How to find a car shipping company

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Finding an auto transport company is easy. The real challenge is t find the right shipper who will put your needs before their profit, and make you feel more than just an order number.

You can always start by asking for recommendations from family and friends. And if this doesn’t yield any results, turn to Google for help. If you are shipping your vehicle within 200-300 miles radius, search for local companies first. In Google search just type in ‘car shipping company’ or add your city or state to the search phrase (for example ‘car shipping companies los angeles’).

Why is it good to search for a local car shipping company? Because often times, local companies are smaller, family-owned businesses who will offer you a better rate and usually a more personal approach, whether you are shipping across the state or across the country.

Find and learn who you are dealing with

Whether you go local or pick an out-of-state company, make sure to select a reputable one. Your online search for an auto transporter will return thousands of hits, don’t panic. Take your time and check their website and read customer reviews.

When searching for a vehicle shipping company you will come across four different entities:

  1. broker / management companies
  2. carrier companies
  3. lead generator websites
  4. auction websites

Most carrier companies are mom-and-pop businesses and they are the entity with the trucks.

They will physically transport your vehicle. Many don’t even have an online presence, because they would rather be on the road, moving vehicles and making money. That is why carriers rely heavily on brokers for their loads.

Most brokers, in turn, don’t have their own fleet but have the resources to reach out to a vast network of carriers.

They do all the legwork to find a carrier that travels your route and can accommodate your particular situation. The broker checks carrier’s safety ratings and will make sure the carrier is properly insured, and has all the necessary equipment. Good broker companies quote realistic market prices that are fair to both the customer and the carrier. They will also stay in touch with you throughout the entire process until the carrier safely unloads your vehicle at your door.

Lead generator websites could look like an auto transport company, but in reality they are not. They lure you in with a promise of multiple vehicle shipping quotes to compare prices, and collect your information only to resell it to a number of brokers. So, think twice before you leave your contact information on their website. There’s a big chance you will be contacted, and maybe even hounded by multiple companies, whose main concern will be to bash their competitors rather than offer quality services.

Auction websites foster underbidding wars between companies driving auto transport rates to unrealistically low values (lower than the current market price). At the same time, carriers prefer vehicles that pay a realistic market price. Hence, booking at a “too-good-to-be-true” price means you will have to wait weeks before a carrier picks up your vehicle. Or even worse, your car could end up in the hands of unlicensed and uninsured carrier.

Compare the auto transport companies

Check the USDOT and FMCSA numbers. It is a legal requirement for every auto transport company to be registered and verified with the USDOT and FMSCA. Most licensed and verified companies will post their MC and USDOT numbers on their websites. Only carriers and brokers, the companies who provide or arrange for actual vehicle shipping services, will have USDOT and MC numbers.

Inquire about the cargo insurance policy. By law, all auto transport carriers must carry sufficient liability insurance that covers your vehicle while en-route. If you are working with a broker, then it is up to your vehicle shipping expert to verify that your car hauler has cargo insurance, as well as the extent of the policy.

Make sure the company offers services you are looking for. Are you pressed for time and need your vehicle delivered on or by a specific date? Ask if the auto transporter offers expedited delivery. If you are shipping a modified or non-running vehicle, it’s important that the driver has a skill set and adequate equipment to transport such vehicles. In case you need to move a classic or luxury vehicle, you may want to add an extra layer of protection during transport – inquire whether the shipper offers enclosed auto transport.

Shipping a car with a peace of mind

Corsia Logistics is a small, family-owned and operated company. Our team of knowledgeable agents strives to provide exceptionally personalized services to every one of our customers. We treat our clients like family. And if you read our reviews online you will understand why customers love us. Our approach is simple – affordable rates and personalized attention. We call our rates the AA rates – affordable to the customer and acceptable by the carrier. When the price marks this ‘golden middle’ you know you will receive reliable service because only the realistic rate will ship your vehicle in a timely and professional manner.


About the Author:

I am the co-owner and marketing director of Corsia Logistics. I believe in creating useful content for our customers and readers. If you would like to contact me please do so via our contact us form or any social media channel. Thank you.

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