill of lading, and signed by the customer. In addition, most insurance claims must be submitted in writing within 24 hours of delivery. Again, these specific terms could vary from one company to another so be sure and read the full disclosure.
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.