Why do Car Transport Brokers Require a Deposit?
Most brokers ask for a deposit as payment for their services. In most cases, this deposit does not pay for the actual transporting service, but instead covers the broker’s fee for connecting you to an auto shipping company. It is similar to the methods used by brokers in most other industries when you can’t buy from the manufacturer, or in this case carrier, directly.
Auto transport companies will not ask for a deposit to book your vehicle’s shipment because they have it as collateral if you refuse to pay. They may accept payment via cash on delivery or pickup, through a cashier’s check, or credit card. They will unload your vehicle after the payment is made.
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When you Should Make a Deposit
Unfortunately, deposits allow some untrustworthy companies to scam their customers. Brokers can ask for a deposit at any time. Some charge it upon booking, while others ask for it after loading your car and the driver confirms the pickup. However, most brokers will ask for a deposit immediately after finding a company to ship your vehicle.
Scammers will most often ask for an early deposit, so they may disappear with your money as soon as possible. If you do decide to work with a broker and want to avoid getting scammed, do not pay anything until you make the final agreements in writing. Some brokers require deposits to be placed earlier, because the shipping portals they use require it. If you find a broker with a personal database or talk directly to an auto transport company, this will not be necessary.
As the client, it is not your responsibility to accommodate the broker’s situation. If the options offered by the company do not protect your interests and / or leave you vulnerable to scams, you may want to search for another.