- What are the Qualities of a Good Transport Company?
One of the best ways to know a good transport company from a bad one is to verify a company’s USDOT license and insurance. A reputable company will have their licenses and insurance posted on their website with direct links to USDOT / FMCSA. Another good way to verify a company is by the ratings of the company’s customer reviews on such sites as the Better Business Bureau, Google, Yahoo, Transport Ranking Reviews and other common business review sites.
- When Should I Schedule a Car Shipment?
We would request that you book your transport date as early as possible; preferably at least 3 weeks in advance to ensure time enough to meet all your shipping needs. The actual processes of pick-up and drop-off times vary. Usually pick up can me made anywhere from 3 to 7 days but we can also accommodate anyone with immediate shipping needs. In these situations, we can more than likely have your vehicle picked up within 2 to 3 days. Delivery will just depend on the distance and the trucks’ schedule.
- What is the Typical Timeframe to Ship a Vehicle?
Normally it takes an average of 3-7 days to get a truck to your location for pickup but there is room for specific requests. After the vehicle is picked up, the average estimated time in transit will depend on the distance between point A and point B.
- How Will I Know When My Pick Up Date and Time Is?
After we have secured and assigned a truck to your shipment, a Dispatcher will call you providing you with the estimated pick up / loading date along with the trucker’s phone number. The trucker will call you a few hours in advance of delivery to notify you of his / her approximate arrival time at your designated address. Special arrangements can also be made upon special request.
- Is Pick-up and Delivery Door to Door or Terminal to Terminal?
This depends on which type of pickup and delivery that best meets your needs. “Door to door” means how close a truck carrier can legally and safely reach a destination. Sometimes it is necessary to have a prearranged location to load and unload due to narrow streets, local weight restrictions, low hanging branches or other limitations. “Terminal to terminal” means a vehicle will be transported to and from specific terminals. In this case, you will have to drop off or pick-up a vehicle at a specific terminal.
- Does Your Company Offer Door to Door Service?
Our company always tries to deliver directly door to door but there are some places that the large trailers that are often used cannot easily access certain roads or communities. If a location is inaccessible then we deliver to the closest location or terminal according to the destination point. Also, see our webpage “Optional Services” for more details.
- What Do I Need to Do to Prepare my Vehicle?
For best results, please remove any loose parts from your vehicle such as any non-retractable phone, radio, CB antennas, and bed liners so that they do not get damaged in transport. We also require that you have no more than a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle’s tank since any more than that can be a safety hazard. Also, see our webpage “Prepare Your Car for Shipping” for more details and advice.
- How do I Know Whether to Request an Open or Enclosed Carrier?
Most vehicles are transported using an open carrier such as the ones used to deliver new cars from the manufacturer. It is also the most affordable type of carrier. An enclosed carrier is mostly used for high end luxury and classic vehicles so they are usually more expensive to use than an open carrier. We have access to both types of carriers to satisfy your individual needs.
- Can you Transport My Vehicle if it is Non-Operational?
Yes, it is possible to transport your vehicle if it is non-operational but there is an additional fee. The reason for the extra fee is that a non-operational vehicle can sometimes be hazardous to move due to its instability so special equipment is required to stabilize the car on the transport carrier.
- Will My Vehicle be Driven at Any Time?
The only time your car will be driven is when the truck operator loads and unloads your car onto the truck. As a precautionary measure, please note the odometer readings upon pickup and delivery to ensure there is no extra mileage on your car.
- Is There a Guarantee on My Delivery Time?
All delivery times are estimated as close as possible to the quoted delivery time. There is no way to give a specific or exact times due to factors such as road conditions, weather conditions or equipment malfunctions though we do our best to keep all transport carriers on schedule at all times.
- Do I Have to be Present at the Pick-up / Drop-off Location?
We request that you or someone else representing you over the age of 18 be there to inspect the vehicle after transport. They will also need to sign the Condition Report or Bill of Lading.
- Is My Vehicle Insured While it is Being Transported?
All vehicles are insured for transport damage because it is mandated by law that all carriers have at least a minimum of $80,000 worth of liability insurance. We also make sure that the only carriers we work with are not only fully insured, but also require that their trucking equipment is standard and up to date. A vehicle is insured from the time it is picked up until the time it is delivered.
- What Kind of Insurance Coverage is Necessary?
