Direct Express Auto Transport: Tips to Consider in 2021

Are you involved in a cross-country move? Or, perhaps you’ve purchased an out-of-state car at auction? If so, you may be weighing options when it comes to automobile transportation services.

After all, who wants to rack up thousands of new miles on their engine? Especially in an untested vehicle (if you fall into the auction category).

Let’s face it. Moving a 4,000-pound automobile to a new location can be daunting.

What to do? Keep reading for tips on arranging a successful direct express auto transport.

Do Your Research

When it comes to your direct express auto transport options, start by researching companies carefully. Visit their websites to see if they look professional and reputable.

Explore company testimonials and online reviews, too. Make sure you visit a variety of sites to learn more about each company. These should include Google and Yelp.

Besides popular online review spaces, explore more traditional ways of checking out a company’s reputation.

For example, search the Better Business Bureau‘s website for information about potential companies. Just make sure you know the location where the company’s based for the most accurate reporting.

Another great option available to consumers is the Consumer Affairs website. It contains detailed information on a variety of companies to help you make smarter decisions about who to work with.

If you’re not a fan of what you find, it’s time to look for another company. Remember that no matter how cheap a direct express auto transport company quote might be, if the company proves unreliable or damages your vehicle, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Here are some more tips to help you find a quality auto shipping company.

Prepare a List of Questions to Ask

Once you’ve got a list of reputable companies that you’ve checked out online, reach out to each one. The speed and professionalism of their reply (or lack thereof), will provide an instant snapshot of what the company is like to work with.

When you get a response from a company, be armed and ready with a list of questions. That way, you’ll make the most of your conversation, whether over the phone or via email.

Which types of questions should you ask? Start with fundamental ones about the quote that they give you and what it includes.

Is the quoted direct express auto transport cost final or subject to change? Do car shipping rates include all fees and insurance-related expenses? How much does expedited auto transport cost?

Remember that the auto-shipping business is mostly unregulated. So, don’t shop on price alone, or you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.

As with everything else in life, you pay for what you get. That means the companies with the cheapest quotes likely suffer from less customer-centric insurance policies. They may also rely on less-experienced drivers as well as less-versatile equipment.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Warning Signs

When it comes to finding a great company to move a vehicle, research is a critical part of vetting prospects. You’ll also want to keep your eye out for red flags.

For example, if the company you’re doing business with can’t answer your questions, keep shopping. Each communication you have with a company indicates how they’ll continue to treat you in the future. Look for transparency and reliability.

Do you feel left out of the loop regarding what’s happening with your vehicle? That means you’re working with the wrong organization. Cars are often the second most expensive item that individuals own after their houses.

So, the company that transports your vehicle owes it to you to keep the lines of communication open.

Beware of Auto Transport Brokers

Most consumers have never heard of auto transport brokers. It’s essential that you know who they are and how to avoid them, though.

Auto transport brokers are companies that bid your car shipment to a group of other shipping companies. What’s the problem with using them? For one, you’ll never know which car carrier and driver they use to ship your vehicle.

What’s more, to keep costs low, they rely on inexperienced drivers who lack transport and customer service skills. They often rely on outdated equipment, too. For example, they may use ramps instead of hydraulic lifts, which can translate into damage for low clearance cars.

They may lack car covers, floor mats, and oil drip pans meant to prevent vehicle damage in transit.

Understand How Payment Works

Before committing to anything, you need to know what you’ll pay and when. You’ll also need to know your options when it comes to how to make that payment.

Most automobile transportation companies accept payment upon delivery. You can generally make this payment via cash, a cashier’s check, a postal money order, or a credit card. Commonly accepted cards include MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

That said, not all companies accept the same forms of payment. Instead of wrongly assuming something, double check with them ahead of your delivery window.

What’s more, you should never pay a deposit. Most reputable and exclusive car companies would never ask for one, so if you get this demand, start shopping around for another company.

Prepare Your Automobile

Before you deliver your car for pick-up, there are a few things you need to do to prepare it for transportation. For starters, ensure that your vehicle is in good working order. (Transport prices are different for non-operating vehicles).

You should also leave only a quarter of a tank of gas in the car. This recommendation is the safest option for transport. Also, make sure to top off all fluids.

Remove all personal items from your car to avoid the potential for theft. Also, make sure the exterior and interior are clean. That way, you can assess any wear and tear before transportation.

Scrutinize your vehicle, looking for scratches, dings, and dents. When you find them, take photos to document the extent of each flaw. You should also keep dated notes. That way, if something goes amiss, you have evidence to file a claim.

Remember that your vehicle should get inspected at pick-up and delivery. So, come prepared. If you find a problem when your car arrives, report it immediately. Be sure to provide corroborating evidence collected during your initial and post inspections.

Understand How Pick-Up and Delivery Work

Many people assume that door-to-door car transportation involves pick-up from the front door of one property and delivery to the front door of another. In many cases, though, other rendezvous points may be utilized. Don’t let this throw you for a loop.

These rendezvous points might involve a commercial space, parking lot near your house, or a prominent building where your car can be unloaded and turned over to you. So, plan to be on-site when your automobile gets delivered.

You should also know that the driver picking up and delivering your automobile would prefer to have you on-site for pick-up and delivery. If this isn’t possible, designate someone to stand in your place during pick-up.

As for delivery? You want to be there.

That way, you can inspect your automobile and sign off on its condition. Again, remember to take notes and snap photos to document any discrepancies in condition that you notice.

Book in Advance

For the best deals, book as early as possible. This tip proves especially essential during the peak summer season. Remember, too, that some timeframes can’t be changed. For example, coast-to-coast auto shipping generally requires between seven and ten days to complete.

As for a move halfway across the country? Give the auto transportation company that you work with between five and seven days to make it happen.

Are you in a pinch and need an expedited car shipping service? These shipping timeframes are well above the national average.

Don’t Neglect Insurance

You may be thinking, “But doesn’t a reputable shipping company carry insurance on the vehicles that it moves?” Yes, of course, they do.

Here’s the deal, though. Insurance provided by many carriers is very basic. Should an unforeseeable tragedy occur, you’ll receive no more than the vehicle’s Kelley Blue Book value.

That can be a real shock, particularly if your vehicle has many after-market parts or is a one-of-a-kind vintage upgrade.

What to do? Start by asking the company you’re considering for a copy of their carrier’s insurance. You may even be able to access this information on their website.

Go over this document with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure you identify what level of coverage your vehicle will have while getting shipped.

If it’s not enough, you need to increase the coverage via your own auto insurance policy. Beef up the coverage for unforeseen events such as a collision or a theft.

There’s no better way to protect your vehicle while providing instant peace of mind. So, don’t skimp on this all-important step.

Direct Express Auto Transport

When it comes to choosing the best company for your direct express auto transport needs, you’ve got to consider a variety of factors besides price. After all, not all companies are created equal.

Are you looking for a reliable direct express transport company with reasonable shipping rates and full insurance coverage on the vehicles they ship? If so, get an anonymous quote today.