It's time to get your car shipped, so where do you start? Was a simple google search of a car shipping company overwhelming? We know. There are endless lists of companies who can ship your cars, but no obvious way to navigate whether or not the organization is credible, reliable, or even fair.
First important piece of information, a car shipping or auto transport company search can yield a couple different types of business results - a carrier or broker. A carrier organization has a fleet of trucks or just a single truck designed to ship cars from pickup to location. Carriers can be hired directly or you can utilize an auto transport broker. A broker is someone you can hire to find a carrier and coordinate how your car will be transported from pickup to delivery for you. There are pros and cons for both, but for the sake of this blog, we will be speaking directly about hiring a broker. The following is a checklist of what to look for to guide you on your car shipping brokerage search.
Always ask questions about the insurance offered by the broker. Read the insurance details and make sure you have an answer on any consequence that could occur if something went wrong. More than likely, with a good broker, you have nothing to worry about. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
There are certain registrations and documentation every broker must have that is regulated by the government. You can always ask for verification, but while it's not required, many brokers will have this documentation viewable on their website or in their office.
Before landing on a broker, decide what service you need. This can range from climate-controlled enclosed car transport, open car shipping for a more affordable service, the ability to transport damaged or non-running vehicles, or door-to-door shipping. Know the service you require, find a reputable broker with the ability, and agree to binding terms of service contract.
There are two ways to go about receiving a quote for the shipment of your car. Once you've found a company you feel good about, fill out an obligation-free quote form on their website. For a lot of brokerage companies, you can also call to speak to a representative for a quote over the phone.
If you're still not sure which company sounds like your best option, you can also find quote calculators on a variety of auto shipping companies. This will provide a list of quotes to view and compare. The only backside to this is that your information can get cycled into marketing materials via email and phone calls.
Cars are expensive and essential assets. So, you can trust that if someone had a bad experience with the shipment of their vehicle, you are going to hear about it. There are a couple of trusted ways to use reviews to refine your list of brokers to hire.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source to find accredited brokers. A lot of auto transportation sites allow for companies to pay for higher rankings. As an unbiased and independent evaluation board, BBB is where you should check for reviews and a high rating first.
Negative Google or online reviews are inevitable even for the absolute best of companies. However, they typically paint a decent picture of whether or not a business provides an overall consistently good or bad experience. First, look for the number of reviews as a reflection of good business practices. Secondly, read the good with the bad to decide for yourself if that broker would be a good fit or not.
A sign of a good broker is someone who wants to help you, not sell you. When speaking with different brokers, pay attention to whether they are providing an education on how the process works or if they're just trying to up-sell you. A good broker wants to help and is willing to answer any questions along the way to help provide a reliable service.
Something that rings true for a lot of things in life is that you get what you pay for. The auto industry is no exception. The sweet spot for pricing is to look for a broker who will quote an affordable price, but not one that is cheap.
A lot goes into safely and efficiently transporting a car, but cutting corners is your best bet to a damaged vehicle. Any broker dramatically cheaper than its competition is a big warning sign. Keep an eye out for a price that feels fair, but won't break the bank either.
Your car is an expensive asset and it's important to find a broker who will help manage the transportation of your vehicle with just as much respect. There are tons of brokers to comb through, some of which are top tier organizations and others are scams. Our hope is that this list helps you along your car shipping journey.
To learn more, check out our blog on how an auto transport broker can be helpful to car shippers.