How Do I Choose an Auto Transport Company?

auto transport carrier

When you need to transport your car from point A to point B, you have to do some preliminary research before choosing an auto transport company to hire for the job. Most customers aim to find the best price for a service that covers their needs.

Today, most companies, including small, local ones, can be found online. This makes the research process easier, but it also offers a multitude of options that can sometimes overwhelm you.

The most frequently asked questions customers have in this stage are:

  • How do I find the auto transport companies that can help me?
  • How do I calculate the cost of transport for my car?
  • What is the best auto transport company in my area?
  • How do I prepare my car before transport?

We will get through all the details of choosing the best offer for transporting your car.

Find Out About the Company’s Shipping Experience

Many people working in auto transport start their own business. It’s a thriving type of business and it can bring a lot of money to carriers, plus the know-how that someone in the industry has is a great advantage when starting out. There are many truck drivers who decide to try their own hand at it and bring improvements to the system they know and work with.

That being said, there is still a lot to learn about auto transport logistics, customer service, and the newest challenges in the industry before getting to call yourself a well-established auto transporter.

When you browse auto transport companies, ask about their experience in the industry and check out the reviews they have. Online reviews are one of the best examples of organic feedback that you can get unless they are not genuine. For genuine reviews, go to notorious review websites where you can find unbiased opinions.

Compare Costs from Various Companies That Operate in Your Area

Since the price of transportation is one of the major factors to keep in mind when choosing the company to hire, make sure that you get a clear answer from each company you get in touch with.

It’s best to get a personalized quote for your car’s shipment, as every customer has specific transportation needs, and the cost will be influenced by factors like the size of your car, the distance it needs to travel, but also the time of the year, specific needs that you may have and how urgent the transport is. Be aware that the price per mile will vary with the length of the trip, and it’s not the only thing you should consider in your decision-making.

When you collect quotes from the auto companies on your list, give every detail to them and ask for a clear breakdown of the final price. Also, check their reimbursement policies in case of delay or cancellation, and ask about the time and method of payment they accept.

How to Choose the Best Auto Transport Company?

The best company for shipping your car to the desired destination is the one that can do so on your own terms, within the limits of your budget and with no incidents. Ideally, the company you choose:

  • Is the fastest
  • Has the best price offer
  • Delivers the car in the same condition you left it at pick-up
  • Demands no hidden costs
  • Maintains transparent and efficient communication all the way
  • Is certified and insured

How to Check the Legitimacy and Certification of an Auto Transport Company?

Before going for the best price offer, you need to make sure that the company you hire to deliver your car is actually legitimate and certified to do this service. Scammers are on both sides of the transactions. Auto transporters sometimes deal with customers who don’t pay, and customers can find themselves scammed by uncertified companies.

To make sure you won’t be in an unfortunate situation, check for a valid Motor Carrier Number (this applies to US-based companies). To check if the number they provide is true, look for it in the Department of Transportation records.

To make sure you will receive compensation in case something happens to the car during transportation, you have to ask for proof of insurance from the auto transport carrier. The company should give you this information on request.

Should You Choose a Broker or an Independent Auto Carrier?

There are pros and cons to both brokers and carriers, and sometimes these services overlap, so it’s kind of confusing for a customer to navigate through all these options.

Auto transport brokers handle the communication between the end customer and the auto transport carriers. They have a database of local carriers and keep a direct relationship with the customers, mediating the communication between the two. Brokers are customer-oriented and will have to check the legitimacy and certification of each carrier they work with. They will help you find service fast, and are able to offer certain discounts, but the price might go up because you are paying for their service as well.

Auto transport carriers are oriented towards getting cars from one place to another as efficiently and smoothly as possible. This might mean that they are not always well-versed in customer services, but they are able to offer a better price for the transport than a broker would.

Sometimes, you might come across an auto transport broker that also has its own fleet. Other companies manage to handle auto transport in all details, from the logistics to the customer relationship. These are called auto transport management companies and usually operate at a big level (cross-country or international shipments).

Choosing what company to work with depends on your own needs, budget, and schedule.

Keep Your Decision Realistic and Practical

As mentioned above, auto transport companies have to work on their logistics, but also their customer relationships in order to remain competitive. This being said, focus on the big picture when choosing your auto transport carrier. Even if a company doesn’t have the best salesperson, it doesn’t mean that their delivery service will be bad. Similarly, you might want to check the terms of the agreement before signing a deal with a company that promises too much but doesn’t deliver the service you need.

Break your decision in a few crucial parameters and see which company checks in all the requirements.

Prepare Your Car for Delivery

Once you have narrowed down your search to the preferred carrier and you are ready to seal the deal, sign the agreement with them and prepare your car for pick-up. Check with your carrier first to know the conditions they require. You might have to take down certain accessories of the car and limit the objects inside the trunk or interior.

Also, it’s best to take pictures of your car before the transport, in case something happens and an insurance claim is needed.

If you need a free quote for your car transportation, we at Ship Vehicles are ready to take in your request and offer the best value for money service.