Avoid Getting Scammed, 20 Questions Answered
1- Why quotes are just educated guesses and not guaranteed prices?
All the prices you are getting are educated guesses by a broker. None of the brokers can guarantee the final price on the first contact as there are still a couple of steps that need to take place before a confirmed carrier makes a firm offer.
2- How do I know I have a confirmed carrier?
Be careful with brokers telling you the have a truck ready to pick up your vehicle, whenever you have a confirmed carrier you should be able to ask the drivers’ name number and even a get a copy of his insurance. If they can not give you that info they do not have a confirmed carrier.
3- Why I should not sign a contract before I get the carrier’s name, number, and a copy of his insurance?
Some brokers like to get paid first and do their job later. However, this can be very risky for the customer. Basically, the brokers hope and pray they will get a carrier on the date promised and for the price offered. When they don’t get it, that’s when problems start by over-promising. Therefore, do not sign any contract or pay a deposit until you get the driver’s name, number, and copy of his insurance.
4- Am I covered by insurance?
You are covered 100% through the carrier insurance with 0 deductible to you when they pick up the driver will do a bill of lading notice any scratches or damages just like when you rent a car, upon delivery the same inspection will be made any discrepancies you’ll be covered 100% but you need to note it on the bill on lading, take pictures and do a claim before the drivers leave. Remember the driver’s insurance is the one that covers your car all claims must be done through him.
5- What is the transit time for my vehicle?
It depends on the route. The good news is when the carrier makes an offer, we will know the final price and an estimated time frame. Going cross country may take 7 to 10 days, neighboring states 2 to 3 days and 3 to 5 days on longer routes.
6- How can I check out your reviews of your company?
Transport reviews is the official place where you can check what people are saying about transport companies, Usually you find good reviews and bad about every company I always recommend to check for a balance, just like if you see a bad review about Walmart that will not stop you from waking in and buying a flat screen TV. Remember broker never touch your car but we are always to help you with any issue that may arise.
7- Why can’t I talk directly to a driver and skip the broker?
Drivers are on the road driving they do no go through 100 phone calls to book a 10 car load so brokers are the guys on the phones drivers the ones on the road. That is why brokers exist, as we are the ones behind a desk finding a carrier who is not only available, have space, does the exact route, but also can do the service during the dates the customer requested.
8- How do I pay?
Normally you pay a small lock down fee on any mayor card when you lock in the contract and the balance you pay it to the driver upon delivery on cash certified funds such as money orders or cashiers checks (no personal checks). If you want to pay everything with a card if includes a surcharge and you have to tell this before we start negotiating with carriers as the terms are usually more expensive.
9- How does central dispatch works?
Central Dispatch (CD) is the national loading board where we as brokers post the vehicles that need to be moved and carriers, in turn, call the orders they want to take. Once carriers make an offer on CD, customer can either accept the offer or pass on it. If accepted, we put the offer under contact. At that moment, the price and dates are final. Nothing can change.
10- Why should I work with only one broker?
All brokers and carriers work on the same load board, central dispatch. Therefore, it is important to work with only one broker because when you work with 2 or more brokers, your price will automatically go up since you end up out bidding against yourself. It is kind of like sending 2 guys to the same car auction to buy the same car.
11- Can I put personal items in my car?
Yes, the industry standard allows up to 100 pounds of personal items, preferably in the truck or in the back seat no higher than the window level. If you are going to add more than 100 pounds, we must be upfront with the driver so there are no surprises. They may ask for more money during negotiation if more than 100 lbs.
12- Do I have to be at the pickup and delivery location?
You may designate anyone to release the vehicle at pick up or receive it at delivery. You do not have to be there. However, we do need the name and phone number of the designated person for the contract. This way the carrier can call them before his arrival. As the last option, you may leave the car parked in a safe place with the keys hidden inside and the driver can pick it up.
13- What if another broker offered me a lower price?
Remember, in the preliminary stage, all prices from brokers are educated guesses. We can say the final price is $1 just to make you smile but we still need a carrier to accept it on the other side. This is why you have to be careful with low ballers who will try to lure you in. Do not go with the lowest quote just because it is the lowest number. That is usually the classic bait & switch some brokers do. To make it happen, we need a confirmed carrier accepting the price. At that moment, it’s the real deal and we put in under contract.
14- Is it more expensive if I need a specific date or do I get a better rate if I am flexible?
When the shipping dates are flexible, customers tend to get better rates as they are waiting for a carrier with an empty spot to be passing by. Some carriers are willing to drop the price just to fill an empty spot. So if you can give us a date range, the final price can be lower. When you want a specific date, the carrier has to schedule his route around your car. Hence, he’ll expect to be compensated at a higher price than on cars that have flexibility.
15- What happens if the car does not run & drive?
When your vehicle is a non-running vehicle, the carrier will have to use a winch to load it and it will take more time and effort, especially if he has to rearrange his vehicles on the truck since it will be more difficult for him. Keep in mind, not all drivers have a winch and the ones that do, charge more money. Usually, they charge about $100 more for non-running vehicles.
16- Can I save money if I choose a different pickup and/or delivery location? How about if I meet the driver somewhere?
To save money, you want to go from big city to big city since they usually operate from and to big cities. Their office hubs are in big cities. If that’s not possible, you want to be close to major interstates as drivers prefer to use them. If you meet the driver at a truck stop or anywhere more accessible, you may get a better rate.
17- Is the service door to door?
The service is door to door as long as the carrier’s truck can fit. If the location site is in a narrow street, a cul-de-sac, condo, or gated community, he may ask you to meet him in a larger street or big parking lot like at a Walmart or Home Depot.
18- Are pickup and delivery dates guaranteed?
The dates are not guaranteed since auto transportation is not a perfect science. However, 99% of the time, carriers are on time.
19- Why are so many broker calling, emailing, and texting me?
Once you place your inquiry online, it goes to 7 to 10 brokers. Therefore, you get multiple calls and emails. The good news is eventually it will go away.
20- What is the difference between an open and an enclosed carrier?
The main difference is that on enclosed trailers your vehicle is covered inside a container and is not exposed to the elements or debris. Nonetheless, the price is a lot more expensive. It may run you about $400 to $600 more for enclosed. 90% of the customers do open trailer unless their vehicles are race cars or show cars. When the vehicle is less than 4 inches off the ground, it is difficult to get it on an open trailer’s ramp and may cause problems. Otherwise, open trailer is the best cost-effective option. Even dealerships ship vehicles on open trailer.