11 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Long-distance Auto Transport Company
If you need to transport your vehicle, you have to find a reliable service that will handle the whole thing professionally, so you can be sure your car won’t be damaged during the process. Choosing the right one depends on many factors, including the license, meeting the deadlines, costs, and overall customer service.
But, when you want to hire them, you will have to ask a few questions, because you need those answers, so you can know if it’s worth giving them a try, or you should continue looking for another company.
So, here are some of them:
- 1. Is this company registered and/or licensed?
- 2. How much does the complete service cost?
- 3. Is there an insurance policy and what it covers?
- 4. How do you calculate the price?
- 5. Do you accept a deposit to schedule the time?
- 6. What documents will you need during shipping?
- 7. What covers their personal items policy?
- 8. How do I need to prepare the car?
- 9. What payment options are available?
- 10. Do you have a usual delivery time frame?
- 11. Do you have a customer support department?
1. Is this company registered and/or licensed?
Formal companies should be licensed for specific types of vehicles, or for all of them. That means they have appropriate conditions for different types of vehicles. You need the license so you can sign the contract with them, but also to make sure they meet all the needed standards for vehicle transport. If they say they can’t do that, then it’s a sign that something is really wrong, and you will have to look for another service.
2. How much does the complete service cost?
They can give you a frame, so you can estimate if your budget fits there. Also, their rates can be pretty different from other companies. But, there is a simple rule that recommends you to ask if everything is included in that quote. Expensive quotes usually include everything, from picking up, taking care, and delivering the vehicle. If the price is low, ask them what it includes. Some services can ship it only to a meeting point, and someone needs to pick the car up. Make clear that you want to be aware of all the expenses because hidden charges sometimes can change the cost of the complete service.
3. Is there an insurance policy and what it covers?
All shippers should provide insurance policies as they need to keep your car safe and secure during that trip. Keep in mind that different companies may have different insurance offers, so you have to ask what they cover, so you can make a choice. If they say they don’t provide any insurance, then you probably have to go for another company. Additionally, ask them if it’s calculated in the quote, or you need to pay for it separately.
4. How do you calculate the price?
Different factors can change the initial price. Bigger distances will anyway increase the price, especially if the company charges per kilometer or mile. Also, open trailers are cheaper than closed ones, so if you want to save money, you can choose open, but if you have security issues, you will have to pay more for the closed trailer. Also, the larger and heavier your vehicle is, the price will again go up. If the car is broken and needs lifting service as an addition to the transport, the price will also rise. Or we can just conclude that there is no magical formula that will calculate the exact price you need to pay, until you provide all the needed details, so the company can give you an offer.
5. Do you accept a deposit to schedule the time?
Some companies will ask for a deposit to confirm the date and time. If they don’t mention anything like that, ask them, so you can be sure your car will be taken on time, without delays. Also, check their deposit policy, so you can know what it covers. You have many important questions related to this one, including their paying back policy, and what they do if you decide to cancel the transport?
6. What documents will you need during shipping?
You need to provide the complete documentation, especially if they ship it over the borders. So, make sure your paperwork is ready before the company picks up the car. If you aren’t sure, ask them to check if everything is fine.
7. What covers their personal items policy?
They will let you pack up some suits and other belongings in the luggage and backseats, but keep in mind that it adds more weight to the car, and can increase the price too.
8. How do I need to prepare the car?
You have to nicely clean it and remove all the belongings from it. Ask for specific instructions, so you can follow them and prepare your car according to them.
9. What payment options are available?
10. Do you have a usual delivery time frame?
The time frame may depend on a lot of factors, including the scheduled time to be picked, and the distance they have to pass until delivered to the exact address.
11. Do you have a customer support department?
This is the most important department in every company, and they need to have at least one person who will be able to handle your potential issues. Many people choose trustworthy and well-established companies because they have management who is able to handle everything.
There is nothing like too many questions when it comes to this specific topic. Your vehicle is your belonging, and you surely want it delivered safely. Also, the company should behave appropriately with it, without a risk of damages and other unpleasant situations. Don’t mind asking every question that is important, even though it may seem unusual or stupid.