Irrespective of whether you are an individual looking to ship your vehicle or a dealership owner who needs to transport a number of cars, there are certain deciding factors such as budget, distance and time constraints to consider when choosing an interstate car carrier.
At the same time knowing how to avoid the abundant scams in the vehicular transport industry can save you a lot of grief. This article will take you through a step by step process to find the safest and best choice for your specific needs.
Know the Worth
Not all cars can be valued equally, some, such as an antique roadster or a luxury Rolls Royce are exorbitantly expensive and need specialized care while being transported across state lines. There are certain interstate car carriers that only deal in the transportation of high-end vehicles, ensuring their utmost safety, this is true for transportation of both one, or a number of cars.
On the other hand your car may be a more common model, in which case cost saving should be the deciding factor.
Avoid Promise of Lowest Price
When we say cost effective, we do not mean the cheapest company you can find. Rather, we point towards the one that offers the best services at the fairest price. There are many businesses that work as liaison between customers and the interstate car carrier companies, these middle people lure customers in with the promise of low prices.
Once the customer commits, then they try to locate a carrier, however, carriers generally don’t accept such low prices, therefore you end up wasting a certain amount of time and money on a go between only to not have your car shipped because the carrier was unwilling.
Do Your Homework, Compare and Contrast
When it comes to finding the best interstate vehicle carriers, research goes a long way; you can work locally through the yellow pages and meet these carriers in person or use the ever reliable Google to compare a number of companies before logging into their websites and asking for a quote.
When working over the internet, bear in mind that most quotes are for fully operational, standard vehicles while the cars that have been modified or do not run are subject to additional charges, based on weight, size and special condition the carrier may need to organize.
It is best to:
- Call a number of companies; compare quotes and terms of service.
- Read reviews posted on the internet if available.
- Keep in mind that companies with more experience, say a few years, are almost always more reliable.
- Ask friends if they have used interstate car carriers which they could recommend.
- As there are new companies popping up fairly regularly, make sure they employ bonded brokers and that the carriers are insured and licensed.
- Also familiarize yourself with a company's resolution policies in case of an accident, theft or destruction of property.
- Receive and save confirmation from an interstate car carrier via fax or email.
- Do not sign anything before reading it and look out for hidden costs.Be aware that even when booking services online your e-signature is binding.
Prepare Your Vehicle
If the car that you intend to ship is not new then you would need to remove all personal effects from the vehicle as an interstate car carrier will not insure any personal possessions within the car. However, your car insurance will most likely cover your vehicle while it is in transit, so be sure to check with your insurance company.
Additionally, most carriers prefer the vehicles to contain less than a quarter tank of gas as this significantly reduces its weight, this is turn will reduce the amount of fuel they consume during the journey from point A to point B which will ultimately save you money.
We also recommend that you wash your car before handing it over to the carrier as this makes any dents or marks noticeable when they carry out their inspection for existing damage. This damage is then recorded in what is known as the Vehicle Condition Report, which you must sign and will receive a copy of. When the car is finally delivered it is best if you inspect the car before accepting the delivery, and claim any damages if there is any discrepancy with the vehicle condition report you had signed before the car was picked up by the car shipping company.
Vehicle Condition Report
Keep in mind that there are usually two basic levels of service offered by interstate car carriers which are door to door or terminal to terminal shipment, of which the latter is cheaper as you are expected to pick your vehicle up from a specified point rather than having it delivered directly to your doorstep.
Furthermore, you could opt for the open trailer means of transport which carries up to twelve different vehicles at one time and is open air or subject to weather conditions during transport. While some companies use a tarp to protect the vehicles others may not which is why your car may be dirty upon delivery. If you are willing to pay a slight premium you could opt to transport your vehicle in an enclosed carrier which will protect it from dust, gravel, and the weather.
If you keep these point in mind when choosing an interstate car carrier you will save yourself time, money and the undue stress caused by scams or cheap carriers. The right carrier will ensure that you receive your car in the same condition as when you left it and in a timely manner.
Related Information & FAQ
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.