What are the worst mistakes you can make when shipping a car?
If you’re planning to ship your car, odds are you’ll get some expert tips about how to prepare your car for auto transport. Your car shipping agent will probably tell you so many things you can do to make your car shipping absolutely successful.
But I bet you’ll hardly hear anyone tell you about things you should never do.
8 Things You should Never Do During Car Shipping
1. Hire The Cheapest Shipper
The budget you set for your car shipping can determine the type of auto transport company you’ll be able to hire.
This is a good reason why you should consider getting at least three car shipping quotes from different auto transport companies. Carefully compare data in these quotes. Don’t make the mistake of settling for the cheapest car shipping company simply because they are cheap.
Extremely high prices does not mean high-quality service and extremely low prices may be an indication of rogue shippers or low quality service. Before signing a deal with any car shipping company, go online, read reviews about their quality of services and what previous customers are saying about them.
Hire the best option you can find based on reviews about the quality of their service delivery, years of experience and appropriate pricing.
2. Hire Without A Background Check
Rogue shippers exist and they are still in business. Before you hire any auto-shipping company, take some time out to conduct a background check. All licensed auto-shippers must be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Visit the DOT’s website and verify if the car shipping company you intend to hire is registered as required.
If you intend to ship your car across state lines, ensure your shipping company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Before hiring any car shipping company, ask for its DOT Number or FMCSA Number or both if applicable. This is one easy way to identify a licensed auto-shipper.
3. Hire a Shipper That Only Makes Verbal Promises
Any car shipping company can make verbal promises and fail to keep such promises since there is little or nothing you can do about that. But when you have promises and claims clearly written in details and signed then, you have a strong evidence if the car shipping company failed to deliver as promised.
You should never hire a car shipping company just because of the verbal promises they make and don’t reach agreement based on word of mouth. Ensure every agreement and promise is written and signed. Don’t forget to keep your own copy in a safe place. You may need it when you least expect.
4. Fill Your Car with Household Items
It is easy to assume that your car should be filled up with personal belongings or items you intend to transport to your new location. Auto-shippers are prohibited by law from shipping vehicles that contain household belongings or items.
However, some car shipping companies can allow up to 100lbs of personal belongings in your vehicle. But the shipper won’t be responsible for these items if they go missing. Also, the auto transport insurance won’t cover any damage that may happen to your car because it contained your personal items. Even more, if your car shipping company is inspected by the DOT during the journey, your items could be seized.
The additional weight your personal belongings will cause may increase your cost. This extra cost may be more than what you ought to pay for if you’re moving these personal items only. Play safe and play smart, empty your car before shipping!
5. Have Insufficient Insurance Coverage
Hiring an auto-shipper doesn’t prevent your car from damages. So many things can happen during car shipping and your car will not be the only vehicle on the truck. It is important to play safe by having the appropriate insurance coverage before shipping your car.
Any auto-shipping company that transports vehicles across state lines is required by law to have the appropriate insurance to cover any damage to the cars they are shipping. Before signing any deal with any company, request for a copy of their insurance certificate.
Ensure you understand the exact coverage available for your car. If you don’t understand any part of the insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Don’t sign any deal until you understand all the details of the insurance. If the insurance is insufficient or you intend to increase it, consider paying a fee with the shipping company to do so.
6. Give Inaccurate Information About Your Car
The weight of your car is crucial for determining its shipping cost. Other things such as the year, manufacturer and model may be considered too. Also, other factors including whether or not the vehicle is running, or whether it can roll, brake or steer could affect the final price.
Make sure the car shipping company you hire is aware of every detail about your car.
If your car is not running or if it has been modified to become bigger or smaller than usual, don’t hesitate to inform the shipper’s representative.
Non-running cars require a winch to be loaded and unloaded and it is important to ensure your shipper has the appropriate tool for handling your car to prevent unnecessary delay.
7. Not Inquire About Cancellation Fee
You may decide to change your plan after signing a contract with a car shipping company. Such a decision often attracts a fee. Before signing any deal with any shipper, inquire about its cancellation fee if it charges any. Find out exactly what the cancellation fee is, how it works and possible ways to avoid them if you decide to cancel your contract.
8. Hire A Shipper That Had Changed Its Name Several Times
Some car shipping companies changed their name just to run away from their bad reputation as a result of public reviews. The internet exposes so many activities and many reviews are done online.
Some shipping companies with several service delivery issues with their customers end up with bad reviews which they try to cover up by changing their business name. To verify the status of a shipper before hiring, request for their MC number and check them out with the FMCSA.
If you’re shipping your car anytime soon, MoverJunction.com can connect you to licensed and BBB rated car shipping companies anywhere in the United States. Also, we provide free auto transport quotes so you can compare prices and pick the best option.