One of the main advantages of auto transport services is that they save a lot of time. To speed up the booking process, we’ve provided the following framework of topics and questions you should discuss with the company during your initial interaction. Of course, you may discuss them in any order and/or during multiple phone calls, but the sooner you address them the better.
Auto transports are transactions where the company provides a service in exchange for your money. Therefore, it’s important you know what your financial responsibilities are in this transaction. Some good questions you can ask are the following:
- Is the quote free? In most cases it is, but it’s best not to just assume. If there is a cost requirement or certain expectations for receiving a car shipping quote, you should know about it.
- How much will the entire transport cost? After the company receives your request, knows what type of car you own, where you want to take it, and any particularities the project may have, they can give you a fairly accurate quote. If you cannot afford it, let the staff know, and they may be able to construct a cheaper plan, check their discounts list, etc.
- Are there any other fees?Hidden fees are some of the most common ways through which people get scammed in this industry. Although if the representative is trying to scam you, he/she will not want to disclose such information, it’s still good to ask just to check their reaction and in case you want to take legal action later on.
There are numerous legal aspects that should not be glossed over when discussing auto transportation. Some of the best questions you can ask on this topic are:
- Is your company licensed and registered? It doesn’t matter whether the company discloses this information or you check it for yourself online. But to save time, it’s best you ask them directly. If their operations aren’t legal, you’ll have a very difficult time recovering your investment in case of an accident or a scam.
- Can you provide references? We advise you look for reviews online on your own, though they may not always be accurate. Some may be written by the company, while others by the competition. This is why it doesn’t hurt to ask for references too. Most importantly, you should be able to check if those references are real people or companies. If the company cannot provide any, then it may be a sign of inexperience.
- Will my car be insured, and what does the insurance cover?Auto transport insurance will help you recover at least some of your car’s value in case of an accident. Every company is obligated by law to provide it. If they don’t, it’s a red flag. Since the value of the insurance policy may not cover the entire value of your car, you may want to check if you’re comfortable with it or if you’d like to get more protection.
If the other 2 topics are meant to help you see if you can afford the company’s services and if they’re professionals, here we’ll discuss the actual auto transportation. The representative will probably bring up these points, but if not, you can mention them yourself.
- The date. When do you want to transport the vehicle? Have you set your mind on a date or on a period? Are you planning on moving before or after a certain event? The company may be busy during the period you’re looking forward to. If you can be flexible, you may get a better price.
- The carrier and/or ship. Most likely, your car will be moved with an open carrier. However, there are other options too. You can use an enclosed truck, and if you’re taking it overseas, a ship will be necessary too. If you have certain preferences on how you want the transport to be conducted, bringing up this topic may be useful.
- Your vehicle. What model is your car? Can it be driven? Is it damaged or modified? The company may need to bring additional equipment to pick up your car, so any particularities should be mentioned early.
- Locations. Where is the car now and where must it go? Depending on the situation, terminals can be employed to reduce costs on your end and the time expenditure of the company’s personnel. The truck can also pick up your car from a location you specify, or if the location is hard to reach, from a place nearby.
- How to prepare for the transport. The owner has some basic responsibilities, such as cleaning the automobile and preparing any necessary documentation. You can note down your tasks, so you won’t need to call again.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.