For most people, car shipping is not something they do on a regular basis. In fact, many customers looking for this service are doing so for the first time and therefore have very little knowledge of the industry and how it really works. Like anything else, there are myths surrounding the auto transport industry that can make it difficult to distinguish between what is true and what isn’t. Countless people are interested in auto shipping, but hesitate as a result of these common misconceptions. Here we will address some of the most common car shipping myths.
1. It costs more to ship a car than drive it yourself.
This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions and the main reason why people hesitate to ship their car. If you are in need of transporting your car across the country, you can easily end up spending more to drive it yourself. People forget about factoring in the cost of hotels, food, and gas for a multi-day trip. Not to mention that it requires you to take off work to drive your car such a long way. Furthermore, it puts additional wear and tear on your vehicle that can result in your car needing to be serviced sooner than expected.
2. Car shipping is not safe.
You may have heard that it’s risky to ship your car but this is completely untrue. Each year thousands of vehicles are shipped safely across the country. Reputable car transport companies take extra precautions to ensure your car arrives safely at its destination. Though vehicle damage is rare, auto transport companies offer shipping insurance to protect your vehicle in the unlikely event that damage does occur. In fact, car shipping is a much safer option than driving your car such a long distance.
3. Car shipping takes longer than driving.
If you are planning to drive thousands of miles across the country, it can take you several days to reach your destination. Auto shipping is a faster, safer, and more convenient option. Many transport companies even offer expedited shipping options if you require your vehicle sooner.
4. The cost of car shipping is determined solely by distance.
While distance is certainly a factor, it is definitely not the only factor when it comes to shipping costs. There are actually several factors that can affect shipping costs such as the size and condition of the vehicle, accessibility of delivery destination, type of carrier being used (open or enclosed), flexibility of delivery dates, and even the time of year. As you can see, the exact price of shipping your car depends on a number of factors.
5. You can only ship your car on an open trailer.
Since it is common to see an open trailer carrying vehicles on the highway, many people assume this is their only option. While this is certainly the most popular option, it is definitely not the only option. You also have the option of requesting an enclosed trailer if you prefer additional protection for your vehicle. In fact, enclosed trailers are the preferred option for antique, luxury, or classic cars.
6. It’s difficult to find an auto transport company you can trust.
As with any business, there are scammers out there looking to prey on unsuspecting customers. That said, there are also plenty of legitimate car shipping companies. There are several ways to find a reputable company such as checking reviews, checking the Better Business Bureau, and checking the company’s licensing and history with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
7. You should pick the lowest quote.
It’s only natural to want to feel like you're getting the best price, but the lowest price can actually be a red flag in the auto shipping industry. Unfortunately, some companies will use bait and switch tactics to lure customers in which they offer a low price upfront and then require you to pay a much higher price once you gain possession of your vehicle. If you notice a company offering a price that is significantly lower than everyone else, this could be a sign that something is not right.
8. You can’t ship inoperable vehicles.
While it may cost you a bit more, you absolutely can ship a car that is inoperable. You just need to find a company that has the proper equipment to load and unload a car that does not run on its own. It requires a special type of hauler and a bit of additional physical labor so not every company offers this service. That said, there are companies that do have this equipment and can safely ship your inoperable vehicle.
9. It’s complicated to get your car ready for shipment.
Preparing your car for shipping is actually much easier than you might think. There are just a few easy steps to ensure your vehicle is ready to go:
- Clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
- Take photos of your vehicle’s condition prior to shipment just in case a problem arises.
- Remove all personal items from your vehicle.
- Leave no more than ¼ tank of gas in your vehicle.
- Take care of any maintenance prior to shipping such as oil change, tire rotation, etc.
10. All car shipping companies are the same.
It’s not quite as simple as just picking the first transport company you find. Unfortunately not all car shipping companies are created equal. Some offer different services such as door-to-door shipping , the ability to ship inoperable vehicles, options for enclosed transport, and even different availability for delivery dates. Furthermore, you want to check the reviews of each company closely, as some may have a better reputation than others. Each company has its own menu of services as well as personal customer service so choose one that you feel comfortable with and can trust.
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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