These days people are using online tools to ship vehicles. Often times you’re moving to another state or buying online from places like eBay. Hiring a company to transport a vehicle from A to B is much easier compared to driving the vehicle yourself. With this, certain questions start to come up. Lets take a look at some of those now.
The Department of Transportation is where the auto transport service provider will need to register. This means that you should be able to see the shipping company ‘DOT’ number. There is also the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website where you can check their Motor Carrier number. For shipping abroad you would want to check out the Federal Maritime Commission. It can be checked here - http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_menu.prc_menu
When first talking to the shipping company ask them what services they offer. It might be that they have restrictions on the type or size of vehicle that they are willing to transport. Also, ask about enclosed or open. Enclosed Trailers keep cars out of the elements, but is more expensive. Open Trailers are the most common mode of transportation.
This is not the same for everyone. Costs may vary depending on the company. It might be good to get quotes from a few companies for comparison and make sure that you understand exactly what’s included. This helps you understand any extra charges that you didn’t know about. Companies in general should be willing to provide you with a free estimate. With every price you might want to ask if the price can be negotiated since you may or may not have more then one vehicle to ship.
Your personal vehicle insurance will probably not cover the transport. Ask the shipping company about their insurance and make sure that you will be covered. It would be good to know at what level your vehicle will be protected while being shipped. See if it is possible to adjust if the insurance does not seem to be enough.
Check with your transport company to find out exactly what papers they will need.
You need to make sure that the car is empty of belongings. Shipping companies are not allowed to have household items in the car during transport. Also, Department of Transport requires keys to be provided to the transporter while being transported. It is recommended that you have a quarter tank of gas so that you can avoid any extra charges for weight.
Shipping will vary depending on the company, how the vehicle is being shipped and distance. There are times when it is difficult to guarantee a delivery date. In general, coast to coast can take 1-2 weeks while shorter distances a few days.
This depends on the shipping company. Some will want the money up front in full. Some will take a deposit and the rest payed when delivered. It will be important to ask about what method is being used and if they prefer check or credit card. It is never a good idea to pay for services, in full, before services are rendered.
The company, upon picking up the car, with conduct an inspection and often times take pictures. You both will agree on the condition of the car. When the car is delivered a similar inspection of the vehicle will be conducted.
At delivery you will want to take pictures of the damage, if any, and inspect the car. This would be a good time to use your smart phone or camera to get those pictures. This should be documented and signed by the driver. With this information you will be able to make a claim through the service provider.
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