Tips and FAQ
How to Pick an Auto Transport Company. Get more than one quote. To find the best auto transport company for your specific need, it is good to get a few different quotes. Make sure to receive each quote directly from the car shipping company to get the most accurate rate. Beware, many online sites that offer multiple quotes will actually sell your information to multiple 3rd party companies. Most standard vehicles ship at a flat rate, but be sure to designate any modifications such as lift kits, lowered suspension, over sized tires, etc or if you have a vehicle that is in non-running condition. Most modified and non-running vehicles require extra care for pickup and transport.
Get the facts. All quotes are not created equal. After receiving your quotes, be sure to understand what each rate includes. Some vehicle transport companies under quote the actual auto shipping rate so be cautious of any that are significantly lower than all other quotes. Also, be sure to completely read the terms of agreement and cancellation policies for each company.
Make research easy and effective. When choosing who to ship your car, be sure to do an adequate amount of research about the auto transport company. The quality of a company’s website and social networking credentials can be a good indicator of the quality of service you will receive. The auto transport industry is still in its infancy and has no real standards of how to ship vehicles. Many companies do not have insurance as they are not required by law. Look for a concrete price in the shipping agreement, MC #, insurance and trust fund information. If all those check out you should be good to go!
Get a contract. Be sure to have everything in writing such as an e-mailed or faxed contract that is signed by both parties. This will ensure a definite shipping rate and estimated pick-up date and it protects you as the customer.
Easy steps before pickup. When you are called for a pick-up time there are a few things to prepare your vehicle for transport. First and foremost, you want to remove all personal or valuable items as most auto transport companies are not responsible for items lost or stolen out of your vehicle during shipment. Second, auto carriers prefer to have a quarter tank of fuel or less as this greatly decreases the weight they carry. Be sure to ask about what can and cannot be carried in the vehicle during transport.
Inspect the vehicle. Be sure to inspect your vehicle with the carrier. Specifically, at pick-up list any existing damages on what is called a BOL or Bill of Lading. This is a vehicle condition report you will be asked to sign at pickup. Keep a copy for your records and for comparison at delivery when you will inspect the vehicle again and again sign the Bill of Lading. Get a completed copy for your records. During transport, just as any time you are on the road, it is possible for dings and scratches to occur, so be sure to ask your auto shipping company what happens if there is damage to the vehicle and how it is handled. If the vehicle is noticeably damaged it should be taken care of by your auto transport company.
1. Is my car insured?
Yes, your vehicle is fully insured for collision by your driver’s cargo insurance policy. What this means is that if there is any sort of accident involving your vehicle while on the truck, being loaded, or unloaded, it is fully covered and you are not responsible for any deductable. There are a few exclusions to cargo policies though. These usually include damages due to natural causes or road debris. For this reason, we do recommend that you keep personal coverage.
2. How much warning will I receive for my pick-up and delivery?
Usually carriers will schedule the pick-up day 1-3 days in advance. Available carriers can schedule as short as 2 hrs prior to pick-up. We will notify you of your pick-up as soon as we have something arranged. If the timing is too soon we can arrange for another carrier, but it can take more time. You should receive a call up to 12-24 hrs in advance to set up the specific time for delivery. You can contact us at any time for an update, but you will also have your driver’s contact info for more up to date info.
3. How long will it take for my vehicle to arrive?
There are many variables to consider when calculating travel times because weather and traffic patterns can affect times. Transport times from coast to coast are on average 7-10 days and from north to south 5-7 days. We will be able to give you an approximate delivery time frame at the time your pick-up is scheduled.
4. What does Door to Door service mean?
For the most part, this means we will pick-up your vehicle and deliver it directly to and from the areas you specify including residential areas. There are a few exceptions to this. Due to the size of our carriers, there must be thru-streets for entry and exit purposes. If there are any low lying branches, or if the street is a dead-end or cul-de-sac you may need to meet your driver in a parking lot nearby. Also, some metro areas have laws that restrict where large carriers may travel. If this is the case, you may need to meet in the closest legal spot for pick-up or delivery.
5. Should I set up my shipment in advance?
The earlier the better, but it is not necessary. Normally our carriers do not schedule more than 3 days in advance because routing can change; but the longer we have to let our drivers know about your route, the sooner we can set something up.
6. Can I pack my vehicle with anything?
The short answer is sometimes. The Department of Transportation only licenses carriers to transport vehicles. Their licenses do not include the transport of goods or personal items. For this reason they can be fined if caught. Usually drivers will allow up to 100lbs in the trunk because it is not visible from the road and will not raise a red flag at weigh stations. This is something we will need to set up in advance with your driver, but the items will not be insured.
7. Do I need to be there for the pick-up and delivery?
It does not need to be you personally, but someone does. You will need someone there to handle the keys and to sign the Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading needs to be signed to validate the carrier’s cargo insurance for your vehicle.
8. Does anything need to be done to get my vehicle ready?
For weight reasons, we ask that your vehicle’s fuel level is at ¼ tank or less. Also, we ask that you remove any items from the outside of the vehicle that are not tied or bolted down. For your vehicle’s safety, this includes any antennas that are not retractable.