Guide to Choosing an Auto Transport Carrier and Moving your Vehicle Nationwide


When you need to move your car from one place to another destination, auto transport companies can save you the time and expense of doing it yourself. An auto transport company will not only save you time, fuel and money, but also protect you against vehicle damage and theft, since many licensed carriers have their own insurance. Shipping your car also saves mileage on the odometer and preserves your cars value. If you are shipping a luxury or a classic car, enclosed trailers are recommended. Open trailers are most often used to transport automobiles since this is the most cost effective way. Finding a reliable and trustworthy company with our tips below should be an easy process. Selecting a company begins with the price estimate or a quote. Here is the information you need to get the best deal and the most accurate quote:

  • Location of the car where to be picked up and where it will be delivered to.
  • The approximate departure date.
  • Type of vehicle (standard size car/sedan, SUV, pick-up truck, van, etc.).
  • Special services or requirements like enclosed trailer or top vehicle placement.

Brokers vs. Carriers
A carrier is the trucking company that will actually transport your vehicle(s) from point A to point B. Auto transport carriers will often deal directly with consumers, but usually they rely on brokers to provide much of their business. Carriers typically don’t have the staff or budget to market themselves to the public. They typically rely on word of mouth or local advertising to generate revenue for their business they get from brokers.

Brokers specialize in finding carriers who can move a vehicle for the price you want and when you want it. Brokers deal with a number of carriers and therefore have more options for faster delivery at their disposal. Also, auto transport brokers offer pricing that is equal to or better than you might find on your own dealing directly with auto shipping carriers because they can find those empty spots.

Check the insurance of your auto transport company. The law requires the car transport carrier to fully insure your vehicle against damage or theft while it is in the carrier’s possession. To verify this, visit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to look up insurance information for auto shippers, along with their safety record. Make sure to read your contract carefully for any mention of a deductible or exclusions. Although your vehicle and its original equipment are usually insured, other stuff that may be in the car like jewelry, CDs, luggage, etc… may not be covered. It is always a good idea not to put expensive things in your along for the ride. Your own insurance may cover such items, but many auto shippers will refuse to accept your vehicle until it’s empty., certifies that all of the auto transport companies they represent are fully bonded and insured.

Check references and reviews for auto shippers. You may find the complaints filed with the local Better Business Bureau in the auto transport company’s city or state.

Before accepting your car at the pickup location, the auto transport company will inspect the vehicle and note any damage such as dents, dings, scratches, etc. An inspection report or bill of lading will be given to you for your signature as well as a copy. Check it carefully for accuracy before signing it. When your car is delivered, you’ll want to inspect it again for any damage; if you find any damage not already listed on the report, file a damage claim with the auto transport company.

Below are some tips for helping you select the right auto transport company:

  • Many auto transport companies cannot guarantee exact delivery dates. Three days to one week is a typical delivery time.
  • Many auto shippers require that you drop off your car at least one week in advance, but some require two weeks or even four weeks. So it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
  • Your car should be driven very little during auto transport – on and off the truck and to a nearby parking space or terminal. Make sure it has at least a quarter tank of gas when you drop it off.
  • See if the company offers GPS tracking so you can access the exact location of your vehicle.


Source by Jay Sweeney