Many people consider auto transport a chaotic and an unpleasant process. A great deal of consumers faces a lot of dilemmas and hassle during the course by choosing expensive quotes and dealing with unprofessional drivers. Car shipping can be a very easy process if handled properly. Below are some of the essential steps needed to make sure your auto transport experience goes as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Choose your preferred shipping method
Auto transport companies use either open or enclosed trailers to haul your vehicles from pickup to delivery destination. There are pros and cons for each. Open trailers can carry up to twelve (12) vehicles at a time. It is considered a standard shipping method in the auto transport industry. It is less expensive than enclosed trailers but it has its disadvantages. Your car would be exposed to the outside debris, bad weather conditions and will take the drivers more time to deliver 12 cars to his customers as compared to 3-6 cars on the enclosed trailer. On the enclosed trailer the car would be transported safely and protected from the outside debris with a maximum of 3 to 6 cars per trailer. The cost for the enclosed trailer is $400 more than open trailers. However, the delivery times are much faster since the driver has less pickup/drop off stops. We recommend to use enclosed trailers only if you have an expensive vehicles with exotic paint jobs or customized work done to the car.
Step 2: Door-to-door or terminal delivery
Always use door-to-door delivery rather than terminal drop off and delivery. Door to door means that the auto transport driver will arrive at your door or agreed upon location for both pick-up and delivery of your vehicle. Take note that large trucks can not drive and maneuver on small or narrow streets. If that’s the case, you can agree on a different location that would be more convenient for you and the driver. Terminal delivery is where you drop off your car to some warehouse or yard and pickup your car at another terminal when it has been delivered. With terminal deliveries your car gets loaded and unloaded from different trailers increasing your chances of being damaged. Many of these terminals are located in industrial areas so if you are uncomfortable traveling to such locations – door to door delivery should be your preferred delivery method. However, many people choose terminal delivery since it’s less expensive and is flexible on their schedules. If you are travelling or have no one to accept and sign off on your car at delivery, terminal delivery should be your preferred method.
Step 3: Insurance
Ask the transporter what kind of insurance they have. Many reliable companies provide full coverage against any damage that may happen during the transit. Another option is to use your current car insurance company in case any damage occurs. Auto transport companies will usually send you an insurance packet with their cargo insurance and agents contact information. If not, make sure you ask to provide such information before releasing the car to them. Carriers who avoid to provide such details are usually hiding something or are simply not insured. Avoid such companies at all costs.
Step 4: Quotes
Avoid going with the lowest quote – we can’t stress this enough. Everyday, we get calls from customers saying they went with the cheapest quote and now are waiting for days and even weeks for someone to pick up their vehicles. The matter of the fact is if your car is priced too cheap – no driver will want to pickup the car since they have other high paying loads they can pickup and make more money.
Step 5: Checkout the auto transport company
Another very common mistake consumers make is going with companies who have unsatisfactory ratings in the industry with many negative reviews from past customers. Simply do a Google search for the company name to see what shows up. If the company has no reviews and listings it means they are brand new or have no experience in the auto transport. You want to go with a company who is reliable, experience and has a high level of satisfaction. Avoid companies with bad reviews and negative comments.
Step 6: Preparing car for the transport
We always recommend our customer to empty the car completely of all personal belongings and prior to handing over the keys to the driver as such items are not covered by the insurance like radio, detachable GPS, etc. Remove EZ-Pass tags, turn off the car alarm and make sure that the gas tank is halfway empty. If you do decide to put stuff in the car, always put boxes in the trunk exceeding no more than 100 lbs. Never put anything of high value since these items are not insured.
Step 7: Accepting the delivery
Once the car is being delivered, make sure to go over and inspect for no damage or scratches. Before signing the Bill Of Lading and accepting the vehicle double check that everything works properly. Avoid doing an inspection at night time since it would be difficult to see any scratches or dents. Always do an inspection in the day time.
With these steps you should have no problems transporting your vehicle, getting the best quote and selecting a reliable auto transport company. Steps above will help you make informative decisions and make car shipping an easy process.