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Choosing the Right Auto Transporter

Choosing the right auto transporter can be a very difficult task. This is a very competitive industry filled with horror stories and countless problems. You really need to do some research on whichever company you are considering for the transport of your vehicle. When it comes to auto transport, you truly get what you pay for!

Here is some helpful information to make sure that your experience transporting your car is a good one.

Look at the company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau’s website (www.bbb.org). Almost every established business in the United States has a profile on their site. You will be able to see what their BBB rating is, along with verified reviews from consumers like you. The BBB verifies all customer reviews before posting them on their website.

Search the company on google followed by the word “review”. There are plenty of independent review sites on the web. If the company you are considering has been in business for any amount of time, there will be reviews about their company somewhere. Be wary of review sites for the auto transport industry.  Some of these sites will allow transporters to veto reviews if they are paid members of the site. Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Better Business Bureau, and Bing are all good sites to check out reviews, but you need to dig deep in order to get the whole story.  Sort their reviews by the lowest star rating and look at the bad reviews.  In order to choose the right transporter, you want to see how each company handles problems.

Get the transport’s Motor Carrier number (MC#) and make sure they are authorized with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Every broker or carrier is required by law to have a MC# and must be authorized by the FMCSA to move vehicles. You can verify this information at http://safersys.org/CompanySnapshot.aspx. Make sure you select MC# from the options when you enter a number to search. If it reads “NOT AUTHORIZED” in red letters on their profile, don’t let them move your car. Regardless of what excuse the company gives you.

Read the fine print! There are no guarantees in the auto transport industry. Trucks break down from time to time and delays do happen. A delay should be a few days, not weeks. There are some companies that will state in their contract that they have up to 30 business days to get your vehicle moved. This is generally a ploy that allows them to shop your vehicle to prospective carriers for pennies on the dollar until they find someone so desperate that they will move your vehicle for almost nothing. Some brokers will do this in order to maximize their profit with no concern about actually delivering your vehicle. Those car rental fees add up real quick. Chances are that you have given them a non-refundable deposit, and now, if you decide to find a reputable company to move the vehicle, you will have to forfeit the deposit.

Don’t make your decision based solely on cost. Transporting a car is expensive. We aren’t saying that you should just choose the most expensive option, but don’t just choose the least expensive company. Choosing the right auto transporter should be based on your research and your level of comfort with the person you speak with at the company. The brokers that are the cheapest are cutting corners somewhere. It generally means that they will be shopping your vehicle to prospective carriers at a very low rate, which will increase the likelihood that your vehicle will take much longer than expected to arrive. It could also mean that they are moving vehicles with trucks that have inadequate cargo insurance. High deductibles and low cargo coverage could mean that you’re stuck holding a bill for thousands if your vehicle is damaged.

Find out how long the company has been in business. Brokers and trucking companies come and go in the blink of an eye. In many cases, companies with a horrible online presence will open a new company under a different name due to how putrid their reputation has become. We see this all the time. Many companies that are new to the industry have no clue how to actually move cars. They use quote generators that base prices on per mile rates rather than industry knowledge and trends. Companies like this will have a difficult time meeting your expectations and will probably end up telling you that they need more money to get the vehicle moved. Use a company that is established and knows what they are doing.

Find out if the broker has contingent cargo insurance. Every trucking company must have cargo insurance to haul vehicles. What happens when a company has their policy cancelled for non-payment while they are moving your car? Make sure that the broker you choose carries a contingent cargo insurance policy. This could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars if a truck rolls over or catches fire. These things do happen.

The auto transport industry is not an easy one to navigate. Choosing the right auto transporter is not an easy task. All of us at Fisher Shipping truly believe that we are one of the best options available. Our greatest concern is creating another satisfied customer thanks to a hassle free transaction. Since opening our doors in 2006, we have moved well over 100,000 vehicles. We know what it takes to get the job done right. Even if you don’t choose us, we hope these tips will help you find a transport company that will meet your expectations.

Good luck. It’s a jungle out there!