Researching Brokers Beforehand

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Researching Brokers Beforehand
Researching Brokers Beforehand

How To Research Auto Transport Brokers Before Shipping Your Car With Them

Before signing up with an auto transport broker, it’s important to understand the difference between an auto transport broker and an auto transport carrier or hauler. A carrier is the company or individual that moves your vehicle–something we can all understand pretty easily. A broker, however, requires more explanation since it’s an essential, and often misunderstood, part of the auto transport business.

At its simplest, a broker is someone that coordinates a transaction by connecting a customer who needs a service to a company that provides it. Certain industries–auto transport among them–rely heavily on brokers to help facilitate business exchanges between customers and the providers who offer the service. Other common examples of businesses that tend to use brokers frequently include real estate, insurance, and finance. Essentially, the broker facilitates the contract between a customer and a business.

The benefit of using a broker is that it opens up more choices in terms of cost and services to the customer, whereas dealing with a carrier will necessarily limit you to the services, staffing, and delivery schedules they have available. Brokers can typically find a cheaper price or particular service more easily since they’re not limited to the services of just one company.

Another benefit of using a broker is the time that you can save by doing so. If you wanted to check quotes between several companies, it can take time to sit down and call individual auto transport carriers to get a quote from each one. A broker can send you numerous quotes at one time so you can look them over and determine which company suits your needs best.

(*It should be noted that there are companies that operate as both a broker and a carrier within the auto transport industry.)

If you are unsure whether a company is a broker, a carrier or even both, ask upfront to see. Sometimes, a carrier is also a broker and if their trucks are filled and they cannot personally accommodate your vehicle, they will often reach out to other companies who can schedule a pickup quicker.

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A Few Facts About Auto Transport Brokers

Auto transport brokers have a great deal of experience working as the “middle man” between customers and auto transport carriers. They know the companies that are good as well as the ones who have bad reputations. Unlike a person trying to do a search on their own without assistance, the broker already has the information and they can guide you to the best transport carrier companies out there.

Searching on your own can take up a lot of valuable time, and most people simply don’t have hours to spend speaking to individual companies or verifying information from various companies before they hire someone. Besides the time involved in searching for a carrier on your own, you may not be able to find the lower rates that a broker can find.

Brokers often have access to thousands of carriers in an instance, and they are better equipped to find a safe, dependable carrier at a fraction of the cost you might find on your own.

Another thing to be concerned about is that a broker can schedule all areas of your auto transport. Sometimes, a carrier can only transport within a restricted area of the map, and from a specific point, they will need to transfer the vehicle to another company to continue the transport. A broker will be able to work with all carriers, as well as terminals for storage if necessary, available in instances such as this and they can go ahead and get the car scheduled for delivery using more than one company. It can be extremely time consuming to have to search for more than one company to make a delivery across the U.S. or overseas.

Bonded Auto Transport Brokers – An Important Detail

Before shipping your car with an auto transport broker, it’s extremely important to make sure your are dealing with a broker that is fully bonded. Bonding refers to insurance coverage for the customer that allows for compensation in the event that the carrier (also known as the principal) does not fulfill their end of the contract.

Hypothetically speaking, if something happens to your car during transport and the company goes out of business, a broker would be able to guarantee you proper compensation due to the consumer protections provided by the surety bond.

A good auto transport broker should be able to take care of all the details for you. This includes finding a carrier that can meet your requirements for speed and shipping time frame, a quality safety record, excellent customer service, exact type of transport required and an affordable total cost of delivery.

Where To Find Information On Auto Transport Brokers

With so many auto shipping options available online, it’s difficult to tell what companies are carriers and what companies are brokers, much less finding quality business information about either. Here are some of the best available online resources for researching auto transport brokers, either from the federal departments that oversee the industry or consumer watchdog groups.

Resources For Researching Brokers

  • Consumer Advisory – Consumer advisory from the USDOT regarding auto transport companies, carriers and brokers.
  • Registration Requirements – Requirements for freight brokers and carriers, as established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Company Search – Look up companies to see if they’re a broker, a carrier or both. You can search by name, motor carrier license number or USDOT number.
  • Consumer Affairs – Still a great resource to look up any type of business, including auto transport. They have company reviews, customer complaints and general industry information that’s helpful to anyone shipping an auto.
  • Better Business Bureau – Including ratings on businesses of all kinds, the BBB is a great launching point to start your research from. Not only will you find business ratings and general information, but there’s also customer reviews and complaint history.

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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.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com


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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