Have you ever experienced receiving a damaged or broken package? Or have you ever received a package you were expecting because it was lost or stolen from your doorstep? Just imagine those things occur to your car instead of your inexpensive packaged item. Can you really rely on auto shipping companies? This is a great concern for first time shippers that are just looking to ship their cars for the first time. The questions that do come up include – is it safe to ship a car? Or should one just focus on driving the car oneself or hire someone to drive it? We will be discussing the safety concerns associated with shipping car by a professional car shipping company.
You definitely don’t want your car to arrive at your new destination with scratches, dents, or other major damage or not get to your destination at all. In this post, Moving Feedback wants to discuss all the dangers involved in shipping a car and suggests basic tips to minimize safety risks all through your auto transport.
How safe is my Car during Shipping?
The good news is that – your car is safe during shipping if it is being transported by a reliable car shipping company. Yes, the safety of your car depends solely on the car shipping company of your choice. There are many auto transporters out there, but only a few can stand the test of time. Check their reliability and demand for their safety measures. Verify their insurance, license, and if they are bonded. Read reviews about the shipping service provider on review sites and their score on the Better Business Bureau.
Car shipping is safe when it is handled by safe hands. Would driving the car myself over long distances or by someone be safer? Probably yes or no. Handling your car to a complete stranger to drive over a long-distance is a huge risk compared to using a shipping company.
If you are very good and careful at driving, then it might just be safe if you do it yourself. However, the cost of shipping your car using this method (driving) could quickly add up from food, lodging, gas, and other sudden expenses. The less expensive and efficient option is to hire an auto transport company for car transport.
Consider the following questions even as you are searching for a safe and reliable auto transport service provider:
Are the auto company licensed, insured, and bonded? Stay away from them if they do not possess these qualifications or the company is not ready to show their evidences of its credentials or its permits cannot be verified online.
Is the price too low? If the price is unbelievably low, then maybe it is not real. Auto companies that submit the lowest bid are not usually the best company for your auto transport job, so go for reputations and not the cheap cost.
Do they talk on speed as well as a guarantee on pickup/delivery dates? The auto company should be more concerned about efficiency and safety and not speed. However, there is no guarantee on dates in the auto transport world but there is a window for your delivery.
What are their customers saying? If the company has no customer reviews online, then ask for references. Or you just try and get a recommendation from a closed person to you.
How easy is communication with them? The auto shipping company should be easy to communicate with and also offer excellent customer service. If you find it hard to arrange your car delivery, then you might find it hard to report any damages or loss, should there be any.
So you know shipping a car is safe, but you have to choose a reputable auto shipping company. For more informative posts, kindly check our write-up on how to choose a trustworthy auto transporter and the article on the best auto transport companies. Carefully go through them to be safe.
Things to Consider for Car Shipping Safety
Loss and damages can and do happen, but you can always help reduce the possibilities of these incidents by carefully researching the type of auto shipping you need. Consider the following factors:
Crashes during Transit
Your vehicle is exposed to a potential crash during transit. There are about 100,000 and 200,000 crashes that involve large trucks like those hauling vehicles annually.
Below is the car crash statistics for big sized trucks”
2019 (as at September)
Endeavour to check accident statistics of any car transport service you are considering to hire to minimize the chance of any potential accident in your car.
Theft during Transit
You have to look out for two types of theft, namely – theft of your car and theft of your personal items. You have to watch out for dishonest companies known as the famous thieves in the industry, as they are the main risk when it comes to car theft while it is in transit. You can get a safety guide for your vehicle from the provision made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These include:
- Be well equipped about disparity between carriers and brokers.
- Keep a close tap on your financial transactions. This is not only about keeping your vehicle safe but will also give you overall financial protection.
- Carry out the company registration details.
Thieves cannot find it easy to steal your car from the layout of shipping trucks. They will have to climb the transport truck, which is mostly in public view, break the window to get in, hope to find something of value to take away, and flee without being noticed or got crushed by one of the loaded cars.
