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A1 Auto Transport Blog

Car Shipping for Fleet Managers

Any business that has a large fleet of vehicles that they use regularly will have to eventually upgrade their fleet at some point. It can be an expensive business expense, but it's a necessity, especially if the company wants to stay relevant and competitive. Some companies will also want to significantly expand their fleet or purchase an entirely new fleet. Whatever the reasons are, you will have to make sure that you are able to make arrangements with an auto transport company that will minimize your expenses while also providing you with outstanding service. In a business, these cost savings matter significantly.

 

 

Here's some advice:

 

Search for Multiple Companies Online

When you choose to add to your fleet of vehicles, you don't just rush into a purchase. You should spend a similar amount of research into the auto transport company that you choose. Go on the internet and do a search for auto transport companies. Get a list of at least 5. Go on the Better Business Bureau's website at www.bbb.org to check out consumer reviews of each of them.

 

Remember, the cheapest price is not always the best option. Contact each company directly and let them know of your exact needs, including the number of vehicles that you need shipped, your required time frame, and your budget constraints and demands. You will need to let them know the type of vehicles that you need transported as well, since a large vehicle like a van can cost much more than a regular family sedan.

 

Get a price quote from each company and see which one seems to meet your needs the best.

 

Stick With One Company Only

You should always try to stick with one auto transport company if you can. The reasons include:

 

  • Multi-vehicle Discounts;
  • Repeat Customer Discounts;
  • Loyalty Programs.

 

Many companies will offer you a discount if you ship more than one vehicle at a time with them. The discount for each additional vehicle may not be too large, but if you need many vehicles transported, these savings will add up.

 

In addition, many companies also offer repeat customer discounts and/or loyalty programs. So if, for example, you only need to add one vehicle to your fleet, you may not save any money this time, but the next time you do business with that company, you will receive a discount.

 

Be sure to ask the company about their reward programs and bulk discounts that they can offer you. You need to have a guarantee of such a discount ahead of time so make sure to get it in writing from them. Most auto transport companies would be happy to have a regular customer, as client accounts are something that they cherish since it gives them semi-consistent revenue.

 

A-1 Auto Transport frequently works with fleet managers of all sizes and will work to offer you a competitive rate on your fleet transport needs. Contact us today and speak to one of our customer service representatives for assistance!

 

What Kind of Vehicles Should Be Shipped Through Enclosed Transport

When choosing auto transport shipping options, one of the first choices that you have to make is whether to ship your vehicle through either Open Air auto transport or Enclosed auto transport. While many people often choose Open Air transport because it is usually the cheaper option, for many vehicles, it is much better to choose the Enclosed transport option. In order to understand what kind of vehicles should be shipped through Enclosed transport, it's important to understand the benefits that it can offer.

 

The Benefits of Enclosed Auto Transport

 

The benefits of enclosed auto transport are numerous. They include:

 

  • Increased protection from weather and the elements;
  • A fully enclosed environment for your vehicle, ensuring that it's not touched or tampered with;
  • Increased security when the auto transport carrier stops at various rest areas and so forth;
  • Higher likelihood of door-to-door shipping being available;
  • Only a slight increase in cost in many cases compared to Open Auto Transport.

 

If you're transporting your vehicle in an area during the winter in which snow is expected, enclosed auto transport can protect it completely. Even if it's not winter, during the summer months, the chance of hail or small pebbles hitting your vehicle can damage it severely.

 

The Type of Vehicles Ideal for Enclosed Transport

 

Not every vehicle should be shipped through enclosed transport, but there are certain types that should be, no matter what. These include:

 

  • Antiques
  • Collectibles
  • Luxury Vehicles
  • Race Cars
  • Brand New Vehicles
  • Sports Cars

 

Enclosed auto transport ensures that your vehicle will arrive in the same condition that it left. It'll give you better peace of mind and extra privacy for your vehicle. Not always, but in some cases, you also may be able to store some personal items in the enclosed trailer. You will need to discuss this first with the auto transport company to see if that's possible. It won't be an extensive amount of items, but nonetheless, it could save you some hassle, especially if you're planning a move.

 

Of course, for some vehicles, it might not be worth the extra cost. The vehicles that don't have to be shipped through enclosed transport are:

 

  • Work cars
  • Used cars
  • Regular family vehicles
  • Low cost vehicles

 

Keep in mind though that some vehicles simply cannot be shipped through enclosed auto transport. These usually include extremely large SUVs, certain vans, and pickup trucks. In this case, you may have no choice but to choose Open Air auto transport. But don't fret. Auto transport companies take every precaution necessary to make sure that your vehicle isn't damaged. This can include putting a special tarp over the vehicles while they're on the road.

