Auto Transport FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
How does the auto transport payment process work?
A deposit is accepted at the time of scheduling your vehicle transportation. This may be paid by either VISA, MasterCard, American Express, debit cards, PayPal, or Money Order or Cashiers Check. Absolutely no personal checks accepted. Your COD (cash on delivery) is due and payable at the time of delivery to the driver. Each company will verify terms of payment with you prior to your auto transport delivery. Please be prepared. This will allow your dependable auto shipper to stay on schedule for the next customer.
Is tipping the driver mandatory? How much should you tip the driver?
Vehicle shipping experts will tell you that tipping is optional. Depending on how you feel about the level of service you received, you may choose to reward the dependable auto shipper. The auto transport driver does not expect a tip. However, they are quite honored when they do receive one. The amount of the tip is discretionary. The tip can range from $5 to whatever you want to give.
How long to ship a car once it is picked up?
auto transport delivery times will vary. Your dependable auto shipper may have other vehicles to pick up before or after your car. Door-to-door transport will vary based on shipping season, Department of Transportation Law and route. Listed below are some very basic ideas to help you. You will want to contact your personally assigned carrier for their actual schedule.
East Coast to West Coast – 7 to 14 days
Midwest to East Coast – 5 to 8 days
South to the North – 5 to 8 days
Dependable auto shippers will charge by the deck space on their trailer. Your vehicle shipping expert will provide you with an auto transport quote. It should be sufficient to move larger vehicles. For example, one small sedan like a Honda Accord will fill one spot. The SUV or pickups are longer, taller and heavier than the small sedan. A pickup like a Ford F150 XLT will fill 1 1/2 spots on the trailer. The carrier then loses 1/2 of a spot. Therefore he loses potential revenue. Because of this fact, they must charge additional rates to make up for the lost car. The rate difference can be between $150 and $200 for shipping bigger vehicles.
What is the next step after booking my auto transport?
Your vehicle shipping expert will provide you with your driver’s contact information. Normal industry standards are usually followed. You should receive a phone call from your driver 8 to 24 hours in advance of your pick up date. The driver will call before arriving as well.
You will do a walk around inspection of the vehicle with your driver. It is not necessary for you to remain while your car is loaded onto the truck. (Note: by signing off on the condition report or ‘bill of lading’ you are verifying the condition of the car when you released it).
The exact same process will happen at delivery. The driver will call in advance. You, or your designate, will inspect the vehicle. Carefully noting any damage on the ‘bill of lading’, you will sign off and take delivery. (It is in your best interest that you CAREFULLY inspect your car. If you accept delivery, sign off on the condition report and later find damages, it is too late.)
What happens if your auto transport is damaged?
After properly inspecting the vehicle, note any and all new damage found on the ‘bill of lading’. Make sure your driver is aware of the new damage. Make sure he then signs the condition report acknowledging the damage. Call your vehicle shipping expert to inform them of the damage right away.
In most cases, the trucking company will ask for an estimate from three certified shops. After a complete review of the condition report, you will be contacted. Usually, the trucking company representative will call with their decision about the claim.
It is unusual and does not occur very often; but, if the carrier is not responsive call your broker. If the trucking company is unwilling to work with you to resolve the issue contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will work on your behalf to solve the claim.
Your vehicle shipping expert can not file a claim on your behalf. Be sure that you have all the documentation to back up your claim. False claims can result in legal action by the carrier or agent.
We also recommend you contact your personal insurance agent. Discuss what, if any, coverage is available for your vehicle while it is being transported. The carrier’s insurance covers damage done to your vehicle while in transit. They are only responsible for anything that the driver is responsible for damages. Acts of Mother Nature are typically not covered under the carrier’s insurance policy. This may include hail damage, rocks flying up from the highway, tornadoes, etc.
The driver will contact you for directions. He may ask if you live close to a large parking area like Target, Wal Mart, or a shopping center. Remember, your safety and that of your car is his primary concern. He needs to be able to safely load and unload your vehicle.
Terminals are an option. It is in your best interest if you have a family member or friend can release or receive your auto transport on your behalf, if you are not available. We discourage terminals if at all possible, as the terminal will not accept any responsibility for inspection of your vehicle or damages. There will be additional terminal fees. This is not included in your quote, as the fees vary by terminal.