Going through Auto Transport Companies can be a bit of a hassle if you haven’t ever shipped a car before. It’s not like you can trust just anyone with something as expensive as a car. So, when you are trying to pick an auto transport company what do you look for? How can you assure that they are reputable, will do the job correctly, and not charge you too much for the service? This in depth guide that will go over all aspects of the process so you are educated properly to make your decision.
100% of What To Know Before You Begin
Everyone will basically tell you they are licensed bonded and insured. Here’s the thing, all auto transport companies have to be in order to operate. It’s a federal law for them to have the licensing and bonding to transport motor cargo (cars, trucks, SUVs, etc.) The truth about it is, even though the licensing is required and the bond is needed, there’s really little regulation of how the business is conducted from a sales standpoint. Even the bond is not intended to protect you, but rather protect the trucker in case a broker doesn’t want to pay them for their work. The laws and regulations are mostly focused on what happens on the road. Such as safety and compliance. There is nothing regulating if they arrive late, damage a vehicle, or if they want to charge you more than they said they would. These are all considered consumer issues, retail/service type complaints, and insurance claims. As far as the regulation goes are not applicable. So how do you know which of the auto transport companies you’ve been looking at are a good fit for you?
The only real way to gauge auto transport companies and their promises will be by looking at their reviews and complaints (if any) posted by others that have used their services. Not everyone takes the time to write good things about a company but they are several times more likely to talk about it and share their experience if they have had a bad one. If you can find neither, there is a very strong likelihood that they are new and it is a common practice for new companies to emerge after old ones have had their name so tarnished that they are unusable.
If the company does not have any reviews, there is also the possibility that they are not an auto transport company at all and are just a website designed to lure you into requesting a quote so they can sell that information. They do not have any reviews because the transport is booked A different company. These by the way, are the absolute worst. They will overrun your phone will calls and your inbox will be flooded beyond belief. These websites take that information and distribute it to sometimes over two dozen different companies. If you run into any website that tells you you will get several bids from competing companies stay away. Most unsuspecting customers think that they Will be redirected to a page with several quotes from several companies and they can just pick one. That is never the case. Read this post for detailed information on this.
How Vehicles are Shipped
We have previously talked about balancing value and price. For the most part, it’s pretty obvious you don’t want to overspend but at the same time make sure that whoever you’re hiring isn’t going to leave you stranded. But the better question is why does that happen? Well here’s where we get into the good stuff. This is where you will begin to understand the entire process that occurs in the background which will help you make a better choice as well as know why you could be left high and dry.
When requesting a rate from different auto transport companies the same process usually occurs. Your request is received and either processed by an automated system (not always good because they are usually ballpark or inaccurate) or a rate will be provided by a live person that receives the request and looks into the rate (more accurate). It is important to know that just about every single company out there, whether they have their own trucks or not broker out transport orders. The reason is that no auto transport company or carrier covers the entire United States. Specially if they also ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Canada. It’s literally impossible. So, depending on who is providing you with the rate will determine on how many resources they have at their disposal to find out your price. They can have a carrier network (truckers registered and approved meeting a criteria for quality to move vehicles for them, like what we have) , they can also have trucks covering a particular route or area, and lastly they will have membership on what are called load boards. Load boards are the most basic system used to look at comparable prices for vehicles picked up and being delivered in your route. Over 90% of truckers are registered with them so they can get alerts for when a vehicle is available that is going in their direction. At the same time, vehicles that are accepted for the listed prices are logged so the next time a broker needs to check a price in an area they can see with that the lowest price and the highest price a trucker wanted to move a vehicle. In The max will also be the company’s fee to book. This is the amount earned by the broker for their work in securing a truck for you. This should be a reasonable amount. It seems pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot that goes into figuring out a price. Effectively they are using their best estimate based on the information and experience they will give you a price. This is where the variations in price come from (As well as from what the company’s set margin for profit is). The rates will typically come in between $100-150 of each other. The price is affected by distance as well as the size and weight of the vehicle. However, aside from this sometimes there are other variables. Like if it’s the last available spot on the truck goes cheaper because the carrier wants to get out of there. So that price may be off and can’t be used. Or the rate will increase because of a sudden hike in fuel pricing or even severe weather. So there is a lot involved in getting you a good price and only experience as well as common on the sales person’s part will give you the correct rate. So in cases where an inexperienced salesperson / company is just using a load board there is a chance that they missed something. Again, this is why the variations in price will typically exist.