 

You should always visit a website such as the Better Business Bureau to check out the auto transport company first before you commit to anything.

 

Contact A-1- Auto Transport today and let us assist you in determining which shipping method is more ideal for you and your vehicle.

 

 

Using Auto Transport as a Tax Deduction

Transporting your vehicle may be quite expensive, especially if you have to transport it a great distance in the United States, internationally, or at the last minute. Considering all of the other moving expenses that you also will have to incur, this can all add up to a large amount of money. However, if you're moving due to a work-related reason, even if it involves starting your own small business, you may be able to write off the auto transport costs as a tax deduction, along with some of your other moving costs. Check it out:

 

You Must Meet the "Distance and Time" Test

 

In order to be eligible to write off your auto transport expenses as a tax write off, you have to meet the "distance and time" test. It's quite simple to understand.

 

First, starting with the distance part, your new place of work has to be a minimum of 50 miles away from your old home compared to where your old place of work was.

 

Second, the time aspect can be satisfied if:

 

  • You will be working full time in the area where your new workplace is located for a minimum of 39 weeks during the first year that you make your move.
  • If you are not working for another company but instead are going to be self-employed, the 39 week time requirement will still apply to you, but the difference is that you have to work at least 78 weeks in that same location during the first two years after your move.

 

What Form Should You Fill Out?

The main form that you have to fill out is IRS Form 3903, which is entitled as "Moving Expenses." You will be able to include not only the transportation of your vehicle, but also the transportation of any of your household items and personal items as well.

 

You can find the form at the IRS's official website located here at: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-3903,-Moving-Expenses. They will have additional information on what to include in the forms, and they should be quite easy to fill out. Just make sure to keep the appropriate documentation of all of your auto transport expenses.

 

What if I or a Friend Drives the Vehicle?

If you elect to drive the vehicle yourself or have a friend or family member do it for you instead of hiring an auto transport company, you can still be eligible for a tax write off. You will have to make sure that you keep detailed records of your fuel costs, and you might be able to include some general maintenance and wear and tear costs as well in it, such as oil changes or tire changes that you may have to do.

 

 

Of course, the surest way to make sure that you're eligible for a tax write off is to talk to your accountant. It's a much easier process than it seems! Make sure to contact A-1 Auto Transport for all of your auto transport needs!

Upgrading Your Suspension

If you're a car enthusiast, such as one that is drawn more to muscle cars and sporty cars, one area that you could potentially be ignoring is your vehicle's suspension. Each person may have different needs and reasons for upgrading their suspension, ranging from someone who frequently fills up the back of their pickup truck with heavy loads to someone who wants better handling. Understanding the different types of suspension upgrade options that you have and who they would benefit the most will help you make the best educated decision on the matter:

 

Lowering Springs

Lowering Springs, which are also referred to as Drop Springs, are designed in order to change the height of your vehicle. By changing the height of your vehicle, these are suspensions that are designed for aesthetic purposes first and foremost, rather than vehicle performance or comfort. They actually lower the height of the vehicle, hence the name of these springs. If you care to show off your ride at a show, lowering springs are what you're probably interested in. They are one of, if not the, cheapest suspension options.

 

Sport Springs

Sport Springs are similar to Lowering Springs, with the difference being that they don't lower the vehicle as much and are more focused on performance improvements instead of appearance. They help to improve the handling of the vehicle and how it rides.

 

*If you chose Lowering or Sport Springs, be sure to also equip your car with a Lowering Shock to make sure that there isn't any bumpiness during the ride.

 

Coilovers

A Coilover is able to lower the height of the vehicle much more than a Lowering or Short Spring. They also provide excellent handling. There are two main types of Coilovers, which are:

 

  • Full Coilovers
  • Slip-on Coilovers

 

The difference between them is that Slip-on Coilovers are coil springs that can be adjusted, and Full Coilovers come with a factory-made shock.

 

In general, Coilovers act as a shock absorber and offer the perfect blend of lowering the height of your vehicle and having great handling. Be sure to only choose a Coilover from a credible company!

 

Air Suspension

Air Suspension, which is also referred to as Air Bag Suspension, utilizes either a compressor or an air pump to raise the vehicle's chassis through inflating it from its axle. It allows your vehicle to get either extremely low or very high. It also results in a very smooth ride, as if you are floating on air in a sense because, actually, you are.

 

Originally, it was mainly used in buses and trucks, but is now being placed in regular automobiles as well. It allows for a great deal of flexibility in adjusting the height of your car. When you park it in particular, it can go extremely low to where the frame is almost touching the ground.

 

 

If you want to upgrade your suspension, make sure to pick one that suits your needs the best. You have to decide whether you want a suspension that is designed strictly for aesthetic purposes, for handling, for necessity, or for a combination of everything.

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!