How Do You Find a Reliable Car Transporter?

5 min to read

Looking for a reliable car transporter?

If you’re overwhelmed by options, you’re not alone. There are many wondering the same thing. And with so many car transporter companies competing and advertising for your eyeballs — from the streets to your search results — it’s hard to even know where to start.

Fortunately, this article will provide a start. And a headstart.  Keep scrolling and learn the keys to finding a reliable auto transport company.

They give car transport advice 

You’re confused. You’re timid. And you definitely don’t want to get scammed.

So, what’s the first step in finding an expert? Talking to the experts.  Montway Auto Transport, for example, is always happy to talk to people curious about the process (even if you’re not a customer yet).  If the representative you talk to at another company sounds like they’re reading from a script, proceed with caution.

Customer service reps should be able to answer questions easily, especially the simple or straightforward ones. If they don’t know the answer to a question, they should be able to find out (without having to call you back, either).

Here are a few common car transportation questions:

  1. Do you need insurance to ship a car?  Yes, any company that offers car transport interstate is required to have the appropriate insurance to cover any damage to the vehicles they are moving.
  2. What if I need a guaranteed pickup date? Montway Auto Transport is well-known for delivering on guaranteed pickup dates. When you’re working with a tight timetable, it’s always better to work with a reliable car transporter.
  3. What’s the best car transporter for discounts? Most reliable car transporters will offer military discounts. If you go to Montway Auto Transport’s quote page, for example, you might be able to find online discounts or seasonal promo codes.
  4. How much does it cost to transport a classic car? This depends on distance, time and the transportation service you choose (i.e. open or enclosed).

They don’t oversell (or undersell)

How will you know which auto transport companies to avoid? At a minimum, start looking for a car transporter three weeks before your ideal ship date. 

The process can take a month or longer considering all the steps involved: research, booking and eventually shipping.  When you talk to companies, they should never try to push you to book immediately. Most people who need to ship a vehicle will get quotes from multiple companies, so watch out for shippers that pressure you to make a decision immediately. A super hard sell is usually a bad sign.

If they give you a quote that’s too high, that’s bad. If they give you a quote that’s too low, that’s also bad. A reliable auto transport company will give you a competitive quote that reflects your shipping needs, your vehicle and the overall market. If your quote seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is.

An uber-low price will likely mean an unbelievably-long wait for your ship date. A reliable car transporter will be upfront about pricing. And, give or take things like cash payment options or military discounts,  firm pricing is another sign of a reliable car transportation company.

When it comes to the cost of shipping a car, “save at your own risk.”

SEE ALSO: 10 Cost of Car Shipping Questions, Answered

They offer several types of car transportation

While open transport is the method of choice for most customers, a good auto transport business should be able to offer everything.  

There are more open carriers than any other and they can handle most any vehicle. If the vehicle you need to ship is one you drive daily, open shipping is the way to go.  Open shipping is almost always the cheapest way to ship a car. But, what if you’re shipping a classic?

In this case, you might need enclosed auto transport. While open shipping is simply efficient, enclosed can be a good sign of a transport company that offers premium overall service (given the personal touch that enclosed transport demands).

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Common

Having a large pool of reliable car transporter trucks (or “carriers”) is also key.  Small car transportation companies will gladly transport a car across the country but frequently won’t have the kind of inventory to pull it off. As good as it feels to book with a local mom and pop car transporter, they will almost never be your best bet for a long distance move. Both in terms of price, and in terms of your car’s protection.

Montway’s auto transporter haulers are personally vetted auto shipping experts, ensuring your vehicle is transported by trusted members of the industry. These vehicle transport companies will treat your car like their own.

They provide instant quotes

After you’ve made a list of transport companies that seem trustworthy, it’s time to get quotes.

Reliable auto transport companies will always be happy to give you a free quote. It’s important to get quotes from multiple shippers because prices can vary. The best auto transport companies will give you a quote based on lots of factors, including the vehicle’s make and model, the vehicle’s condition, the distance it will need to go, the pickup address, dropoff address, and finally, the type of transport.

Remember to take caution of any company that gives you a quote without requesting a good amount of information. The least expensive companies often quote extremely low prices, only to charge customers much more when it’s time to ship. Make sure your quote reflects your vehicle, the distance it will travel, and the type of transport — just to ensure there are no surprises later on.

Finally, the most reliable auto transport companies will not ask you to submit your payment through a wire transfer. Car transporters that ask you for a wire transfer may take your money and disappear. The best auto transport companies charge you once the carrier has been dispatched for your order. In most cases, you should be able to book now without seeing a bill. 

They don’t hide online reviews

When looking at different car transporter company reviews, it’s important to pay attention to details. And what better place to find details than the world wide web? You should look at websites such as BBB, TransportReviews, Google, Facebook, and TrustPilot. Typically, the best vehicle transport company will have a presence on all of the major review websites.

Montway Auto Transport, for example, is easy to find online. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have earned thousands of positive Montway auto transport reviews.  As of July 2019, here is how we’re rated on all the major platforms:

  • 4.2 stars on Google (1,220 reviews)
  • 4.3 stars on Facebook (601 votes)
  • 4.5 on Trust Pilot (611 reviews)
  • 5.0 on MyMovingReviews.com (549 reviews)
  • 3.0 on Yelp

A final method to check if a car transportation company is reliable or not is to check their registration through the Department of Transport’s Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA). They should have an up-to-date MC Docket number and USDOT number. Legitimate auto transport companies will always be able to direct you to their six-digit MC (Motor Carrier) Docket number and seven-digit USDOT number.

Most of the time, you should even be able to find it on their website. After all, car transportation companies cannot operate legally in the U.S. without up-to-date registration.

UP NEXT: Should You Trust Yelp’s Rating?

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.