AUTO SHIPPING TIPS
How to find the best auto transport company?
1. Search the internet for keywords like car transport, auto transport, car shipping, auto shipping etc.
2. Seek the advice of friends who have used various shipping companies.
3. Scan through the dedicated Car Movers Directory in the internet.
4. Check sites like yp.com, Yahoo! Local, etc.
5. Choose a company who has handled more than a hundred deliveries of vehicles and thus be an experienced car transport company.
6. The company should render quality service and should also be cost effective.
7. Never be tempted into accepting the lowest offer, as those types of quotes are usually too good to be true.
8. Once you narrow your choices down to a few companies, do some fact checking on the companies.
9. Compare the services and charges with those of other companies.
10. Choose a company that will deliver your car in a timely fashion.
11. To verify the credentials of any auto-shipping company, go through FMCSA Safety & Fitness Electronic Records.
12. Websites like www.transportrankings.com (an auto transport review website) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) will be able to guide you with respect to comments & complaints about the company.
13. Talk to the auto transport company's customer care, listen keenly as the answers given to your questions will make you grasp the level of knowledge they have.
14. Get a quote online or over the phone for an estimate of charges, which is usually free with most car transport companies.
15. Be sure to ask companies for a copy of their documentation.
16. Find out if the company is registered with USDOT or the FMCSA and if so--verify their DOT or MC number.
17. Find out if the car shipping company has the ability to ship vehicles anywhere in the nation.
18. Confirm that have their federal license as well as bond requirements.
19. The company should also have the correct documents and cargo insurance coverage.
20. A fully legitimate company should have no problem with showing you these things.
21. If your shipping company is a broker they will have an MC number.
22. Many times if you contact an international auto shipping company directly instead of through a broker, you may not enjoy any type of price reduction.
23. The transport company must have a skilled batch of professional drivers who can handle your vehicle in various climate environments.
24. Inquire about all of the costs involved for your transport. Beware of hidden costs before the pick of your vehicles.
Choosing the service
25. Avoid the confusion of whether to choose Open or Enclosed vehicle shipment:
• If you're shipping a high-end luxury car (i.e.--Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, etc.) or a fully restored classic car, it's advisable to choose enclosed shipping. If your vehicle is an everyday driver, there is really no need to use an enclosed carrier, as it's much less expensive to go with an open transport.
26. Open car shipping is typically hundreds less than enclosed car shipping.
27. Enclosed car transport protects the car from various elements like dust, snow, hail, etc. Both methods have their pros and cons.
28. Auto carriers typically carry multiple clients vehicles at a time, this enables them to pass savings on to the client.
29. Certain routes are less expensive (ex: California to Florida as opposed to Wyoming to Maine) based on the pick up and destination locations for transport.
30. An oversized car will typically cost more than a smaller vehicle.
31. Classic car transport & luxury vehicle transport may cost more proportional to their price tags.
32. Check too see if the company will ship the vehicle to your house or the nearest terminal. Terminal shipping is not typically recommended (as the overall turnaround time for transport is greatly increased as well as the inherent danger of having your vehicle sit in an open lot waiting for a truck fill before departing).
33. A shipping company transporting your vehicle might not be able to get your automobile to your doorstep or close to your house, since their routes might not cover those areas. But the right company will be able to deliver the car to your residence (as long as the area allows it).
34. Terminal shipping companies use areas like tow yards to store your vehicle until a truck can be filled and therefore have a longer delivery time.
35. Charges for terminal to terminal car shipping are typically cheaper than delivery of the vehicle to the house.
36. Terminal shipping is considered the best option if you want to save money and have little concern to the safety or turnaround time or your vehicle transport.
37. If the rates are nearly the same, you should opt for the vehicle to be delivered to your home via door-to-door transport.
38. Try to negotiate a lower price with the terminal shipping, even if it's not originally offered by the company.
39. Confirm from the transporter the address of terminal, so that you can pick up the vehicle as soon as it is delivered.
40. Don't be late for your appointment when it comes to leaving the vehicle with the shipper or when taking delivery, as doing so may incur extra charges.
41. Keep in mind that certain companies who offer door-to-door delivery to ship your vehicle may store your vehicle in a terminal if you're not at home at the time the car shipping company attempts to deliver.
Payment methods and insurance details
42. After receiving your quotes, find out what payment method the carriers use, and what forms of auto shipping payments are accepted (credit card, cashiers check etc).
43. Some car transport companies may insist on full payment in advance, while others may ask for a deposit.
44. If a partial upfront amount is taken, the balance amount is usually necessary to be paid during delivery. You would additionally need a cashier check, money order or cash set when the truck delivers your car.
45. Keep cash ready as most truck drivers do not accept payment via credit card upon delivery.
46. Never rely on verbal promises made by your shipper. Get everything in writing.
47. Insist in writing that your car shipping company sends you a copy of your order which contains all the details you provided to them at the time you placed the order.
48. Verify the amount of insurance coverage that will be offered for your vehicle transport.
49. Ensure that costs, deductibles, damages, claim procedures, pickup and delivery dates, cost to cancel shipment, guarantees, etc. are all comprehensively covered in the auto shipping contract.
