Why the Lowest Quote Isn’t Always the Best Option When Shipping a Car

October 21, 2020

Everybody likes a smoking deal. No wonder 76 percent of consumers report price comparison shopping as a staple of their spending habits. And 61 percent of consumers see discounts and coupons as incentives to make a buying decision.

Seeking out deals is not only a part of human nature, but it can help you stay within your budget. That said, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for affordability, whether we’re talking clothing, electronics, or services like shipping a car.

Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to car shipping. Keep reading for tips on how to find the best auto shipping companies.

Cheaper Versus Better

While price comparison shopping is a natural starting point for finding a fantastic auto carrier to work with, don’t stop there. If you make the “bottom line” your bottom line, you could end up the victim of a scam.

After all, some deals are too good to be true. Besides the price of an auto shipping service, you must also pay attention to factors such as:

  • Experience
  • Reliability
  • Customer-centric focus
  • Licensing and safety records
  • Insurance coverage
  • The services they provide
  • The destinations they service

As you can see, many considerations should inform your choice of auto transporters. Do you feel overwhelmed by these additional factors? Don’t.

We’ll walk you through each one and why it’s vital to partner with the best company for your vehicle relocation needs. That way, you’ll feel confident about your choice of automobile carriers.

Experience and Reliability

When you make low price the only prerequisite for selecting an auto shipping company, you’ll get scammed. Most auto transport companies price their services within a similar range.

If you see a radically lower price offered by a company, you must ask yourself, “What might get sacrificed service-wise to make this price sustainable for this company?”

Some companies must offer extra-low prices to compensate because they don’t have the experience or demonstrated reliability of the nation’s top-notch brands.

Taking a chance on smaller discounted items like clothes might make sense. But do you want to gamble with your beloved car? We’d wager the answer’s a firm, “No.”

After all, cars are often the most valuable possessions people own after real estate, and they come with plenty of sentimental value. You don’t want to leave your ride to a company that lacks experience and reliability.

At best, your car shipment could get delayed indefinitely. At worst, it could end up damaged or never transported at all. Don’t become the victim of a scam by opting for a too-good-to-be-true price.

Getting What You Pay For

The adage, “You get what you pay for,” really applies when it comes to car shipping. A price that’s significantly lower than that of established companies suggests that the company may not:

  • Offer any tracking technology (e.g., GPS) to keep tabs on your car as it gets moved
  • Provide extensive auto transport insurance
  • Have dedicated customer service 24/7
  • Transport your automobile in a timely fashion
  • Include some security measures for your vehicle, such as tarp covering
  • Treat the drivers handling your vehicle with care at all times

Remember that auto transport companies must generate a profit. They must pay their drivers well, and they should provide insurance coverage for your vehicle throughout the trip. Super low quotes don’t add up, which means they could leave you in the lurch.

What’s more, some companies neglect to include all charges in shipping quotes to make them look significantly lower. A red flag to consumers, it could mean unmentioned charges will get heaped onto your invoice upon delivery.

This disreputable practice makes it difficult to budget appropriately for your auto shipping service. And nobody appreciates a surprise like this.

A Customer-Centric Focus

To ensure a satisfactory service, look for a company with a customer-centric focus. Indicators that a company puts consumers first include factors we’ve already discussed, such as having dedicated customer service 24/7.

Besides this, you can learn a lot about a company by exploring its website. A reputable company’s website will meet the following guidelines:

  • Appear professional and up-to-date
  • Provide a free, no-obligation shipping quote instantly
  • Include information about the services they offer and the destinations they cover
  • Contain a copy of the insurance policy that covers the vehicles they ship
  • Have multiple forms of contact information
  • Include customer reviews

Besides having a website that meets the requirements listed above, you should also contact the shipping companies you’re considering working with. Whether you do so via email or phone, pay attention to how quickly they respond to you.

You’ll also get a much better sense of whether you want to work with a company based on how they treat you via email or phone. A customer-centric company will be cheerful, respectful, and transparent in all of their communications with you.

They should also respond to you rapidly. After all, the last thing you want is to work with a company that won’t get back to you in a timely fashion if and when you need to speak to somebody.

Last but not least, do some independent research on any company you’re considering. That means exploring customer reviews posted on Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau’s website.

Licensing and Safety Records

What’s another factor, apart from price, that you should consider when it comes to arranging vehicle transport interstate or cross-country? Ensure the car shipper is adequately licensed and registered.

How can you do this? Start by visiting the US Department of Transportation‘s (US DOT) website. Search the company and find its US DOT number. Use this number to examine their safety records and company information.

What if a company you’re considering doesn’t have a US DOT number? Consider this a major red flag, and do not sign a contract with them.

Another excellent website for vetting car moving companies is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Insurance Coverage

Another area you don’t want to neglect? Insurance. Many consumers mistakenly assume their personal auto insurance will cover any damage associated with car transport, but it doesn’t work that way.

For this reason, all reputable transport companies carry insurance. But some skimp on their policies. If an unforeseen event occurs and your car gets damaged, you’ll only get compensated on the most basic level.

Gap insurance from your auto insurance company can help provide a level of coverage you feel comfortable with. But how do you know whether or not you’ll need this additional coverage? By having a look at the carrier’s insurance policy.

Reputable companies will include this information on their website. Or, you can call and request a copy of their policy. You can also ask the carrier if they provide supplemental insurance for long-distance shipping.

The Services They Provide

Not all car shipping services are created equal. While you’re likely most familiar with open carriers, which transport a dozen cars at a time, other options exist. For investment-worthy vehicles, there’s enclosed carrier shipping.

Although enclosed car hauling costs more, we recommend it for sports cars, exotics, antiques, and vintage vehicles. Instead of transporting your ride on an open carrier exposed to the elements, an enclosed carrier has a roof and walls that shield cars from the weather, etc.

What are some other factors to consider regarding the services that a car shipping company provides? You’ll want to make sure that they offer both door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal transport.

Door-to-Door Versus Terminal-to-Terminal Transport

While door-to-door transport costs more, it also comes with greater convenience since your car will be picked up and delivered as close as possible to the two residential addresses that you give. As for terminal-to-terminal shipping, it proves less expensive.

That said, you must remember that you’ll have to drop off your vehicle at one terminal and pick it up at another. You also need to make transportation arrangements to get picked up from the origin terminal and dropped off at the pick-up terminal.

When you factor in gas, travel time, and transportation costs associated with terminal-to-terminal travel, many consumers select the door-to-door option instead. That said, if you need to store your vehicle for any length of time, terminal-to-terminal may represent the better option. Remember you must pay additional storage fees.

You may also find it an affordable option if you can easily arrange transportation and live near both terminals. Explore terminal-to-terminal shipping options.

The Destinations They Service

Finally, make sure that the company you choose has an established network of drivers servicing your origin point and final destination. Remember that the further your driver must go outside of their network to pick up or deliver your car, the more you’ll pay.

What’s more, some companies may not be properly licensed and registered for interstate, let alone cross-country, car transport. You need to know this upfront so that you can find the best company to suit your needs.

Shipping a Car

What’s the takeaway when it comes to shipping a car? Remember that companies offering lowball prices peddle scams. In other words, they’ll waste your time and take your money without ever shipping your car.

Instead, opt for a company like Nexus Auto Transport that offers competitive rates and remains distinguished from the competition by its experience and reliability. We offer customers the lowest rates possible to get your car move done right.

How much does it cost to ship a car? Get a free, no-obligation quote from us now.