20 Questions to Ask an Auto Transport Company

Harish Makam

04 Apr 2023 11 months ago


Are you in need of auto transport services, but unsure of where to start? The task of finding the right company can be overwhelming. With so many options out there, it’s difficult to determine which company is best for you and your vehicle-transporting needs. To make sure that you select an auto transport service with confidence, there are some important questions that should be asked before signing on the dotted line. Here, we will discuss 20 key questions to ask an auto transport company before choosing them as your provider! Read on to discover all the critical information needed when selecting a reliable and efficient auto-moving service.

Why Do You Need an Auto Transport Company?

Before we dive into the questions to ask, it’s essential to understand why you may need an auto transport service in the first place. Depending on your situation, driving the vehicle yourself might not be a feasible option – whether due to time constraints or long distances between locations. An auto transport company can help you with this by providing a safe and efficient process for securely shipping your vehicle.

Now let’s dive into the most important questions to ask an auto transport company:

a. Questions to Ask about the Auto Transport Company

Following are some of the questions you should ask about the company itself:

How long has the auto transport company been in business?

The number of years a company has been in business is always an excellent indicator of their reliability, reputation, and trustworthiness. 

This  is an especially important question to ask when choosing an auto transport company, as you need to make sure that they have the proper experience and know-how to handle your shipment.  

Knowing the amount of time a company has been in business can also help you compare it with other companies when selecting one that meets your needs.

Is the auto transport company licensed and insured?

It is important to know that the company you are working with is properly licensed and insured. This ensures that your vehicle is being transported in a safe and secure manner, and that you are legally protected in the event of an accident or other mishap while your car is in transit.  

Asking this question also helps to instill confidence in the auto transport company and its ability to properly protect your vehicle during the shipping process.

What kind of vehicles does the auto transport company specialize in transporting?

This question is critical when searching for an auto transport company, as some may specialize in transporting cars while others are more experienced with larger trucks and vans. 

Make sure to ask this question so that you can confirm the company is experienced and capable of handling your specific vehicle type.

What is the auto transport company’s reputation in the industry?

It is essential to check the company’s reputation in the auto transport industry before selecting them as your provider. Check online reviews and ratings, as well as word-of-mouth testimonials from previous customers. 

Reviews and ratings can give you an accurate idea of the company’s customer service and reliability, while word-of-mouth can give you an idea of the level of quality and care given to each shipment.

Can the auto transport company provide references from previous customers?

References are a great way to determine the quality of service you can expect from a car shipping or truck transport company. Before making your decision, ask the company to provide you with references from previous customers. 

This will give you an opportunity to get a better understanding of their level of service, reliability, and rates. Knowing what previous customers have to say about the company will help you make a more informed decision when selecting your auto transport service provider.

b. Questions to Ask about the Services

You should ask the following questions to make sure the company is the right fit for your needs:

What types of shipping services does the auto transport company offer?

Being aware of the shipping services an auto transport company provides is essential for deciding if they can accommodate your needs. Different companies provide different types of services, including open and enclosed auto-transport services. 

You should make sure that the company offers the type of service you need in order to ensure that your vehicle is safely transported.

What is the difference between enclosed and open car shipping?

Enclosed car shipping is the most secure and safest form of transporting your vehicle. An enclosed transport service uses a fully enclosed trailer to protect the vehicle from the elements during its transit. This type of shipping is more expensive than open car shipping, but it provides a higher level of protection for your vehicle. 

Open car shipping, on the other hand, is a much more affordable option and it typically uses an open-air trailer to transport your vehicle. While it does not provide as much protection, an open car shipping service is still a reliable way to move your vehicle.

What is terminal-to-terminal shipping?

Terminal-to-terminal shipping is a type of car shipping service offered by some auto transport companies. With this method, you are responsible for taking the vehicle to a designated terminal and picking it up at another designated terminal. 

This type of service is beneficial as it cuts down on costs associated with door-to-door pickup and delivery. It can also be a great option for those who have limited access to their vehicles, as the terminals are usually open 24/7.

What is door-to-door shipping?

This type of shipping is when the auto transport company will pick up and deliver your vehicle to a specific address. It’s generally more convenient and less expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping, which requires customers to drop off and pick up their vehicle at a designated location. 

Knowing what type of shipping is available and understanding the difference between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal can help you make an informed decision about which company is the best fit for you.

Does the auto transport company offer expedited shipping?

This is an important question to ask when selecting an auto transport service, as you want to make sure that your shipment will be delivered quickly and on-time. Expedited shipping options can speed up the process, ensuring that your car or truck is transported with ease and convenience. 

Furthermore, some companies may also offer additional discounts for opting for expedited transport services.  This is something to consider as it can both save you time and money.

c. Questions to Ask about the Price

When selecting an auto transport company, it’s important to consider the cost of their services. Asking the following questions can help you determine how much you will be spending for their services:

How is the cost of shipping calculated?

It is important to know exactly how shipping costs are determined for each company. The calculation of these costs can vary from one auto transporter to another. So, it’s important to get a clear explanation of the factors that go into their pricing and how they are calculated. 

