When you move, you can mostly just hop into your vehicle and drive from location A to location B. But for some car owners, driving the car themselves for relocation isn’t an option.
So the alternative is to have your vehicle shipped by hiring a professional team to take care of the process for you. One issue a lot of car owners have difficulties with here has to do with their vehicle’s safety.
And that’s understandable. You need your vehicle to remain in the same condition in which you dropped it off, and handing it over to a bunch of strangers goes against everything you know in terms of keeping your car safe.
Let’s take a closer look at the car shipping process to put your mind at ease.
First Thing’s First: Is Car Shipping Safe?
The answer is: it can be. In theory, car shipping is perfectly safe. You are hiring a team of professionals to move your vehicle to a new location, and that means you’re paying for:
- Their hands-on experience
- Their professional equipment to secure the car
- Their trucks, which are used to safely transport the vehicle.
However, the question isn’t whether the process of shipping a car is safe or not, but whether the auto transport company you ultimately hire can do the job right.
Not all car shipping companies are created equal. Many vehicle owners will turn to the businesses that offer the lowest prices for their services without taking into consideration all the other resources that companies would need to ensure a safe drive, from equipment to secure the vehicle to the right track, or even extra protections such as insurance.
So moving forward, we should analyze what an auto transport company needs to offer its clients to ensure safe transport. This way, you can make an informed decision as to who you hire to handle your auto transport needs.
Here’s What You Should Look for in an Auto Transport Company
The price estimate is only one factor you should focus on when it comes to comparing auto transport companies. The truth is, auto shipping isn’t the cheapest service around, so a company that promises a really low bill for transporting your vehicle is questionable, especially if you have some particularities in your auto transport needs, like requiring shipping in a closed container to preserve the integrity of the car.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing an auto transport company. These are signs that the company is trustworthy, which ultimately translated into safe shipping.
1. License to Transport to Your Destination
Auto-shipping companies are required to have special licenses for transporting people’s vehicles. While it may be uncommon to come across a company that has no license, you should still check their credentials because they may not be licensed everywhere.
You need different licenses to transport vehicles in California than you need in New York. If you need to ship your vehicle over state lines, you should check that the company has the right license to do it. Usually, larger companies that ship nationally have all the paperwork they need to perform their jobs, but the same can’t be said for local companies.
If you talk to a company representative and they make no reference to insurance whatsoever, it’s best to steer clear from them. Insurance is mandatory for auto transport companies, but of course, some people may try to operate outside the law.
Insurance is key to your vehicle’s safety. Transporting any item will always come with certain risks because you are talking about going on the open road where you’re encountering tons of other drivers who may not care if the truck is transporting something valuable.
Also check the type of insurance the company offers, and how much it actually covers. If needed, you can purchase extra protection to put your mind at ease.
The company website may be edited to perfection, but customer reviews don’t lie. Look for what other people say about the company to get a better sense of who they are.
And don’t just read the reviews on their own website. Companies will choose the one that puts them in the best light as a way to promote themselves. Check online forums, social media, or directories for information on that company to see more unbiased opinions.
One bad review from a customer doesn’t mean you should not hire the company. Misunderstandings happen, and that’s perfectly normal. But if the people describe truly horrible experiences, especially stories about shipments similar to what you need, then you may need to keep looking.
Car shipping is really the kind of service where you want pristine customer service. It’s very unprofessional from a company to not clearly communicate exactly how the transport will be done, and provide updates throughout the way.
Nowadays, you have the technology to literally track the shipment in real-time. You can identify some bad signs that the company doesn’t have a good communication policy right from the get-go if you ask them directly about how they plan on keeping you in the loop. Companies that have an established policy will be quick to provide this information. Those who don’t, will scramble for an answer.
These are the main things to look for in a trustworthy auto transport company. If it’s a company you can trust, then it’s a company that can safely ship your vehicle.
A1 Auto Transport Is the Company For You
If you need a company to handle your auto shipment and want it done right and safety, then look no further than us. A-1 Auto Transport has decades of hands-on experience with shipping vehicles locally, nationally, and even shipping overseas, so we can cater to all your transport requirements.
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.