() Are you looking for a car transport provider to move your car safe and cost-effective? We’ve helped thousands of people transport their cars around the world. No matter where you’re looking to ship your car, you’ve come to the right place. Based on your car transport needs, we align you with the best options from around the country.
Today, car owners rely on auto transport to secure their property, trade vehicles, buy automobiles online and reduce travel stresses. If you’re decided to move your vehicle via a car transport company, you’re in luck. A lot of resources exist to help car owners get the most from their auto transport providers. To find out why today’s owners are opting for third party support, and to find out how car transport services work, read the following.
Who is Involved in Auto Transport Services?
Commonly, car owners don’t know who, exactly, is behind their vehicle’s transportation. When a car owner needs a vehicle picked up, transported and dropped off at a destination, they contact an auto transport company. Within this company, two major parties are responsible for the car’s transportation.
The Auto Transporter
A company’s auto transporter, or car carrier, is the worker directly responsible for obtaining, loading, transferring and unloading the car. An auto transporter can be hired directly for service. Often, however, they’re hired through intermediary services.
The Auto Transport Broker
Auto transport brokers, meanwhile, intermediate a car’s move while the auto transporter is hired. A lot of car owners choose auto transport brokers to reduce the initial search frustration. Auto transport brokers are incredibly safe, and they’re effective resources for locating safe, reliable auto transport carriers.
How Should You Pick a Company?
To pick a good auto transport company, you’ll need to narrow your search to providers who’re licensed, insured and bonded. These transport providers need to give you their USDOT number and MC number. These numbers, effectively, are their industry certifications and proof of good service. They can be checked against the official FMCSA website as well as the Better Business Bureau.
Once you’ve verified your provider’s certification, examine the following:
- The company’s terms and conditions
- The company’s insurance policies
- The company’s third-party reviews
- The company’s additional services
When picking a company, make sure you become educated about their transportation process. Every company is different, and each provides slightly different services. By being an active participant in the process, you can ensure you’re getting the best services possible.
What are Your Responsibilities?
In addition to the “should do” approaches above, auto transportation has several “must do” steps car owners must follow. First, you will need to request a business contract before any obligations are made. Read it thoroughly, and ask any questions as they arise.
The Bill of Landing
Then, read the company’s bill of landing for domestic shipment. Understand who you’re supposed to contact once your car is delivered. A bill of landing verifies your car’s delivery, identifies any damages and creates an environment of quality service.
To make sure the bill of landing will accurately identify any damages caused during transit, you will need to carefully inspect the car prior to launch. Before the car is picked up, take pictures, video and written documentation about the vehicle’s quality. Make sure the following areas are covered:
- Exterior paint
- Interior seats, cabin and dashboard
- Radio and other electronics
- Seats and seatbelts
- Engine and under-the-hood mechanics
What Transportation Options Can You Pick?
Car transport services have several options. Depending upon your carrier, you’ll be able to change scheduled pick-up times, create custom drop-off plans and choose different delivery destinations. Remember: Your car carrier does have its own schedule. In fact, many operate via truck fleet. These fleets cover specific areas during pre-determined time periods. For this reason, delivery flexibility may be limited for your area.
Door-to-Door and Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping
The biggest option you’ll have is where to have your car delivered. Door-to-door car shipment services reduce time and trouble by picking up the owner’s car from a designated location. Then, the car is transported to a designated destination. This service is relatively straightforward, but it will cost extra money due to longer travel times. Car owners often choose door-to-door services if they’re unable to pick up their vehicle at a terminal. Owners who’re significantly restricted by time, too, may want to select door-to-door delivery.
Terminal-to-terminal delivery, meanwhile, requires the car owner to drop off the vehicle at a company’s fleet terminal. There, the car is loaded and shipped. The car then arrives at another terminal close to the delivery destination. Because custom visits are not required, terminal-to-terminal shipping services have lower rates. They’re highly popular for this reason, carrying the caveat of requiring an owner to pick up the vehicle away from home.
Open and Closed Carrier Shipping
You can also choose how your car is shipped. Again, many cars are transported as part of a fleet. They can, however, be transported in different containers.
Open container shipping services require a car to be loaded onto a large trailer. Frequently, these trailers contain many cars—storing them on several “levels.” While not as costly as closed container shipping services, open container shipping services may leave your car exposed to the elements.
Closed container services, for this reason, are valuable to collector car owners. Costing more than open container transportation, closed container transportation services safeguard a vehicle with padded interior walls, temperature control and a closed off environment.
Remember: Always get any shipping terms in writing. Hard document copies will protect you in the event of unforeseen circumstances. While your provider’s insurance policy will likely mitigate large damages, it’s still important to safeguard every transaction with hard evidence. Research your provider, know your options and ship your car on your terms, one step at a time.