50. Make sure to confirm your total amount with all fees.
51. If a car shipping company offers a guarantee, be sure to get this guarantee in writing as most of these companies are willing to give an oral guarantee but will balk at putting it all in writing.
52. Get all the details about the insurance that has to be paid while shipping the vehicle. Is this included in the quote?
53. Some car shipping companies cover this with shipping cost and some companies carry it over as extra cost.
54. Read the contract to make sure the basics are understood.
55. Be wary of hidden fees that are listed in the small print on the contract.
56. Try to make arrangements at least one month before for shipping the vehicle.
57. Confirm the dates two weeks before the actual shipment.
58. If you require a fixed delivery date, make sure to discuss this with the auto transport company.
Cost of shipping
59. Auto shipping companies charge for a shipment based on the weight and size of the vehicle.
60. While you have no control over the weight of the vehicle, there are some things that you can do to cut down the overall weight before shipping.
61. Some cars have extra seats that can be removed before shipping.
62. Reducing the weight of auto shipment by keeping the gas tank content low is typically something done for shipments overseas or to the island of Hawaii.
63. It is advisable to remove toolboxes, add-on vehicle fittings and other accessories before the vehicle is shipped.
64. The car alarm should be disabled, as there are many kinds of alarms and the car company might not be able to shut it off.
65. The antennae should be removed.
66. Fog lights, spoilers and other loose parts should be secured well or removed.
67. Convertibles should be shipped with the top secured properly.
68. While being transported the cars should not have leaking fluids like brake fluids, as this will fall on the cars below if it is being shipped in a two deck open trailer.
69. The car mirror should be folded, if it is too wide.
70. If items like hood ornaments, decals, hubcaps are found loose, it is best to either remove or secure them.
71. Make sure to check the vehicle's undercarriage and also check for mechanical damages after shipment.
72. Any objects inside the car could move around and damage the interior. This kind of damage is not covered by auto transport insurance.
73. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle on pick up and delivery. The driver should also inspect the vehicle and provide you with a copy of the inspection sheet or bill of lading (BOL).
74. Take photographs of the vehicle especially of any dents, scratches, or other damage that is already on the car.
75. Before signing the agreement, make sure that you agree with any notations made regarding preexisting damage to your vehicle.
GPS tracking system
76. Check to see if the car transport company that you choose has a GPS tracking system enabled (most companies will not offer this service as the truck will have receiving GPS but not transmitting).
77. A car tracking system could help you to monitor rash, risky and dangerous driving practices.
78. GPS Tracking systems are rare. In the case of no tracking system, you should always have your rep or driver's contact info.
79. Get free online car transport quotes from various auto shipping companies over the internet.
80. Certain information like the origin and destination of transport, appropriate departure date, type of vehicle that has to be shipped, type of car transport service desired like to door to door auto transport or terminal to terminal auto transport helps to give you the best quote.
Things to be done before shipping
81. Obtain copies of insurance policies and all other agreements or promises in writing in order to avoid misunderstandings later.
82. Check the insurance plan offered for your package as the companies cover up damages only up to a certain amount of money.
83. You might want to consider a supplementary insurance coverage for a particular vehicle shipment. This might be especially true if you are transporting a valuable classic, vintage race car, exotic, antique or other specialty vehicle.
84. Ask for a copy of transporters insurance coverage, and find out whether their insurance is primary or secondary to your own car insurance.
85. Any licensed and authorized transporter will have insurance that will cover theft while your car is in possession of the auto shipping company.
86. The shipping company will complete an exhausting inspection of the car and a bill of lading (BOL) will be signed by you.
87. Get the name and phone number of the driver who will pick up the vehicle.
88. On arrival at the destination, you should definitely verify the condition of the car.
89. If you notice any discrepancy, you note it down on the bill of lading and get it signed by the driver.
90. During delivery of your car, be wary of accepting the car at night, since you cannot inspect it thoroughly.
91. Check the roof, front rear bumpers and also take down the mileage reading before and after shipping your vehicle.
92. When damages are found, make sure the damages are noted on the BOL, then get the driver's signature and then contact the car shipping company.
93. Second, if you receive poor customer service, immediately contact the car transport company dispute department and report your feedback to your authorized representative.
94. Third, if the problem is not resolved, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
95. If there are grounds to file a claim, do so immediately after taking delivery.
96. Damages cannot be claimed if any of it is not signed by the driver and/or you at the time of delivery.
97. Your inspection report should contain receiving and delivery information, current mileage, and details pertaining to the condition of your car.
98. If you're meeting in a neutral location because access problems prohibit door-to-door service, be clear where the driver wants to meet you.
99. At Compass Transport we put the focus on our customers' auto transportation.
100. Once you have received your vehicle and everything has been taken care of, make sure to retain or information…you'll be surprised how you or someone you know, may need this service again!
Any questions we haven't answered or prefer to speak to a live person? Call us toll-free at 888-368-0384.