The most common mistakes people make when using an auto transport service

Brantley Kendall

12 Oct 2022 2 years ago

So you’ve decided to move yourself and your belongings. That’s great! We’re happy for you. But some things can go wrong with this process and are often easy to avoid if you know what they are see hiring an auto transport company is far more than simply calling up the number on the side of a truck and arranging a pick up. There is a lot of work that goes into getting your car safely shipped from one place to another, and not all auto transport companies are equal when it comes to experience, service, and price. If you don’t know what to expect when you hire an auto transport company, you may wind up paying more than you need to or going through a nightmare of delays and errors.   This article will cover some of the most common mistakes people make when using an auto transport service. We’ll discuss why each mistake is made and how you can avoid making them yourself. By the end, you should better understand the process and what to expect.  

Mistake#1: Hiring Based on Price Alone

Choosing the cheapest option may seem like an excellent way to save money, but it could cost you more in the long run. If your chosen company has a poor reputation, you could end up dealing with damaged vehicles, missed deadlines, and other issues. And if they don’t have a good track record, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to get your car to its destination on time and in one piece. It’s always important to do your research before choosing any service provider. And when it comes to auto transport, finding a reputable and reliable company is well worth it. After all, your car is a valuable asset, and you want to ensure it’s in good hands.

Hiring price alone

Mistake#2: Not getting multiple quotes

There are a few reasons why not getting multiple quotes is a mistake when hiring an auto transport company.

  • Reason1: By only getting one quote, you are limiting your options and may end up overpaying for the services you need.
  • Reason2: Different companies may have different ways of calculating their quotes, so getting multiple quotes will help ensure that you get an accurate estimate of the cost of shipping your vehicle.
  • Reason3: Some companies may only provide a quote for the base price of shipping your vehicle without including additional fees such as insurance or fuel surcharges. Multiple quotes will help you compare the total cost of shipping your vehicle, not just the base price.

In conclusion, by only getting one quote, you may end up overpaying, getting an inaccurate quote, or not getting the most comprehensive quote possible. Thus, try to get multiple quotes to get the best deal possible.

Mistake#3: Not reading the fine print

 When you hire an auto transport company, you trust that business to ship your vehicle safely and securely. It is essential to do your research and not just choose the first company you find. Part of that research should include reading the fine print. The fine print is where the company outlines its terms and conditions. Reading this fine print will give you an idea of the company’s responsibilities and what you can expect from them. It will also outline any fees or charges that may apply. If you don’t read the fine print, you could end up paying hidden fees or be charged for services you didn’t even know were included. You might also miss important information, like the company’s refund policy. In short, take the time to read the fine print before hiring an auto transport company. It could save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.

Mistake#4: Not understanding the process

There are a lot of steps involved in auto transport, and if you don’t know what they are, you can easily get lost. The first step is finding a reputable company. You can search online or ask friends and family for recommendations. Once you’ve found a company you trust, you need to get a quote. This will usually involve providing basic information about your car and destination. After you’ve received a quote, the next step is to schedule your pickup date. It’s important to remember that auto transport companies are typically booked several weeks in advance, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Once your pickup date arrives, the company will send a driver to pick up your car. They will then take it to their facility, where professionals will load it onto a truck and transport it to your destination. When your car arrives at its destination, the final step is to pay the company. Most companies accept cash or credit cards, but it’s always best to check with the company beforehand to be sure.  

Mistake#5: Not being prepared

When hiring an auto transport company, it is crucial to be prepared. This means knowing what you need to ship when you need it shipped, and where you need it shipped to. It is also essential to have a budget in mind. Plus, you should also be aware of the car preparation process that you need to complete before you ship your vehicle. For example,

  • Clean your car inside and out: Remove all personal items from your car and any trash or debris. A clean car will help the shipper get a better sense of the condition of your car. 
  • Take pictures of your car: Take pictures of your car from all angles. This will help you document the condition of your car and will be helpful if there is any damage during shipping.
  • Ensure you have all the paperwork in order: You’ll need to have your registration and insurance information handy when you ship your car. These documents will help the shipper process your shipment more quickly and smoothly.

Mistake#6: Not being aware of potential scams

There are a few common scams that people should look out for when choosing a company.

  • Bait and switch: This is when a company will offer a low shipping price, but then once the vehicle is picked up, they will demand more money. This can be avoided by reading reviews of the company and ensuring they have a good reputation. 
  • Hidden fees: Some companies will add extra fees for fuel surcharges or insurance. These fees should be clearly stated upfront, so there are no surprises later.
  • Repair costs: Another common scam is when a company tells you that your car has been damaged in transit and demands payment for repairs before they will release the vehicle to you.

 So, take your time, research, and be patient throughout the process. It’ll be worth it when your car arrives safe and sound.

