Red Flags in the Auto Transport Service Industry
Figuring out the right car or truck transporter when you’re looking to transport a vehicle is a process. Particularly if this is your first time shipping a vehicle, you might not have a great idea what you’re looking at. You’re definitely coming in a bit unsure of what to look for.
It’s great to talk about what to look for in a car transport company. But it’s even more important to have an idea of what to look out for that would make you turn away from one. It would help if you kept an eye out for red flags in the auto transport industry.
Too Many Bad Reviews
Well, it’s not really a red flag just for auto transport. And it’s not really something that should surprise anyone.
Just like pretty much every other industry, the auto transport industry relies on reviews. Every car or truck transport company solicits reviews from their clients. You can find auto transport reviews on Yelp, and more often, right there on Google itself, on the company’s Google business page. These reviews are a great indicator of what you can expect working with a car transport broker or carrier.
Bad reviews with clearly spelled-out reasoning are a good indicator that something may be off. If these reviews have not been responded to, there’s a good chance they are spot on. Keep a lookout for operators responding aggressively – if that’s the tone they take with a bad review, do you want to change it?
Old reviews and limited reviews? Chances are the company is either not that active in the industry right now, or they don’t do a good job. Modern car transport companies know the value of getting plenty of on-line reviews.
Bad reviews with limited input? Be cautious, because just like every other industry, the auto transport company is susceptible to review bombing. Look for reviews that have reasons that are well-written. Look for reasons behind ratings, not just how many stars there are. A bad review of transport being late is something that can occur to even the best company. Weather, breakdowns, traffic, these are all uncontrollable circumstances that can delay any transporter. If you see a review about “bait & switch,” which means the company changed the price after pickup, or a review about damage, these are the two biggest red flags that should stand out when looking at a car transport companies reviews.
In the end, you’ll want to steer clear of companies that have these reviews – or that lack of reviews – and look for one with good, recent reviews. Companies like Number 1 Auto Transport are clearly working hard to ensure customers have the best experience with their car shipping needs.
Guaranteed Pickup or Delivery
There are a ton of factors when it comes to picking up and dropping off a vehicle. Shipping a vehicle is not like mailing a package or sending via UPS. Those are processed through a variety of warehouses and service centers and are always on the move.
Cars on the back of auto transport trucks are different. They’re not always on the move – drivers need to stop to take breaks. There is bad weather, traffic, construction zones, detours, traffic jams, reroutes… you name it. Anything you run into on a road trip, you’ll find ten-fold when you’re hauling a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle a long-distance over the road.
When you ship a car, truck, or SUV on auto transport, you rent a single spot. There are up to nine other truck spots, depending on if you go with the average uncovered carrier or a different method. Your vehicle is unlikely to be the first one or the last off.
This means there will be stops in between the load and offload of your vehicle. Every stop increases the chance of a delay. If it could be the weather, it could be bad directions; it could be an unseen difficulty with equipment.
So, if an auto transport company gives you an exact, guaranteed time or date? That’s pretty unlikely that they’ll be able to live up to what they offer. Instead, they should be providing a window of time, usually 24-48 hours, where you can expect delivery. If they say they can guarantee it will be there Tuesday at 2 PM… chances are they won’t meet that guarantee.
Unbelievably Low Pricing
We know that low pricing is a big factor when it comes to choosing your car transport company. Often, pricing you’ll find will fall inside a fairly conservative range. What if you find a price that is so low that it seems too good to be true?
It probably is.
Money moves cars. Carriers always seek out the highest-paying loads; after all, they’re in the business to maximize their profitability. If a price is too low, carriers may pass over it, or you’ll get left with unproven, cut-rate carriers. Either way, that doesn’t bode well for your vehicle.
This is why most folks will seek out numerous bids first. If most companies fall within a pretty close range, but there is a low-price outlier, you’ll definitely want to avoid that one. Finding an average range through multiple bids will help you weed these out and avoid inexperience or a company that doesn’t care.
This doesn’t mean you should skip over the lowest quote overall. Provided it falls within a reasonable distance of the range, you should consider it. Even here at Number 1 Auto Transport, our major focus is on saving our customers money during their car or truck transfers.
Deposit Pricing Discrepancies
Sometimes you won’t see a breakdown of your pricing until late in the process. There are usually two components – the broker fee, the deposit fee, and the carrier fee. The latter is the movement’s cost and is due to the auto transport carrier doing the work. On the other hand, the deposit is what you pay to an auto transport broker to secure those services.
Low deposits often come from companies that are having difficulty booking orders. Many times, it’s not necessarily a sign of a “bad” broker but could indicate issues. Maybe they have high cancellations or lost the ability to utilize a credit card, or have other financial issues. Maybe they are simply that green and inexperienced, which means other issues could come up during the process.
Regardless, a super-low deposit or broker’s fee is a clear red flag. Here at Number 1 Auto, we make our fees as low as possible to keep your overall cost low, but we will never go too low and put our high-quality service at risk. Budgets are negotiable – customer service is not!
Avoid Auto Shipping Red Flags – Ship with Number 1 Auto
If you want to make sure you are shipping with a quality company, look no further than Number 1 Auto Transport! You need a company that knows what it is doing and can price your vehicle transport needs at reasonable rates, with reasonable pickup and delivery etas. One that is well-run, with industry experience. Why bother sifting through the red flag after red flag when you can take the green flag with Number 1 Auto Transport?
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!