Whether importing or exporting, hiring the right auto transport company will ensure your auto shipping service runs smoothly and professionally at every step. It is also essential to employ security measures to avoid scammers. While precautions may seem tedious, they are necessary to ensure the car reaches its destination safely. This guide offers four tips to avoid falling prey to car shipping scammers.
Hire a Reliable Car Shipping Company
Performing due diligence on an auto transport company before hiring one ensures you deal with legitimate professionals. Confirm that the broker performs a background check before entrusting your auto transport to third-party drivers. If you go through a broker, ensure they vet their carriers and have good track records. Enquire about transit safety equipment such as car ramps since your car can get damaged when handled with substandard equipment.
Positive online reviews show that the company is highly likely to provide you with quality services. While a carrier company employs regular drivers, brokers usually go through an intermediary.
Avoid Cheap Quotes
When looking for a car carrier, you’ll probably fill in your details online into an aggregator where many people can access it. Dealers will then call you, offering different prices for the job. Take any cheap quotes with a grain of salt; they are undoubtedly questionable as they may not even cover overhead costs. The catch is that the dealers want to lock you down, get your interest and have you pay a deposit, yet they won’t deliver. Their goal is to rob you of your hard-earned money. To avoid this worst-case scenario, research standard market prices and only choose companies that offer a quotation within this range.
Licensing and Insurance
Your vehicle’s safety during transit is a primary concern. As such, it’s vital only to hire a legally-operating company. Ask to see a copy of the shipping company license. Check their Department of Transportation (DOT) number online to ensure that the company complies with car transport laws and regulations.
Auto brokers don’t have cargo coverage to protect your car from damage, and all fall on the specific carrier’s policy. Check that the carrier vehicle has liability transport insurance to cover car damages during transit. Remove any custom products and valuables from the vehicle as a safety measure. Ask the company to provide you with a copy of the carrier’s information so you can monitor the shipment. Also, online resources are available to track your car’s actual time position while it’s in transit.
The best way to avoid scammers is to ensure you don’t pay all the car shipment costs upfront. If a shipper asks for money to set up a car dispatch, that is a red flag. You see, the carriers already have your car as collateral. However, asking for a percentage of the money once the vehicle is in transit is the norm for auto transport companies.
Change is inevitable, and one may reconsider a car shipment, therefore enquire about cancellation fees. Even though car deliveries are often unavoidable due to poor weather, unscrupulous carriers may end up with avoidable delays, such as moving your vehicle multiple times and then having other carriers deliver it. Conceivably, these shippers may ask for more money. That is why you shouldn’t accept verbal agreements; instead, ask for a valid contract as it’s legally enforceable.
Choosing a reliable auto transporter involves confirmation that the carriers are licensed and insured and equipped with standard car transit and safety equipment. Ask for the shipper’s contact information such that you can track their progress. To avoid scammers, only go with companies that offer standard rates but don’t pay all costs upfront.