When vetting prospective auto transport companies, you will find many different types of quotes competitive companies will provide.
The following are the most common five you will encounter.
- The Faceless Entity Quote - During the research step of the shipping process, you will come across so many toll-free numbers directing you to different companies and brokers all over the country. It is important when obtaining a quote to request the company’s name, a direct call-back number, and also the name of the contact person, so if you have any questions, it is easy to follow up. Sometimes, companies would rather send you to an 800 number and the person you reach may have no record of your previous contact. If a company values your business, they will do everything in their power to make it easy for you to reach them at a later date.
- The Hard Sell Quote - This is one of the most common types of auto shipping quotes you will receive when doing preliminary research. Instead of providing an online quote calculator or a way to request a quote via e-mail, a company will divert your phone call to a salesperson who will use every tactic imaginable to have you sign with them immediately. Because the probability of a potential customer calling back to book transport later drops significantly after the phone call is terminated, the agent or salesperson will strongly put pressure on you to commit immediately.
- The (Not) Free Quote - Some companies will advertise free quotes and promote free quotes, but upon closer inspection, you will discover these quotes do actually have a price attached. Because the transport company must do some legwork in order to provide you a legitimate, honest quote, they may first want to ensure you are serious about moving forward on the booking. They may require a credit card number before giving you a quote, and don’t be surprised if you are told there is some sort of surcharge to get that quote via e-mail or in writing vs. verbally on the phone. Some companies may explain this charge as a sort of deposit, that will be applied to the final balance when you choose them, but this is wrong on so many A truly reputable, straightforward auto transport company will provide you with a quote, free of charge, with absolutely no strings attached.
- The Broker Quote - This is by far the most common quote you will receive. Instead of being put in touch with an auto shipping company directly, you most likely will be tasked with contacting innumerable brokers or booking agents to schedule transport. The great news about this is because brokers work with a large number of drivers, they have the ability to provide you with the best deal. Because they also work in high volumes, you may discover they are much less likely to strong-arm you into an immediate decision.
- The Generic Quote - By far the most dangerous of them all, if a company is willing to provide you with a shipping quote without first asking some specifics about your vehicle (make/model/etc.) and pick-up location/destination, then you know immediately they cannot be trusted. An experienced and reputable company recognizes that these are important factors in providing you with a trustworthy, consistent quote. If they don’t have specific information regarding your personal needs, there are no guarantees that they won’t renege and go back on the original quote they provided upon obtaining further specifications down the line.
Buyer beware, a company that advertises for free shipping quotes may not be all they seem, so do your due diligence before making any final decisions, and don’t fall victim to any of the preceding “5 free auto shipping quotes” so very prevalent in the transport industry today.
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.