Soon you’ll need a trucking company because…you’ve got a big move coming up, you’ve purchased a collector’s car in another state, permanent change of station orders came through or you want to get your motorcycle home from a rally.
Whatever the reason, when you need to ship a vehicle, it’s vital to find a reputable company in your area to do the job—which can be a tall order if you’ve never used an auto transport service before. Making your search even more challenging is that many trucking companies are national and often do not have a local office.
This blog will help you discover how to identify a company that is trustworthy, has top-notch customer service and can meet your unique shipping needs—whether you need your vehicle moved 100 or 1,000 miles.
What to look for in the best trucking company
When vetting your options, you want to make sure that the company is legitimate, prioritizes safety and has your best interests at heart. Your research should include looking at the following:
Trucking companies are required to carry several licenses and registrations, which they should have clearly displayed on their company websites. These include:
- Commercial drivers license (CDL): All carriers with combination vehicles weighing over 26,001 lbs curb weight need a valid CDL, which requires a background check, specialized training and passing both a written permit exam and driving test.
- USDOT and MC numbers: In order to haul any type of cargo in the United States—including vehicles—a company must have registered numbers from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), which is used to track safety and compliance, and the Motor Carrier Authority (MC), which identifies what goods the company is permitted to transport. Even if a company is registered with the DOT and FMCSA, it’s still a good idea to check the carrier’s profile to confirm they are registered to haul vehicles.
- Unified carrier registration (UCR): UCR registration verifies a company’s active insurance coverage in each state it operates.
If you are unable to readily obtain this information through a business’s website or over the phone, this should raise an immediate red flag. You should continue your search in locating another trucking company with the appropriate licenses and registrations to ship your vehicle.
Professional trucking companies protect their customers and themselves by investing in insurance coverage. Certain coverage is also mandated for companies operating a commercial transport vehicle. When determining what trucking company to work with, ask for proof of coverage to ensure the company, your vehicle and finances are protected. The company may provide commercial auto liability, physical damage insurance, general liability insurance, motor truck cargo insurance or a combination of these. For higher-value vehicles, make sure to check the company policy limits.
Business ratings and reviews
If you have trouble trusting your own judgment in finding the best trucking company in your area, look to an outside and accredited opinion. Check the Better Business Bureau website to view a company’s professional rating. The BBB bases these ratings on customer complaints, transparent business practices, advertising and more.
Additionally, search online customer review sites or Google Reviews to see what past customers have to say about the trucking company’s service.
While their business is to be on the road, a legitimate registered trucking company must have a verifiable physical address, along with a phone number and other contact details. For some smaller businesses, this may be a home address rather than an office space. Offering up this information not only proves the business’s credibility and trust, but also gives you peace of mind as a customer, knowing you have a way to get in touch throughout the car shipping process.
You likely have some questions about how a company’s transport process works, how they vet their drivers and so on. Whether you are communicating with a representative through email, via live chat or over the phone, you have the right to get honest answers. After all, you are a potential paying customer who is entrusting your vehicle in the company’s hands. If the rep provides incomplete answers, sounds too good to be true or fails to answer your questions altogether, it’s a sign to move on.
How to find a trucking company in your area
With all of this in mind, you can find a company to transport your vehicle through one or more of the following methods:
- Search via Google Maps. A simple Google search of “auto trucking companies near me” or “auto shipping near me” will help you find local services.
- Browse online reviews. Read customer reviews on sites like BBB, Transport Reviews or Google to see how a company you are researching rates in real life.
- Use word of mouth. Ask friends and family who have shipped a car in the past for recommendations—or even advice for companies to stay away from.
- Look at customer testimonials. Avoid bias while still getting firsthand information by reading online testimonials on independent websites or even asking the company for any customer referrals.
- Work with a broker. Trusted auto shipping brokers are the easiest and most reliable option for shipping for your vehicle. They have the experience, expertise and connections to find the right trucking company for your needs, preferences and budget. Brokers specialize in the field and have the most up-to-date information on all carriers they do business with above and beyond what you might find online by a Google search.
The best trucking company broker in the industry
Montway Auto Transport is a fully licensed and insured broker, A+ accredited by the BBB and considered a local and national leader. Since 2007, Montway has served nearly one million customers, arranging shipments for cars, trucks, motorcycles, EVs, classic cars, golf carts and more across the state and coast-to-coast. With over 72,000 customer reviews that average a 4.7/5-star rating, we are dedicated to customer satisfaction. Check out our website or request a local car shipping quote to get started.