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Four Common Auto Transportation Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

Common Auto Transportation Problems

Any industry that moves goods from one location to another will invariably experience issues at one point or another. Let’s face it – there’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to logistics, and sometimes things don’t go smoothly. The same goes for auto transport. Auto transportation problems crop up occasionally, and for a whole host of different reasons. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what you can do to avoid them if you can.

Below is a list of four of the most common auto transportation problems that customers tend to cause. We’re not saying that customers are always the reason for the issues – not at all! But, as a customer, you should do what you can to minimize the problems before they arise. That way, you know that you have done all you can to prevent them. Just like with anything else, the better informed you are, the better you can prepare, and the better you prep, the better your experience will be. Not only can this make for cheaper car shipping services, but you’ll also save time and hassles.

Booking your auto transport last-minute

Sometimes, having to book a shipment last-minute is unavoidable. You had a death in the family, and you’re trying to get the estate wrapped up, for instance. Or your brother-in-law dropped his car in your lap because he’s moving and can’t take it with him. There’s a lot of different reasons to book a shipment last-minute, but that can cause issues, especially if your shipment is time-sensitive.

It can take anywhere from a day to a week to schedule a carrier to pick your vehicle up. This time-frame is known as a dispatch window and is a pretty standard part of the car transport industry. Most every company that you talk to will tell you the same thing: it will take time to find a carrier for you. So, if time is a critical factor, it can be a problem because they may not be able to find a carrier in the time you need.

That’s certainly not the company’s fault – that’s how the industry is. We’re not saying that same-day or next-day pickup is uncommon. In fact, on the most popular routes, finding a carrier quickly can be easy. But for less-popular routes or shipments to rural areas, booking your shipment last-minute usually ends up with you waiting longer than anticipated.

Less-popular routes have fewer carriers driving along them, which means availability is lower. On more popular runs, availability tends to be higher because of the high volume of carriers. A vehicle from New York to Miami will move more quickly than one from Texas to North Dakota. Of course, this assumes that both are paying the going rate.

All that said, we offer different levels of service, depending on how quickly you need your vehicle picked up. For more information on priority or expedited services, give us a call and speak to a representative.

Misrepresenting your vehicle

Vehicle misrepresentation is one of the most common auto transportation problems we face on a day-to-day basis. Most of the time, the mistake is an honest one – the customer didn’t realize that the pickup truck is a dually, for instance. Or that the car they’re looking to ship has a dead battery and they didn’t know. Many times, misrepresentation comes from a misunderstanding or a wrong assumption as opposed to willful intent.

But that doesn’t mean that people don’t try to pull the wool over our eyes. And that can be a real problem because the second-most important factor in your shipment tends to be what you’re shipping.

Auto transport carriers only have so much space on their trucks. Because of this, they have to be careful when they build their loads. If a truck has room for eight standard vehicles, they can fit eight standard cars. So if you book a shipment for a Ford Focus, but it’s really an SUV or minivan, the carrier will not be able to load it.

The scenario above isn’t widespread – we don’t have many customers outright lying about what kind of vehicle they are transporting. It’s much more common for customers to say that their car is fully operational when they know it is not. This is a common issue, and a lot of people don’t realize that it even is an issue.

But why is it an issue at all? The reason why is because carriers drive the vehicles they ship onto and off their truck. But, if something they are trying to load won’t start, they can’t do that. Instead, the driver will need t winch will need to have a winch for loading and unloading. Misrepresenting your vehicle can result in it being unable to be loaded. In turn, you may have to pay a dry run fee for wasting the carrier’s time.

Not making yourself (or your vehicle) available

Availability is a crucial component in avoiding common auto transportation problems. Whether we’re talking about the availability of your car, or yourself, it’s essential to make both available when you book your order.

What does this mean, exactly? For starters, it means that you should know the dates that you will be available for pickup and delivery. More importantly, it means that you need to be handy to have your vehicle picked up or delivered within those dates. The very same thing goes for your car. If you know your vehicle will not be ready for several days, don’t put your first available date down as today.

Availability is critical because it gives us a window to find a carrier for you. Any time within that window is when both you and your vehicle need to be available. You need to make sure you can get time off work to meet the carrier, for instance, or that you won’t be otherwise preoccupied.

Note that every carrier will call you as soon as they can to arrange a pickup time and location. When we dispatch your vehicle, we will call you to inform you of it as well as the estimated pickup and delivery dates. Once we schedule you for pickup, please be ready to release the vehicle to the carrier when they arrive.

Another common issue is when people buy cars online and need them shipped, only for us to find out they haven’t even paid for the vehicle. If you haven’t yet paid for a car you purchased online, you need to do that before you book your order and tell us that you are available.

Not having the vehicle ready

When shipping a car, you must have it ready to load at the time it is scheduled to be loaded. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often vehicles aren’t ready, and carriers have to wait to get it on their truck.

Sometimes it’s not that big of a deal, but more often than not, it can be a real problem. And there are a lot of different reasons why the vehicle may not be ready. Items in the car, the car not being paid for, misrepresenting the vehicle – all of these might result in the car not being ready for pickup.

This ties into the whole “misrepresenting your vehicle” problem – which is one of the most common auto transportation problems we encounter. The second biggest is the customer not having their vehicle ready to ship.

When you book your order and give us your available dates, you must honor those dates. We do our best to find a carrier within the time frame you provide, and 90% of the time, we get it dispatched on time. It’s up to you to ensure that you are also ready to go.

No matter what, American Auto Shipping can get it done

Whether you’re shipping an old car, a new car, a broken car, or something else, we can help you get it done. All you need to do is fill out our online quote request form or give us a call and speak to a representative. Our reps are auto shipping experts who understand how to avoid these common auto transportation problems. They can help you get your vehicle ready to go and make sure that there are no issues – so long as you do your part.

So give us a call or fill out our online quote form and see what American Auto Shipping can do for you. We offer competitive auto transport rates and services, including multiple levels of service such as priority and expedited. No matter what kind of vehicle you are shipping or when you need it moved, we can get it done.

Dave Armstrong
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