Questions and advices
The truth about the hazards of shipping your vehicle and how customers can avoid
common pitfalls and mistakes:
The auto transport business
is essentially an unregulated industry. In the mid-1990s, when the Interstate Commerce
Commission was closed, responsibility for industry regulation was given to the Department
on Transport’s Federal Highway Administration. Unfortunately, the DOT does not have
the resources to monitor the auto transport industry (this information was taken
from a report written by Bob Sullivan, MSNBC News – Technology and Science).
What does this mean for consumers?
Less-than-honest movers can easily deceive consumers, who tend to go with the lowest
price. With the advent of the internet, car movers can set up shop in a day, start
“lowball” bidding, take the consumer’s deposit, and then disappear as quickly as
they appeared. In fact, only four or five bids out of ten will be honest ones. The
rest will be lowball quotes designed to get the consumer to sign a contract to which
the mover will add on additional fees later.
What are some of the hazards that a consumer faces from a less-than-honest mover?
Loss of deposit: many companies will charge a deposit. When the moving company does
not pick up the vehicle within a reasonable time frame, customers who attempt to
cancel their order to find another moving company, may be surprised to find that
their deposit is non-refundable!
“Priority shipping” fees: when customers learn that they will lose their deposit
if they cancel the order, they may also be told that they can pay an additional
“priority shipping” fee to expedite the pick-up of their vehicles. Of course, this
is after the pick-up has already been delayed by several weeks!
Demand for extra fees: even though the customer has already paid for the services
in full, truck drivers will demand more cash when they arrive with the car. In fact,
they may hold the car hostage unless the customer pays the additional fee!
What can a consumer do?
Beware of an auto transport company that requires a deposit.
Remember that the lowest price does not mean the best quality.
Confirm that the quote you are given includes all fees, including insurance, taxes
Find out how long the company has been in business, and where their physical location
Make sure the company will offer you the option to pay in full, on delivery.
Get referrals from family, friends and co-workers who have used auto transporters.
Are vehicles fully insured?
Yes. The trucker is the primary insurer, with up to a $1 million insurance policy.
Each vehicle is fully insured up to market value.
How are vehicles transported?
Cars are loaded on double-decker car carriers, the kind you see on freeways transporting
new cars. The carrier can be an open or an enclosed one. They are carried, not driven.
Motorcycles can be loaded if they are in a crate. Otherwise, they will be strapped.
Boats are transported (depending on the size of the boat) on special boat trailers.
If the boat comes with its own trailer, it can be pulled. You can see carriers transporting
or pulling boats on freeways as well.
RVs can be transported on flatbeds or can be pulled.
How long does it take?
Anywhere from ten days to two weeks for a coast-to-coast delivery. Due to weather,
traffic and other circumstances beyond our control, transport companies can only
give estimated times of arrival.
How much notice do I need to give?
A couple of days notice is usually all we need, but additional notice always helps
us execute a timely move. Will you contact me before pick-up and delivery? Yes.
Our drivers will contact you 24 hours prior to pick-up, and 24 hours prior to delivery.
What should a consumer do if their vehicle arrives with damage?
The first thing you should do is make sure the driver understands that the damage
is new and was not on the original bill of loading. The damage should clearly be
marked and noted, then signed for by the driver. Upon completion of delivery, a
call should be placed to your carrier or broker to inform them of the damage. In
most cases, the carrier will ask for an estimate and send you payment in a couple
weeks. If the carrier is not responsive and unwilling to work with you to resolve
the issue, make sure you contact their insurance company and make a claim. However,
be sure that you have all the documentation to back up your claim. False claims
can result in legal action by the carrier or agent.
Is your company licensed?
Yes. We are an I.C.C. Licensed and Bonded Broker. Our I.C.C. number is 630385. How
can we pay for this? You can pay on delivery or at time of pick-up. We accept all
major credit cards or pay-pal, as well.