Where you will definitely have a problem is with the type website that gives you more than one quote. Aside from the pitfalls mentioned in the beginning of this post and in the link, there are additional problems with these. Since they are distributing your info to a bunch of small companies that purchased the quote request, and those companies know several others are completing, they can quote you too low. They want to balance making some money, but not loose you to all the others. They know they could have 20% or more of a cancellation rate, but they are trying to get lucky with a trucker accepting a lower price so they price the rate that way. They are not worried and will brush you off if you complain. They can also try to force the sale by brining up made up fees to up the price so they can still make some money. The result is an upset customer.
Picking the Rate and Company
Now that we have covered how the process works and why the prices can be different you should have a better idea of the process for shipping a vehicle. The prices you have received from these auto transport companies should make a little more sense now. You also know what to avoid when receiving quotes and who not to get them from. So what’s left? Well, it’s time to compare apples to apples. You have narrowed the field by gauging the reviews. So next, you will want to look at policies. You want to deal with an auto transport company that does not charge anything upfront. It should always be free to book your order. Nothing should be charged until a carrier has been assigned and at that point you should only be a small deposit which is a fraction of the cost to transport. Then, nothing else should be paid until delivery. This is your peace of mind that you will not be forking over any additional money without getting the service performed. Anyone are doing this will be an easy company to scratch off the list. So now it’s up to you and how you feel about the customer service you have received so far, if all your questions have been answered, and if the staff is friendly and willing to help at any time.
We hope this page has helped you understand how to work without a transport companies. If you have any questions or would like to book an auto transport with us, please feel free to call 800-284-7177 and we will be more than glad to help you. You can also fill out our quote form to get a rate immediately.
How We Operate In Comparison to Other Auto Transport Companies
We don’t get pushy with our customers or talk down others. Like any diligent company sales team would, we will follow up with you a at least once or twice to see if we could be of any service. But really it’s up to you to make your decision. We are in a world where the customer likes to analyze the information and make their decision without being pressured. Customers do not want to be sold or bothered. Especially since you are probably dealing with various quotes from different places. We have learned this and we have adapted it to our way of doing business here at National Express. We believe if you’ve talked to our staff, visited our site, and seen what customers have to say, you are very likely to come onboard with us.
We do not charge anything upfront when you book with our auto transport company. We charge a fraction of the cost to ship is only when we have a carrier assigned and committed to you. Simply, it means we are committing to you and the carrier knows that’s the vehicle he’s getting. We are coming to get it. That will always be the case. We also do not play with hiding fees or not disclosing all the costs involved. Some auto transport companies can leave certain things out or claim “extras” later for which you thought were included originally. For example, curbside delivery. The advertising said “door-to-door” but it wasn’t clear that it wasn’t included unless added as a fee. Where maybe another quote (perhaps from us) was less and included delivery at your door automatically.
There is also a lot of frustration in picking through auto transport companies to begin with.. A lot of times if you go to a website and punch in your information to get a quote, in less than 5 minutes you be overwhelmed with calls, emails, texts that won’t stop. A subject we also covered not long ago. We do not advertise in this manner, nor will a call from our company be from a customer procured through one of these sites. It’s not to say that these companies are bad. But a frustrated customer will likely not want to hear from anyone after a few calls. We don’t believe it would convey quality to our customers.
Working With Us
Working with us means safe, fast, convenient service. But don’t take our word for it. Check out what customers are saying. Search Google, Transport Reviews, Angie’s List. It’s all there. Our company was founded on the basis of honestly and integrity by professionals that have seen the good the bad and the ugly of auto transport companies out there. That’s why we have more customer loyalty than anyone in the industry. From dealerships, to regular customers, and even medical van and ambulance manufacturers that need timely delivery of life saving vehicles.
Need to an auto transport company now? Call 800-284-7177 or get your quote online today.
- Originally posted December, 2016 and Completely Updated March, 2017
The post Auto Transport Companies – How to Pick One and How They Ship Cars appeared first on National Express Auto Transport.