Car transportation – the art of shipping a car from one location to another – isn’t always easy. It also isn’t always hard – which just means that it can be easier to achieve. The question is, really, how easy do you want it to be?
Many issues that people have when shipping their vehicles are easily avoided. From miscommunication regarding pickup and delivery dates or locations to misrepresentation of a vehicle, there are a lot of things that you can do to make your car transportation easier.
That’s why we’re going to go over five tips to make your car transportation easier in the long run.
Why make your car transportation easier?
Why not? Honestly, though, a lot of people simply don’t know that they have the power to make it easier on themselves. Many times, customers will book their order and then disappear, thinking they’ve done their part. But there are so many things that go into shipping a car successfully, and checking yourself out of the process is not going to help anyone.
With car transportation, it’s not like ordering off of Amazon. You have to start by finding a quality auto transport company to handle your shipment. You have to book your order and pay the deposit, then you have to wait for a carrier. Then you have to coordinate pickup and delivery with the carrier so you know your vehicle is the one being loaded and unloaded.
With so many moving parts in your shipment and so many different parties having a hand in it, making it easier is a no-brainer. Making it more difficult only leads to stress, worries, problems, and delays.
Keep reading to find out how you can help you shipper make your car transportation experience easier and better. Not just for you, but for everyone involved.
Only book with reputable and reliable shippers
The easiest way to make your shipment easier is to just book with a good company right out of the gate. While this isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, considering how many different shippers are out there, here are a few guidelines:
- Only book with brokers. Car transportation brokers are the go-to companies for most customers. They are able to find carriers in a timely fashion and help keep prices lower. You don’t ever want to book directly with a carrier.
- Check their ratings. You can easily look at websites like Google and Transport Reviews to see how a company treats its customers. If a company has lots of good reviews and not many bad ones, chances are they’re solid.
- Older companies tend to be more reliable. In the car shipping world, transporters that are good at their jobs last a while. Companies that have years and years of experience under their belts understand the industry intimately. As a result, their customer service and problem-solving skills tend to be better than newer companies. This isn’t to say new companies can’t be trusted; you should just use a bit more caution.
- Check their license and bond. Every broker has to be licensed and bonded. These are publicly-available records that you can research for yourself.
If you’re interested in skipping a lot of that work, you can read about companies pre-vetted by us. You can check out their services, other customer reviews, and even contact them to get a quote to ship your vehicle directly from them.
Represent your vehicle accurately
If there is one thing that we’ve seen a lot of in our years of shipping cars, it’s misrepresented vehicles. But what does it mean to “misrepresent” your vehicle when you ship it?
Misrepresentation is when you tell your shipping company that the vehicle is in one condition, but it’s actually not. There are a lot of different ways that you can misrepresent a vehicle to your broker. However, doing so is going to cost you time at best and money at worst.
A good example is telling your shipper it’s running when it is not. If your vehicle cannot move under its own power, it’s not going to be as easy for a carrier to load. Inoperable vehicles carry additional costs because they have to be loaded via a winch. Not all carriers have a winch, which means not all carriers can take inoperable vehicles. If you represent your vehicle as operating, but it is not, the carrier will not be able to load it when they show up. This can result in dry run fees and other additional costs.
Other ways of misrepresentation include damage that impedes loading/unloading (such as caved-in wheel wells), aftermarket improvements (such as lift kits or large tires), and more. Make sure you tell your shipper the state of the vehicle as it is when you call. Also, be sure to update them with new information if it arises. This will go a long way to making sure your shipment is easy and successful.
Be flexible with your car transportation dates
One of the most important things you can do is to simply be flexible, particularly with your dates. Car transportation is not an exact science; pickup and delivery dates and windows can change depending on a number of factors.
Remember, carriers have to actually drive across the country to pick up and deliver vehicles for customers. This means that they have to deal with all the traffic and construction and inclement weather – across the entire nation!
But more to the point, shipping a car is something you need to fit into your existing schedule. We understand it can be difficult to juggle work and family and also meeting carriers for pickup and delivery. But flexibility – being able to roll with changes to the plan – will help go a long way to making your car transportation experience better.
This is especially true when it comes to pickup. It’s not always easy to find a carrier to take your vehicle. A number of factors limit the number of available carriers on your route. As a result, passing on dispatches or asking to be reposted because the dates don’t work isn’t always the best way to go about fixing that problem.
Do what you can on your side to mitigate issues and see just how much better your shipment can be.
Have payment ready
This is another great way to make your shipping experience better, faster, and easier. Having payment ready to give to the driver will save a lot of headaches. Also, understanding which payment methods are acceptable will as well.
Carriers usually take payment upon delivery; this gives them an incentive to do their job as quickly and as professionally as possible. Many will make exceptions for payment at pickup if you are unable to make payment at delivery. But all carriers follow the same basic rules:
- No personal or business checks;
- No credit/debit cards;
- Payment only in certified funds
What are certified funds? Cash is always preferred by carriers. But they also will accept cashier’s checks or money orders.
Cash is preferred because it spends immediately. They don’t have to go to a bank or some other place to get their money; they already have it. This is great because carriers usually live from job to job. If they don’t get paid, sometimes they can’t keep their trucks running (at least, not easily). Cashier’s checks and money orders are preferred over personal checks or business checks because they are as good as cash. Personal/business checks can be stopped, which can leave carriers in the lurch. The same goes for credit or debit card payments; those can be reversed after the fact.
Some will accept payment methods like Zelle or Cash App, but that is up to the individual carrier.
In order to avoid payment issues, they need cash in hand either at pick up or delivery. Prepare for that and your car transport experience will be that much better.
Always do inspections
One thing we cannot stress enough to people shipping their car: always do both the pickup and the delivery inspection.
It might surprise you to learn that many vehicles are shipped without a pickup or delivery inspection completed by the customer. Carriers are required to do inspections; they have a piece of paper they have to sign that says they did. But…when there’s no one around to see whether or not you did an inspection, is it really hard to just not do it?
This is problematic. Of course, we don’t condone this behavior, but carriers are human after all. Because of this, you (or someone you trust) need to be there when the vehicle is picked up and delivered. You need to mark existing damage at pickup and you need to check for new damage at delivery.
The reason why we stress this is because, without you or someone you trust doing the inspection and signing the inspection report, there’s no telling for sure what the condition of the vehicle was at pick up or delivery. This means that if you see any damage after delivery but didn’t mark it at delivery, you can’t make a damage claim.
Damage during transport is rare. It really is. But it’s not unheard of, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Do the inspection at pickup and delivery with your driver and mark anything accordingly. Usually, there won’t be anything to mark. But if there is, you can proceed with a damage claim and get it taken care of. Without that inspection, though, you’re out of luck.
Make your car transportation easier with ASQ
If you need to ship a car and you’re not sure where to start, start here! Here at Automobile Shipping Quotes, we want to help make your shipping experience as easy as possible. This is why we have comprehensive reviews of car shippers that you can read!
We work with only the best in the business. How do we know? Because we make sure of it. We clear every shipper we’ve reviewed for both dependability and reliability. That means we make sure they are fully licensed and bonded. It also means that we make sure they work only with top-rated carriers and that they take care of their customers. We watch reviews that real customers post to make sure they are maintaining the level of service that we demand.
So take a minute to read some reviews to find the right shipper for you. Then, you can contact for more information, to get a quote, book your shipment, and much more.