Are you currently searching for reliable car carriers to transport a vehicle long distance? We know that the sheer number of options can be a little overwhelming for many. Noticing the difference between trustworthy transporters and not-so-reputable ones can sometimes be more complicated than one would expect. For that reason, we at Long Distance Moving Experts have decided to put together a quick guide on how to recognize the most important traits of reliable car carriers. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a company to work with.
Registration and Shipping License
All car transport companies, and especially those that operate interstate, are required to have a six-digit MC Docket number assigned to them by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Another required number is a seven-digit USDOT (US Department of Transportation) registration code. Look for these numbers on a car shipping company’s website and make sure you double-check their validity with the Department of Transportation. If a company is not properly registered, it is safe to assume that this is not a trustworthy auto transport operator.
Any reputable car transport company should have a proven track record of satisfied clients. Take a look at the reviews written by their previous customers. These can tell you a lot about how the company operates and how they treat the people who hire them. However, you should also make sure the reviews are genuine – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A foolproof way of finding reliable reviews is by looking at websites other than the company’s. Check if the car carrier you are considering hiring is on Yelp. If so, what is their rating? What is the most common complaint from reviewers? Is it something you are willing to deal with? Focus on reviews that give between two and four stars – these tend to be the most open about their experience.
Bonus tip: if you know anyone who has shipped their vehicle before, ask for their recommendations and suggestions.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a car shipping company for the first time is going for the cheapest option. There are several reasons why you shouldn’t do this:
- Poor service. The rule of thumb with any service industry is: you get what you pay for. This is true for car carriers as well. If you are planning on paying exponentially less than what other companies asked for, expect an exponentially poorer service.
- Hidden costs. An even worse scenario than getting a poor service is being charged additionally once the company you’ve chosen has your vehicle. Unreliable carriers will often hold your car at an undisclosed location until you cover the cost of unexpected made-up expenses. In other words, you will end up paying way more than you initially thought and losing sleep over it.
- Unprofessionalism. This one goes hand-in-hand with poor service. Sometimes, a company will refuse to hire actual experts (and pay them more). Instead, they will give the job to anyone willing to work and pay them peanuts. This can result in unintentional damage to your precious vehicle due to a lack of skill.
Just like a significantly lower price than the average is a red flag, so is a price that is well above average. There is no reason to overpay for car transport if you will end up receiving the same level of service as with an average-priced transportation company.
Avoid Hiring Brokers
This part is a little tricky. When hiring a car shipping company, you want to make sure that the people being hired are actual carriers and not brokers. Brokers are companies that only arrange for your vehicle to be transported. In other words, they pose as auto carriers, and once you contact them, they will find the cheapest available transporter to do the job for them and pay them a fraction of the price you are being charged.
There are two reasons to avoid them. The first is that people who hire brokers can end up paying more than they really should for the service. The second reason is that there is no way of actually knowing who is handling and transporting your vehicle.
There are several tips and tricks that can help you figure out if an auto shipping company is, in fact, just a broker. For instance, if the brand name on the truck that arrives to pick up your vehicle is different than that of the company you communicated with, you can be sure you’re dealing with brokers. It is up to you to decide whether you want to continue with the transaction or not. It is also important to note that both carriers and brokers require an MC Docket number, which means that you can’t use it as a way of discerning between the two.
Pleasant Customer Service
As with any other service industry, the thing that helps good companies stand out the most is customer service. A trustworthy, reputable car shipping company will put a lot of emphasis on making their clients feel comfortable working with them. They will not hesitate to answer any questions, provide you with any information you might need, and in general be at your disposal throughout the transport process. Make sure to call a company you are considering for the job to get a feel of how they treat their clients.
Are you still looking for a reliable car carrier to ship your vehicle cross country? Then we have some good news! You can stop searching! Long Distance Moving Experts is a reputable car shipping company with lots of experience in the business. We are fully licensed for both auto transport and relocation services, and we have a long list of past clients to confirm our professionalism. Check out our reviews and see for yourself what makes us the best choice. Give us a call – we will provide you with a reliable free auto shipping estimate so that you can start planning your budget. We are looking forward to hearing from you!