Most of the time, you drive your vehicle to get places you need to be. Other times, you drive it to places it needs to be, such as your mechanic.
What’s rare is moving it without driving, such as when you do auto shipping to get it somewhere far away without you tagging along. Whether you’re selling it to a remote buyer or just arranging part of your larger move, you need to find a reputable auto transport company and then also prepare your vehicle for auto shipping.
How do I find a reputable auto transport company?
The cheapest auto transport service provider isn’t always going to be among the best vehicle transport companies. Then again, low cost auto transport can actually be a good way to go. Any carrier that keeps their vehicle transportation costs low might know what they’re doing. Of course, they might also be cutting corners. The best thing you can do is sort through them by using automobile transporters reviews.
Judge every provider on:
- Costs to you
- Convenient pick-up and drop-off
- Damage to vehicles en route
- Secondary fees and insurance
- Friendliness when dealing with prior customers
Use these tips to prepare your vehicle for auto shipping
Not every vehicle shipping situation is the same. Consider all of these tips to narrow down the parameters of your own shipping so you have a successful experience:
- Weight: Find out from every carrier whether or not weight matters. Some don’t care, since every vehicle can weigh thousands of pounds. Others might, since more weight means more fuel costs.
- Don’t Pay Deposit Fees: Never pay one of these. Ever. Reputable carriers don’t ask for them. Deposits are basically just traps. Trying to cancel your trip can mean losing money. Carriers that know what they’re doing don’t need deposits to make their money.
- Ask About Packing the Vehicle Up: If you are shipping a vehicle because you are moving between homes, then you might be tempted to stuff it full of personal possessions to save on packing and shipping. Some carriers will allow this, but some won’t given insurance concerns and fuel usage.
- Book in Advance: Last-minute trips or buying cars online with pick-up deadlines can mean making arrangements fast. However, if you are free of time constraints, you have more time to not only find a great carrier but also register a convenient passage and avoid last-minute upcharges for a rush pick up and delivery.
- Make Sure the Vehicle Is Working: Most carriers can deal with vehicles that don’t run. However, it takes them more time and work. That will probably cost you more money, especially if they find out at the last second. Surprising them with this might mean they can’t help you at the last minute.
- Stay Flexible: If you must leave town fast, then be somewhat flexible about your vehicle being picked up. Remember, someone has to be present for carriers to both take and deliver a vehicle. If you can’t do it personally, have a friend or family member present.
- Open Transport Is Common: Are you okay with your vehicle riding on a truck exposed to the elements? If you’re not, then you would need to arrange specifically for enclosed transport.
- Inquire About Discounts: There’s no harm in asking. You never know what discounts carriers might have. Some offer benefits for military members, whereas others might give you a discount for shipping multiple cars. Repeat customers can also likely get perks for their ongoing business.
- Personal Arrangements Versus Terminal Shipping: Some carriers can drive their trucks to you for both picking up and delivering vehicles, but others might need you to show up to their terminals.
- Insurance, Bonding, Licensing: Check to see that a carrier has these. All three are best, and verify their claims independently. Better yet, only work with carriers with A+ ratings through the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask Lots of Questions: This list has already given you plenty of ideas on questions you can ask potential carriers, so make sure you do it. Ask any other questions you think of along the way. Not only will you get answers and information you need, you will also find out quickly just what their level of confidence and expertise really is. Don’t roll with someone who obviously wants your business. Choose someone that wants to get your vehicle to its destination, safely, on-time, and as economically as possible.
If you need to ship your vehicle, then remember two things:
- Be careful who you trust your vehicle with.
- Prepare your vehicle for its trip.
Doing both only takes a little work and can spare you a lot of headache.