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A1 Auto Transport Blog

How the Weather Affects Auto Transport

There are many things that affect auto transport in terms of the cost and the transport times that you will be subjected to. One of the biggest factors is the weather. Depending on the region in which your car is being transported from, its expected route, the time of the year, and any unexpected weather occurrences, you may be affected. Here are some of the ways in which weather can have an impact:

 

Rise in Cost

Bad weather can affect the cost of auto transport, as it can result in price hikes of up to 30%. One of the main reasons for this is because, when there's particularly bad weather in an area, such as a snow storm in the middle of the winter, drivers have to transport the vehicles at a slower pace, which means that they're not able to pick up as many loads.

 

In addition, many of the drivers may choose not to drive a particularly dangerous route, meaning that there's less of a supply of suitable carriers. Based on the basic laws of supply and demand, depending on how many people need their vehicles transported, this can drive up the prices.

 

Major Delays

When unexpected weather hits, roadways can be shot down, accidents can occur, and drivers have to often move at a snail-like pace. This will result in significant delays in the transport time, and, if you need your vehicle immediately, this can cause major logistical headaches. What would normally take only a few days in transport time can take more than a week.

 

Sometimes, if it's a particularly bad storm, such as a major blizzard, carriers may choose not to drive at all and will wait it out. This is so that the driver is not put at risk and so that the vehicles transported aren't damaged.

 

Vehicle Damage

When the weather is bad, depending on the method of transportation that you choose, your vehicle can suffer some minor damage. This is where the difference between enclosed vs. open carriers comes into play. If you choose an enclosed trailer, your vehicle will be protected from all of the elements, including hail and various debris that can hit your vehicle at high speeds if it's very windy. If you choose an open trailer, you will be taking more of a chance, which is why it's best to only choose an open trailer if the route and time of the year that you're vehicle is being transported in is not expected to experience any bad weather.

 

If you have a valuable car, including a luxury vehicle or a classic car, you should ALWAYS choose the enclosed trailer option. It may cost a bit more, but it is well-worth it in order to provide the most protection possible to your vehicle.

 

Of course, a company such as A-1 Auto Transport will always provide excellent insurance coverage so that any damage to your vehicle due to the weather will be covered. Make sure to discuss all of this with your transport company before agreeing to anything and see what they have to say!

Chinese Auto Manufacturers and the U.S. Market

Despite the surge in popularity that Chinese auto manufacturers have experienced in mainland China, especially with the rise of the middle class, they have found it extremely difficult to penetrate many key markets abroad. The U.S. domestic market has proven to be particularly elusive for them, as their efforts so far have been failures. In spite of this, many Chinese auto manufacturers still hope that they'll be able to penetrate the market in the next year or so. Here are the following reasons why it has been difficult for Chinese auto manufacturers to be able to do so:

 

Lack of Funds

The Chinese auto market is quite unique compared to the one in the United States. There are two main types of auto manufacturers that are Chinese-based. The first are state-owned auto manufacturers. While they are profitable and do well, they are mainly focused on expanding their presence in China and don't have the drive to expand internationally.

 

The second type of company are privately-owned auto manufacturers. They simply do not have the necessary capital that it would take to break into a market as big as the United States in any measurable capacity, at least not without some outside help from investors.

 

Barriers to Entry

In trying to enter the U.S. market, there are some barriers to entry that can be daunting to many auto manufacturers. They are:

 

  • Stringent regulatory requirements
  • The need for dealership networks
  • The need for a large advertising and marketing budget
  • Having to establish brand recognition in an already-mature market
  • The need for a production base in America in order to achieve profitable volume sales

 

Based on the above information, it's clear that a company who is planning on entering the United States market for the first time will have to have a large budget, especially to withstand the initial hiccups that could arise, even as it pertains to winning over U.S. consumers.

 

What Does the Future Hold?

It's hard to be sure of what's going to happen, namely because many Chinese auto manufacturers have previously announced grand plans to enter the U.S. market before in the past, only to eventually change course due to unforeseen circumstances. Nonetheless, Chinese auto manufacturer BYD Co., has announced that they're planning on introducing four different type of car models into the United States by the end of this year. They have some notable names supporting them too, including Warren Buffet, who is a minority investor in the company.

 

Entering the market for many of these companies isn't necessarily about achieving more profits, but instead, will be looked upon as a status symbol and a way to increase their brand recognition. They have realized the importance of providing a quality product and are attempting to improve their offerings, as U.S. consumers can be extremely picky. One of their main goals is to try and emulate the successes that Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers have had in the past. Time will tell if they succeed or not.

 

Auto Transport Payment Options

So you've decided to find an auto transport service to transport your vehicle. Good choice! But you may be wondering how their payment options work. Since the vast majority of auto transport transactions are done online these days, you will most likely have to arrange payment over the internet. If you're new to this, you may feel a bit nervous about providing your financial information over the internet, but not to worry. Here's some information about the auto transport payment options that are available to you:

 

Most Common Payment Options

Auto transport companies try to be as accommodating as possible to customers in the types of payment that they accept. However, you may be surprised to learn that paying by credit or debit card may not be an option at every step of the transaction.

 

You WILL be able to pay with credit or debit card at the initial stage. When you book your auto transport, you will have to pay a deposit in most instances, though some auto transport companies will allow you to pay the full fee upfront. This deposit can be paid by credit or debit card, though other options include cashier's check or even cash if they have offices that you can physically visit. Bank transfers and personal checks are also possible, depending on the particular auto transport company's policies.

