For a variety of reasons, such as buying a vehicle through an online auction, moving across country or abroad, or simply sending someone a vehicle as a gift, you may one day be in need of a car delivery service. Also known as auto transport, choosing the right car delivery service first starts with understanding how this industry works. By gaining a through understanding of how car delivery services operate, you'll be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that many face when choosing this service.
Kinds of Car Delivery Service Companies
There are a variety of companies which engage in car delivery services, with the three main ones being the following:
Brokers in the car delivery industry are the ones who act as the sort of go-between and are the vast majority of the auto transport companies that one finds on the internet. Rather than actually engaging in the transport aspect of a car delivery service, they instead outsource their arranged shipping agreements to various carriers. While they usually have great customer service, customers need to understand that it is the carrier who is truly in charge of the car delivery.
- Lead Aggregators
Lead aggregators need to be viewed with location. Created as websites that may seem quite honest, their main purpose is to acquire your personal details so that they can then, in turn, send them to the car delivery service brokers. This, of course, is given to the brokers for a fee, and the brokers benefit from this by being able to use this personal data to provide you with a car delivery quote.
Carriers are the ones who do the actual car delivery. These companies can either have a whole fleet of transport trucks or be run individually. Various transport vehicles exist, including enclosed trailers, open trailers, individual trailers, and multi-vehicle carriers. They have to be officially licensed to act as an auto transport carrier and have to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the United States Government in the DOT and MC rules. They do not usually make arrangements directly with the customer. Instead, they deal with the broker or some other company.
Different Types of Car Delivery Services
The two main car delivery services that are the most widely used are:
- Terminal to Terminal Car Transport
When choosing this service, your car would be picked up from a specific location that you would have to transport it to and then would be delivered to a specified location that you would have to pick it up from. Usually the drop off and pick up points are not far from your location, and out of the two delivery options, it's the cheaper one. Many of those who live in rural or difficult to reach locations have no choice but to choose this option or risk facing exorbitant extra fees.
This option is a bit more expensive, but the benefits are that your car will be picked up and subsequently delivered directly from/to your home or designated location. This means that you don't have to worry about transporting it to a drop off point or driving it to its final destination at the delivery point.
Which one of the two to choose depends on a variety of factors. While door to door car delivery is more expensive, it's also much easier for you. Also, keep in mind that, depending on how far you need to drive to either drop off your vehicle or pick it up, terminal to terminal car delivery may not be as cheap as you think. Of course, if you're transporting your vehicle internationally, than you'll have to choose terminal to terminal car delivery in the majority of cases.
How Your Car is Transported for Delivery
In order to understand how your car is transported for delivery, understand that there are two primary types of trucks that are used.
- Single Vehicle Trailer
This obviously just transports one car. While the cost may be higher to use this type of service, they can get your car to places that may not be accessible to a larger truck. This is a great option for door to door car delivery. In addition, if your car is particularly valuable, such as being a vintage vehicle or a luxury vehicle, this is the more secure option, since it'll ONLY be your car that's transported.
- Multi-Vehicle Trailer
This is a cheaper option and the most common one that is used. Car transport companies ship multiple cars at once, which lowers the price. In most instances, this is the option that you'll be going with.
No matter which option you decide to go with, you'll have to choose between either an:
An enclosed trailer protects your vehicle from the weather and is particularly recommended for long journeys, such as if your car is being delivered coast to coast. Furthermore, if your vehicle is quite expensive and/or is vintage, than this is the recommended option.
An open trailer is the more popular method out of the two. The main benefit is that it is cheaper, but the drawbacks are that your car will be less secure. Nonetheless, car delivery service companies have taken extra measures to protect your vehicle these days, so damage isn't too common.
Check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's guide for consumers at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/resources-for-consumers.
Contact A-1 Auto Transport today to get not only a free quote, but to help us guide you through the process and find out what type of car delivery service will best meet your needs!
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.