How to choose an auto transport company?

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In today’s tech-enabled world full of opportunities, it’s easier than ever to find a car shipping company. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should choose the first company that pops in your search result, on the first page of Google.

It is important to be vigilant and aware of what to look for when you are planning to hire a company to transport your vehicle.

How to choose an auto transport company?

How can you be sure that the auto transport company you choose is right for you, and will take good care of your car? To help you minimize the risk of making a bad decision, we have created a list of recommended steps to take when you are choosing a car shipping company.

Step one – take your time

Shipping a car is a big task for most people and you should not make a rash decision. To ensure your car arrives when you need it, you will need to plan ahead of time. This means you need to find and choose a car shipping company at least two weeks prior to your shipping date.

We always tell customers that the whole process, from initial research, and advanced booking, to delivery often takes about a month depending on how far your car will travel.

Step two – research

We cannot stress this enough. Good results come from well-done research. The first thing most people do is to use Google and search online, which yields immediate results. You can end up with several companies on the first page of search. However, we always say to our customers do not just trust the first page of Google, this is not good research, but rather an easy way out. You need to decide on a few companies by reading online customer reviews and talking to a representative, and then make a decision.

We recommend that you turn to friends and family before making a decision.  Ask your friends, family members, or neighbors for references. People you know can often refer to quality companies they have used in the past. Then you can take the time and choose at least three reputable companies to request quotes. Do not forget to check your potential shippers’ licenses with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – you can check safety ratings and licensing online.

Step three – request several quotes

Once you have narrowed your search down to a few companies, request quotes. It is very important to collect multiple quotes. Prices, however, will vary from one company to another. Auto transport cost depends on several factors such as distance, make and model of vehicle, condition of the vehicle, type of transport carrier and some others.

So, it is important to keep in mind that not all prices are created equal. Many companies do not take into consideration all of the factors when quoting you a price. Supply and demand situation, for example, is a very important factor when it comes to auto transport costs. Fluctuations in the demand and the supply affect the prices daily. Many companies do not account for this factor in their quotes because they use car shipping quote calculators which automate the pricing process. Thus, it is always better to call, ask questions, and request a current market price.

Step four – ask questions

It is always a good practice to call and ask questions. Pick up the phone and ask all of the auto transport questions you may have. Let a car shipping agents walk you through the process of transporting a car.  You need to learn how shipping a car works. This is the best way to understand what type of company you will be dealing with. The agents’ attitude and their willingness to explain the process, the prices and your options will show you the company’s culture and experience.

Step five – compare

When you choose a car shipping company, do not just go with the one that offers the cheapest price. Why? Because the cheapest price never guarantees professional and timely service. There are plenty of companies out there that take advantage of anyone who does not do their research. Most of them offer very low, enticing prices to lure unsuspecting customers.

Incredibly low quotes that look like a great deal in the beginning, can open the door to a whole lot of problems such as late delivery, damage to your vehicle with no one willing to accept responsibility or even complete failure to ship the car in the first place. So, check carefully and compare all companies and prices.

Step six – choose

After all the research is done and you have collected quotes, made calls, and asked questions and compared all the answers it is time to choose.  You always have to choose one company and work with it. Do not fall into the trap of working with two or more companies to see who will find you a carrier faster. This only makes things worse and increases your cost. Why? Because all companies use the same national dispatch boards and when two or three post the same load there this creates unnecessary competition and makes things suspicious for all the reliable carriers. They would not trust a broker for a load that is posted several times with other broker companies. The backbone of the auto transport industry is all those small brokers and carrier companies working together for years to develop solid business relationships.

An honest broker company will tell you how the process works so you can decide what is best. Then you can choose an auto transport company to trust your vehicle and ship it.

What happens after you choose

The moment you choose a company does not mean your job is over. Certainly, the company you hire will take care of the rest, but there are a few extra things you can do in order to prepare for shipping your vehicle.

Empty your car

It is always best to remove your personal belongings from the interior of your vehicle, including the trunk. It is against USDOT rules and regulations for carriers to transport vehicles with personal items loaded inside. Most carriers though allow up to 100 lb in a suitcase or a box in the trunk.

Inspect your car

Any reliable company will inspect the car at pickup and delivery. Nevertheless, you should also inspect your car thoroughly alongside the carrier at loading and unloading. This is the best way to guarantee that everything is in order. You need to sign an inspection report (also called a Bill of Lading) before releasing the carrier from further liability.

Read the contract

You should always read the terms and conditions of the company you have chosen. With most reputable companies their agreements are posted online on their website. This is your contract and it will explain everything you need to know. You can always discuss any of the terms with a company agent.

Do not pay upfront

Most reputable auto transport companies will not charge you anything upfront. This is how we do it at Corsia Logistics. We ask for a credit card in order to reserve a spot, to guarantee to a carrier that we have a serious customer. Then once a carrier is assigned and your order dispatched, this is when we charge your card. We never ask customers to pay in advance before we have secured a carrier to transport their vehicle.

Write a review

Did you find that review you read on TrustPilot helpful? Did that customer’s feedback on Google Reviews help you make a decision? Well, it might be your turn now to return the favor and help someone find a reliable auto shipper. Whether it is positive or negative, it is still feedback. It is going to help more people than you think.

But if a company went above and beyond your expectations, take some time to share your experience. People that made car shipping happen for you will also be grateful to read your review. Moreover, it is going to motivate them to improve their services even further.

About Corsia Logistics

Corsia Logistics is a small family-owned company with over a decade of experience in the auto transport industry. Our team is knowledgeable and eager to provide what people need today – personalized service and affordable rates. We treat each and every customer as if they were family. Read our reviews online to see why customers love us. Our approach is simple – affordable rates and personalized attention. Have questions? Call us and our experienced agents will be happy to tell you everything you need to know about car shipping.


About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves painting, watching documentary films, drinking green tea and taking pictures of classic cars (mainly cute Volkswagen Beetles). Juxhina holds a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from AUBG. She is currently studying Masters in Communication Science at the University of Vienna, Austria.


  1. Duncan Lance  June 13, 2018

    It really is important to ask a lot of questions when choosing a car transport company and it is great that the article agrees. After all, you want to make sure that you can figure out everything that you need to know about the company and their services first. For example, if you want to make sure that the new car shows up without a scratch then you need to ask about what they do to protect the car during transit.


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