Do you need to get a vehicle across the country? Maybe you purchased a car and need it sent to you. Or you just need your car to be somewhere else without you driving it.
Either way, you should be looking for the best auto transport company you can find.
Why? Because your car is precious cargo. So you need to make sure it’s treated that way.
Countless scams exist on the internet, and the auto transport industry isn’t immune to them. So how do you choose an auto transport company that will take good care of you and your car? Keep reading for ten tips on how to do just that.
1. Go Direct
When you’re looking for a quote, go directly to the website for the company you’re considering. Don’t use any secondary sites. Particularly avoid sites that provide multiple quotes at once!
While you’re visiting their site, make sure they have the services you need. You don’t want to accidentally choose a company that will only load your car instead of load and transport it!
2. Unlock Answers with a Keyword
In your search, use the keyword “transport.” Try this in your Google search, but don’t stop there. You should also use it on online forums.
If you find a forum for classic or show cars, definitely search there. You’re likely to find options, though they may be on the pricier end.
3. Keep Track as You Search
With so many options available to us nowadays, it’s easy to forget important details. Like which companies you actually liked out of the last ten you looked at.
Keep a record of your search activities and your findings. Even before that, have a list of the things you need the company to match.
If you’re trying to ship a truck you don’t want to fall in love with a company that only ships smaller vehicles. Know what you need and quickly eliminate companies that don’t meet those needs.
Record the results of your searches, such as who meets your criteria and how they do it.
4. Find Customer Feedback
One of the best things you can do to determine quality is to read auto transport company reviews and complaints.
The internet is great for that. Search for the company with the term “reviews.” Do the same with “complaints.”
Checking the Better Business Bureau is a must, as well.
5. Ask a Friend
Do you know someone who’s gone through this process before? Don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience!
If a family member or friend has shipped a vehicle before, find out who they used, if they liked them, and why or why not. The opinion of someone you know personally is invaluable.
6. Understand Pricing
Every company will try to convince you they’re the best option, so stay on your toes and be aware of how pricing works. You may find a really great quote, but make sure you check the details.
Companies will advertise their lowest prices, but they may not be prices that match your situation. It will cost less to ship a small, basic, running car, and more to ship a truck with special, enlarged tires.
Luxury cars will also cost more, so make sure you’re getting a quote that’s specific to you and your car.
7. Look Past the Cheapest Option
Finding the cheapest option doesn’t mean your search is over. In fact, it probably means you need to keep going.
Scammers are likely to try to snag you with appealing prices, so be on the lookout. You should also avoid companies that ask for an up-front deposit. There’s a good chance you won’t see that money, or the company, again if you put that money down.
8. Research the Company
Once you’ve found a company you’re interested in, research them thoroughly. Don’t just stop at reviews and complaints. Get to know the company itself.
Is the company reputable and professional? What are their terms and conditions? What happens if your vehicle is damaged while it’s being transported? Is the company bonded? Are the carriers they use insured and licensed?
You absolutely need to know these things before you pursue a company.
Research how the company transports vehicles, and what they transport. Some companies, like Freedom Auto Transport, ship more than just cars, including golf carts, RVs, and watercraft.
9. Read All the Paperwork
Finding a company you’re comfortable with isn’t the end of the ballgame. You’ve got to stay vigilant throughout the entire shipping process.
Once you’ve decided on a company, go ahead and book your transport, then read all paperwork thoroughly. Make sure you understand it. Don’t sign anything you don’t agree with or understand. Ask for clarification if you need it.
Remember that e-signatures are just as binding as real signatures, so be careful while booking online.
And while you’re at it, make sure you get confirmation of your booking and hold onto it.
10. Make Sure There’s an Inspection
Before your car is transported, the carrier should perform an inspection. All existing damage should be noted and a condition report should be made.
You’ll be given a copy to sign. You should also be given a copy to keep. If you aren’t given one, insist that you get one. This is your proof of what condition your car was in if it gets damaged on the way from Point A to Point B.
Keep your copy of the condition report until your car has been safely delivered and you’re happy with the results. Think of it like an insurance policy.
Find the Best Auto Transport Company: A Review
Letting someone else transport your car is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it may seem like a hassle, you have to do the work if you don’t want to get scammed.
Research all companies you’re interested in and verify their services and how customers have felt about them.
Never go with a company that asks for money upfront, offers the cheapest price you’ve ever seen, or that you don’t feel good about. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Keep these tips in mind and use your best judgment and you’ll find the best auto transport company for you.
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