This will allow you to compare different companies and make an informed decision about the one that best fits your needs.  Additionally, asking these questions can help you to understand any additional costs or fees that may be associated with your shipment.

Are there any hidden fees?

Hidden fees can be a major issue when dealing with auto transport companies. Before signing any agreement or paying for services, it’s important to ask if there are any additional fees that may be added to the total cost. 

This way, you can be sure that you understand all of the expenses associated with the transport and are not surprised by any additional charges. Knowing all the details upfront can save you time and money in the long run.

Is a deposit required?

Asking if a deposit is required before shipment can help you make sure that your money is secure and that the company has taken necessary steps to ensure your shipment is secure. Additionally, a deposit can help protect the customer in case the auto transport company defaults or fails to deliver the vehicle as promised.

What payment methods are accepted?

Having an understanding of the accepted payment methods is important when selecting a car moving company. Some auto transport services may only accept cash or check payments, while others may also accept credit cards or money orders. Knowing this information ahead of time can help you make the best decision based on your budget and payment preferences.  

Additionally, be sure to ask about any additional fees or taxes that may be associated with the transaction. These fees could potentially add up to a large sum. So, it’s best to get an accurate understanding of the total cost before you commit to a service.

Does the auto transport company offer any discounts or promotions?

Asking this question can help you save money when selecting an auto transport company. Many companies offer discounts or promotions to their customers, so it’s worth researching to find out if any are available. Awareness of these discounts can help you decide on the best company for your needs without breaking the bank.

d. Questions to Ask about the Process

When shipping a vehicle, it’s important to have an understanding of the process and know what to expect. Here are some essential questions to ask about the process:

How long does it take to transport a vehicle?

Knowing the length of time it takes to ship car to another state is an important factor in determining how to plan for the shipment. There are many variables that can influence the amount of time it takes to transport a vehicle, including what type of car you’re shipping and which route the car must take. 

Asking this question can help you better understand the timeline of your vehicle’s shipment and make sure that it arrives when you need it.  Additionally, this can provide a general estimate of when you will receive your car and help you plan accordingly. 

How is the vehicle transported by the transport company?

The method of transport that a company uses is an important factor to consider when selecting an auto transport company. Depending on the size and type of your vehicle, some companies will use open trailers or enclosed trailers to transport your car. 

It is important to ask about the method of transportation so that you can make sure that you are getting the best and most secure form of transport for your vehicle. 

What happens if the vehicle is damaged during transport?

No one ever wants to consider the possibility of their vehicle being damaged during transport. Nonetheless, it’s important to ask this question in order to be prepared. A reputable auto transport company should have proper insurance in place to cover any damages that may occur during transit.  

Moreover, they should also provide clear guidelines for how to file a claim if necessary. Asking this question will provide you with peace of mind that your vehicle is in good hands.

What is the process for tracking the shipment?

Having the ability to track your shipment is incredibly important and can provide great peace of mind. Knowing where your vehicle is at all times will help ensure that your car or truck is delivered on time and in the same condition it was sent. 

Ask the company what type of tracking system they use, and if it’s possible to have access to the tracking information so that you can monitor your shipment.

e. Questions to Ask about the Insurance

The following questions will help you determine if the company is insured and what type of coverage they offer:

Is shipping insurance included in the price?

Having an auto transport company that offers insurance is essential to ensuring your vehicle is protected in the event of unfortunate incidents such as damages, delays, or losses during shipping. Asking this question will help you understand the extent of protection offered by the company and determine if it is enough for your needs.

What does the insurance cover?

It is essential to ask the auto transport company about their insurance coverage, as this will give you peace of mind knowing that your shipment is protected. You should also ask how much the coverage is for and what specific scenarios or damages it covers. With this information, you can select a company that will provide your vehicle with the level of protection it needs.

Are there any limitations or exclusions?

It is crucial to understand what is and isn’t covered by an auto transport company’s insurance policy. By asking this question, you can ensure that your vehicle is protected should any damages or losses occur during transit. Be sure to ask in detail about the type of coverage they provide and any exclusions that may apply. 

What is the process for filing a claim?

It’s essential to be aware of the exact process for filing a claim with an auto transport company. This comes to your help in case any damage or loss occurs during the move. 

Understanding this process beforehand will help ensure that you are protected against any unexpected mishaps and can get your claim resolved as quickly as possible.

f. Questions to Ask about the Contract

You should also ask the company some questions about their contract:

What is included in the contract?

Make sure that the contract includes all of the details of your agreement, including pick-up and delivery locations, estimated dates, payment terms, and any additional services. It is also important to understand all of the fees associated with your shipment, so that you are not surprised by hidden costs later on.

What are the terms and conditions?

Asking about the terms and conditions is extremely important when selecting an auto transport company. It’s essential to know what you are agreeing to when signing the contract. This will help you understand what to expect from the service and your rights if something goes wrong. This way, you can ensure that you are getting a quality car-shipping service and that you are in safe hands.

What happens if there is a dispute?