However, it is still possible. That is why we always advised customers not to pack personal belongings inside their cars. Use any of the best truck rental companies or reputable moving container companies to haul your belongings instead.
Type of Transport
The type of transport you pick for your car matter in determining its safety. You can choose any of the enclosed or open transport. Although the open transport comes cheap, the enclosed option provides the best protection for your vehicle using wheel nets or nylon straps, higher lift gate clearance, and four walls that protect the vehicle from the elements while in transit. See more information on the options – enclosed transport vs. open trailer.
How to Keep your Vehicle Safe during Auto Shipping?
Just as said earlier, car shipping is generally safe. To reduce your risk, avoid dishonest companies, unreal shipping quotes, and increase your safety when shipping your car. We have compiled this list of essential steps to take.
Below are tips to keep your vehicle safe during auto shipping:
Read the reviews online before choosing a company: Conduct your research before you hire a car shipping service. You can schedule as low as 5 minutes each to read companies’ online reviews. You should consider checking other companies if a company you review has many complaints about missing belongings, car damage, or driver absence. This step will surely help you.
- Look out for scammers: With just about a few hundreds of dollars, anyone can start their own vehicle shipping service; however, the results are not always encouraging. The vehicle shipping industry is often referred to as the “Wild West” because there are no regulations there. You can check each company’s license and insurance status through the motor carrier (MC) number issued to each car transporter by the FMCSA. You can also check the company’s accident history and customer complaint record through the number as well.
- Get many car shipping quotes: Safety sometimes means making sure your account is safe from unnecessary charges and not only about the state of your vehicle. Endeavor to get as many shipping quotes as possible before you hire a company. This will help you identify rogue shipping companies as well as enable you to negotiate for a better deal. You can check our post on how much does it cost to ship a car to have first-hand information about the cost to help compare different companies’ quotes.
A company that charges too low or too high for shipping services could be a sign of potential scam, so please beware of them.
- Avoid prices that look unbelievably true: You would definitely steer back of a house deal that supposedly cost $700,000 but is now being offered to you at $100,000. You have to beware of car shipping quotes that look ridiculously low compared to what other auto shipping companies are offering. A too low price should be avoided.
- Make sure your vehicle is fully prepared: There are many things associated with car shipping than just hauling it onto a truck and biding it goodbye. You have to get rid of personal stuff from the car, folding the side mirrors, switching off any electronic devices, and so on. Our ultimate car shipping checklist is available to guide you on this part. Also, you can read our other posts to learn more about how to prepare your car for shipping.
- Interact with your driver: Knowing basic details about your mail delivery guy is not necessary, but in car shipping, you have to go for it. Any damage to your car while shipping is undoubtedly more than just $30 which you can overlook. Request for basic info such as name and phone number of your driver from your broker. With that, you can always contact your driver if delivery is taking too long or something goes wrong. There have also been reports of brokers trying to charge last-minute fees on bookings made weeks before the shipping. So if the driver information is with you, then you can prove that you have made reservations in advance of your shipment. Above all, having the contact of your delivery guy will help you to keep track of your shipping.
- Be attentive during inspections: Most of us have experienced the need to drop calls while a customer service representative is reading terms and conditions made over the phone. This mistake should be avoided during your car inspection. The inspection will be carried out on your car before and after loading onto and from the transport truck. A document known as a bill of lading will be given to you, which shows the condition of your car. You may not be entitled to any claim if you fail to indicate damage to your vehicle during transportation in the paperwork on delivery. This process is also explained in detail in our ultimate car shipping checklist.
You now know your car is very much safe during auto shipping than to leave it in the hands of a total stranger to drive it over a very long-distance. You only need to follow the safety tips discussed in this guide, so you don’t end up with an auto shipping company that doesn’t prioritize the safety of your car while in transit. Feel free to check our guide on how to choose the best car shipping for better decision making.
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