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How to Choose an Auto Transport Company

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In order to understand how to choose an auto transport company, you need a lot of time and information. Since there are so many companies that offer the same set of services, it can be very overwhelming to decide which is the best one.

To save you the hassle, here are some steps to choose the best auto transport company.

Step 1- Ask your friends for suggestion

Start easy by talking to your friends about it. Ask around if anyone you know has used a car shipping service before. Their personal experience will help you understand the challenges as well. Moreover, they can guide you what to do and what not to do while hiring a shipping company. It's even better if they can recommend a company's name based on their experience.

Step 2- Decide what you need

When you use the services of a shipping company, the most important part is that it should be able to meet your needs. However, first you must know what exactly your expectations and requirements are. Think about how much you are ready to spend, what kind of carrier you'll be needing to ship the vehicle and are there any time constraints regarding the delivery. The clearer you are with your plan, the better you'll prepare yourself for the deal.

You can read open-air vs enclosed trailer car shipping to make an informed decision.

Step 3- Do the research

Once you know your budget and other needs, look for companies that are available. Narrow down your search to the most relevant ones. While you do the research, keep in mind the following tips:

car shipping

  • Don't look for the cheapest rates : Often people look for the cheapest shipping options to save money but that's too risky. Although it's important to strike a deal that fits into your budget, there should be no compromise on the quality of service. So, instead of going for the lowest amount, aim for services that are worth your money.
  • Approach big companies with relevant experience : Instead of hiring a local shipper that may or may not deliver your vehicle on time, go for bigger companies that have a wide network of shippers as they can help you connect with some of the best names in the industry. An auto transport company with large scales of operation and years of experience is more likely to deliver your vehicle safely as compared to the ones that aren't even well established.
  • Go through the website : Just by exploring the web pages of a website, you'll get an idea whether you can trust the company or not. Read their about us page, go through the services they offer and as many details as you can gather from it.
  • Check reviews : For most of the shipping companies, you can check the feedback and reviews of their customers online. However, before relying on any information make sure that it's not fake and fabricated.
  • Check for registration : It's mandatory for all shipping companies to be registered through the USDOT (United States Department of Transportation). Check whether the company you are considering for moving the vehicle has an MC (Motor Carrier) and USDOT number. Such information can be easily retrieved from Google search.

Step 4- Request for auto transport quotes

Most of the companies will be able to give you a free, no-obligation quote for your inquiry. For this, you can go the website, fill your details in a form, and get estimates. If the company charges you even to give you an estimate, you don't have to waste your money on that.

While you check out these no-obligation quotes, keep in mind that the cost of shipping a vehicle may differ from company to company and there are a lot of factors that affect the rates. These are:

  • Distance : The longer the distance, the higher will be the cost of car shipping.
  • Type of carrier : Usually the open-air trailers ship cars in bulk and hence cost less as opposed to the enclosed ones which ensure more safety.
  • Delivery option : The door-to-door shipping is more convenient but costs more as compared to the terminal-to-terminal shipping in which you need to reach a nearby city terminal for the pickup and delivery of your vehicle.
  • Type of vehicle : The size and model of your car also determines the rate of shipping. It's less for compact cars and more for heavy vehicles like trucks, SUVs, and minivans.

Step 5- Clear all your doubts

Naturally, you'll have a lot of questions regarding the company and its car shipping services. You can either read the FAQs to find answers or speak to their representative on call to clear all your doubts.

At this point you need to know what questions to ask an auto transport company. Some of these are listed here:

  • Do you offer auto transport insurance?
  • How long will it take to ship the car?
  • What kind of services do you offer for shipping?
  • Can I ship a car with personal items?
  • What documents will I need for the shipping?

Step 6- Take your time to decide

Finally, when you have done all the research and have got answers to all your questions, you'll probably have a list of companies that seem fit for the deal. Take your time and weigh all the factors before making any decision. Chances are that at this point, you will know how to choose an auto transport company that offers reliable services.

Movers.com gives you 100% free, no-obligation auto transport quotes to help you make an informed decision. With decades of experience, a big network of moving companies and a wide variety of services, movers.com can help you choose the best auto transport company in the US.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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