The key is in two things. First, it is all about your attitude. If you think that auto transport is a troublesome and heavy process, so it will be. If you are grumpy, the carrier representatives will be grumpy, too. But if you believe it is easy, it will be. Car shipping is a service after all and not a product you buy at the grocery store. If you show the willingness to engage and cooperate, the shipment process will be a breeze.
The second thing is the skill you put into planning each of these steps. Auto transport is a process, the responsibility for which is shared between the company itself and you. You are a co-creator of this experience. So the better you design each stage, the better result you will get in the end. Put effort into each of the steps.
How to plan an excellent auto transport experience?
Do your research. Evaluate your options. Choose wisely. Follow through. If you are a planner at heart, this will come easy. For those of you who struggle with structuring activities, priorities, and deadlines, here is some help. The first step in each planning process is to know exactly what you are planning. Before you get to the details, write down the basic structure. Map out the steps in the auto transport experience to plan an excellent auto transport experience:
- Research possibilities
- Compare options
- Make a choice
- Commit & Do your part
Know your responsibilities and know what to expect from the shipping company. In each of these steps, know who is to do what. Let’s look at each stage in more detail.
Your first task is to meet the industry and the companies that offer auto shipping services. Ask friends for their previous experiences and recommendations, and then continue with your own research. Don’t forget to consult the FMCSA hotline for potential shippers’ eligibility and safety ratings.
Start your research early
Having the delivery date in mind is important. Think of the exact date you want your vehicle at your door. Now take at least two weeks prior to this date. This is the latest you should start your research and communication with the carriers. It all depends on how long it takes to get your vehicle delivered. But this should give you enough time to research calmly and plan the details.
Get shipping quotes
It is best to go to the companies’ websites and ask for a shipping quote. Other websites can do automatic estimates, but they are accurate only to some extent. Also, in your search, you will come across third party websites that collect your information only to sell it to various shippers.
The price you get will depend on many factors – different for each particular situation. The date you need your car delivered, the make and model of the car, the condition it is in, the type of transport you select, etc. This is why it is better to contact a sales representative who can give you a customized offer for your particular case.
Your basic research is not enough of an effort if you want to have an excellent auto transport experience. It is crucial that you pay attention to all details that a company lists on their website. Words in the small print can ruin everything.
We don’t want to make it sound stressful. Hence, we suggest turning this into a game. Think of yourself as an investigative journalist – dig deeper and take note of all info you find for each auto shipping company. Document and classify.
Read customer reviews
It is always helpful to look for customers’ reviews and opinions about the company. Prior experience can help you set your expectations right. Pay attention to the way the company handled a specific situation. Happy customers are always a good sign. A better sign, however, is to see an unhappy customer turned into a lifelong loyal fan.
Do not go with the lowest price.
The lowest price you see should always be a hint that something is sketchy. Some companies lure customers with a low price before they actually have a carrier available. Only when they get the customers, they look a carrier who to accept the low price. This rarely happens, so they would either reject your request or send a new offer with a higher price.
Getting a good number of middle-range prices is important. It will help you learn about car shipping costs. This way you will be able to narrow down and evaluate each offer objectively.
Make a choice
Get in the role of a court judge. You have all information at hand. Now evaluate the pros and cons of each side. Then, make a final decision. Follow your intuition, too. You have to have a good feeling about the people who will transport your car. If there is a carrier who gives you such a feeling, go with it even if this means a higher price. Especially if it means a higher price. This proves that the people are devoted and willing to put in extra effort for you.
Once you make all the arrangements with the carrier, be sure to have a confirmation via email. Read everything a company sends you before entering into an agreement. Know your rights and obligations.
Commit & Do your part
Spend a day or two preparing your vehicle for transport. The more time and effort you put into thinking about this part, the easier it will be afterward. You don’t want any surprises – be it material or financial.
Take care of your personal belongings.
It may be tempting to stuff your car with a few items when you are moving long-distance, from Illinois to Texas, for example. Don’t. We recommend that you remove everything from your car. Auto transport carriers are very cautious when it comes to weight because weight restrictions apply at state border inspections. Corsia Logistics allows the inclusion of personal items of up to 100 lb. If you need to load more than 100 lb, there will be an additional fee.
Don’t fuel up.
Auto carriers prefer you have less than a quarter tank of fuel because it greatly decreases the weight they carry. This makes the transport more convenient for them and you. The cheaper it is for the carrier, the cheaper it is for you.
Wash your car.
This is not really a must, more of a friendly advice. The cleaner the car, the more accurate the inspection report. It is easier to note any damage prior to the shipment when the vehicle is not dusty.
Be alert at pick-up.
Make a note of everything the driver observed and writes down. After the inspection, you will have to sign a Bill of Lading. Read it in detail. Check if the described condition of the car is precise. Discuss with the driver. In the end – sign with relief. Now all you have to do is wait.
Examine at delivery.
Now you take the role of an inspector. This is your only chance to claim any damages during transport. The moment the driver leaves, you are left with the scratches for good. Seriously. Don’t ruin this opportunity – your car will never forgive you.
The crucial element for having a good auto transport experience is to be continuously conscious about it. Planning can be helpful, but if you don’t invest your attention in the process, you won’t be entirely happy with the results. Be present and communicate. Good communication between all sides can solve everything. Even the worst planning mistakes.