Auto Shipping Glossary: The Deposit
In the auto transport industry, a deposit is a small amount of money that is paid to your auto shipping broker for their services. It is also known as a broker fee, deposit fee, or some other type of fee, even though technically it’s not; it’s just how the auto transport broker ends up getting paid. The deposit is the money that the broker makes off your car shipment, that’s all, and it varies from company to company. Most deposit prices are right around the $200 mark, maybe a bit over or under depending on the company. Auto transport companies that have a super-low deposit are usually scammers; either that or they’re so new they think that lowballing the deposit price on their orders will increase sales (a common mistake and one of the easiest for brokers to avoid – and also a common reason why so many don’t last a year).
The deposit is one of the most important things that you can pay because it gives the broker reason and incentive to actually work for you. Many companies will take a deposit either when you first place your order or when they dispatch your vehicle to the truck, and the latter method in particular is becoming much more common as it makes it easy for both customers and brokers when it comes to exchanging currency. Charging the deposit price when your vehicle is dispatched is a good medium between taking payment up front and taking payment when the vehicle is picked up. With payment upon dispatch, the broker does their job and does it right while the customer does not feel scammed during the process.
Payment methods for your deposit can vary widely depending on the company you are booking with, though the most common is via a credit card. Credit card is the best way to pay for your transport as it is generally much safer from a legal and financial standpoint than sending a money order or check through the mail, as transactions via credit card are recorded and fraudulent payments can quickly be assessed and taken care of. Auto brokers absolutely abhor bounced checks and stop payments and chargebacks on credit card payments, and that’s why brokers don’t last long; all it takes is one slip up with the payment for a customer to get pissed off, and the resulting issues are too great for such a small company. Don’t let this happen to you or to your shipping company; if you have more questions or concerns regarding auto transport deposits, give us a call and we can explain in more detail. You can also fill out our free online quote form to get multiple free car transport quotes from different brokers, and then you can call them and have them explain their deposit prices and payment details so there’s no confusion.