Posted on 07/08/22

These Are The Top 19 Questions You Should Ask Auto Transport Companies Before Booking

These Are The Top 19 Questions You Should Ask Auto Transport Companies Before Booking

Let's suppose you need to ship your car. It could be for work, relocation of family members, or selling or buying a classic vehicle. No matter what reason you are looking for an auto transport business to deliver your vehicle to its destination, it doesn't really matter. You'll follow the same steps in your search to find a shipper. Google will be your first port of call. Google will bring up a list of reputable car shipping companies. Next, you will choose one and then book your shipment.

But wait! There's more to it than just booking and searching online. It can be difficult to see a website and determine how auto transport companies work or if they will deliver as promised. Many customers are able to find low-cost car shipping quotes online and then book their vehicle without having to dig any further. This is a huge mistake that can lead to costly consequences.

It's not like you would choose a mechanic, car dealer, or even a car, without first asking questions. So why would you trust a company to ship your vehicle without learning more about them? We believe customers should be able to ask questions before making a booking. This is why we have compiled a list of the top 19 questions you should ask auto transport companies prior to making a booking.

These questions may be answered on the shipper's website in some cases. However, it is not always easy to find answers. Talking to a representative is the best way to get an idea of how auto transport companies operate. You should ask them these questions:


1. Are you a broker or a carrier?

Let's take a look at what these terms mean and how they apply to you. Brokers help customers prioritize their needs by scheduling shipments and locating carriers. Carriers are the ones who own the trucks and transport the cars. This is what prioritizes the shipment. Move Car is an auto transport management company that serves customers from beginning to end. It acts as a single point for all customer needs, from quote to delivery. Because these companies aren't limited to cars, they can solve problems faster. They also care about their customers.

2. What services are you offering?

This seems silly at first. You would think that an auto transport company would transport trucks and cars. There are many options for auto transport. Some companies only ship by open-air trailers, while others offer enclosed shipping. There are both single- and multi-vehicle shipping options. Is it possible to ship a vehicle that has been involved in an accident? While some companies can ship non-working vehicles, others are only able to handle operational vehicles. There are also shippers who can coordinate long-distance shipping by train, boat, or plane.

3. Is there any restriction on the types of vehicles that you can ship?

Customers shipping a car or van, an SUV, or a light truck will not have problems finding an auto transport company. If the vehicle you wish to ship is extremely valuable (like an antique or race car), large or heavily modified, or damaged after an accident, it may require special equipment. Some vehicles may require special equipment to transport. Not all car shipping companies offer this type of towing or loading.

4. Do you have a quote for me?

A quote from an auto transport company does not mean you have to use them. Most shippers are comfortable with the fact that you will be receiving quotes from other companies. You don't need to pay a deposit to receive a quote. If a shipping company won't give you a quote without you making a commitment, then move on. Many companies have online calculators that can give you an estimate for free. However, if a company insists on a deposit, you should move on.

5. How much will my shipment be?

A representative from an auto transport company will give you a more accurate quote because you can explain any special requests or needs you may have. To ensure an accurate quote, make sure to provide as much information as possible about your vehicle and shipment.

6. Is this all-inclusive or do their additional charges?

Before you make a booking, double-check that the quote you get is accurate. Ask for an itemized price list and let them know if there are any additional charges or fees that may not be included in your quote. In this way, if you're charged more than the quoted price, you can compare your invoice with the itemized service agreement that you received before booking.

7. How do you calculate your rates

The price you get will not be random. Shipping a car costs are determined by many factors. These include the make and model of your vehicle, its distance, drop-off and pick-up locations, the shipping method you have chosen, any special handling requirements, whether the vehicle is in running condition, seasonal price fluctuations, and gasoline prices. An enclosed trailer is generally more expensive than an open carrier. You may have to pay more if you ship a car between states than if it is being shipped within the state borders. International car shipping is always more expensive because of tariffs and fees. It is more expensive to ship larger vehicles, such as trucks or vans than it is to ship smaller ones.

