Auto Transport Company Questions
A great way to make your family move or job relocation less stressful is to hire an auto transport company. Still, there are many of them out there, and some can be more unsavory than others.
You don’t want just anyone handling your vehicle, so we’ve compiled a list of 15 questions to ask that will help narrow your search down to the best company. Remember — the right one isn’t going to have any trouble answering these and will give you clear cut answers along the way, too.
1: Is your company licensed and bonded? One of the quickest ways to make sure you’re dealing with a forthright company is to see that they have all the proper licenses. The most important one will be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and are in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). By asking for their DOT# for verification purposes, you’ll also be able to view safety reports and other information about them.
2: What are the rates? Your money is hard-earned, and car shipping, though affordable for what it is, isn’t worth just nickels and dimes. A good auto shipper is going to be upfront about their rates. Because car transport rates vary depending on the options you choose and how long the route is, your exact quote will be worked out during the consultation process.
3: Do they offer a free, no-obligation quote? The majority of auto transport companies advertise free car shipping quotes — if they don’t, it’s a definite sign to look elsewhere.
Here at Number 1 Auto Transport, we offer free, no-obligation quotes, and we’ll never change or raise our price to you once it’s quoted and settled upon.
4: Do the quotes include everything?
This is crucial. Nothing is worse than learning a company’s rates, getting a good quote, and then finding out unexpected charges and costs after the fact. This is easily avoided by asking the rep for a clear-cut list of everything the quote covers. Ask ahead of time if there is any chance of unexpected costs along the way. Lastly, make sure you read over everything before signing a contract.
5: Why are they the best company to go with?
There are tons of auto transport companies out there, all serving the same industry and purpose. Still, it would help if you didn’t assume that they’re all alike. The right auto transport company should be able to tell you, without hesitation, what makes them stand out from the rest. Look for an impressive track record of getting vehicles where they need to be without accidents or damage, and go the extra step by checking out any reviews on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.
6: Are they insured?
While you should check your own insurance to see if you have coverage when your car or truck is on a transport vehicle, the auto shipping company you choose must also be insured. Keep in mind that the company’s policy may not cover your car’s entire value, so make sure you have a clear idea of what their coverage entails. If the company doesn’t offer the coverage you’re looking for; it’s best to look elsewhere.
7: Do they have references you can speak to?
Yes, checking reviews on Google and social media is helpful (and often candid), but some companies out there hire people to leave good reviews in all the right places. Ask the auto transporter if there are any past customers you could chat with or have personally sent reviews.
8: How will you pay? Some auto shipping companies will require a deposit once your car is on the truck or carrier and prepped. If they require you to pay upfront before any service begins, this is a huge red flag. Also, a reputable company will accept all forms of credit cards and even some online payment options.
9: How do you need to prepare your car before shipping? There will probably be a list of steps you need to take before preparing your car for transport, including cleaning the car inside and out, removing all personal items, and making sure the gas tank is at least ¼ full. Make sure to check with your auto shipping company if there are any other things you need to do before your vehicle is shipped to its destination.
10: When will your car be delivered? This is a common question and will vary depending on the shipping methods you choose and how long the route is. Experienced drivers will have a clear understanding of all the best routes and use GPS systems designed to create routes based on construction or weight restrictions, which means they might be able to give you estimated times.
11: What documentation do YOU need to give to have your car shipped? You must have got all the right documents in order before your car is shipped, as it can prevent delays and make sure the process goes smoothly. Typically, this will include registration, title, proof of insurance, and photo ID, but be sure and ask the auto shipper if there’s anything else they need.
12: Do you have to be available for pickup and delivery? Reputable auto transport companies will require an adult over 18 to be present during pickup and delivery. If you aren’t able to be there for whatever reason, make sure you stress to your family member, friend, or neighbor that it’s important to be there on time.
13: How will your car be transported? There are two primary methods to choose from when shipping a car: open auto transport or enclosed car shipping. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages and will affect your shipping quote. Shipping heavy equipment or classic cars may come with their own set of requirements, too.
14: Can they move personal belongings, too? While it seems like it’d be easy to throw a couple of boxes in the trunk or the back of the car, especially if this transport is for a move, most companies will not allow this because removing all personal items from the vehicle to lower the chances of damages or theft is on the list to prep your vehicle for shipment. The only things that can remain in the vehicle are the spare tire and the jack.
15: Can they transport non-running cars? It’s always good to know what an auto shipping company can or cannot do when you’re looking to hire them. Many companies will transport a non-running vehicle, but it’ll require special equipment for loading and unloading, so make sure they know about this upfront.
There are many cost-effective ways to ship your car, truck, SUV, or anything in between, including working with our team at Number 1 Auto Transport. We are highly experienced and love what we do, and we will help you find the lowest cost and most reliable method to ship your vehicle!