5 Easy Honest steps on How to choose an Auto Transporter
When that first thought crossed your mind that you needed to ship your car, you probably thought I have no idea where to begin. Little did you know there are thousands of auto transport companies. There are brokers, carriers, carriers that pretend to be brokers and brokers that pretend to be carriers and then there is always the guy down the street with a tow dolly that will be more than happy to drag your car behind his truck to wherever the blue skies take him. Where do you begin!
- NEVER get 10 auto transport quotes for free! Unless you have self destructive behavior, enjoy Chinese water torture or are confined to a prison cell with a phone and nothing else to do, Don’t Do It! The calls, emails and non-stop harassing are just not worth it in the end! The time you spend dealing with 10 (really 12) different transport companies will cost you far more money in the end. It’s probably the most embarrassing and unprofessional side of our business. Many companies have several names so they can buy the same leads from the lead company’s and pull you which ever direction they wish. For your own sanity please don’t “click here!”
- Carrier or Broker or carrier or broker or…… Any company trying to scare you from using either a carrier or a broker is a company you do not want to do business with CROSS THEM OFF THE LIST NOW they are fear mongering! There are good brokers and good carriers in fact most manufacturers who need to move thousands of cars choose carriers and most dealerships that need to move hundreds of cars choose brokers, they just choose good ones. Just follow Step 3 to check them all out.
- Check everyone out, it’s easy.
First - check the BBB. Make sure they have some type of A rating A+, A- or just A but nothing lower that’s not a good sign that means they do not respond and do not care if a customer complains. http://www.seflorida.bbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=92003496&source=ctc
Second- check Transport Reviews. This site only reviews Auto Transport Companies so that helps. Try to look for companies that do not pay for reviews and do not participate in the mass quote program (remember Step No. 1). 5 out of 5 stars is the only acceptable rating. If a company has a few bad reviews that is normal but they need to be able to offset those with more good ones. http://www.transportreviews.com/company/high-end-transport-inc.asp
Third- check their license on FMCSA. If they are a broker their broker status should say Active. If they are a carrier their carrier status or contract status should be Active. If they are a carrier or a contract carrier then the truck that shows up at your door should have their name and MC number on the side NO EXCEPTIONS NO EXCUSES it’s a federal regulation period.http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_carrquery.prc_getdetail?pv_apcant_id=484771
4. Insurance –IS IT COVERED? Disclaimer: I am not an insurance agent and your final decision should be made after speaking on the phone with one because every transaction is truly different. After several years I can tell you what has happened in the past from experience. INSPECTION REPORTS ARE EVERYTHING when you are trying to file a claim. It is the consignee’s and Consignors (You and Yours) responsibility to note any damage except normal wear and tear on the bill of lading (inspection report). Although it might have happened I have never witnessed a driver throwing rocks at the cars on his trailer trying to make nicks and dents, so the insurance company presumes these are road hazards or weather related damage and they are usually not covered. Open transport is more cost effective but does require some risk on your part. Most dealerships choose open because they can easily fix minor nicks and scratches . There is a cost difference to go enclosed so if it’s an everyday car its your personal choice. We always recommend checking with your own insurance to see what’s covered while the vehicle will be in transport.
5. Understand the transport industry so you understand the process. Although you are a VERY important customer please know that you are not reserving an entire truck to yourself and there will be 2-9 other customers involved in that load. You will have pick up windows and delivery windows and sometimes those change because of delays with cars before you, weather, traffic, weigh stations… you can see where I’m going with this right! The only thing absolute about transport is that something will change! Most companies can give you a very good idea of about how long the process will take and if you are paying a fair rate it usually happens that way.
I’m pretty sure I was as blunt and as honest as I could be without scaring you from transport. It’s a green decision to transport your car. Every carrier you see on the road with 10 cars is 10 less cars on the road. It’s cheaper than driving it yourself, paying for fuel, paying for hotels and tolls and the time out of your wonderful life! Transport just transport smart!