Driving your vehicle by yourself or having someone drive it for you are the two common options available while trying to transport your car over a long distance. This arrangement may seem difficult for you, as your options are being streamlined.
Using an auto shipping company is the third option that will take away all the stress involved from you. How to determine the right shipping company that will do a perfect job for you is the biggest question when you are considering hiring a vehicle shipping company.
Following some simple and little steps will make your quest for finding the best vehicle shipping company easier.
How to determine the vehicle shipping company that perfectly suits your needs can be an overwhelming task as the industry is filled with competition, poor stories, and many problems. It is highly recommended that you conduct proper research on any of the shipping company you are considering before you make any commitments.
This post will share some helpful tips to choose the best auto transport company. Let’s dive into it.
What Is an Auto Transporting Company?
This is basically a business that offers to ship automobiles in the open air and/or close air carriers methods from one point to another.
Auto-shipping companies will help you to ship your car, whether you are relocating to a new place or you just need to move your newly bought vehicle.
Transporting your cars should not be that difficult. There are many auto shipping options to choose from presently; finding the best service at the best rate is so much possible.
To get a dependable, hassle-free experience, and as well as successful delivery of your vehicles, there are a number of companies out there – you only need to choose right.
Reasons to Choose an Auto Transport Company for your Car Shipping
You probably agree that your car also deserves to be treated well. Among the measures you take are waxing of its body so as to protect the paint job, avoiding any damages to the seat, driving safely to ensure its safety and soundness. All these make your search for a car shipping company more meaningful.
Road trips may be fun, exciting, and adventurous, but it also comes with great challenges. Driving in the car alone or having a little number of people in the car with you can also get boring sometimes.
Top seven reasons why you should go for vehicle delivery services instead of driving it yourself are discussed below.
1. Save yourself from adding to the Mileage of your Vehicle
The meter scale on the dashboard of your car goes up each time you drive. Each mile you drive does contribute to how quickly your car will age, and this will definitely affect its market value when you put it up for sale.
You are also putting wear and tear on the wheels, engine, body, and the general physical appearance of the car apart from the meter going up, and this also decreases the market value of the car. This is also true about the interior parts of the car.
When you ship your car, it only sits as a passenger in the container while it’s being transported from one destination to another without the meter going up or the car running miles.
The same condition you left the car when you packed it will be the condition you meet once it gets delivered to your preferred location.
This condition applies to any type of car, be it, a premium model or a normal model. To ensure your car maintains a high value for resale, shipping your vehicle is highly recommended.
2. You save your Precious Time
Driving the vehicle yourself means that you will either take some time off work or spend your vacation on the journey, with your weekend inclusive. Choosing to ship your vehicle, however, will allow you to spend your time as you so wish without taking some time off.
Driving your car from one state to another could take up to a week before you get to your destination. Is that not enough reason to give the car to a dedicated company to ship?
3. You end up Saving Money
You will have to pay for gas, many stops over for meals per day, hotel, or motel booking for your overnight stay when you drive the vehicle yourself. You will have to pay for all of these again if you are driving back to your first location on a round trip.
If your trip is from one country to another, you will also have to pay for some maintenance repairs for your car if you are driving it yourself.
None of this payment will be required when you ship your car. In most cases, the cost of driving the car by yourself is always greater than the cost of hiring an auto transport company to do the shipping for you. You also won’t have to be absent from work because of this, and thus, you will be saving some money.
4. Reduced Wear and Tear
Driving your car yourself over a long-distance means there definitely will be a lot of wear and tear while the car also accumulates miles, the car will be more exposed to weather elements such as hail, rain, sun, dust, and others.
Contrary to this, when you ship your car, it will sit in an open or closed trailer, and will not be saved from weather elements and specks of dust for most aspects.
It will also not accumulate mile as the car won’t be running, thereby preserving the market value of your car and also guarantee safe arrival at its destination in the same condition it was before departure.
5. Ensure Safety and Reliability
With many insurance options available, auto transport carriers will be able to guarantee the safety of your car. Drivers that have a lot of experience in handling shipping vehicles and possess relevant and required licenses and certifications, and having passed many background checks are being used by top auto transport companies.
To determine how credible and reliable an auto transport company is, you can check the Better Business Bureau website to see what consumers are saying about them.
You can rest assured that your car is in good hands when you choose to ship it by hiring an auto transport company, knowing that it will reach its destination safely with little or no complications at all.
6. You’re doing good to the Environment
You are doing the environment a great favor when you chose to ship your vehicle using a vehicle relocation service instead of driving it by yourself.
The amount of pollution contributed by the number of cars on the road is quite much. More vehicles on the road mean more sound and air pollution, fewer cars mean reduced pollution.
