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10 Things You Need to Check Before Hiring Car Shipping Companies

Do you have a move in your near future? If so, an array of emotions, from stress and anxiety to excitement, will accompany the experience. 

If you're hiring a car transporter's services for the first time, you may feel nervous about this, too. You may have questions about finding the right company to work with.

Fortunately, a little extra knowledge about what to look for in a company will prepare you to find the best service for your vehicle needs.

With that in mind, let's explore ten things you must look for in car shipping companies. That way, you'll rest assured you've found an excellent business to work with.

1. Create a List of Potential Auto Transport Candidates

Start by making a list of car transport companies with which you might wish to work. Ask family and friends for recommendations, too. 

As you make your list, bear in mind that three types of auto transport companies are out there. These three categories include:

  • Car carriers
  • Lead providers
  • Auto-shipping brokers

The experience you'll have with each type of carrier will vary greatly, so you need to know what to expect before choosing a provider.

2. Know What Kind of Car-Shipping Service You're Dealing With

Car carriers are the truck drivers that pick up and deliver vehicles. Dealing directly with drivers can be an excellent route to go when it comes to transporting a vehicle. But don't expect much in the way of customer service when dealing directly with drivers. 

That said, some car carriers have formed larger networks with multiple drivers and dedicated customer service employees. The best of these companies split the difference between excellent customer service and the perks of working with a driver.

As for lead providers, these are companies that promise things like "ten shipping quotes with one click." They generate leads for car-shipping companies, collecting email addresses, and selling them to the highest bidder.

If you give your information to one of these companies, you'll never hear the end of it. They'll pass your information along to third-parties, which means plenty of texts and phone calls, many unrequested and unwanted.

Finally, auto-shipping brokers act as liaisons between customers and car transport carriers. They won't sell your information as lead providers do. Instead, they'll handle the administrative information and ensure the transport experience goes smoothly.

3. Check the BBB Website

With your newfound knowledge of the different types of car transport companies out there, your next concern will be finding a reputable company with which to work. What's the best way to investigate each transporter's reputation?

Hop online and head to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB site contains information about each company's legitimacy. They also contain customer complaints and reviews worth knowing about. 

4. Learn More About Each Company's Safety Record

Next, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMSCA) Safety and Fitness Electronic Records site. At the FMSCA's site, you can track down each business's motor carrier (MC) number.

If they don't have one, that means they don't have the proper credentials, licensing, and registrations. Find another company. 

An MC number will provide you with critical insight into a company's driving and safety records. Use this resource to vet any brand you're considering.

5. Decide on Shipment Specifications

You'll also need a clear understanding of what you're asking for from each auto transporter. For example, do you need to ship your daily driver on an open carrier? Or, are you in need of a specialized enclosed carrier for an investment-worthy vehicle?

Find out more about the various services offered by car shipping companies and which one's right for you. 

6. Get Shipping Quotes

At this point, you'll have a narrower list of car shipping companies with which you'd like to work. Now, it's time to visit each company's website to get a free online quote. 

The most reputable and established companies will be able to provide you with instantaneous quotes at no charge or obligation to you. If a company refuses to do this, cross it off your list of potential companies.

7. Get Specific About Charges

Once you've received a handful of quotes, call each company to ask about what their estimates include. After all, you don't want any nasty surprises down the road.

It might be tempting to go with the cheapest quote you receive. But if it doesn't cover insurance on your car or hidden fees will get added later, it's not worth it. Remember that reputable companies must offer competitive rates.

Nevertheless, some aspects of car transportation cost remain fixed, including gas and labor expenses. Uncharacteristically good deals may be a sign of negligence in one or more areas. 

8. Ask About Insurance

The auto transport company you choose to work with should carry insurance on each vehicle it moves. That said, the amount of coverage varies by company. 

Ask to see a copy of each company's insurance policy. They should be able to provide you with this information or direct you to a page on their website where they've got it published.

After reading through the policy, contact your auto insurance company to determine whether additional insurance is needed. Or ask the car shipping company about stop-gap coverage they may provide.

9. Decide on a Company and Book Your Pickup and Dropoff Dates

The steps above will help you locate the best car shipping company for your needs. But none of that will matter if they don't have availability on the days you need their services.

That's why you should book as early as possible. You'll also lock in better rates by remaining proactive about your car transport needs.

10. Prepare for Your Car's Pickup Date

Last but not least, ask the company you've booked with about how to properly prepare your car for pick up. This will include disabling the car alarm, removing all personal belongings from the interior, taking off after-market spoilers, etc.

The company should provide you with a list of recommendations. That way, you can rest assured pickup will go off without a hitch.

Finding the Best Car Shipping Companies

The ten tips above walk you through finding the best car shipping companies, narrowing them down to your top choices, and then booking service dates. Bookmark this article so that you've got it handy when you need it.

Or if you're ready to narrow down your search, we've got the resources you need. Gets the best car shipping quotes online now. 

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Tags: automotive


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