First thing, you need to get free quotes from as many transport companies as possible, because having several quotes will be you pricing guide. Without a few quotes first, you have no clue what the average shipping cost for your specific move would actual range. The most convenient way for getting quotes is online. Just search in Google by keywords like, "interstate car transport", "auto transport", "car shipping", etc. The search results will display plenty of companies to choose from. Another good option is word of mouth because referrals speak from their experience which takes the guessing game out of a company.
After you have obtained several free quotes, it's time for you to compile your data and start sifting through the companies you've just received your quotes from. Keep in mind, this is not the type of business where you go with the lowest price first, you can pay dearly for that mistake later. The reason being is because there are some companies out there that really do not care if your car gets moved or not, as long as you paid the initial deposit to book for transport. The lower rate, the less likely an independent auto transport carrier will accept the job. This can cause major delays with your transport. This problem usually exists when dealing with brokers because they are strictly alone on independent truckers and motor carrier companies to move their freight.
The verification process is quite simple. First, I would request insurance documents, as well bond if using a broker service. Any legal company would have excited and more than happy to forward you their documentation. Second, you would want to verify those documents by either calling the insurance and / or bonding companies noted on the paperwork. You can also go online to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and not only would you be able to verify insurance and bonding, you will also see reports like company age / history, safety record, and such. Third but not least, do not forget the Better Business Bureau, they'll be able to give you some idea of a company's business morals.
You've decided which company to use, what next? Well, if they passed the verification process and you're satisfied with the quote, it's time to book you car for transport. You can either book online, or call customer service to speak with a representative. Normally a deposit of $ 100- $ 300 is required when booking your car for transport, depending on distance and total cost. Your deposit can be made with a credit card, or you can send certified funds by mail. The mail option can delay the process because they will not book your car for transport until the funds are received and cleared. Beware! Most deposits are non refundable in this business if you renege on the contract, so read the fine print.
Your car has been booked, and now it's time to prepare your car for shipping. Before releasing your car to the transporter, be sure to remove all your personal belongings and wash the vehicle thoroughly. Transport companies will not be liable for any missing items while in their possession, so it's wise not to leave anything. Also, washing the car helps tremendously when the driver does a vehicle inspection. A clean car will reveal all noticeable scratches and blemishes so that the driver can do a proper inspection. I would then inspect the drivers' inspection sheet against my vehicle, to verify if any damages are documented in fact on my car as well. This is your best protection before signing the shipping documents.
Your car has made it to its destination, whether it's you or someone who represents you, must be sure to do a thorough post inspection now that your vehicle has arrived. A copy of the inspection sheet you received at pick up will be used to match up any damages that may have occurred during transport. In any case of damages, do not sign delivery documents until you and the driver both verify the damages in writing on the inspection sheet. Also, make sure to take photos of the damages at the scene. This is how you prove to the insurance company, the bonding company and the United States Courts, if necessary, your vehicle was damaged during interstate car transport.