For this reason, the government encourages the use of public transport. At a time, auto carriers ship about 4 or 5 cars. Meaning that it is a ratio of 3 to 1 (a truck will be on the road for every three cars), thereby reducing pollution.
7. Transport more than One at a Time
You will have the opportunity to transport more than one vehicle at a go when you choose to ship your vehicles with an auto transport company.
If you are a collector or you have just bought many cars from an auction, or you deal with the car business online, you will derive many benefits from this. Similarly, most families have two or more vehicles.
For the fact that most auto transport companies give discounts on shipping more than two vehicles, you will be able to save some money as well. You both gain from the multiple shipping.
Choosing the Best Auto Transporter
Before you decide on which reliable auto transport company to choose, there are some questions you have to ask so as to ensure your vehicle gets to its destination on-time and safely.
As you go by looking for the best auto transport company for your vehicle shipping, below are some important things to note:
What is their license status with DOT (MC number) and their authorization by FMCSA?
MC number and authorization is required by FMCSA from every carrier or broker before they can transport vehicles. Select the MC# from the list of options and enter the MC# to search.
Do not let any company whose MC number when searched brings “Not Authorized” in red letters transport your car, no matter what excuse they give.
How long have they been in business?
Many brokers and carriers have come and gone within a short period of time. In most scenarios, some companies with a bad reputation and poor online presence will start a new company using a different name.
This has become as normal, as most of the new companies in the industry don’t know how to transport vehicles. They issue quote using online automatic quote generator that base prices on mileage instead of the current industrial trend and knowledge of the business.
Hiring such companies will put the entire shipping in jeopardy, as they may probably end up telling you stories or worse, demanding more money from you to complete the process. It is advisable to use Auto Transport Company that knows exactly how to perfectly deliver a satisfying job for you.
Have you read what their customers say about them on Google?
Many reliable and independent review sites are available on the internet for you. There will certainly be some reviews on the company you are considering hiring if they have been around for a long.
Avoid reading a review from review sites owned or made for the auto transport industry as some of the sites give these companies some kind of special treatment to post reviews, especially, if they happen to be a paid member of the site.
You can check Moving Feedback, Google, Bing, and Yahoo for reviews on any auto transport company, but you will also need to dig deeper to get the complete story on any of the companies. Start with companies with the lowest star rating and bad reviews.
You can also check other online reviews to see how each auto transport company handles problems that may arise during the process before you settle for hiring one.
Does the company offer Open or Enclosed Transport?
There are basically two major options available in auto transportation. One involves transporting your vehicle in an open-air trailer from your location to your destination. This option is the most common and widely used.
The second option involves the use of an enclosed trailer to transport your vehicle to its final destination, keeping your vehicle safe from the weather elements.
This option comes at a great cost and is generally not necessary unless you need to move an antique car, a highly prized car that commands great care. You can learn more about the differences between Open and Enclosed Transport options here.
Have you read their Better Business Bureau customer reviews online yet?
You will find the profile tab on the site of an established business in the United States. Their Better Business Bureau ratings and verified client reviews will be on their site.
All clients review is verified by the BBB before it is being posted on their website so as to make sure that the information you are getting is a genuine one and not bought or doctored testimonies.
Do they have contingent cargo insurance?
To transport vehicles, every auto transport company must provide cargo insurance. You don’t want to hire a company whose policy got canceled due to non-payment while they are transporting your vehicle.
Ensure the carrier you hire has a backup insurance policy. This could help you save a huge sum of money should any unpleasant issue occur during the transition, as it happens sometimes.
Have you read the fine print to avoid delays?
An honest and reliable carrier will tell you prior to any commitment that there is no certainty in the auto transport business. Delay can occur at any moment, as trucks do break down often. It is, however, essential for you to know that the delay can only be for days and not up to a week or weeks.
Some companies have it in their contract that they have up to 30 business days to transport your vehicle to the specified destination. This is a trap as they only seize the long day’s opportunity to find a carrier that will do the move for a lesser amount or almost for free.
Some carriers will also do this for profit’s sake without giving timely delivery of your vehicle any consideration. The vehicle rental fees, when accumulated, amount to a great sum.
You will have to lose the deposit given to them should you chose to find another reputable and more reliable auto transport company to move your vehicle as the deposit is most certainly non-refundable with them.
Did they provide the cheapest auto transport quote?
Moving a car from one place to another is quite expensive. Not that it is mandatory for you to choose the most expensive option on the table, but also avoid choosing the cheaper company. Let your decision be based on the result of your diggings and how comfortable you are with the company representative.
The cheapest carrier is doing something shady behind the corner. The bottom line here is that they are basically going to shop your vehicle around until they find a carrier that will do it at a lower rate to what they’ve collected from you.
