Auto Transport Red Flags
Shipping a vehicle can be a daunting task, made all the less pleasant by the fact that, at the end of the day, you’re paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars to some company hundreds if not thousands of miles away to transport something that you’ve probably poured thousands of dollars into so far, and likely will pour thousands more into before you get rid of it. Who wants to entrust something so expensive to a company they’ve never heard of? Of course, at the end of the day if you have to ship a car you have to ship a car, and the best the way to do that is via an auto transport company. The internet has brought the industry a long way from what it was, but it’s still not perfect – read on to learn more about auto transport red flags you should keep an eye out for.
One of the biggest red flags is when you can pay for your shipment – most all companies today won’t charge you a dime until your vehicle has either been scheduled for pickup or has already been loaded onto the truck. If a company tells you that they can take the entire payment right up front at booking, you should take what they say with a grain of salt. While pre-paying for auto transportation services can be a good idea, especially if you’re often difficult to get a hold of or if your financial situation doesn’t allow you many options, for the most part they’re just a hassle as they force you to pay the entire balance when you book your order and takes control of your payment away from you. Pre-paid orders are also not popular among carriers, as they don’t get their money until days or weeks after the vehicle is delivered and they run the risk of getting screwed by the broker if they decide not to pay their trucks. It’s happened before.
Another big red flag is longevity, or lack thereof. While new companies are constantly being created, the best shippers in the industry are the ones that have been at it for years and years. The auto transport industry is one with high turnaround due to its competitive and cyclical nature, with the summer months usually seeing the highest influx of new companies. New companies are great – they keep the older guys on their toes and make it better for everyone, but sometimes they just don’t know enough about the industry to make their business model work. For companies, a lot of trial and error went into getting their prices and services adjusted so as to make enough money without costing too much while at the same time providing good services for customers and maintaining good relationships with the carriers that haul their loads. New companies haven’t built those connections yet, and it could end up costing you more time and money in the long run.
The internet has done a lot to shape the way the auto transport industry works and operates, as well as how it has seen. It’s easier than ever to find the reputation and legitimacy of a vehicle shipper; you literally have the answers right at your nearest web browser. There are entire websites dedicated to reviews of auto transport brokers and carriers – the biggest of them being Transport Reviews, which we’ve discussed before on this blog. Real customer reviews of auto transport companies are fantastic, and obviously if a company has a lot of bad reviews from other customers, that should be a red flag. But they’ve also helped clean up the industry; now, instead of transporters under-cutting each other and doing increasingly-sketchy things to make money, their reputation is everything – no reputation, no business, at least not today. And this has made all the difference.
If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle and you need some quotes to get you started, make sure to take a minute and fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. It’s completely free and nets you multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies in your email inbox; from there you can compare prices and services and find the right shipper for your needs. The quotes are free and come to you from some of the best and highest-rated companies in the industry, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be in good hands no matter which company you decide to book with. You can also speak to one of our live agents by giving us a call at 800-930-7417.