There are many reasons why you would need to ship a vehicle. Perhaps you’ve bought it from a dealership in a different state. Or maybe you’re relocating for work or studies. Regardless of the reason, you need to find a reputable auto shipping company. So obviously, you’ll turn to Google for a quick search on the best car shipping companies. Then you will settle on your preferred service provider.
But hold on! Before you choose a particular auto shipper, you have to do some digging. The easiest way to know how an auto transport company operates is to ask them questions before booking.
We’ve rounded up six common car shipping questions often asked by customers to auto transport companies and the likely answers.
Are You Registered and Licensed?
You always need to make sure that you’re dealing with a registered and licensed auto shipper. As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), service providers in the transport industry must have a USDOT Number. The DOT certification is a mark of quality that signifies the auto shipping company has the skills and competence to ferry cars on America’s highways and across state lines.
So the auto shipper should readily furnish you with these details so that you can go to the FMCSA website and check out the company’s registration details, operating status, and safety record.
Can I Get a Free Quote?
Receiving a quote from a car shipping company does not mean you’re obligated to use that service provider. It is common practice for shippers to give free quotes and let the client make the decision. You should never part with any dollar just to get a quote. If so, that’s a sign of a fraudulent company. So move on.
How Much Will I Pay for My Shipment?
Several variables will affect your final car shipping quote. The type of vehicle is one of those factors. Larger cars, such as SUVs, trucks, and vans, will cost more to transport, with their size and weight being the influencing factors. And also, the farther the shipping distance, the higher the shipping cost will be. The route used to ferry the car may also affect the price. If the route has no major highways and leads to a remote area, the cost may go up.
Summer is always expensive to ship your car because many people are moving and traveling for their holidays. The higher demand means a spike in shipping costs. The method of transport you choose will also affect the overall cost. An enclosed trailer offers added protection for high-end and classic models. Thus, it will cost you more compared to using the open-air option.
Always consider speaking directly to a car shipping company representative. You get to explain any special requirements and requests you may have, thus getting a reasonably accurate quote.
Is My Vehicle Protected in Transit?
Many car shippers provide insured shipping in case of damage during transit. However, potential clients need to know the actual amount of coverage the car shipper provides. Plus, it is advisable to confirm with your car insurance provider what is covered during the shipping process. Armed with this information, you can know whether you’ll need to buy additional coverage for the shipping process.
Do You Ship all Types of Cars?
If you’re shipping a typical car, van, truck, or SUV, chances are there are thousands of auto transport companies that can help you with this. However, if the vehicle is high-end like a classic Mustang, sporty Ferrari, or luxury BMW, special equipment might be needed to ferry it.
Not all auto shippers have specialized hauling and loading equipment. Thus, if there’s something unique about your car, ask the auto shipper if they have the capacity to ship it safely before you book a service.
What Is the Difference Between Terminal-to-terminal and Door-to-door Shipping?
The best means of delivery is door-to-door transport. The auto shipper delivers the car as close as possible to your front door. If the delivery area poses an accessibility problem for the transport trailer, then you and the driver can decide on the best local area for unloading. Terminal-terminal shipping requires that you pick up the car from a close-by terminal or location.
The Bottom Line
While there’s a lot to ponder as far as choosing a car shipping company goes, asking plenty of questions will simplify the whole process. The questions mentioned above can help you separate the wheat from the chaff and get a reputable auto shipper based on your needs and budget.