Tips for a Successful Car Transport
When shipping a car interstate for short or long distances you have to be aware of certain things to be able to book a driver and receive good service and have a safe delivery. In the following article we will go over a couple tips so that your next car transport is an easy going experience versus a frustrating nightmare.
If you have shipped a car before, you are aware of all the mishaps that can happen down the road while you book a driver and even while on route for delivery. First the research you need to do in order to find the right company, right price, and reliable service. Then you have to make sure that when booking you take a company that will tell you the exact price from the start and will not surprise you with hidden fees along the road. After this you have to make sure your car is picked up properly and secured safely for the trip. Before delivery you must keep in contact with the driver or dispatch in order to arrange delivery times and locations. Lastly, once car is delivered you have to make sure that the car was taken care of and has no damages or scratches. In the case all this runs smoothly, consider yourself lucky and mark this company as a keeper, as car transport experiences can be a very bad nightmare when you don’t take the time to research very well for a reliable company.
If you are new to the car transport hassle, don’t be afraid, simply read the following tips, so in the case things do not run as smoothly as they seem, you are prepared and ready to act fast.
Tip #1: Search around. To start off with your car transport look for companies online or on a phone-book. We recommend you do it online, as online you can read reviews about them and help you get more information on the company and their business. Make sure that while you do this, you pick companies that have good reviews. Be aware that some companies you will find are lead generators that instead of providing you a quote, they will sell your information to different companies. To check this, make sure that the website provides contact information such as 1-8oo toll free numbers. Also make sure you check up with 5 to 7 companies so you can have an estimate average of what your transport will cost.
Tip#2: Provide as much information as possible. One of the main factors that affect your quotes are the details you provide, they also play a very important part in order to provide a safe and proper transport for your car. These are some things you must make sure you include while asking for quotes:
- Exact pick up location and delivery locations: many locations can be easy to access for a car, however keep in mind that your car will be transported in huge hauler that takes anywhere between 3 to 10 cars at once. Narrow streets, dead ends, curves, gated communities and areas with lots of trees are inaccessible for drivers and they will have to arrange pick up or drop off at another point near you.
- Departure Time: If you need a pick up an exact date or a delivery by a certain time, make sure you call to book with at least a week in advance. Remember most transport companies are brokers and many drivers are booked with weeks in advance. If you need something done ASAP and you call in 2 days before, chances are you will not be able to move by the desired date, or if you do, prices will be extremely high for the short notice.
- 3M’s: Make, Model and Modifications: Besides providing the make and model of your car, we have one more detail for you, modifications. To make it easy to remember we have created the 3M’s for you. Give as many relevant details of your car as possible, such as lift kits, extended beds, campers or low clearance. The more details you give the better accommodations they can provide for your car. If you do not mention something while booking, you will be surprised with extra fees and even problems at pick up due to improper equipment to load your car safely. This is your responsibility.
- Open or closed? There are many types of carriers that are able to take your car. The most common are open carriers, which we see very often on the road taking cars from place to another. If you have a luxury car, a classic, a sport car or a vehicle that’s needs special attention, it is recommended you transport it in an enclosed carrier; therefore they will be better taken care of and protected from outside conditions such as weather and unforeseen mishaps. However, unless not mentioned, your car will be loaded onto an open carrier. Make sure you let your agent know about the needs your car has.
- Running conditions? Another thing you must keep in mind is that this is not your average towing truck that is taking your broke car from the interstate to a shop, this is a big car hauler that will need special equipment to be able to load inoperable cars onto the carrier. If your car is not running, this is not an inconvenient, however you must let the driver know in order for him to be able to provide proper equipment during pickup and delivery in order to safely load and unload your car.
Tip#3: Junk in the trunk: This may be one of the few times that having junk in the trunk is not as attractive as it may sound. Most companies if not all will not allow you to take any valuables in your car. Carrier insurances do not cover for these items in case of any loss or damage. Ask your agent while booking if you are allowed to put anything inside the car. Sometimes you are allowed to take up to 75lbs of soft goods in the trunk of your car, however ask before you do so. If this information is not provided while booking, your driver may not take your car on pickup and you will go through a preventable bad moment.
Tip#4: Calculate the time: If you are working under a tight schedule make sure you plan with enough time and count with enough time for any delays as well. Long distances can be easily done in 7 to 10 days, however sometimes it can take up to 15 due to unforeseen conditions. Unless you are hiring a truck to only take your car, you have a big chance of having delays. Even if your car is the only one, there are things you cannot plan, such as weather conditions and accidents. Make sure you have a window of certain days between pickup and delivery in case you bump with an unforeseen obstacle.
Tip#5: Sign away: Once you have decided on which company to book with, you will be provided with a contract and sometimes required to pay an initial deposit. Make sure that when you receive your contract you check that the company name matches, you are provided with contact information and that the price quoted is the final price you will pay. Go over every point of the contract to make sure everything is explained thoroughly and no hidden fees will appear later on. Many companies take a 10 – 15% initial down payment in order to book your driver. This payment you may do with credit card and most companies will accept checks. However the remaining balance is due upon delivery of your car to the driver. Keep in mind that drivers are on the road most of time and having a credit card terminal on them is not possible; you must pay the driver with cashier’s check, cash or money order. Very few drivers accept credit card payments upon delivery, make sure you ask your agent when booking or you will encounter problems upon delivery and your car may not be delivered.
Tip#6: Don’t harass the driver: Once your car has been picked up, you will be provided with the drivers information as well, use this information wisely. Drivers are not used to deal with customers directly unless it is for pickup or delivery details. We understand you would like to check up on your car and where the driver is, however drivers are not allowed to talk while driving and most of their rest stops have no reception. They are obligated to update their customers and dispatch once they check in at every stop to let them know they are safe and on their way, but if he does not pick up, do not harass him. This can upset the driver and in consequence give you a very bad service. Call their dispatch, allow a certain time frame between calls (12 to 15 hours) to get updates, or limit yourself to call when pickup or delivery dates are near.
Tips for a Successful Car Transport
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