If you asked a person who had never shipped a vehicle in their life, what auto transport is, what would they say? The first answer to come to one’s mind would probably be: “Well, auto-transport is just transporting a vehicle or vehicles from point A to B by an auto-transport company.”
While auto-transport is at its core a process of transporting a vehicle by an auto shipping company, in reality, things are not as simple.
Auto transport is not what you think it is
Transporting a vehicle implies hard work, patience, trust, research, and a lot of commitment by both, the companies and the clients.
If you were to ship your car, you would not want it to end up in the wrong hands or delivered with damages, would you? To avoid that and find a reliable company you can trust with your vehicle, lots of research needs to be done. At the same time,it is getting harder each day for bona fide auto shippers to win the trust of potential customers because of all the dishonest companies that take advantage of people who skipped their homework.
So…how does auto transport work?
From hiring the right company, shipping your vehicle, and receiving it safe and sound at its final destination, there is a long road ahead.
Besides doing a lot of research,evaluating and choosing the company to transport your car, you might want to understand how auto transport works.
Here are the main steps to help guide you through your first auto-transport journey:
- First, you request a car shipping quote online or by phone.
- The second step is to disclose details about the vehicle – make, model, and modifications.
- Third, a logistics expert will schedule your shipment.
- After you are through with the first three steps, a carrier will pick up your car one to five business days from your first available date.
- At pick up and delivery, the carrier must inspect your vehicle and note all the irregularities, if any, on a Bill of Lading. At car drop off you will also have to pay any remaining balance.
- The transit time of your vehicle is calculated based on distance. But other factors might also contribute – your agent will inform you of the estimated delivery time.
After you’ve completed all the steps, it is time to prepare your vehicle for shipping. Read the post I wrote recently for a more detailed guide on how to transport your car across the country:
As I have already mentioned, there are quite a few dishonest companies in car shipping industry, who in hopes to lure unsuspecting customers, offer almost ridiculously low prices. Therefore, I cannot stress enough how important research is when you need to transport your vehicle. It does not mean though you have to contract companies with the highest rates. You should aim for a company that offers a realistic and current market price. After all, both sides, you and the car shipping company, have to conclude negotiations feeling comfortable with the agreement.
What are the factors that affect the price to ship your car?
- The distance and location
- Car make and model
- Vehicle condition: operable or non-operable
- Transport type
- Supply and demand
To get a better idea of the economics of car shipping price, read this post. Moreover, not all car shipping quotes are created equal. When some companies employ automated algorithms to calculate their quotes, others do it manually. To learn more about the difference between car shipping quote calculator and manual pricing, read this guide.
As you can see, auto-transport is more complicated than you might have thought and requires a lot of time, energy, patience, and effort from your side. You just need to be prepared, plan in advance, research, and request multiple car shipping quotes. After all, it is your car we are talking about! Therefore, it’s all well worth it!