If you have a vehicle that you need moved, you will want to work with an accomplished and reliable auto transport group that can provide you with safe and secure services. The industry itself specializes in transporting vehicles of all sizes safely from one place to another, with services providing the transport of vehicles ranging between motorcycles to cars. Working with this industry can be overwhelming for those who have never done it before, and understanding the process can help customers make more informed decisions with the company.
- The process begins with the client receiving a quote from the auto transport company. As soon as you receive the quote, it is important to proceed with any questions that you may have about the process. You will have the chance to ask about your general transport needs and if the group can accommodate them. It is important to discuss time tables and payment options, and anything else that you may want to know about how the company conducts business. After the interview, you will be asked to confirm your purchase of the services and then call the group with the delivery addresses. When everything is finalized, you will receive a receipt that will usually contain legal information that should be kept in mind for the transport process. While all groups will strive to provide the best services for their clients, it is important to keep the liabilities in mind.
The Driver and Inspection Process
- Once the driver of the vehicle has been located, the group will contact you. After a confirmation, the driver will be dispatched to your location, and you will be given the driver’s name and contact information. With this information, you will be able to collaborate with the driver and figure out the scheduling for your delivery. Usually, the driver will contact you anywhere between two and four hours in advance of the pick up and delivery. Because you will have his contact information, including his cell phone number, you will be able to check on the status of the transport at any time that you would like. Depending on whether you live in a larger or smaller residential area, the driver will either meet you at your home or at a more open area.
- When you meet with the driver, you will inspect your vehicle, which will need to be clean, for its condition. The vehicle’s condition will then be carefully documented and recorded, and after the inspection report is complete, you will sign a bill that allows your driver to transport the vehicle. You will give the driver the keys to your car and leave a quarter tank or less of gas. Always check to make sure that all of the contact information is correct as well, as this will ensure that your vehicle gets to where it is supposed to go. If you will be unable to meet with your driver after he delivers your vehicle, then If you are unable to meet the driver when they deliver your car, then it may be put in storage for a daily fee.
- Different groups will have different prices and rates for their clients to consider. Some groups will be more than happy to provide you with a complimentary quote, but it is important to ask about whether or not the price on the quote is the final price that you will be expected to pay. Sometimes there will be no additional fees, and everything, such as taxes, tolls, insurance, and general fuel charges, will already be displayed in the total. It is important to speak about the prices before you finalize any decisions, because you will be legally bound to the timelines, prices, and locations as soon as the agreement is made.
Working with Delivery and Pick Up Date Estimates
- While schedules are important to keep in mind, and dates and times will be adhered to as best as possible, there is no accounting for road or weather conditions that can end up slowing down the driver. Pick up dates usually depend on the client’s availability and the season in general. At best, most companies will allow for a two to four day window of error to exist for most pick ups. This is to allow for any obstacles that may come up during travel, while considering loading and drop off times for the truck. While flexibility is crucial, the auto transport industry does not allow for too much room for deviation. Much like booking any long distance means of travelling, like an airplane flight, staying flexible will allow you to ensure a more affordable rate.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping
- As was mentioned, it is important for your vehicle to be properly prepared for shipping. In order to begin the process, it is important to clean your car and prepare it for inspection so that you and your driver can notice if there is any damage on your vehicle. If any damage is noticed, it will be noted and reported so that it will not be reviewed under insurance. Many auto transport experts will ask that at least an eighth of a tank of gas be left in the vehicle, though not more than a quarter in order to ensure that it runs safely and efficiently. It is also a good idea to provide the driver with at least one set of all of the vehicle’s keys. This ensures that it can be effectively entered and operated when it is necessary.
During the vehicle’s inspection, it is important to inform the driver in advance if it cannot be operated or steered. If the are any noticeable fluid leaks, they will need to be documented as well, as the driver may need additional equipment for such scenarios.
What Personal Items Can be Put in the Car
- Drivers may often allow for their clients to have anywhere under one hundred pounds of personal items in the vehicle’s trunk. If they allow for any more, they may risk being fined at weigh in stations on the highway, as state borders have strict regulations on truck weights and totals allowed to be towed. Clients should keep in mind that any personal items set in their vehicles will not be covered by insurance. This means that they should avoid putting anything of too much value, otherwise they may be held liable for it. Any items that are put in the back seat of the vehicle must not obstruct the view, so that the driver can safely operate the vehicle.
- Some items, however, will not be allowed in your vehicle, no matter the weight. These include personal items that are overly expensive, including most electronics, any tire covers, grill covers, or tire covers will need to be removed. Organic plants and any dangerous materials are not allowed to be transported as well. Sometimes, in addition to restrictions being placed on the items in the vehicle, there may be restrictions placed on the vehicle itself. The height of your vehicle may not exceed seven feet, otherwise additional fees will be incurred. Additionally, your vehicle should have at least four inches of ground clearance in order for it to be safely loaded and removed. Taking the time to inspect your tires is highly recommended as well, and any steps that you can take to ensure the safety of your vehicle are highly recommended.
Damage During Transport
- In order to ensure vehicle safety, government regulations require for all auto transport carriers to provide standard liability insurance that will cover the cost of damages in such events. Different companies may have different standards on their insurance, but most drivers will carry upwards of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in liability insurance per every load. Extreme weather conditions, such as floods, hurricanes, hail, avalanches, and other such acts of nature are usually not covered by the insurance, however. In order to further establish a secure agreement with the insurance providers, the vehicle inspection report must be completed on time and authorized by both the client and the driver.
Typically, the responsibilities of the carrier begin as soon as the owner of the vehicle signs the bill. This is signed at the time of pick up and is terminated when the owner signs the bill again at the delivery location. When selecting an auto transport group, it is highly recommended to look into companies that have fewer reported instances of damage. Check and see the track record of the drivers rand make sure that all of the paperwork is in order and ready to be filled out. Should damages occur, as rare as these occurrences may be, the claim will be made against the insurance, and the company will help you in filling out the claim. In such events, it is important to have all of the necessary documentation with you in order to support the claim, including photographs of the damage and both bills of lading. For customers who are particularly concerned with damages, it is a good idea to hire the enclosed carrier service, which can provide greater safety for an additional fee.