Shipping your car can be a cost-effective method of getting your vehicle over a long distance without putting it through risk on the highway or subjecting it to unwarranted wear and tear during moves, vacations, and other unusual long-distance trips. However, there is one question a lot of people ask themselves before signing their car over to a transport company. Is car shipping safe?
We understand. You rely on your car, and it’s one of the most expensive things you own. So, you want to know that it is taken care of, things aren’t going to go missing when you pick it up, and it’s generally in safe hands.
For that, you need to find the right transport service. We’re going to give you 7 tips to pull that off and rest easy knowing your car is in good hands.
1: Always Research the Companies You Might Hire
This is the most important tip we can give you. As we said earlier, your car is one of your most expensive possessions, and you want to know it’s safe. The best way to do that, and to protect yourself from most of the other problems we’ll talk about throughout this guide, is to research any company you attempt to hire.
The best way to start your research is to check online reviews. Some companies highlight reviews on their own site, but that isn’t the most reliable source. When they own the site, they can remove negative reviews, only highlight their most glowing reviews, and generally create a false representation of what you should expect. In particularly shady situations, they can even fabricate those reviews.
Instead, you want to start with a simple Google search to find reviews from trusted sources such as the BBB, Yelp, and similar review-based services that companies can’t easily influence. This makes the reviews more credible, and you can trust what you’re seeing.
However, you should still be careful when choosing a transport company for car shipping. Companies can cheat the system if they try hard enough, and sometimes, negative reviews aren’t trustworthy or honest either.
2: Look for Signs of Fraud
For the most part, our industry is honest. Frauds tend to get caught pretty quickly when they’re handling people’s most expensive possessions. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t frauds out there.
A good way to avoid getting scammed is to only work with established companies. Random Craig’s List ads, people running a transport business out of unprofessional locations, and similar “services” are all red flags you should avoid. Even if the price is tempting, there’s usually a good reason for that.
However, it doesn’t take much to make a professional-looking website, either. Frauds can leverage the internet and create a fake persona. You should only hire a company that you call, via a professional business number that is verifiable, and talk to a representative directly. It’s even better if they have a physical location nearby that you can visit and handle the pre-transport communications in person.
This also comes back to the reviews we mentioned earlier. Sometimes, fraud isn’t as blatant as being a fake company or not being properly licensed. Sometimes, it’s as simple as having a history of not rendering services as described, charging for private shipments and simply tossing your car on an open trailer with other vehicles, and other things that are fraudulent per the agreement made with customers. You can usually find out when a company is doing that by looking at reviews.
3: Get Multiple Quotes
You have to protect your wallet just as much as you have to protect your car. This is a simple process, though. Just call as many local transport services as you can and get price quotes. This will let you compare quotes to find options within your budget, and then you can research each of the options you find.
4: Don’t Be Tempted By Cheap Services
While it’s tempting to find the cheapest service and hope for the best, we highly recommend not taking that route. While getting a good price is important, extremely low prices can be a sign of poor service.
A super-low price might signal a scam, and they’re using that price to draw people in, or it might show that they don’t get much business due to poor service. Ideally, you want the service to be around the standard price for the industry if not slightly lower, and most of the value should come from extra services, valuable additions such as high-quality insurance, and stuff like that without increasing prices too much.
That’s how you get a good deal. Not just the dollar amount you’re quoted.
5: Prepare Your Own Car
The service you hire, if it’s a proper service, will prep your car to an extent. They’ll work to protect the car while it’s in their possession and ensure it’s properly secured.
However, it’s your job to properly prepare your car for shipping.
You should remove all your valuables, ensure there’s only enough fuel for the service to drive it on and off of trailers, and you should take measures to protect your car from the elements such as ensuring it’s properly waxed, everything is attached properly, etc.
This will greatly minimize the chance of damage occurring.
6: Talk to the Driver
This is more of a peace-of-mind thing. If you did your due diligence with the tips we talked about so far, you can trust that the company’s driver is going to do his job properly. However, you should still get a few words in with him and check him out for yourself. After all, he’s transporting your car all over the country. If anything seems off, you’ll know ahead of time and be able to take action.
7: Monitor the Service’s Inspection and Take Your Own Photos/Videos
The service will inspect your car and take records of their own to prove that they didn’t cause any new damage while they had it. You should monitor this process in person and conduct an inspection, with recordings or photos, of your own.
So, is car shipping safe? The short answer is yes. However, we recommend following these 7 expert tips to ensure that your car shipping experience is worry-free.
Taking proactive measures to protect your vehicle and choosing a reputable car shipping company is key to ensuring a seamless journey. With proper planning and adherence to these guidelines, you can trust that your prized possession will arrive at its destination safely, ready to hit the road again.
If you’re looking for the best car transport service in the country, contact Elevation Transport Services for a free quote. We have a reputation for satisfying our customers and protecting their cars, insure our transport services, and work to make sure your car is in safe hands no matter where it’s going.