When looking for an auto shipper, it’s important to understand how they and the industry work. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can find the right shipper for your needs and what to expect when shipping a vehicle. We work the same way as just about every other major shipping company as well.
Keep reading to learn more and find out how American Auto Shipping can help you get your vehicle moved at a great rate today.
How to start finding an auto shipper
The first thing you will want to look for from an auto shipper is a quote. This is how the entire process starts. You can get a quote directly from us via our online form or by calling us toll-free. You should make sure to get multiple quotes from multiple companies, however. The lowest price you get may not always the best.
Once you’re finished comparing and contrasting the companies you’re looking at, book your order. From there, the company you booked with will work to find a carrier who can pick up your vehicle. It usually only takes a few days to find a carrier.
You should take the time to research prospective companies to find the right one for your needs. Most companies will offer the same services, but not all will. Get your quotes, do some research, and make sure you’re comfortable with the company you choose.
What to know about the deposit
The auto shipper will probably ask you to pay a deposit beforehand. Most shippers will charge the deposit when they find a carrier for you. Others will charge the deposit when you place an order with them. The former is usually the standard, so be wary of companies that charge deposits right away. Note that American Auto Shipping won’t charge you for the deposit until we find a carrier for you.
Standard shipments are paid cash on delivery, or COD. This is where you pay the remaining balance (total price minus deposit) to the carrier when the vehicle is delivered. Note that cash on delivery means any type of certified funds. It can be cash, a cashier’s check, or a money order. No carrier accepts personal checks.
Some companies will only take payment in full at the time of booking. This means that the deposit and the payment to the carrier are paid to the shipper together, at once. Payment up front tends to lead to higher prices overall as well as longer wait times, since fewer carriers want to have to send a broker an invoice to get their payment.
Some shipments have to be paid in full up front. These include overseas shipments, and sometimes shipments of more than two vehicles. Talk to your representative for more about their payment policies. But mostly, if you’re shipping a single vehicle, the payments are split between the deposit and a COD payment.
Dispatching and inspections
Once your auto shipper finds a carrier, they’ll let you know when the carrier will be there to pickup your vehicle. Note that shipping companies offer pickup windows, not pickup dates. Your driver will call you within your pickup window to finalize the pickup date and time.
Once the carrier arrives, you and the driver will inspect the vehicle for any prior damage. This ensures that any damage incurred during transport will be covered by the auto shipper’s insurance. Inspections are vital – without a pickup and delivery inspection, you will not be able to file a damage claim.
To account for all scratches or pre-existing damage, make sure the inspection is done. While most vehicles are picked up during the day, drivers can have strange schedules. Nighttime pickup is not entirely uncommon. For pickup at night, make sure to have a flashlight handy to do the inspection.
A second inspection needs to be done at delivery to ensure there are no new damages. Damage during transport is rare, but it has been known to happen. Unless the inspection report is properly marked for both pickup and delivery inspections, you won’t be able to file a damage claim. So make sure that you do both inspections and that the driver does them with you.
About vehicle tracking while in transit
From there, your auto shipper will truck the vehicle to the destination. After the vehicle is in transit, your auto shipper may or may not have a method to track where the vehicle is. You can track your vehicle right here on our website if you book with us.
Most auto shippers don’t have electronic tracking methods, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t track it. Most that don’t offer electronic tracking will simply call the driver and get an update on their whereabouts. However, the auto shipper driver can’t be on the phone while driving. So over-the-phone tracking can take time. Don’t be surprised if your representative has to call you back with the information.
When the auto shipper is close to the destination location, they will give you a call to notify you that they’re on their way and to schedule a time and location. Note that if your home is not accessible to a massive auto transport truck, you’ll need to arrange to meet them somewhere nearby. This is common, so don’t be afraid to meet your carrier in a large parking lot nearby.
This is also where you pay the driver their cash on delivery (unless it’s a pre-paid shipment). Make sure to have your payment ready to go at delivery. If you don’t, the carrier will not release the vehicle.
Ship your vehicle safely with American Auto Shipping
You can get a free, customized quote to ship your vehicle by filling out our free online auto transport quote request form. You can also call our toll-free number at 800-930-7417 and speak to one of our live representatives if you are interested in getting some of your questions answered before you even start the quote process.
Regardless of what you’re looking to ship, American Auto Shipping can help you move it. So don’t delay – get a quote and start your shipping process today!