Reliable car transport companies: How to find them
Car transport companies come in many shapes and sizes, but if you want one that provides a top-notch service you’ve got to find a reliable car transport company. With so many to choose from, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. And if you don’t know what to look for, it will be hard to know where to start.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to auto transport. You’ve probably got a ton of questions running around your head, but let’s help you put them into some kind of order. In this guide, you’ll find some tips on how to find reliable car transport, what to look for in a reliable car transport company, and what to avoid.
Decide what kind of reliable auto transport service you’re looking for
Before you narrow down your search, the first step is to decide what kind of service it is you need. Some of the most reliable auto shippers will provide a wide range of service, such as open car transport, enclosed auto transport, express, and guaranteed car transport pick-up. You also need to choose between terminal-to-terminal car transport and door-to-door transport.
Let’s look at some of these options in a little more detail.
Open car transport vs. enclosed car transport
An open car transport carrier is what you’re most likely to see on the highway. Trailers are used to haul cars, sometimes as many as 10 at a time. Enclosed auto transport trailers are a little different because the vehicles go inside a container. The containers protect the vehicles inside from the elements and traffic grime.
Enclosed auto transport tends to be recommended for owners of classic cars, high-value vehicles, luxury cars, and cars with sentimental value. The cost of this type of service is generally more than open shipping.
Open transport car shipping is a more affordable option for owners of standard cars. It might cost less, but it’s still a very safe and secure way to transport a vehicle.
Express auto transport and guaranteed car transport
Express auto transport services are the right choice if you’re short on time. The cost is more, but delivery is quicker.
Guaranteed pick-up service is an option if you need your vehicle picked up on a specific date.
Factors to consider when choosing a reliable car transport company
When you’ve decided on the type of auto transport service you need, you can begin researching the different auto transport companies. There are several factors to bear in mind when making your decision.
Make sure they’re registered
Companies that provide car transport services have to register with the Department of Transport (DOT). Always ask for an auto transport company’s DOT number. If they provide a service that crosses state lines and they are an interstate company, they should also have a Motor Carrier number. You can check the number using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and you’ll be able to check whether the company has a safe driving record.
Make sure they’re bonded and insured
As well as being registered, a reliable car transport company will also be bonded and insured. Should anything happen to your car, and it’s the company’s fault, you will be protected.
Generally, insurance companies will not cover your car when it’s being transported. For this reason, always ask what insurance coverage is being offered by the transport company.
Take a close look at their website
You can tell a lot about a company from their website. Does it look professional? What type of information are they sharing with prospective customers? Are there different ways you can contact them? Is there a frequently asked questions section?
Search online for testimonials and reviews
When you’re looking at different websites, you might also notice a section set aside for customer reviews and testimonials. This is a great place to start researching a company’s reputation, but it’s not the only place to look for feedback.
See what other reviews are being left online. Check out the company’s social media pages and see if any negative comments are being made.
There are also auto transport review sites such as BBB, Google, Yelp, Transport Reviews, Facebook, TrustPilot, and uShip.
What type of services do the offer
This is one area in which car transport companies can differ. Some companies only offer transport services regionally, while others might offer nationwide transport services. You might also find certain companies that put restrictions on the size or type of vehicle they can transport.
You’ll also find companies that specialize in enclosed auto transport services and others that offer a wide range of services. The type of transport service you need has already been determined, so it’s a case of finding the most reliable auto shippers to meet your needs.
Check out their prices
This is another area where you might see some considerable differences between auto transport companies. When you’re doing your research, it’s best to compare at least three different auto transport providers’ prices.
When requesting a quote, make sure you understand what’s included in the price, so you won’t get caught out by any hidden or extra charges.
Most companies will be thrilled to provide a free estimate. Be sure to give them all the relevant details, so you can get an accurate estimate of the price. If you’re not comfortable with the price you’re given, ask if it’s negotiable.
Ask about the car shipping process
When you get in touch with a reliable car transport company, they’ll be more than happy to run through the car shipping process with you. A reputable company will recommend you take photos of any damage to your car, whether it’s inside or outside. They’ll inform you that you must record the damage on a Bill of Lading. This is then compared upon delivery of your vehicle.
If this is not the standard procedure for a company you’re better off looking elsewhere for another company that follows proper protocols and has a set of safety procedures in place.
Determine what happens if damage occurs
There is an exceedingly slight chance that damage could occur during the shipping process, so find out what your responsibilities are should it happen. It’s much better to know what you’ve got to deal with before something happens.
You and the driver should note any damage on the delivery documentation and you must both sign it. If you need to make a claim, knowing the right procedure and protocols are in place means it’s easier to make a successful claim.
Round the clock customer service
Knowing there is someone on hand to talk to can be very reassuring during the auto transport process. The customer service team should be available around the clock and there should be a number of ways to contact them. You might need to ask some questions, clarify some details for your auto transport service, or check on your vehicle during the auto transport service.
Have you read the fine print concerning delays?
In the auto transport industry there are no guarantees. Any company that says different isn’t being honest and upfront with you. Traffic delays and broken down trucks can happen at any time. Knowing the delay will only be a few days, rather than weeks, is important.
A reliable company typically states in the fine print of their contract. There are some companies, for example, that state they have up to 30 business days to get your vehicle moving again. That’s a long time to wait for the delivery of your car.
A reliable auto transport provider, on the other hand, will promise to get your vehicle moving again in just a few days.
Here at SGT Auto Transport, we provide a reliable service that ticks all the important boxes. We have an extensive list of vetted, trustworthy, and reliable auto transport carriers, and there’s bound to be one that meets your needs.
For your convenience, we provide an online instant quote calculator you can use to find out the cost of shipping your car. You can contact our dedicated shipping advisors 24/7 if you’ve got any questions, or want to make a booking. Call (864) 546-5038 now, send us an email, or use our option.