Nobody thinks about shipping a vehicle until the moment they have to. Maybe you’ve bought a new car from a dealership in a different state, or you’re moving out of state for work or college. In such instances, a reputable auto shipping company can haul your car to the required destination while ensuring safety and reliability.
A simple internet search for car shipping companies will bring you many search engine results featuring auto transport providers. Choosing the right auto shipper is not a walk in the park. You want a reputable service provider that you can trust to ferry your car.
Fortunately, there are a couple of aspects you can focus on during your search to increase your prospects of choosing the right auto shipping company. Read on for more insight.
Are They Registered?
Any auto shipping company needs to be registered with the Department of Transportation in the state in which they are currently operating. For example, if the auto shipper operates within California, they should be registered with the California Department of Transportation. And if they are also transporting cars across state borders, they ought to be in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database.
Upon registration, the car shipping companies are usually given registration numbers as proof. A reputable auto shipper will be happy to provide you with their registration details so that you can confirm their credibility on the appropriate government web portal. For complete peace of mind, always ship your vehicle with a service provider that is duly registered.
Do They Provide Shipping Coverage?
As part of FMCA regulations, all auto shipping companies must carry proper insurance coverage. Ask to check out the company’s certificate insurance. Find out the amount of coverage the service provider covers during the shipping process. Do they cover damage to the entire car or just specific parts? Will you need to pay a deductible in the event of damage?
Most auto shippers will provide some form of coverage for your car’s shipment. But some companies don’t include it in the quote. This means you may have to pay an extra fee for this coverage.
You should also ask when the auto shipper’s liability coverage starts and ends. For insurers, the coverage only applies when your car is on the carrier and does not include transportation to and from the terminal. Make sure you understand the exact amount of coverage you have from your insurer and the auto shipping company so that you can decide whether or not to buy additional insurance.
By reading online customer reviews and testimonials, you will learn how the car shipping process went for previous customers and analyze how the auto shipper performed across different service parameters. For instance, you may learn how long it took for the car to be shipped and the overall value provided to the customer during the whole process. Reviewers often will be frank and candid if they experience delayed car deliveries, lousy customer service, or any negative experience during the shipping process.
Check for reviews for the following service categories:
• Service quality: Most reviewers will say something about the overall service quality for the auto shipper. Poor service quality may mean delays, hidden fees, or some other hitch that didn’t go down well with the customer.
• Overall value vis-à-vis car shipping price: Most reviewers will mention the shipping price and whether it was worth the value of the entire shipping process. This piece of information may be valuable for first-timers who have never shipped a car before.
• Car shipping efficiency: Reviews about car shipment efficiency can inform you whether or not to expect lengthy shipment delays. Many poor reviews should be a warning sign.
It’s usually not prudent to only use customer testimonials from the auto shipper’s website. You want to have an unbiased illustration of the customer experience. Thus, you should also check out a couple of unbiased shipping review platforms, including:
• Social media reviews on platforms like Facebook and Twitter
• Yelp reviews
• Third party review websites
• Better Business Bureau reviews
A Free, No-Obligation Quote
After making a shortlist of auto shippers that seem trustworthy, the next step is to ask for quotes from multiple shippers. A reputable car shipping company will be happy to provide you with a free quote for your car’s shipment based on several factors like:
• Vehicle’s make and model
• Shipping distance
• Choice of door-to-door delivery or terminal-to-terminal delivery
• Choice of enclosed or open carrier transport
Be cautious of any service provider that gives you a quote without asking lots of questions regarding your shipping needs. Chances are, then, that you may pay more than the quoted price. Furthermore, watch out for auto transport companies that pressure you to make a decision hastily. A hard sell is never a good sign.
The Bottom Line
There are countless auto transport companies out there. Therefore, the difficulty isn’t in locating one but rather in deciding which auto shipper you can trust to ferry your car from one point to another safely and at an affordable price. But with this checklist, you can be sure to find the right one.