Auto Shipping Glossary: Terms and Conditions
Every auto transport company, be they a broker, a carrier or a lead provider, are required to have their terms and conditions made public and in a place where their customers can find them quickly and easily. Today, almost every shipping company has their own website where you can read more about their services and their terms and conditions, and it is required by law for each company to have them. Like with most terms and conditions – for instance, when you install iTunes or something – you don’t have to read them because it’s basically just saying “hey, use common sense here and we won’t have a problem.” But unlike with iTunes, where you don’t have to read them because you know exactly what you’re getting into (download and manage music, can’t pirate anything, can’t use their software illegally, can’t hack it, etc – common sense), with car shipping things can be a bit less clear.
One of the most important things that a broker’s terms and conditions include is your shipping contract. It explains more about pickup and delivery times and locations, how vehicles are typically shipped and what you can expect while you are waiting for a carrier. It outlines what your broker’s job is and what the carrier’s job is and their liabilities and limitations, as well as limitations that you have to abide by – for instance, what things you can and cannot put in the vehicle, and what your shipper will be liable for should anything happen to the vehicle during transport and what they will not be liable for – for instance, most companies don’t assume responsibility if some aftermarket accessory falls off your car.
It also covers your cancellation policy – what you can expect if something unexpected happens and you have to cancel your order prematurely. Your shipper’s terms and conditions will cover what you will need to pay (if anything) in terms of cancellation fees, and also when you can cancel your order – some companies allow you to do it any time, but many will have cutoff dates for cancelling, usually around the time your vehicle is picked up – it’s hard to cancel once your vehicle is already en route. Not only that, but their terms and conditions should also cover their refund policies – if you pay your deposit before your vehicle is picked up and then cancel before your vehicle is picked up, you are eligible for a refund of the monies you paid. The terms and conditions will tell you what the waiting period is as well as how you can cancel – some companies only take cancellations over the phone, some only via email, and their terms will tell you more about that.
You should always read the terms and conditions of any company you are thinking of booking with before you book. Luckily, they’re almost always short – the auto transport industry doesn’t have all the legalese that others require, so it shouldn’t take too long. You can also contact a shipper and they can read their terms and conditions to you over the phone, and if you request them they will email them to you as well. But the most important thing is to read them before you book your order. If you read them afterwards, you may find stipulations that are not favorable to what you’re looking for out of your shipper, so keep that in mind.
If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle or need to get some quotes to do so, you should take a minute to fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. When you do, you’ll get multiple free quotes emailed to you from some of the best auto shippers in the industry today, ones that we ensure are fully licensed, bonded and insured and that are top-rated vehicle shippers. You can compare their prices, services and terms from the comfort of your phone or computer – any way you access your email, really – and you can then choose the right shipper for what you’re looking for. You can also contact us toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents any time, especially if you have questions about shipping your vehicle or need some help getting your free quotes.