Did you know that roughly 4,490 auto shipping companies operate in the US?
We’ve all ordered something online only for it to arrive partially or entirely damaged. The worst part about it is that it’s difficult to get a refund because the problem lies with shipping, not the seller.
Can you imagine that happening to your car? Your deny-myself-luxury-things-for-months investment? Odds are, it’s not something you’d even like to imagine.
Unfortunately, this may happen if you choose the wrong auto shipping company. How do you prevent it?
Read on as we give you tips for choosing a reliable auto transportation company.
Do Your Research
You’ll likely come across new terms when researching how to ship a car. If you don’t know what they mean, you may choose the wrong company.
The most crucial ones are door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal services. A door-to-door service involves shipping a car to your home or the most preferred location.
A terminal-to-terminal service involves transporting your car to the nearest terminal. Decide on your most preferred shipping method, and look for a company that offers it.
You can’t afford to overlook the benefits of assessing a company’s reputation. Knowing what a company’s past clients say about its professionalism can save you time and money.
You can learn a lot about a company by looking at its reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Consider those with positive reviews as it says a lot about their professionalism. Companies like amerifreight.net are BBB accredited because of their service quality.
You can also talk to your loved ones if they’ve shipped their cars. Ask them to recommend reliable companies and check them out.
Consider Carrier Options
An auto transportation company can give you several carrier options. The most common are enclosed carrier, open carrier, and multi-carrier. Each option carries its merits, but they may not all be the best choice for you.
Open carrier and multi-carrier options are the most popular since they’re cost-efficient. They’re excellent options if you’re looking for cheap shipping but may not be the best if you’re shipping a luxury car.
Sure, a shipping company will take measures to shield your car from weather elements. But it’s not worth the risk. Instead, choose a company offering an enclosed carrier option since it’s safer.
Assess a Company’s Motor Carrier Number
The US Department of Transportation prevents fraudulent shipping companies through motor carrier numbers. Any legitimate auto transportation company will provide this number when asked.
Some even display the number on their websites to make your work easier. Confirm the provided number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
Consider Insurance Plans
Any reliable auto transportation company will have an up-to-date insurance plan. This is a legal requirement meant to reduce clients’ liabilities if accidents occur.
Ensure you confirm whether your chosen company’s cover is legitimate. Also, look into the level of coverage offered by their insurance plan before hiring them.
You can decide whether to seek additional coverage if you’re shipping an expensive car. Assessing this may be tiresome, but you’ll be at peace knowing that you’re covered if something happens.
Consider Payment Options
We’ve all been victims or at least know someone who has been a scam victim. Losing your hard-earned money has to be one of the most painful experiences. Sadly, this can happen with some unscrupulous vehicle shipping companies.
To protect yourself, avoid companies that require wire transfer payments. Unscrupulous companies will insist on this payment option since it’s untraceable.
Instead, only work with companies that accept checks, cash, and credit cards. Even then, be careful when dealing with those that ask you to pay in full upfront. A professional company will be willing to negotiate payment options to protect clients.
Consider the Cost
Let’s be honest, we’ll always be tempted to go for the cheapest options when given a chance. While this may seem like a huge money saver in the short term, it can be expensive in the long run.
Shipping a car takes expertise and resources that are pretty expensive. Any company that tells you otherwise and offers a deal that seems too good to be true is lying to you. They’ll most likely cut corners to break even, thus risking your car.
Instead of settling for cheap options, shop for discounts from reliable companies. Don’t risk losing your car to save a couple of bucks.
Consider a Company’s Cancellation Policy
There could be instances when you need to cancel your booking. Maybe your car is late, you’ve changed your mind, or found an alternative. How will your chosen auto transportation company react?
It’d be best if you got an answer to this question before you book their services. Companies penalize you for late cancellations, so you need to ask about the cancellation period.
Most will penalize you but allow you to reschedule your booking at zero cost. When this happens, get the agreement in writing, so you don’t incur extra charges in the future.
Consider Whether a Company Uses a Tracking System
Shipping a car comes with a lot of anxiety, especially if it’s your first time doing so. You constantly want to know how far your vehicle is and whether it’ll reach you within the agreed-upon time.
If you’re concerned about this, choose a company that uses trackers on their vehicles. This way, you’ll always know where your car is at all times.
Consider a Company’s Professionalism
Professional companies understand that a car is a lifetime investment for most people. They strive to offer peace of mind by ensuring proper and timely communication. Anything less than this is an instant red flag.
Assess your chosen company’s representatives’ communication skills from the beginning. How helpful are they? How fast do they get back to you?
An ideal company will ease your worries by listening to your concerns. They’ll also contact you as soon as possible to make arrangements.
Worry Less by Choosing the Right Auto Shipping Company
You can’t go wrong when choosing an auto shipping company if you follow these tips. Sure, looking into all these factors may take some time. But it’s worth it because it’ll save you money and give you peace of mind.
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