The two types of insurance that are required are cargo policy and general liability. The cargo policy covers you in case of any scratches and/or dents that the vehicle may endure during the shipping process. This coverage limits may vary but the standard coverage is $50-$100,000 per vehicle on the truck. General liability covers up to $1,000,000 in coverage to the truck which is generally for driver error and / or any accidents that may occur during the car shipment process. Another important factor that we prefer is for you to have your auto insurance policy on the vehicle as well for more coverage.
- What are the Differences between a Broker and Trucking Company?
A broker typically has a very large network of car carriers who serve throughout the entire country and some worldwide. A good broker can usually offer you a lower rate since they have multiple carriers competing to transport your vehicle. Brokers are also responsible for verifying the USDOT authority, federal licenses and cargo insurance of the carrier company transporting your vehicle. A broker is an expert in the industry and can guarantee that your car is shipped by a reputable and legitimate carrier. On the other hand, a trucking company usually owns and operates their own private fleet of trucks which usually schedules shipments through several brokers and serves only a limited number of routes.
- Will I be Contacted When my Vehicle is Ready to be Picked up or Delivered?
We try to make contact with you within 12 to 24 hours in advance of your pick-up or delivery. During that time, our driver or dispatcher will confirm directions and also provide you with an estimated time-frame of pick-up or delivery. If any scheduling conflicts arise, we will also contact you to provide you with any updated information.
- How Much Does it Usually Cost to Ship a Car?
Pricing varies depending on different variables including the type of vehicle being shipped, the price of fuel, how far the vehicle is being shipped, if using an open or closed carrier, if the vehicle is operable and how quickly you require the car to be shipped. It also includes time of year, weather conditions, road conditions, and toll road costs if necessary.
- How and When Do I Have to Pay?
We do not require a deposit to place your order. However, when you place your order we will need your payment information to complete the Shipping Order that will be sent to by DocuSign for proofing and will act as your confirmation of the order. Once your vehicle is picked up we will charge your card for the full payment and you will be emailed a receipt. Upon delivery all you will need to do is to inspect your vehicle and then sign the Bill of Lading accepting the vehicle. You will not need to pay the driver but I am sure tips would be accepted if you feel the driver took real good care of your vehicle as all of our drivers are trained to do. In addition, if you prefer, we can send you an invoice and you can pay it online in advance of the pickup. We accept all major credit cards and debit cards. If you are overseas we can accept ACH or Wire transfers. Just contact one of our friendly Customer Service Agents for the details.
- What Should I do in Case There is Damage to my Vehicle?
This is a very rare occurrence but if you do happen to notice damage to your car upon pick-up, there is no reason to worry because all our carriers have insurance. It is very important to take note and take pictures of any damage as soon as you notice it. Make sure to note this on your Bill of Lading or Inspection Form at time of delivery and remember to have the driver sign it as well. You will need these documents as proof for insurance purposes.
- Can I Have Personal Items in my Car When It’s Being Shipped?
Most people would love to be able to store personal items in their car during a car shipment to utilize the space but there are several stipulations and risks involved if you choose to do so. Following is an outline of the stipulations and risks:
Thrifty Auto Shipping will allow you to store one full suitcase weighing no more than 150 lbs. in the trunk for free. If you decide you need to store more items weighing over 150 lbs. then there is an additional fee since anything over 150 lbs. can compromise the weight restrictions that trucks must follow according to the law. If you decide to store personal items within your vehicle outside the trunk then everything must be stored below window level and the driver seat must be clear at all times. This safety precaution allows the driver to have clear vision throughout the transport process.
Thrifty Auto Shipping clearly specifies that if you do decide to store any personal items in your car during shipment, there are several risks involved. All stored items are at risk for theft, damage and are not covered by insurance through the trucking company. The company or truck driver cannot be held responsible for any damages to these items or what these items might do to damage the interior or exterior of your vehicle.
It must also be noted that all truck drivers are subject to inspection at each state line and can be fined for hauling personal items as the “Federal and State Department of Transportation regulations prohibit the transport of household items in vehicles while being transported by auto carriers.”
***LASTLY BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY THAT YOU NOT STORE ANY GUNS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES, FLAMMABLE OBJECTS, NARCOTICS OR ANY OTHER UNLAWFUL CONTRABAND IN YOUR VEHICLE DURING TRANSPORT. ***