How To Choose The Right Company To Move Your Car

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Thanks to online marketplaces, such as eBay, auto transporting has grown as an industry. However, at this stage, it remains highly unregulated. The following tips will help you choose the best company for your needs, taking care to be safe, secure, and sensible.

Bids

When considering a vehicle shipping company, get price quotes from a variety of companies before choosing. You can get quotes directly from a company’s website, or you can use websites that offer quotes from multiple companies at a time.

Be sure to enter as much information about the shipment as you can provide: the more information, the more accurate the quote.

Do you have a standard vehicle, or does your automobile have modifications, e.g. lift kits, larger tires, lowered suspensions? Most automatic bids will be for the standard passenger vehicle. Those vehicles with modifications will cost more.

Avoid companies that charge upfront fees. When deciding upon a company, don’t take the lowest priced bidder. Companies that bid low often lure customers, then attempt to locate a carrier for the low price. When carriers turn down the offer, your car won’t be moved. Those companies who bid in the median range are generally the most reliable.

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Transport types

Get familiar with the types of transporters available. There are tractor- trailers (single and multiple vehicle loads) and hotshots. Hotshots are small trucks that carry one vehicle at a time. Though they are more expensive, they provide faster service because they only have one delivery; you don’t have to wait on other customers to fill empty slots. Hotshots can navigate neighborhood streets and can often make the delivery right to your home. Tractor-trailers, on the other hand, are often cheaper because the transport cost is spread among several clients.

If you choose multiple vehicle tractor-trailers for shipment, consider whether you prefer a top deck or lower deck position. Cars on the upper level are more exposed to the environment, but cars on the lower deck can receive drippings of oil and fluids from above.

If you have a collectible or more expensive vehicle, consider a closed trailer for shipment. While it’s more expensive, your 1965 Mustang with original paint will thank you.

Registration

To know if the bidding company is legitimate, check for DOT and MC numbers. All auto transporters must be registered with the Department of Transportation and have an active USDOT and motor carrier (MC) number. Numbers should be provided on the shipping company’s website. The only exception is in the case of forwarders and brokers. A broker doesn’t own trucks, rather they focus on finding the best auto shipping company for your vehicle. A forwarder acts as an agent between the client and a shipping company arranging documentation, terms of carriage, and customs clearance. Brokers and forwarders only have MC numbers.

Insurance

Though you have insurance on your vehicle, most household policies won’t cover a car when it’s in transit. Check with your insurance provider to see if they have “rider” policies. All transport companies are required to carry liability and cargo insurance. Request written proof of coverage before booking with a carrier. It is not too much to ask, and reputable transportation providers won’t hesitate to provide the information.

Reputation

Customer feedback is invaluable to a transport company. Use sites such as rip-off report, m3cents.com, or complaintsboard.com to check the company name before finalizing the deal. Search the Internet for reviews and better business bureau rankings. Avoid doing business with newer companies who don’t yet have established reputations. The industry as of now remains highly unregulated with many inferior companies taking advantage of unsuspecting customers. Do your homework up front so your vehicle is not a statistic.

Once you decide upon a carrier, consider the following basic principles of shipment before the trip:

  • Read the contract completely before you sign it. Pay special attention to the small print for hidden fees.
  • Remove all personal or valuable items from your vehicle.
  • Try to have less than a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle for the move. Gasoline is added weight, which equates to added cost for the carrier. This cost will be passed on to you.
  • Wash your car before the trip. A clean vehicle is easier to inspect, thus making the condition easily reported upon pickup and delivery.
  • Make sure the carrier completes a vehicle inspection before transit.
  • Document the mileage on your car before and after delivery.

>  More information on preparing your car for shipping


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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.


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Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

Testimonial
David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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