Mistake#7: Packing prohibited items in the vehicle

When hiring an auto transport company, it is crucial to understand what items are not allowed to be packed in the vehicle. This is for your safety and the safety of the driver. Packing prohibited items in the vehicle is a mistake you should avoid. For example, let’s say you are packing for a road trip and want to bring some fireworks for entertainment. You put them in your trunk and head off on your journey. A few hours into the trip, one of the fireworks goes off inside the trunk, causing damage to your car and potentially injuring you or anyone else nearby. Imagine if that exact scenario happened while an auto transport company was transporting your car. Not only would there be damage to your car, but also damage to other cars on the truck, as well as a potential fire hazard. In this case, avoiding packing fireworks or other prohibited items in your vehicle is best before hiring an auto transport company. There are a few items that you cannot pack with your car when shipping it through an auto transport company. These items include:

  • Flammable liquids or solids (such as gasoline, propane, kerosene, etc.)
  • Explosives (including fireworks)
  • Firearms or ammunition
  • Hazardous materials (toxic chemicals, corrosive materials, etc.)

Mistake#8: Not knowing what kind of insurance is included

There are three types of insurance you can consider when sending your vehicle to another place or location:

  1. Personal auto insurance: This covers your vehicle from any potential damage. However, auto transport coverage is not included. You can additionally buy supplemental coverage to protect your vehicle during transport. This is optional insurance.
  2. Liability coverage: Carriers provide this type of insurance in compliance with Federal laws. You are required to take this insurance if you transport your vehicle with the help of a carrier.
  3. Supplemental insurance: Auto transport brokers provide this form of insurance. However, the broker can provide this coverage only if they work with an insured and licensed carrier.

Here are some reasons insurance coverage can be crucial when it comes to hiring an auto transport company:

  • To know that the service provider has the financial resources to cover any damages or accidents that may occur during the transport.
  • To know that the auto transport company has liability insurance or supplementary insurance ( in case of a broker) that covers bodily injury and property damage that may be caused by accident or theft.

Mistake#9: Not being flexible

While you may have a specific time frame in mind for when you need your car picked up and delivered, it’s essential to be flexible in case of delays. Your transport company will likely have a window of time during which they can pick up and deliver your car, and it’s essential to be available during that time. If you’re not flexible, you may have to reschedule your transport, which can be costly and inconvenient.

Mistake#10: Not being patient

There are many moving parts when hiring an auto transport company. They have to coordinate with the trucking company, schedule a pickup time, and work around your schedule. It’s important to be patient and understand that they are doing their best to accommodate your needs. If you’re not patient, you may make a rushed decision or, worse, hire a disreputable company. Neither of these options is ideal, so it’s best to take your time and be patient throughout the process.

Failing to inspect the vehicle upon delivery

If you fail to do this, you could damage during transport. For example, if there is a dent in the side of your car, you’ll want to make sure that’s noted so you can file a claim with the company if necessary. If you don’t inspect the car and something happens later, it will be much more difficult (if not impossible) to prove that the auto transport company caused it. In general, it’s always best practice to err on caution and thoroughly inspect your vehicle as soon as it’s delivered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an auto transport service?

An auto transport service is a company that will ship your vehicle from one location to another. This can be helpful if you are moving to a new city or state or need to have your car transported for business purposes.

What are the various shipping methods you offer?

We offer two shipping methods: Open Transport and Enclosed Transport. Open transport is the most popular and economical choice for shipping a car. The auto shipping company will transport your vehicle on an open carrier, similar to a flatbed trailer. This method is best for running and in good condition vehicles since they won’t require extra protection from inclement weather or road debris. Enclosed transport offers premium protection for your vehicle during transit. Experts will ship your car inside a fully enclosed trailer, protecting it from bad weather and road debris kicked up by other vehicles on the highway. This option is more expensive than open transport. Still, it provides an extra level of security for high-end vehicles or those that need to be protected from harsh conditions during transit.

Enclosed car shipping

What are the various shipping services you offer?

We offer three key shipping services:

  • Standard Shipping: Our most popular and budget-friendly option, standard shipping, typically takes 3-7 days from pickup to delivery.
  • Expedited Shipping: If you need your vehicle delivered faster, we offer an expedited shipping option which ensures your vehicle gets the priority.
  • White Glove Shipping: For those who need the utmost care for their vehicles, our white glove service offers top priority and delivers your vehicle in an enclosed trailer.  

How much does it cost to use an auto transport service?

The cost of using an auto transport service will vary depending on the distance your vehicle needs to be shipped and the size and type of vehicle being transported. Generally speaking. However, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for the shipping of a single car. Discounts may apply if you have multiple vehicles that need to be shipped.

How long does it take for my car to be delivered?

Delivery times also vary depending on several factors like distance traveled, weather conditions, etc., but it generally takes 7-14 days for your car to be delivered.

Are there any special requirements for shipping a car?

You need to be aware of a few special requirements before shipping your car. These include making sure that your vehicle is adequately insured, as well as ensuring that it is clean and free of any personal belongings. It would help if you also ensured that the gas tank is no more than ¼ full to avoid any spillage during transport.

What is included in my quote?

All of our quotes include transport insurance at no additional cost. Additional insurance can be purchased for an additional fee if desired. Furthermore, all taxes and fees associated with transport are included in our quoted price, so expect no surprises regarding any hidden fees.

Are there any restrictions on the type of vehicles you ship?

We can ship virtually any vehicle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and more! We have a few restrictions on oversize vehicles such as buses and mobile homes – please get in touch with us for more information on shipping these types of vehicles.

What documents do I need to supply to ship my vehicle?

We generally need the following documents to ship your vehicle:

  • A signed and dated copy of your driver’s license
  • Your car insurance information
  • The registration for the car you’re shipping

Brantley Kendall