Car Questions: 11 Things to Ask a Vehicle Transport Service Before Shipping Your Car

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11 Important Questions For An Auto Transport Service


In 2019, the vehicle shipping industry grew to $12 billion. While it’s a booming industry, that doesn’t mean all companies are the same. 

The average cost of a new car is $36,270. While you may have insurance, that doesn’t mean you want to risk anything happening to one of your most expensive possessions. 

One way to ensure you found a car transport service you can trust is by asking some important car questions before hiring them. How each vehicle shipping company responds is important. 

If you’re wondering which questions to ask, keep reading. We’re sharing with you 11 car questions to ask before you ship your car.

1. One of the Most Important Car Questions to Ask is What Services They Provide

You have options when it comes to what services car movers provide. Some vehicle owners prefer an open-air trailer. Others prefer an enclosed trailer instead. 

Also, if your car isn’t running, ask if they transport non-working vehicles. Some companies won’t ship a car that won’t run. 

Lastly, some car transport service companies also transport vehicles such as planes, boats, and even trains. 

2. Are They Licensed and Registered?

Any vehicle shipping company moving cars and trucks across state lines must have a USDOT Number by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

International car shippers must also have a Federal Maritime shipping license. 

While it’s important to ask them if they’re licensed and registered, you can also easily look it up yourself to double check. 

3. Are They a Broker, Carrier or Auto Transport Management Company?

Not all car moving service companies are the same. Make sure you know who you’re dealing with before you agree to anything. 

A broker finds carriers and schedules shipments. Their priority is the customers. 

Carriers own the trucks that vehicles are shipped on. They also deliver vehicles to their destinations. Their priority is the shipment. 

Meanwhile, an auto transport management company acts as both carrier and shipper. You only have one point of contact and they prioritize both you and your vehicle.  

4. How Much Will it Cost?

Make sure you provide as much information before your car shipment date as possible to get an accurate price quote. If you have any special needs or requests, ask upfront before you receive your quote. 

Pricing often has to do with the season and the distance the company has to travel to deliver your car to its intended destination. 

5. What Insurance Do They Offer?

It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by the car shipping company you choose. You want to make sure you’re covered through their insurance while your vehicle is going through transport. 

If the car shipment company doesn’t provide any insurance on your vehicle, find one that does. Ask to see their insurance documents before you have them move your vehicle to find out what exactly is and isn’t covered.

If you aren’t comfortable with the amount of coverage, look into purchasing more insurance. 

Do not assume your own car insurance company will cover any damages. However, it doesn’t hurt to find out what your own company will and won’t cover. 

6. What Documents Will You Need to Provide?

Most car shipping companies require you to provide them with your vehicle’s registration, title, proof of insurance, and your photo ID. Gather them together so you don’t have to search for them right as they’re coming to pick up your car. 

However, always ask what documents are needed in case they need additional information. 

7. Do You Offer a Free Quote and What Does It Include?

If you find a company that won’t offer free quotes, that’s a red flag. Most offer free, no-obligation quotes

However, make sure to ask them for a list of everything the quote covers. Make sure you get that information before you sign the contract. 

Carefully read your contract and speak up if you have questions before you sign. 

8. Can I Have a Few References to Contact?

Ask for a few names of customers you can speak to regarding the car movers services. Keep in mind, these customers are the ones who loved their services.

If you want to go one step further, check out their social media pages to see if there are any negative comments. Look for online testimonials and reviews.

Remember that 100% positive reviews rarely happen, so a few bad reviews are okay. Just make sure the majority of reviews are from happy customers. 

9. How Do I Get My Car Ready for Transport?

You’ll have to remove all of your personal property from your vehicle before it’s ready for transport. And the DOT also requires you provide the mover with your car keys as well.

Most companies will tell you to leave a quarter tank of gas. That’s enough for you to drive to a gas station after it’s delivered but not so much that you end up with extra surcharges related to the weight of your vehicle. 

10. What Types of Payment Options Do You Offer? 

Most car transport services require a deposit before pickup. However, if they ask for all of the money before they ship your car, that’s a red flag.

Each company differs on their payment options. However, most accept a variety of payment methods such as checks and major credit cards.  

11. What Happens if I Need to Make a Complaint? 

Your car gets inspected both prior and immediately after it’s shipped. However, despite these safety protocols, sometimes problems arise.

Ask this question to ensure the company you choose has a complaint resolution process in place that’s easy to use. If the car shipping company can’t answer this or doesn’t have a process, keep searching until you find one that does handle complaints properly. 

Move Your Car With Us

Once you have all your car questions answered, we’re confident you’ll want to work with us. And we even provide towing and recovery services too.

We know you’ll come to us for all your car transportation and recovery needs. Our goal is to provide the best service to you and your vehicle.

We’ll show you why we’re different. Click here to contact us.

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