The Road to New Beginnings: 6 Questions to Ask Before Shipping Your Vehicle

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Whether locally or across states, transporting your car is a risky business if you intend to do it yourself. To get the job done hassle-free, use a professional service such as Guardian Auto Transport. Car moving companies have the right tools and trucks to transport your vehicle safely. Before you pick a service, make sure to ask the following questions for shipping your vehicle. 

Is the company registered and licensed? 

If a vehicle moving company transports across state lines, it can only operate after registration with the US Department of Transport. Ask for the DOT number to verify and obtain service information. 

Companies transporting interstate must have a Motor Carrier number that you can use on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. For international shipment, the company should have a license issued by the Federal Maritime Commission. 

What’s included in the offered service?

When boiled down to the basics, vehicle transport companies move your car from one place to another. However, transporting your precious cargo from Point A to Point B is more complex than it may appear on the surface.  When booking auto transportation services, you’ll need to speed through a series of decisions. 

For example, some companies will only offer an open-air trailer service, while others might offer enclosed trailer shipping, as well. When presented with this fork in the road, you can continue searching for enclosed shipping providers or rake in the savings with open-carrier transportation. 

It’s important to note that there are also restrictions on the size and types of transported vehicles. Some companies will ship non-working (accident) cars, while some will only ship operational vehicles. With these restrictions in mind, be sure to choose your auto shipping company wisely. 

How much does the shipment cost?

Car shipping costs vary by company, so it’s wise to contact a few and get quotes to compare. Provide basic information about your vehicle and the place it needs to ship. If you own more than one vehicle, ask for a discount. 

While the cheapest option may sound appealing, the service may take an expected turn. That said, make sure to ask rapid-fire questions to avoid hidden charges. 

Does the company provide car insurance?

A reputable car shipping company will offer a fully insured service, while a standard service will come with exceptions. Read your contract carefully for a closer look into your vehicle coverage. 

What happens if an accident occurs? Will the insurance cover the entire vehicle damage or just the parts? If you think the coverage is insufficient, ask if you can purchase additional insurance. 

How does payment work?

Some companies may require an initial deposit and the rest of the payment upon delivery. Other companies might request the total payment upfront. Make sure your chosen company offers your desired payment method. As a final screening method, ask about the company’s preferred mode of payment, whether it be cash, card, or a check. 

Can you get a free quote?

Asking a car transport company for a quote doesn’t mean you’re obligated to use their service. Reputable companies offer complimentary, no-obligation quotes because they know the customer will reach out to other service providers. This zero-charge quote system indicates that the company in question values high-quality customer service. By contrast, if an auto transportation service requests a deposit in return for a quote, make a U-turn and continue your search for reputable auto transport companies. 

The takeaway

For a stress-free shipping process, conduct the necessary research and compile a list of questions. While you may feel like a pest, never hesitate to ask these questions for added peace of mind. Open communication will help you find a safe and reliable transport company to relocate your car.

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