This also means that your vehicle may take longer than expected to arrive at your destination. It may also interest you that they may be transporting your vehicle with trucks that have no cargo insurance.
If your vehicle gets damaged along the way, you will have to pay a lot of thousands again to see it get back to shape.
What type of delivery option does the auto transport company offer you? Is it Pick-Up and Drop-Off?
Although some auto transport companies do offer a door to door car delivery option at an additional cost, most vehicle transport services require you to bring your car to them and also come pick it up when it arrives at its final destination. The pick-up and drop-off point will be the factor that determines the price in some cases.
This can be best understood by comparing the transporting of vehicles within a smaller distance and a long distance. You can save some money in your pocket by traveling a few distances to pick up your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I put in place to ship my vehicle?
Switch any anti-theft devices off and remove any personal stuff from the vehicle. Keep or remove any loose parts, custom items, or wide mirrors. If possible, lower or remove the antenna.
Ensure there is enough anti-freeze in your radiator to protect the car from cold weather. Secure the battery, and make sure your vehicle’s fluid level is low enough to allow expansion. Reduce the fuel in your gas tank to about ¼ to ½ to reduce your vehicle’s weight, which will add to the shipping cost.
When will my vehicle be picked up?
Car shippers ship more than 90% of their shipment orders within a week. That could range from one to seven days. The majority of the United States population that reside in populated areas get their car shipped faster than otherwise. Shipping of a car is usually done in a regular way, about half within a few days.
If your origin or destination locations are far from metropolitan areas, such as remote areas, your best play might be to meet with a driver in the nearest big town or city to stand a better chance of express shipping. Note, you can designate anyone as your point of contact, as this reduces the stress on your vehicle shipping and you can as well get it shipped faster.
What method is the cheapest to ship a vehicle?
The cheapest method of transporting your car is by the open-air truck trailer transport. Also, your flexibility with the shipping dates can reduce your cost. Do not move during summer or holiday as they are classified as peak season. Shop for deals and contact various companies to discover the company with the best rate for you. Read our post Enclosed Vehicle Transport vs. Open Trailer.
How much does car shipping cost?
No precise answer to this. Many factors decide the cost of shipping, such as the size of the vehicle, seasonal fluctuations, distance, shipping methods (open or enclosed carrier), and operable or inoperable vehicle conditions. The final car price can be affected by any of those factors. Read our post How Much does it Cost to Ship a Car?
What documentation is necessary?
Transporters request various types of documentation when they received your vehicle to ensure things go smoothly. This may require you to provide proof of insurance, damage inspection report, a title for your vehicle, and other relevant documentation for your auto transporter.
Can I ship other personal things inside my car while it is being shipped?
No. Any lost or damaged household items lost during transit are not covered by the carrier insurance. That is why we do not recommend storing personal items in your vehicle. You should also know that the carrier or broker is not liable for any loss or damage to any personal goods in transit.
Auto transport companies are not licensed by law to ship household or personal items. Most people will neglect the warning and still store items in the trunk of their vehicle regardless. This is a very bad idea because the driver is not liable for any damage or loss to those items while the vehicle is in their care.
Is special insurance in place by vehicle transportation companies to protect my vehicle?
The law requires all auto shipping companies to carry insurance. Additional coverage may be needed for luxury and classic cars, so make sure you consult your insurance provider to see the effective insurance for your need.
Make sure you not only hear that your auto shipper has insurance, but also make sure you see the proof of it before releasing your vehicle to their care. Do not, for any reason, choose an auto shipper that does not carry insurance.
Although it is illegal, it is also dangerous for your vehicle, as they can’t be held responsible for any damage to it during transit.
What are the things I must do to prepare my vehicle for transportation?
Ensure the inside and outside of your car is properly cleaned. You and the driver must identify and agree on any pre-existing damage. The driver will record the pre-existing damage before picking up your vehicle. Switch off any radar detectors or alarms before the vehicle is being shipped.
Add anti-freeze to your car if it is being transported to a cold climate to winterize it. Make sure your vehicle’s fuel level is kept low and inform the driver if your vehicle is leaking any fluid before the vehicle shipping. Read our post on The Ultimate Car Shipping Checklist.
Your car deserves the best treatment even when you are transporting it to your new destination. Such treatment can be gotten when you hire an auto transport company. They will make sure that your vehicle is transported safely without spending beyond normal when you take proper note of these things, as you search for an auto transport company to hire for your vehicle move.
This will also help you eradicate the stress of driving the car by yourself over distances; thereby saving you a lot of time as well. Have you shipped a car across the state or country before? Let’s have your view in the comment box!