The Easiest Ways to Pay for Auto Transport | American Auto Shipping

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Most of the time, payment is made in two steps: one payment to the broker when you book, and the other to the carrier when they deliver. Brokers can typically take credit or debit cards, but carriers almost always require cash on delivery.

Many companies are now offering electronic payment methods through apps like Zelle! Make sure to speak to both your representative and the carrier's driver to see what methods of payment they accept and which will be best for you.


The Easiest Ways to Pay for Auto Transport Services

Paying for Auto Transport Services

When you ship a car, it’s important to understand how to pay for auto transport services. It’s not just because it’s more involved than for other services, but because it’s usually pretty different from what most people are used to.

Shipping a vehicle is a multi-step process and you may need to pay for auto transport services from two different companies. Both of those companies will have different payment methods available to you, depending on your circumstances.

As such, understanding the auto shipping entities you will be working with and how they take payment will be important. It’ll be really important when it comes to making your shipment easier and smoother as well. So keep reading to learn about how to pay for auto transport services so your shipment is as easy as it can be.

Who all is involved in your auto transport services

When you ship a car, there are two entities that ultimately help you get it moved: brokers, and carriers. Auto transport brokers are the main point of contact and do pretty much everything but physically move the vehicle. Car shipping carriers, on the other hand, pretty much only move vehicles.

This means that you’re almost always going to be dealing primarily with a broker. But what does an auto transport brokerage actually do? Brokerages, like us here at American Auto Shipping, facilitate the shipment of your vehicle and find carriers that can haul it for you. It’s a broker’s job to ensure that the carrier they find to move your vehicle has the right type of trailer for your needs and is traveling on the route you are shipping on.

Brokers are important because carriers don’t advertise to customers. Instead, they search nationwide load boards for vehicles on the route they’re traveling, or they field calls from brokers trying to find spots on trucks for their customers.

This symbiotic relationship works well and, together, brokers and carriers move far more freight than either could do by themselves. However, both entities do an important part of the job, and both need to be paid. How you pay each is going to differ, so keep reading.

How to pay your broker for auto transport services

Of the two entities involved in your auto shipment, brokers are the easier of the two to pay. They’re typically more flexible in the payment options they have available, and the cost is generally much lower than the carrier.  This is because the carriers take most of the payment. For instance, if your shipment is $800, only $200 of it, maybe, will be for the broker. The rest will be owed to the carrier, usually at delivery. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Brokers often have multiple ways to pay for auto transport services. Most will take credit or debit cards just like any other business. This is industry standard for brokerages, so you shouldn’t have any issues paying via credit or debit. However, many brokerages offer alternative forms of payment if you do not have a credit or debit card.

Many will still take checks by phone, which used to be a lot more popular than it is today. Also, with the rise of cash-sending apps such as Zelle and Venmo, many auto transport brokers have options to pay via electronic methods as well.

How you pay for auto transport services depends on what you’re able to do. Credit or debit is often best, followed by Zelle, Cash-App, or Venmo. Check by phone is possible, but not for all brokers. Some will even take cash if you live by their office.

The most important thing is to speak to a representative to learn more about what payment methods are available and which is best for you.

How to pay your carrier for auto transport services

Unlike auto shipping brokers, car transport carriers accept much more limited forms of payment. Typically, they only accept cash on delivery (also known as COD).

Now, many times, cash on delivery means “certified funds on delivery.” This is often interpreted to mean cash, cashier’s check, or money order are acceptable forms of payment for carriers. There are a few reasons as to why they require certified funds at delivery, which we’ll talk about in just a bit.

Carriers will not take checks, either business or personal. We’ve dealt with several that won’t take cashier’s checks either, so cash or money order tend to be the best. However, with the rise of electronic pay services such as Zelle and Cash App, many carriers are jumping on those trains as well. More and more, carriers are able and willing to take payment via Zelle as it is fast, safe, and secure.

Which payment methods your carrier accepts depends on that carrier. Make sure to speak to the driver or the dispatcher once your vehicle is assigned to one to determine the best method of payment available.

Why do carriers only take cash on delivery?

Most auto shipping carriers only accept cash or certified funds at delivery for several reasons. For one, it’s more secure. Checks can bounce, after all, and carriers are never in the same area for very long. This presents two problems when it comes to accepting checks for payment.

The first problem, naturally, is the fact that carriers just won’t be near a bank, so getting the money into the bank can be a problem. Second, checks can bounce, as we mentioned, and if a check from a customer bounces they’re going to have a difficult time recouping that loss. Third, carriers often use the money they are paid to keep their trucks on the road. Operating expenses are severe, especially with fuel prices so high these days. Couple that with the rising cost of food and lodging, and many OTR carriers are having difficulty making ends meet. Throw a bounced check in the mix and they just spent days on the road for absolutely no monetary compensation.

As a result, carriers simply refuse to accept any kind of funds that are not certified. If it has the potential to bounce or be refused, carriers often won’t take it. While you can theoretically cancel Zelle and Cash App payments, the process tends to be more cumbersome; as a result, it’s not as much of an issue. The convenience that Zelle and Cash App-type apps provide, however, often makes up for that as well.

Ship your vehicle today with American Auto Shipping

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle with quality and reputable auto shippers, we can help! Here at American Auto Shipping, we’ve been helping customers move their vehicles for over 20 years. We understand all the ins and outs of the car shipping industry and we know what it takes to move your vehicle on time and on budget.

More importantly, we work with only top-rated auto shippers. We make sure of it; unlike other auto shippers who dispatch loads to any carrier that comes along, we do our due diligence. We make sure they are highly rated and that they provide good services for our clients and that they’ve provided good service for other clients as well. This way, you know you’ll be in good hands from start to finish.

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle, take a minute to get a quote via our online quote request form. If you like the price, you can even book online! Or, you can give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to a representative. They can answer your questions, give you a quote, book your shipment, and much more. So no matter what you need, make sure to give us a call and see what we can do for you.

Dave Armstrong
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