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How Auto Transport Works and What It Costs

how auto transport works and what it costs

How Auto Transport Works and What It Costs

When you need to ship a car, auto transport is the obvious answer. There are several steps and processes involved, and a substantial amount of planning is required. You always have the option of arranging shipping yourself, but a much better option is to put your trust in a long-distance car transport provider like us.

If you’d like to know a little more about the auto transport service we provide, keep reading.

Auto Transport Companies

Across the United States, there are thousands of auto transport companies. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are licensed and insured, while others are not quite so responsible. SGT Auto Transport is an auto transport management company that enjoys long-standing relationships with only the best vehicle transport companies. We work with an extensive network of licensed, vetted, and insured carriers.

As well as large transport companies, there are also hundreds of smaller vehicle haulers, some of which might be local to where you live. The service these haulers provide is often much slower and can work out to be more expensive. 

How the Auto Transport Process Works

Planning is crucial if you want your car shipped any distance. It starts by requesting a car transport instant quote. Most companies allow you to do this online. At the same time, you can make a booking. We provide an online calculator, for the convenience of our customers, or you can call (866) 774 6570 and speak directly with our shipping advisors.

Before your vehicle is picked up, you have to make sure it’s ready for the journey.

  • Clean your vehicle inside and outside
  • Carefully inspect and photograph your vehicle
  • Complete a few basic maintenance tasks
  • All removable parts must be secured
  • All personal items must be removed
  • Parking passes, toll tags, and alarms must be deactivated
  • Run the gas tank down to quarter full
  • Check your contact information is correct

Enclosed vs. Open Transport

The transportation method used by most people wanting to ship their car is open transport. Open carriers are abundant across the US, and they have the trailers to handle most types of vehicles. If you’re the owner of a standard sedan or your car is used daily, open transport is more than adequate for your needs. It's also an option that suits most vehicle owners.

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, is a more specialized service. If the cargo you want shipped is particularly precious, valuable, or sentimental, enclosed transport is often the preferred option.

Finding the Best Car Shipping Service

With so many car carrier rental services to choose from, finding the best one can be a challenge. The best way to determine whether a transportation company is reliable is to ask for their MC Docket or USDOT number. These numbers are issued when a company registers with the Department of Transport's Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA). You can check numbers via the FMCSA website. 

For an auto transport operator to be legal in the US, they have to have up-to-date registration. The companies we work with are all registered with the FMCSA. We also have a USDOT number, so you know your vehicle is going to be safe with us.

Company reviews are something else you can use to gauge a company’s reliability. The internet is the best place to look for these. Pay attention to both good and bad feedback you find. Use Google search or visit one of the many online review sites. TrustPilot, TransportReviews, BBB, and Facebook are excellent places to start. 

Car Moving Rates

An important factor for anyone looking to ship their car has to be the auto shipping cost. Any self-respecting car and motorcycle transport company should be more than happy to provide you with a free and instant quote. How the automobile transport cost is calculated is much the same whatever company you’re conversing with.

The cost of shipping your car is dependent on your vehicle, the type of shipping service you choose, timeline, distance, and overall market conditions.

Follow these tips if you want to benefit from the best possible price……………

  • Request quotes from several different carriers rather than just one
  • The lowest price doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get excellent service and be very wary of a price that seems too good to be true. It probably is, and when the time comes to ship, you might find the price increases five-fold.
  • Only hand over money when your order has been dispatched, and never make payment using wire transfer.

Licensing and Insurance

To operate in the US, auto transport companies have to register with the proper authority. Once registered with the FMCSA, a USDOT number is issued. The auto transport industry is a very regulated one, and information relating to safety, compliance, audits, investigations, and inspections is collected and monitored by the authority.

Insurance is something else you need to check. Carriers transporting vehicles have to have the correct insurance. It covers any damage to the vehicles being moved. Most companies, including SGT, factor in the cost of insurance when quoting a price for their service. 

What Happens When Your Vehicle is Delivered?

The final step of the car shipping process is the delivery of your vehicle at a pre-determined location. Always aim to be on time, as nobody likes to be kept waiting. Particularly a trucker who has more deliveries or pick-ups to make. When your vehicle is dropped off, you're allowed to inspect it. Conduct a thorough inspection and compare its current condition with any previous record you might have made.

There are times when it’s not possible to be present at the delivery location. In such instances, appoint a trusted representative to complete the process for you. You must check for cosmetic damages. Also look at the undercarriage, check the odometer, and start up the car to make sure there are no mechanical problems.

Payment is made upon delivery and following the inspection, either you or your representative will be required to sign the Bill of Lading. Record any damage noticed on the Bill of Lading before signature. Should any damage have occurred, it’s your responsibility to make a claim. Our representatives will be able to walk you through the process.

We should finish up by pointing out that transportation services are generally reliable, trustworthy, safe, and secure.   

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