What to Expect when Dealing with a Car Transport Company

Dealing with a car transport company can be a stressful experience. Let’s face it, it’s not easy entrusting your car to complete strangers at the best of times, let alone when it’s to be transported across the country.

With so many auto transport companies to choose from, knowing which company to deal with and which company will best serve you can be a daunting experience.

Patrick Kashani (National Commercial Manager for Carways) shares a few things you can expect when dealing with car transport company.

Get a Complete List of Costs and Fees

When you hire a car transport company, they should provide you with a complete list of fees and charges.

This should also include any fuel surcharges and penalty fees that you could incur. Make sure you’ve read and agreed to these terms and conditions prior to signing the contract.

An Explanation of Insurances or Warranty Coverage

In addition to providing you with upfront pricing, a car transport company should also provide you with an explanation of their insurance coverage.

In the event that your vehicle is damaged during transport, you need to be aware of your coverage options.

Vehicle Condition Report

It is important for your vehicle to be thoroughly inspected prior to shipment using a vehicle condition report.

Any cosmetic or mechanical damage should be reported and verified before your vehicle leaves for transport.

This will protect both you and the carrier in case any damage occurs during transport.

What to do if your Vehicle has been Damaged During Transport

Tracking Information

Some car shipping companies offer GPS tracking so you can know where your vehicle is at all times.

This also gives you a better idea of when your vehicle will arrive at its destination.

Seamless Delivery

You have a right to know in advance what you can expect when dealing with a car transport company.

Prior to shipment, the company should explain their delivery process.

Most companies offer door to door shipment while others deliver your vehicle to a depot.

Either way, they should contact you prior to delivery so you can schedule and coordinate your pickup time.

Upon delivery, you should complete another condition report and report any new damage.

Patrick Kashani

About Patrick Kashani

Patrick Kashani is the National Commercial Manager at Carways Pty. Ltd. and a vehicle logistics industry leader. With more than two decades of experience in logistics, supply chain and automotive transport industries, he has seen the best (and the worst) of what the industry offers its customers.

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

Find out more