Interstate car shipping happens to be a fairly large industry. However, it’s also a mix of both outstanding and dependable operators who could actually take you for a ride, if you don’t select your car shipping agent carefully.
Your vehicle after all, is a valuable asset, and you will always want it to be delivered promptly and without any damages. Moreover, you would also want the car shipping costs to be reasonable. So, here’s what you need to do to prevent yourself from getting conned by the wrong car shipper.
Check registration and licenses: Every car shipping company has to be registered with the FMSCA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and should have its own motor carrier and USDOT numbers. First, check out these qualifications or look it up on the FMSCA website. If the car shipper isn’t registered, look elsewhere.
Reviews matter: If you have shortlisted a couple of car shipping companies, makes sure to check out reviews on them on sites for consumer advocacy or on Google. Beware of those agencies that carry positive reviews only.
Moreover, the company’s BBB page may also be seen to check on complaints made against it and how they were resolved. This will give you a clear idea about the standards of operations the car shipper maintains.
Car shipping involves your own inspection: Before shipping your car, inspect it thoroughly inside out. Note any existing damages, mileage and take photographs as proof. Subsequently, ask the transporter about his policies on tackling damage in transit and how to get reimbursements if repairs are necessary.
Most outstanding companies have clear and transparent policies on these and will deliver your car safely. On the contrary, some canny operators insist on night delivery. Just don’t take the bill of lading till you’ve fully inspected the car on its arrival and are sure that there are no damages.
Check if the car shipping company is a direct carrier: Often unscrupulous brokers pose as car shipping companies, without having the infrastructure to be “direct carriers.” This implies that they don’t have the necessary trucks and drivers to transport your car. So, if a car shipping company doesn’t have its own truck fleet, beware of it.
Abnormally low fees: Lowest prices don’t exactly guarantee safe transportation of your vehicle. So, if a car shipper approaches you with an abnormally low rate, which is far below the market average, ask him why he’s charging so little. Also, read the fine print carefully to check if there are any hidden costs.
Get the driver’s details: Never pay a deposit unless you have the driver’s name and his contact information.
Many canny and judicious car shipping companies try to take deposits without disclosing carrier details to squeeze more money as your date of movement approaches. Also, having the driver’s contact details helps you keep in touch with him directly during the transit phase.