There are countless car shipping companies in the United States. However, with a crowded industry, it is hard to find the best car shipping company. Not any car shipping company can give you good services, no. Hurtful to say, there are auto transport companies out there that have neither the licensing nor the expertise to perform car hauling services. The stakes are higher than just the availability and cheapness of the car shipping firms.
Qualities of good car shipping companies
One of the major qualities to keep an eye for when looking for the best car shipping company is a company website. Businesses are all going digital, thanks to the internet. A company website is often the first point of interaction between the auto shipping company and the clients. All relevant information in regards to the auto transport company is found here.
One look at a car hauler’s website just does not cut it. You have to thoroughly examine its content. Information about their location, the services they offer, areas they cover and contact details all play a crucial role. Moreover, the finer details on legalities such as insurance and compliance to regulatory bodies are found here.
A car transport company will want to protect itself against being sued. Its website will have the relevant information on their liability under “Terms & Conditions”. Furthermore, testimonials and relevant reviews will guide you on gauging how good the said car hauling company is.
The concept of a website is to promote transparency, and therefore trust. A car shipping company that has something to hide will want to hide from the government by not having a website.
The bestCar Shipping Companies are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA is the governing body that dictates the rules and regulations to be followed by any motor carrier firm in the U.S. All motor carrier firms, including A-1 Auto Transport Inc. are required by law to acquire a USDOT Number and an Authority to Operate (MC Number) from FMCSA. The two work as special identifier numbers that the FMCSA uses to track information about the car shipping companies, including compliance with the laws, audit reports, and accidents involved. A car shipping company that is not registered with FMCSA is a red flag you should avoid.
All auto transport companies are required to have Insurance Policies in order to operate. This is paramount as it protects them, and to an extent, you, from bearing the heavy cost of damages in case of an accident occurring during transportation of your car. There are several insurance policies, each special to its own clause.
Public Liability Insurance covers against property damage, bodily injury and environmental damage. Ocean Freight insurance protects your car from damage during transportation over the sea. Air freight insurance covers your car against damage during transportation on planes, and cargo insurance covers your car from damages during transportation on land, (as a general clause).
You may have your car insured already, but it is important to watch out for insurance cover by the auto transport company itself. Upon proof of damages inflicted on your car, the auto transport company is compelled by law to pay you damages. They mostly do this through their own insurance policies.
A good car shipper will provide you with a means to track your shipment while it’s in transit. This creates trust between the two parties and helps you to a plan accordingly.
Repercussions of choosing the wrong car shipping company
Opting for just any car shipping company may leave you in a whole new world of trouble and financial crisis. Why? There are legalities put in place by law. These include:
- In case of an accident during transportation, an unregulated car shipping company without insurance will leave you covering the damages from your own pocket.
- The costs may be exaggerated.
- You may find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Ignorance is no defense.
How to find the best car shipping company
- Do your research. Be informed of what to expect from car shipping companies. The internet is your friend. Blogs such as this one will keep you informed on the matter.
- You can use brokers. However, be careful of fraudsters. You need to research about brokers before settling for one.
- Carefully go through the company’s website and find proof of regulation by FMCSA and their insurance policies.
- Examine the terms and conditions laid out by the car moving company and gauge how comfortable you are complying with them.
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.