What is the General Guide to the World of Auto Transport?
If you have a sudden need for or are deciding whether or not to ship your vehicle through an auto transport company, it may seem quite intimidating, as the sheer amount of options and different services can drive you into a frenzy. Don't worry though. At A-1 Auto Transport, we make it as easy and affordable as possible, as well as guide you through every single step. Nonetheless, it's important to know how everything works, especially with the litany of auto transport websites on the internet.
Know the Different Types Of Auto Transport Companies
Many people are surprised to find out that you may be dealing with a few different companies, in which one acts as a sort of middleman when you chose to have your vehicle shipped. This isn't a bad thing, however, as various rules and regulations make it easy to tell which company is legitimate and which one isn't. Here are the three types of companies:
The brokers are the aforementioned middlemen and comprise the vast majority of the auto transport companies that you'll most likely deal with. What's important to know about them is that they do not actually transport the vehicles themselves. Instead, they contact an actual auto carrier to transport the vehicle, in which they accept a deposit and then send your payment directly to the carrier when the delivery is made.
They make their money off of the difference between the price that they charge you and the actual price that the carrier charges them. Brokers usually have a list of carriers that they work with regularly, but in addition, they post the shipping information on transportation boards in some cases. The best brokers will make sure to chose carriers that are reliable and can get your shipment delivered as safely and as fast as possible.
The carriers are the ones who actually do the physical transportation of the vehicle. You will most likely not be contacting them directly, but instead, it is the auto transport broker that will deal with them. Most of the carriers are small companies, sometimes even run by a husband and a wife, that work as freelancers. They operate through the use of either open trailers, enclosed trailers, multiple car haulers, or single trailers, amongst others. They're regulated by the DOT and FMCSA, whose websites are located www.dot.gov and www.fmcsa.dot.gov respectfully.
- Lead Aggregators
These are websites who take down your information and send it to a broker.
The Two Main Types of Shipping Services
There are two predominant types of shipping services offered for auto transport. Which one you decide to go with should depend on your pick-up location and the delivery point. This will have a major impact on the cost of shipping, the estimated shipping time, and other related issues. You will be able to choose from the following two:
- Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery
With this option, your vehicle will be picked up from an arranged drop off location and will be delivered to an agreed upon pick up location. It's the cheaper of the two options and is perfect for those who live near a major city, as that's where the terminals are often located.
- Door-to-Door Delivery
Not surprisingly, this is the more expensive option. But the extra cost that you will have to incur means that your vehicle will be picked up from your own location and be delivered to the specified delivery point. If you live in the mountains, a rural area, or an area that is extremely hard to reach, the price will change accordingly, not to mention the shipping time as well.
It's important to consider your schedule, budget, and your location when deciding between the two.
Always chose a trusted company when deciding to transport your vehicle. Of course, A-1 Auto Transport can handle all of your transportation needs with affordable prices and reliable service!
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.