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Question & Answer

How can I locate auto transport companies?
Relocation.com matches individuals with industry professionals who provide superior service. If looking for a vehicle transport company, simply submit a request for a quote on our site.

Other options include browsing through advertisements in local newspapers, phone books or the Internet. You can also utilize your friends, colleagues or moving company to obtain references on various auto shipping companies. Firsthand experience is the best way to find a reputable auto transporter.

If you incur any difficulty locating an auto shipper nearby, inquire about local terminals or carriers where you can drop off or pick up your vehicle. These terminals are most likely associated with a company located elsewhere.

What should I look for when selecting an auto transport company?
Selecting an auto transport company you can trust with your vehicle is no easy task. Before making your decision, it is necessary to inquire whether the company is licensed and bonded. This will help you determine if they are regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which was terminated in 1995, transferred its safety guidelines over to the Department of Transportation. This assisted in elevating the status of the DOT in the world of transportation. You can refer to the DOT and Better Business Bureau to determine whether your auto transport company meets the regulations for secure transporting or if any complaints have been made against them.

How much will it cost to ship my vehicle?
There are a few steps you should take before settling on a transport company, such as comparing costs and quality of service. In order to receive price quotes you will be asked several questions, like:
  • Do you need your vehicle delivered by a specific date?

  • How many vehicles will you be transporting?

  • How far will you be traveling?

  • How large is the vehicle you will be transporting?

  • Do you want door-to-door service or will you be dropping off and collecting yourcar at the terminal?

These questions are necessary in order to give you a more approximate estimate. This is because additional fees are applied for oversize vehicles or for immediate pick up.

What is an oversize fee?
An oversize fee is an additional fee for vehicles larger than the average size. Cars in this category generally include SUVs, vans or pickup trucks. This fee is applied because these vehicles take up more space on the carrier. Consult with your car transport company about whether this charge applies to you prior to signing the contract.

How far in advance should I schedule my pick-up?
Make arrangements at least two weeks in advance, especially if you will be traveling a long distance. The earlier you schedule your pick up, the better your chances of having your vehicle picked up on the date you request. Many companies will also have an immediate pick up option available at an additional fee. An important point to keep in mind is that pick up and delivery dates are not guaranteed so plan appropriately.

Where will my car be picked up and delivered?
Generally, there are two types of services you can request:
  • Door to Door: This particular service includes a home pick up and delivery. Although it is the most convenient option, you will be paying extra for this service. However, you may be asked to meet the carrier at a nearby location if the carrier is too wide to enter your neighborhood.

  • Terminal Service: With this service you are required to drop off and pick up your vehicle at an auto transport terminal. This may be inconvenient for you if you only have one vehicle because you may have to travel a long distance to get to the nearest terminal.

How long does it take to ship a vehicle?
There is really no way to determine exactly how long it will take to pick up or ship a vehicle. If you do not choose the guaranteed pick up service, you will be given an estimated pick up date. However, the time frame can range from 1-5 days depending on weather conditions and where you are located. As it gets closer to your move date, you will receive a specific date and time for pick-up and delivery. These details are important to record so that you can schedule properly. It is important to remember that your car is being transported along with other people's vehicles. This means that your car may be the first to be picked up, but the last to be delivered. If you are worried about scheduling, speak with your auto transport company for information on their previous pick ups and deliveries.

Can I leave items in my vehicle while it is being transported?
Unfortunately, you cannot. Auto transporters are restricted by law to transport vehicles with belongings because they do not have a household goods transportation license. If caught transporting goods they could face a very high fine and possibly prison time. In addition, in the event that an accident occurs and goods are damaged in transit they will not be covered by insurance.

What kind of truck will my car be transported on?
In most instances your vehicle will be transported on an 8 or 10 car hauler. These are the same trucks that deliver new vehicles to car dealerships. They are 80 ft long and almost 14 ft high and are therefore difficult to maneuver. Because of their size, these transporting vehicles are also restricted to main roads and are not permitted in residential neighborhoods. This is why your car transporters may be unable to drive directly to your door.

What is the difference between an open and enclosed carrier?
The definition of each can easily be determined by the name. An open carrier is an open truck which is able to carry 14 vehicles at once. Cars transported on open carriers are exposed to weather conditions as well as natural occurrences. If you do not want your vehicle to travel in these conditions you should most likely option for an enclosed carrier where your car will safely be carried on an enclosed truck. Although this choice is more expensive, your vehicle will be protected against hazardous weather conditions. It is suggested to option for an enclosed carrier if you can afford it, especially if you own an antique or custom made vehicle.

Is my car insured while in transit?
It is necessary to do a background check on your specific vehicle transport company to ensure that your goods will be fully insured. All reputable transport companies will offer coverage and have a Certificate of Insurance available.

You may make the decision to receive additional insurance if you want supplemental coverage for scratches, dents or damage to personal items left in the vehicle. Because personal items are not permitted in a vehicle which is being transported, you cannot receive coverage for these goods while in transit. This is in fact a law and your transport company is not responsible for any belongings left in the trunk or compartments.

You should also inquire with your auto carrier if he or she is planning to use an agent to transport your vehicle. Your own auto insurance provider or home insurance policy may also offer additional coverage for your vehicle or items left inside. It is recommended that you investigate your options prior to the move.

What forms of payment are accepted and when do I pay?
Before you can finalize the contract, you will be asked to put down a deposit. The remainder of the balance will usually be due upon delivery of your vehicle to the specified location. You can pay with a credit card, cashier check or money order. However, you should ask your auto transport company about what methods of payment they prefer.

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