Shipping your car has very little risk associated with it—but it can cause a lot of anxiety, and for a good reason. It’s hard to trust strangers with one of your most important assets. That’s why you want to choose a vehicle shipping service you can trust. To help you do that, here is a guide on how to choose a car shipping company.
Search for Your Options
The first thing you need to do to find a good shipping company is to search for every company you can find. You want plenty of options so you can narrow down your results to get the best one for you. Keep in mind that you can search for companies that are not local, as well, since plenty of vehicle shipping services work across state borders.
Narrow It Down
Once you have a large selection of potential companies, you need to reduce it down to the companies that can actually help you. Look at what cars they can carry or where their work area is. This is what will narrow down a lot of your options.
Check Their Qualifications
Once you have narrowed it down to just a few good companies, start looking at their qualifications. Make sure that the company you’re inspecting has all the correct licensing. Check their FMSCA safety record, too. That way, you know the company is worth considering further.
Look At Reviews
Reviews are one of the most important tools that customers have to protect themselves. Bad or good reviews will tell you more about a company or service than the company itself. That is why you need to check these reviews, as other people’s experience with the company will tell you if it is good or not. A bad review or two does not mean a lot, but if you see a lot of bad reviews touching on a variety of services, then you should avoid that company and find a different one.
Contact the Companies
At a certain point, there is only so much you can learn about a company from its online presence. Once you’ve narrowed the list of possible shipping services down, the next step is contacting them one by one. Look for any information on the actual shipping process and how they run things.
Learn Their Process
There is a standard process to the shipping service where you drop off your car with a person who works for the company. They would then check the car with you, and after that, you leave it in their hands. However, many companies do this process in their own way, using certain lots and rules. Make sure you understand these differences and find the one that matches your needs.
Look At Additional Services
Many companies try to differentiate themselves by offering a variety of different services that improves the shipping process in some way. Enclosed shipping is a good example of a service that offers more protection to the cars while they’re in transit. Some services also offer door-to-door shipping, which picks up a car and drops it off wherever the client wants. Choose a company that offers services that are convenient for you.
Check Their Safety Measures
The last thing that you want to check before you narrow down the selection is the safety features and policies that the shipping company offers. The company you choose will place your vehicle under insurance as it ships, but each plan is a bit different. Also, the equipment and safety precautions of the transport can change depending on the company. Check to make sure you are getting one that protects your vehicle the way you want.
Get Quotes and Compare
During your contact with the companies, you’ll want to get quotes on the price of your shipment. This will let you compare the prices of all the other shipping services that you talk to and give you valuable information. Keep in mind that this price is not exact and will change in accordance with the actual shipping costs. However, they are reasonably accurate, and you can trust them to make a decision.
Decide What Is Important To You
The final thing to do to pick the company that will best fit you is to prioritize your needs. Knowing exactly what is important for you is the biggest deciding factor in these last steps. Some people are very worried about their cars during transport, so an enclosed service is important to them, but others aren’t worried about it. At the end of the day, you’re looking for a company that offers the type of service you want that also fits your budget.
Contact the Company You Choose
Once you have made your final decision, it’s time that you contact your chosen shipping service and set up an appointment. Try to be as specific as possible with this call, as it will make the whole process smoother. It is best to call at least a few weeks ahead, but some places do have same-day services if you need them. Generally, those same-day services do not offer additional features that you may be looking for.
Plan for the Shipping
Once you have the shipping service set up, it’s time to prepare your vehicle for shipment. Some companies will require that your car be empty when you ship it, as shipping it with items will increase the overall transfer cost. You should clean your vehicle of any dirt or grime as well. This will make it much easier to document your vehicle both before and after the transport. You should also do any paperwork the company requires before the vehicle drop-off, as it will save a lot of time.
Following this guide on how to choose a car shipping company should help you find the right service for you. A final piece of advice: don’t just use whatever sounds the best on paper or at a glance. Make an effort to really look around and find options you can compare between. That’s the best way to find the right service for you.