10 Questions To Ask An Auto Transport Company

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10 Questions To Ask An Auto Transport Company
10 Questions To Ask An Auto Transport Company

Before you agree to a price or service with an auto transport company, there are some very important questions you should ask. These ten questions will help ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable company, get the appropriate service, and get the best value for your money.

1. Are you a broker or carrier?

The auto transport industry relies heavily upon brokers and freight forwarders, neither of whom actually move your vehicle (the carriers do that). Brokers take your request and find a carrier from a loading board that can do the job while taking a small percentage of the total cost. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. The simple fact is that carriers don’t always have time to find customers and a competitive broker can often get you a good deal.

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2. What is your MC# or USDOT#?

Using a company’s motor carrier or U.S. Department of Transportation number, you can look up specific information about them (and find out if they told the truth about question number one) through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s company snapshot feature.

*For the most accurate results, it is highly recommended that you look up companies by the MC# or USDOT# and not by their name.

3. Do you offer free estimates with no obligation?

Nearly every auto transport company should provide a free quote and if they don’t, you should probably keep looking. The reason being that free quotes are an industry standard--it’s how we get our business and it should raise a red flag if a company is unwilling to allow you to compare prices by offering a complimentary quote.

4. Do price quotes include everything or will there be additional costs?

This is an important one! Many of the complaints against auto transport companies are based on unexpected costs, which could have been easily avoided by asking one simple question. Make sure you inquire about any additional costs or penalties that may be incurred.

5. Do you have any references I can contact?

When you ask this question, do not take online reviews for a legitimate “reference.” Online reviews and ratings can be easily manipulated and this includes trusted consumer sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. Just take a look at this article that unpacks some of the tactics used by these types of websites. When you ask for references, they should be for former customers you can contact directly.

6. What is your physical address?

Another great way to sniff out if a company is legitimate or not is whether they have a physical business address. A quick search on google maps will show that many so-called auto transport companies are based out of a home residence.

7. What payment options are available?

It’s not uncommon for auto shippers to request a deposit or partial payment of the total before picking up your vehicle. They should not, however, request a full payment before delivery.

8. How are customer complaints resolved?

A valid auto transporter should have a complaint resolution process in place that is straightforward and easy to use. If a company is unsure how to answer this question or doesn’t have a process for resolving customer issues, it’s an indication of poor customer service.

9. Can you send it to me in writing?

If the answer to this question is anything other than “yes” you need to keep looking. Price quotes in the industry are designed to give customers an accurate idea of what it will cost to move a vehicle and the full terms of the contract should be disclosed and agreed upon.

10. What timeframe do you require for delivery?

Another important question since it can sometimes be the deciding factor, especially if you need a car or truck moved quickly. Most companies offer expedited or express service, but it typically costs more. Standard auto transport generally requires between 4-8 weeks of notice and the more time the better!


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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.


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Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

Testimonial
David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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