8. What payment options are there?

You should also inquire about the payment options they accept. Customers are often asked to pay a deposit, partial payment, or full payment before a shipment is scheduled. A reputable auto shipping company will not usually ask for full payment before shipping a vehicle. You should be familiar with the payment procedures of the company you are talking to so that you don't get surprised by a bill once you have received your shipment.

9. Is the auto transportation company licensed and registered?

Although it is not difficult to determine whether an auto transport company has been registered and licensed, it is nice to get the information directly from a representative. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires auto transport companies to move vehicles and trucks across state lines to obtain a USDOT number. The Federal Maritime Commission must also issue a license to international car shippers. You can search for a company's USDOT Number to see its operating status, safety record, and other registration numbers.

10. Are you fully covered? What is your policy covering? Do you have proof of insurance?

It's the law that all reputable car shipping companies must be fully insured. The best companies will have sufficient coverage to handle any emergency or problem that might arise. Ask specific questions. Is it possible to purchase additional insurance? Is your car covered for the entire accident or only certain parts? Is there a deductible that you must pay?

Transport companies must have a valid insurance certificate. They should be able to show you the certificate when you ask. It is important to read the contract and all terms.

11. Why is your company the best to book with?

Although it's not an easy question to ask, the representative's answers (and their speed) will give you an idea of the company's culture. You want an auto transport company that values customers and has a track record of safely and punctually getting trucks and cars to their destinations. Do you feel like you are asking too many questions, or that your rep is getting frustrated by your questions? This is a red flag.

12. How is my car going to be moved?

You've chosen your shipping method but it's helpful to see how your truck or car will travel. How will you load your vehicle? Do you have to assist? Will the truck stop at any point along the route? What happens if your car is left unattended for too long? What happens at delivery?

13. What options do I have regarding the timing of my shipment

It is important to let the person you're talking to know that you require your car to be shipped on or before a specific date. Although it is more costly, expedited shipping or guaranteed pickup is possible. A company that specializes in auto transport may be able to offer different time frames at different prices.

14. Are you able to provide customer support?

Most likely, once your vehicle is on its way, it won't require frequent updates. Unless you are shipping a very valuable vehicle or your truck or car on a strict schedule. Many small brokers and carriers are not available after hours which can make it difficult or even stressful. Many people prefer to work with larger, national auto transport management firms because they have the assurance that they will receive updates as vehicles are being transported.

15. What are my options for drop-off/pickup locations?

It shouldn't be necessary to drive a long distance to get your car to its destination. The largest auto transport companies will have more drop-off and pick-up locations, but it is important to double-check that they are accessible for you. Although it is more expensive, door-to-door service can often be found. Door-to-door service is often available, but it tends to be more expensive.

16. How can I prepare my vehicle to be shipped?

You will likely get a phone answer that says: empty it, clean and make another set of keys if you have one. There are many more steps to take. This post contains more information about empty and clean in this context and what you can do to prepare your vehicle to travel.

17. Are you able to transport non-running cars?

This question might seem irrelevant since most car shipping involves cars riding on or inside a truck. Customers who try to ship cars or trucks that aren't running have problems. Drivers arrive without the necessary equipment to load the vehicles onto trailers. It is important to clarify whether the vehicle can roll, brake, or steer if you are shipping a non-running vehicle. Non-working vehicles can be handled by many auto transport companies. Fewer companies are equipped to transport vehicles that cannot move or can be safely moved without the use of forklifts or other specialized equipment.

18. What documents do I need to send my car?

Most often, you will only need to present your registration and insurance documentation. You may also need to provide the title for some auto transport companies. This is only for domestic shipping. International shipping of a vehicle will have additional requirements. You could end up with your car not being released at the destination port if you don't know what these requirements are.

19. Do I have to be there for delivery and pickup?

Many auto transport companies require an adult to be present at pickup and delivery. This is because the driver will need to sign the paperwork, such as the bill of lading and the inspection report. This doesn't necessarily have to be you. If you are unable to make it, you can ask a colleague, friend, relative, or neighbor to serve as your agent for pickup and delivery. Check with the company to see if this is possible.

It's not easy to choose an auto transport company. However, asking lots of questions can help make it easier. A guide for choosing an auto transportation company may also be available. You can also find information about shipping cars and trucks in our help center.