How Do I Find the Best Auto Transport Company?


If you have ever had to compare quotes for car shipping services, you know that it could be daunting. Here are some tips that will make the process easier and help you understand the auto transport industry.

Generally there are two types of auto transport companies – carriers and brokers. The latter work with a large network of van operators to meet the high expectations of the modern customer. Furthermore, some brokers do run their own fleet of trucks.


The Best Auto Transport Company Complies with Federal Regulations

Professional auto transport companies comply with the highest safety standards set by the US Department of Transportation. And, the latter works relentlessly to improve road safety. Both auto transport brokers and carriers that operate cross-country are required to be registered with the FMCSA. Auto transporters and brokers are assigned a 6-digit “MC Docket” number and a 7-digit “USDOT” number.

You can validate the registration of potential auto transport companies. Avoid working with an auto transport provider that is not licensed by the DOT. Online car shipping calculators can give you an idea about potential auto transport companies and costs. That is why, before deciding on a particular company, make sure they are authorized and comply with federal laws.

Reputable Auto Transport Companies Provide Comprehensive Insurance

By federal law, auto transport companies must carry a valid insurance certificate. Furthermore, they should be able to present it when they are asked to. You should ask questions related to company’s policy upon booking. Keep in mind that insurance policies vary in terms of deductibles and types of damage that are covered. Pay attention to details.

Generally, damages as a result from acts of God, theft, and vandalism are not covered.  Plus, all loose items and personal belongings must be removed from your vehicle – these will not be covered by the insurance policy.

Federal guidelines state that all carriers must maintain an insurance policy of $750,000 (if not more). Keep in mind that this policy is applicable to all vehicles on board, and not each vehicle individually. If you want to ship a vintage car or a luxury boat, you may need to obtain extra insurance.

The best auto transporter will find a custom solution if such is needed. Professionals will run a thorough inspection prior to pick-up and note all details on your bill of lading.

Professional Auto Transporters Listen to What Customers Say

Shipping car reviewsOnce you have received a few car shipping quotes, along with license and insurance policy, research particular auto transporter’s reviews. Reputable auto transport company pays meticulous attention to what their customers have to say.

Actually, negative reviews can give you the idea of how a company engages in resolutions. Reliable auto transporters keep the lines open and would go the extra mile to straighten out any problem.

Check consumer sites such as the BBB, Transport Reviews and My Moving Reviews. Plus, you can further research social media and last but not least, talk to friends and colleagues.

Most of the car shipping jobs nationwide go smoothly. However, in the stressful time of moving, you need an experienced, professional and trustworthy auto transport company. The best auto shipping provider will be available 24/7 to inform you about each step of the process.

The Best Car Shipping Company Provides Accurate Quotes

When you are looking for the best car shipping company, choosing the lowest price rate is not a good idea. Remember, you get what you pay for. In most cases, the lowest price quotes are either incomplete (deposit or insurance omitted) or just fishy. There are auto transport carriers and brokers who will intentionally give very low initial price estimates to hook you up. Later, price skyrockets with all kinds of extra chargers and surcharges. Avoid shipping scams.

Now, shipping a car is not cheap, especially if you want to transport an over-sized vehicle or a luxury car. Sometimes, if the vehicle is non-operable, additional tools and equipment is needed. Professional auto transporters will evaluate your individual case and give you a complete binding quote. Moreover, if extra labor or equipment will be required, they will inform about potential cost increase in advance.

When you ask for a quote, make sure you understand what has been included in that estimate. If your car will be transported via an enclosed trailer, then you will need to pay more money.

Trustworthy Auto Transport Companies Have an Established Arbitration Program

The best auto transport companies offer a transparent claims policy. More than 95% of the car loads arrive intact. However, sometimes human mistakes might delay or completely disrupt delivery. Damages may occur while your vehicle is in transit.

Beware, as some auto transport companies include a waiver in their bill of lading.  That waiver releases them of any responsibility for any potential damage that your vehicle may incur while in their custody. Therefore, it is always wise to double check the car shipping company’s policy prior to signing with them.

The best auto transport company will provide all relevant information relating to damage and claims prior to taking your car.

Choosing The Best Auto Transport Company – What Questions Should You Ask?

What questions to ask best auto transport companies1.     Are you licensed with the Department Of Transportation?

2.     Are you accredited by the Better Business Bureau?

3.     How long have you been in business?

4.     What insurance options do you offer?

5.     What paperwork do I need to sign?

6.     Do you have a claim settlement program in place?

Working With the Best Auto Transporter: How to Prepare My Vehicle?

When you are talking with a company, clarify all “quirky” details. The latter include kill switches, alarms, cut-off switches, or brakes that only work with the motor running. The more information your driver has, the easier it will be for him to ship your car safely. Consider discussing all peculiarities with the sales representative to ensure that your car will be handled properly.

How to prepare a car for transport across the country?

  • Wash well the exterior of your car. If you are not pressed for time, clean its interior as well.
  • Inspect car scratches, paint chips, dents, rust or any other defect along its surface. Make close-up photos.
  • Inspect visually your car for fluid leaks.
  • Empty the gas tank of your vehicle to only 1/4 of its capacity.
  • Make sure your car battery is completely charged and secured in its bracket.
  • Remove non-permanent racks for bikes, skis or baggage.
  • Safeguard exterior car parts that cannot be removed – those include spoilers, additional lights, side-view mirrors etc.

If there are mechanical problems, inform your auto transport company upon booking. 


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