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Is It Time to Ship Your Car? Tips for choosing the right auto transport company
If you are thinking about shipping your car, the first step is to understand what to look for in an auto transport company.
There are lots of questions you should be asking yourself before you decide on an auto company. Are there safety concerns? Do you need to stretch your budget? Are there ways to cut costs? Auto transportation is an important decision you should make with research and planning.
Car shipping can be tricky, so don't take any steps if you don't know how it will go. There are so many companies offering different services, and all of them have their own service standards. It can be difficult to know which one to choose. Fortunately, this article offers some useful advice.
Check their Registration
Like in every industry, fraud exists in the auto transport sector too. To prevent this, you must check to ensure that your car shipping carrier is duly registered. Two important registrations for vehicle transport companies are carried out by the Department of Transport (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The proof of this is that the carrier possesses a valid DOT number as well as a Motor Carrier (MC) number. You may also check with your local authorities to determine if there are other requirements.
Consider the Insurance Details
Every business transaction is a risk and in the auto transport sector, a common risk is a vehicle getting damaged. When this happens, who is responsible for the liability? Some car owners assume that their personal vehicle insurance covers auto transport damages.
However, unless your coverage terms explicitly state so, you must assume it doesn’t. Therefore, you should only do business with a car shipping carrier that has valid insurance coverage for vehicles in transit.
Determine your Needs
There are various auto transport offerings; you must ensure that the carrier provides an option that suits your need. For instance, there is the door-to-door service, whereby the auto transport company picks up the vehicle from your preferred location and delivers it to a location that you specify.
Also, there is the terminal-to-terminal service; you drop off the vehicle at the company’s facility and pick it up upon delivery at another terminal. This option is often used by auto transporters to offer cheap car shipping services to their customers - but it may be less convenient compared to the door-to-door shipping option. You should take your time to explore all the options available so as to choose something that fits your needs and budget.
Research the Company
Beyond the registration details, though, you should also take time to research the company diligently. In fact, research multiple companies to find the most reliable, best-fitting one. Request free quotes, read customer reviews, assess their options, speak to a representative, etc.
This is where brokers can assist you. Car shipping brokers carry out background checks on behalf of customers to ensure that a company is reliable. You shouldn’t just drop off your vehicle for any company.
Car Shipping Safety
When conducting background checks, one of the important considerations to make is how the company ensures the safety of the vehicles in their possession before, during, and after transit. This is beyond insurance, this time. You have to ensure that the company has secure facilities, standard equipment, modern trucks, and so on that help them to keep customers’ vehicles safe and secure throughout the entire process.
What kinds of carriers do they use? If they use open carriers, how would they keep your car safe from the weather and natural elements? These are the questions you should resolve before committing your car to any carrier. It is not worth choosing a company with more affordable rates if you can’t vouch that they observe standard safety practices. This includes having an efficient tracking system so that you can know the status of your time in real-time.
Throughout the process, before, during, and after handing your car to an auto transport carrier, you should remain vigilant and careful. Don’t make decisions in a haste. Cautiously examine every document you are required to sign and seek clarification every time something is not clear or if you are not comfortable with any part of the agreement.
Determine the status of your car before pickup (remove valuables and take several pictures) and do the same after pickup to ensure that your car is delivered fully intact
As you can see, there are so many factors to consider when shipping your car: cost of shipping, cost of coverage in case of damage, reliability and service level of the driver (will they fix my car if something goes wrong), and so on.
The tips shared in this article are some basic principles you should keep in mind when you’re choosing an auto transport service. This will help make sure that you have a stress-free experience.