How to Avoid Issues With Your Auto Transport Carrier
When you ship a car, it’s important that you understand how the process works and how it’s actually moved. From the broker to the auto transport carrier, you need to know who you’re dealing with, what they do, and how they fit into your shipment.
We talk a lot about that here in this blog, mostly because we believe in it so much. If you understand what to expect from start to finish, you’ll have a far better experience than someone who doesn’t.
One of the biggest reasons why understanding is important is that it leads to solutions to problems before they become problems. We’re all about solving problems before they become problems. So here are some quality tips to avoid issues with your auto transport carrier before they become issues.
Coordinate with your auto transport carrier
Perhaps the most important aspect is simply working with your auto transport carrier. They do this for a living, after all, so they know all the tips and tricks to make sure your vehicle arrives in pristine condition. But what do we mean when we say “coordinate?”
For starters, when your vehicle is dispatched, it means that it’s assigned to a carrier. We will send you the approximate pickup and delivery dates, as well as your driver’s name and their telephone number. This allows you to plan accordingly around those dates, and also allows you to contact your driver.
Being in contact with your driver is important. As they are traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to transport your vehicle, they’ll need to keep you apprised of what’s going on, where they are, and other important information like that. Being in contact with your driver and coordinating with them makes the entire experience faster and easier for everyone.
Obviously, everyone has their own schedule that they have to stick to. We understand that. But carriers have their schedules too, and theirs are often tightly packed with pickups and deliveries. They need to be in order for them to continue making money and keeping their truck fueled and on the road. By coordinating with your car transport carrier, you save them time and money, you save yourself time and money, and everyone ends up happier.
Have the car clean and ready to go
A very important aspect of shipping a vehicle that many people overlook is to actually have the vehicle clean and ready to go. We don’t mean the exterior – in fact, having a bit of dirt on your vehicle can help to protect from minor scratches during transit.
No, we’re talking about the interior of the vehicle, or the cab. This part needs to be devoid of any personal items, including minor things like cup ashtrays or spare change.
There are a few reasons for this, first and foremost being that auto transport carriers aren’t licensed to carry household items. Anything that is not a part of the vehicle itself is considered to be a household item. Now, the vast, vast majority of carriers won’t care if your vehicle is a bit messy inside – that’s just fine.
The issue comes when you pack the vehicle full of actual personal items like clothes and boxes. You’d be surprised at how big an issue this is! Many people believe that, since a vehicle is big and heavy, a few books or boxes won’t be an issue.
Except it is an issue.
Auto shippers have strict weight limits that they have to adhere to, and between the weight of their truck and the other vehicles on it, they get pretty close to that max weight limit before even factoring in items in the vehicles. If they are overweight, they have to avoid weigh stations, which costs more time and fuel, which costs more money.
If you absolutely have to have items in your vehicle, you need to make sure you notify your representative ahead of time so we can tell the carriers. This avoids issues with weight problems and allows us to ensure your shipment goes smoothly from start to finish.
Make yourself available
Perhaps the most important thing you can do, however, is simply to make yourself available. This is a crucial part of the shipping process that can save you a lot of time and money and headache in the long run.
We understand that people have busy schedules. Work, family time, chores, errands, there are a lot of things that people have to do on a daily basis. This is true even during a global pandemic. So it’s not surprising that busy schedules can and do lead to scheduling conflicts.
However, scheduling conflicts are problems for your carrier and for your transport specialist here at American Auto Shipping. You need to make sure that, once your vehicle is assigned to a carrier and a pickup window is given, you’re ready to answer your phone. Your driver will call or text to coordinate your pick up time and date. If your pickup location is in an area that their truck can’t fit in, you’ll need to coordinate to find a suitable location to load your vehicle.
Auto transport is not like ordering a pizza. You don’t get to place an order and everything is magically done without any help from you. You need to be willing and able to work with your carrier when it comes to pickup and delivery, and it starts with making yourself available.
Ask questions and get answers before issues arise
If you have questions about your shipment, ask them! We understand that not everyone knows how the car shipping industry works. That’s okay! There are plenty of things that people don’t know simply because it’s not their job to know them. But it’s our job to know how the auto shipping industry works and how to help you ship your vehicle without issue.
Too many times we try to help customers only for them to be their own worst enemies when it comes to transporting their vehicle. And it usually doesn’t come from a place of malice, but rather a simple misunderstanding. They don’t know how things work, but instead of finding out and being reasonable, they act like they did know and then get mad at us when we tell them otherwise.
That’s not how things work in the real world, and you can save a lot of time and headache by just asking the questions you need to ask. Can’t be there for pickup? Ask if there’s something else you can do. Need to know how long it’ll take? Ask!
It doesn’t matter what the question is, we’re here to help you get them answered. So ask away!
Understand payment terms and what you need to pay when
This is something that a lot of people seem to not get, and that’s how payment works. We’ve talked about how paying for your auto shipping service works before, but we’ll give a little refresher in case you missed it.
When you book your shipment with us, we charge a small down payment upfront that is a percentage of your total cost. It’s usually about 20%, but fluctuates based on market conditions on the road. So, for an order with a total cost of $1,000, you’ll pay a $200 down payment when you book your shipment. The down payment is most often paid with a credit card, but we do take alternative forms of payment as well.
The remaining balance – in this example, the rest of the $1,000 that hasn’t been paid yet – goes to your carrier. It is almost always paid at delivery, though exceptions can be made. Please note that payment is almost always due via cash or money order. Some carriers also take digital payments such as Zelle or Cash App. Carriers need cash in hand when they deliver vehicles as they don’t know when they’ll be able to get to a financial institution to deposit a check…and even then, checks can bounce, which is problematic.
So, to recap. You book your shipment with us at $1,000 in total. You pay us $200 upfront (give or take) and then pay $800 to the carrier at delivery.
All of those numbers will of course change when you book an actual shipment with us. However, the payment terms will almost always be the same. Certain exceptions, such as full payment upfront or payment at pickup instead of delivery, are available under special circumstances. Be sure to speak with an agent to learn more.
Book today with American Auto Shipping!
As we said, we know how the industry works and what to do to make sure it’s a success. But the same needs to go for you. You need to ask questions for things you’re unsure of and take responsibility for your understanding of how the process works.
You can always start by getting a free quote online straight from us. Just fill out our free online load request form and your price will show up instantly! You can also contact us at our toll-free number any time to speak to an agent, who can answer questions, give advice, book a shipment, and help you get started on your auto transport journey.