Knowing what specific measures the company has in place to resolve any potential disputes is essential. This question can also help you determine whether or not they have the necessary means to address any issues that may arise during the shipping process and whether or not they can provide a satisfactory resolution. 

Is the contract binding?

Having a binding contract is essential when shipping your vehicle. It helps to ensure that both sides understand the terms and conditions of the shipping process, including the maximum amount of liability and how to handle any damages that may occur during transit.

How to Choose the Right Auto Transport Company

Choosing the right auto transport company for car shipping or vehicle transportation can be a daunting task. It is important to find a company that has a good reputation and offers quality service. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

a. Research the Company’s Reputation:

Before you decide on an auto transport company, it is important to do some research. Find out what others are saying about the company. Look for reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Angie’s List. This will give you a clear idea of the company’s reputation.

b. Check for Licenses and Insurance:

Make sure the company you choose is properly licensed and insured. If the auto transport company does not have a valid license or adequate insurance, it is best to avoid them.

c. Get Quotes from multiple Auto Transport Companies:

It is important to compare quotes from different auto transport companies before making a decision. Make sure you are comparing the same services and look for hidden fees.

d. Read and Understand the Contract:

Before you sign any contract, read it carefully and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. This includes fees, services provided, insurance coverage, and payment options.

e. Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping:

Before the auto transport company arrives, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and that all fluids are topped off. You should also remove any personal items from the vehicle.

The Bottom Line

Moving a car can be intimidating, awkward and downright tricky. Knowing some questions to ask an auto transport company can make the whole process go much smoother. With our list of 20 questions to ask an auto transport company before you hire them, you should now have the information you need to make a responsible and informed decision. 

So if you are moving a vehicle in the near future, make sure that you do your research.  Ask the right questions of any auto transport companies you come across. Once you find the right one and get your vehicle safely moved, it’s time to relax.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to transport a car?

The cost of transporting a car depends on several factors. The most important factor is the size and weight of the vehicle, as larger vehicles require more space and resources for transportation. 

The distance of transport also plays a role, as longer distances often require more fuel and time. Overseas shipping costs a lot more than local vehicle shipping. The option of open or enclosed transport, the season of transport, and any additional services also contribute to the cost.

How do I prepare my car for transport?

Before transport, you should thoroughly clean your car inside and out. Make sure to remove all personal items from the vehicle, as these are not covered by the auto transport company’s insurance. 

You should also note any existing damage to the car in writing and take photos for your records. It’s also important to make sure your car is in proper working order and all fluids are topped off.

Is it safe to ship a car?

Car shipping with a reliable and experienced auto transport company is generally safe. The vehicles are secured on the truck during transportation, and all drivers must pass a background check and have the appropriate license. 

Carriers are also required to carry insurance, so any damages that occur during transport will be covered. To ensure the safety of your vehicle, it’s important to choose a reputable car shipping company.

How do I choose the right auto transport company?

When selecting an auto transport company, research various companies to compare their services and prices. Look for a company with experience in vehicle transportation and a good reputation for customer service. 

Make sure to read all the terms and conditions before signing any contracts, and ask questions about any services or fees that are unclear. Additionally, check if the transport carrier is licensed and insured to protect yourself from any unexpected damages or problems.

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping allows you to transport your car on a priority basis. This means that the vehicle will be shipped as soon as possible and may arrive at its destination sooner. Expedited shipping is more expensive than regular car shipping services. However, it can be beneficial if you need to transport your car quickly.

Are there any restrictions on what can be transported?

Yes, there are certain restrictions that must be followed when shipping a vehicle. The transport company may not be able to carry hazardous materials. So,any flammable or explosive materials must be removed from the car. 

Additionally, some companies will not transport vehicles that are over a certain size or weight. Make sure to check with the auto transport company for any additional restrictions.

Can I transport a non-running vehicle?

Yes, you can transport a non-running car with an auto transport company. However, it will likely cost more due to the extra labor and resources needed to load the vehicle onto the truck. 

The cost to ship a car will also depend on whether the car can be pushed or towed onto the truck. Make sure to inform the transport company of the vehicle’s condition before shipping.

What is the cancellation policy of auto transport companies?

The cancellation policies of auto transport companies vary. So, it’s important to check the terms and conditions before signing any contracts. Generally, if the transport company has already loaded your car onto the truck, you may be expected to pay a cancellation fee or any costs that have been incurred up until that point. Make sure to read the cancellation policy of the transport company carefully before agreeing to any terms.

Can I pack personal belongings in my car during transport?

No, personal items should not be packed in the car during transport as these are not covered by the auto transport company’s insurance. Any items in the car should be secured or removed from the vehicle before shipping. Additionally, transport companies may not accept any hazardous materials in the car, such as flammable or explosive items.

How do I know if the auto transport company is licensed and insured?

Reputable car shipping companies will be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have up-to-date insurance coverage. The company should provide proof of their license and insurance upon request. So, make sure to ask this before signing any contracts. Additionally, you can check the FMCSA’s website to verify that the company is registered and in good standing.


Harish Makam