 

Here's where it gets a bit more complicated. Once your vehicle has been delivered, assuming that you've paid just a deposit up until this point, you will have to pay the rest of the balance. However, unlike at the initial stage, many auto transport companies do not allow you to pay with debit or credit card for the remaining balance. Instead, you will have to pay by cashier's check or cash in most instances.

 

There are two main reasons for why this is so, which are:

  • Auto transport companies want to avoid credit card or debit card fraudulent claims. If a customer were to open a dispute with their bank, the auto transport company could have the payment taken away from them.
  • By accepting only cash or cashier's check, auto transport companies are able to avoid the processing fees that they would have to pay by accepting credit or debit cards. These fees can vary, but in most cases, they average between 2% to 4% of the balance. Over time, this adds up to significant amounts for the auto transport company and can have a major impact on their yearly profit.

 

Be Wary of Scams

Always check the auto transport company out on sites such as Better Business Bureau, located at www.bbb.org. Never give up your personal financial information, including your social security number. For the most part, companies are honest, as there is too much exposure for them to commit fraud. Nonetheless, it's smart to err on the side of caution.

 

A-1 Auto Transport allows for flexible payment options and will happily answer any of your payment-related questions. Contact us today to start the process!

Should You Buy or Ship a Vehicle When Moving Abroad?

When moving abroad, especially long-term, one of the main decisions that people have to often make, especially if they have a family, is whether to ship their vehicle abroad with them or to purchase one when they're already there. There are certain instances in which it would be better to do one as opposed to the other. Here's what you should consider:

 

Take Into Account the Cost

We're not necessarily referring to the cost of actually shipping your vehicle abroad. Instead, we're referring to the costs associated with the customs fees and the import tax. In many countries, these costs can be quite high, as it can be in the thousands. Some of this depends on the age of the vehicle itself. If you purchase a vehicle abroad in that country, you can avoid these costs in most instances.

 

And, on the other hand, if you're not aware of certain regulations and don't have the proper documents submitted, you can face delays at customs and be charged additional fees. There are also many circumstances in which you can avoid certain fees if you meet certain requirements. A company such as A-1 Auto Transport will be able to assist you in avoiding as many of these fees as possible.

 

Consider the Vehicle Emission Regulations and Driving Laws

If you're from the United States, your vehicle may not meet certain requirements abroad. The environmental regulation standards abroad are quite different than they are in the United States, and you should be aware of that ahead of time.

 

Also, you will also have to consider some of the driving laws in the country. If you're moving to the UK or Japan, for example, your vehicle may not be suitable for the roads, as they drive on the left-hand side, meaning that the steering wheel is opposite from where it is in your vehicle.

 

In many instances, you will be able to send your car to a dealership that can make most or all of these modifications for you. But it'll cost a fair amount, meaning that it might not be worth it to ship your vehicle abroad, especially considering all of the other fees that you'll also have to pay.

 

How Much Time Do You Have?

Planning for your move abroad can be highly stressful. If you have to have a car to commute, this can add to the stress if you're planning on buying one abroad. You will have to check out prices and determine which vehicle you want to purchase. If you have plenty of time and aren't too overloaded with things to do, you should be able to do this without too much hassle. Otherwise, shipping your car abroad gets rid of this problem.

 

You should consider all of the above factors before making your final decision. Moving abroad can be an exciting time, and by contacting A-1 Auto Transport today, you'll be able to focus on more important matters, as we'll be able to direct you through every step of the process.

 

What You Need To Know About Shipping Your Household Items Internationally

Shipping your household items internationally can seem like a daunting task. It's not as simple as just packing your goods in a moving truck and having them driven across the United States to your final destination. Instead, your household items have to be packed, driven, and then either transported by ship or air in most cases. It's an expensive and complicated process, but it can be done with minimal hassle if you're aware of the following:

 

You'll Be Charged By Weight

You'll be charged by weight when shipping your household items internationally in the majority of cases. This means that the more items that you're shipping, the more expensive that it's going to be. Your goods will be stored in either a 20 foot or a 40 foot storage container, but it's usually rare where you can make an arrangement in which you can store as many goods as possible in it without being charged more.

 

Instead, the container will be weighed either at the port or the moving company can do an assessment at your home so that you know of the price beforehand. Nonetheless, you should be able to get a fairly accurate estimate from them.

 

You'll Be Charged By Distance / Location

The farther that your household items have to be shipped, the more that you'll be charged. There are exceptions to this, though. If you're transporting your items to a final destination that is remote or landlocked, it could cost more than transporting your goods to a popular destination such as London or Tokyo.

 

Your goods have to be transported from your home to a shipping port and from there, placed on a cargo ship, transported through international waters, where it then has to be transported from the port of arrival to your final destination. Many moving companies offer door-to-door service, meaning that they will pick up your items directly from your home and make sure that it arrives at your final international destination.

 

It'll Take Much Longer

You should try to arrange your shipment of your household items overseas at least 6 weeks ahead of when you're going to need your items. There are so many steps involved in the process that it's going to normally take at least two weeks for the transportation process to be completed. Cargo ships move notoriously slow and shipping by air freight is not a viable option if you have many items.

 

Plus, you have to consider the various paperwork and documentation that will accompany the customs requirements of the particular country that you're shipping to. This can all add to the delays that you'll experience, especially if you have not properly prepared all of your documents. A great international moving company will be able to assist you with all of the documents that you may need.

 

Don't stress out over shipping your household items internationally. Many people are in the same position as you and the good news is that there are many credible companies that have extensive services to assist you in doing so. Always check the credibility of the company on a website such as the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org before choosing a company. Good luck!