Early Signs You’re Dealing with a Questionable Car Transport Provider

If you want to avoid dealing with a questionable car transport provider or an unpleasant vehicle transport experience, the best thing to do is to read the signs – as soon as possible.

There are usually enough of them to tell you that working with a certain company may be problematic.

Here are some you should watch for:

1. Too Many Complaints Listed on Review websites

This may look like a no-brainer, but it is important to mention since many overlook this important step.

Doing a check on review sites like ProductReview.com.au is extremely easy and takes only a couple of minutes.

The number of complaints, the way the company responded (or not) to these complaints and the rating offered by the review site are good hints to the company’s quality. 

Consider what former customers have had to say.  They will provide you with a real-life check on the company.

It is not uncommon for large, trustworthy companies that have been operating for many years to have some complaints on review sites.  Unfortunate events happen and the Internet and social media does have a tendency to amplify bad reviews.

However, there is a big difference between 2 negative reviews and 20. Also the timing of those complaints may be telling you more about issues the company might be experiencing.

If you find complaints being posted in more recent weeks, you can be pretty certain the company is experiencing some challenges right now.

If there are a large number of complaints consistently posted across a longer timeframe, you can bet the problem has more to do with operational practices and how the company is being run and unrelated to short-term issues.

Also important is how prompt the company responded to a complaint.  Do they even respond?

If they are genuinely interested in resolving the dispute, they should at least be given some credit.

If you cannot even find the company listed on a review site, our advice is simple: don’t even think about it.

2.  Too Cheap or Too Expensive

If you receive a quote that is “out of whack” compared with what other car transport companies are offering, it’s likely a sign that, sooner or later, the carrier will let you down.

The cost that carriers charge for their services certainly can vary. 

If you’ve requested quotes from multiple car shipping companies and one of them stands out as “substantially cheaper”, you should know there are three main reasons a car shipping company will offer such attractive quotes:

  1. There could be hidden fees and conditions;
  2. They are offering a depot-to-depot service only; or
  3. The real time to transport the vehicle may be extraordinarily high.

Read more about the dangers of super cheap car transport services.

Similarly, more expensive quotes should be treated with caution as well.

As a rule, anything that deviates too much from average should be regarded with caution.

Receive multiple vehicle transport quotes with one request and compare and contrast what the most popular transport service providers are offering right now.

3.  Low-quality customer service

You can get a pretty good idea about the quality of a company’s service by talking to them over the phone.

Do they take the time to really explain their services? 

Do they sound like they would rather be do something else besides answering your questions? 

Are they genuinely interested in delivery a great service or just trying to sell you?

All of these are fairly good indicators for how you might be treated later.

4.  Making Fairy-tale Promises

Promises that sound too good to be true, usually are.

Beware of companies that offer extremely cheap, next-day services.

Companies that have been in the business long enough know that shipping a car is subject to a large number of variables and that every booking is unique, as is every attempt to respond to it.

That doesn’t mean you’ll be receiving empty promises. It means should consider running some checks on the company and see how consistently they’re failing to deliver on their promise

5. Unreliable Estimates and Quotes

Many companies offer instant online estimates.

An estimate might not take into consideration extra fees like door to door services,  insurances, depot fees, whether the vehicle is drivable and any extra conditions the carrier may have in place.

Always ask for a customised quote, that considers only your particular situation and read the fine print.

Most vehicle transport companies will have an easy system that allows you to request such a quote.

Spend some minutes playing with the instant quote system. 

If you ask what it would cost to move a car 5 kms and you get estimates that don’t make a whole lot of sense, you can be pretty confident the system is unreliable.

You should spend some extra time asking questions, rather than relying exclusively on what the online system tells you.

The point is, when companies don’t pay attention to what their customers are looking for and, instead, only exhibit self-interest through a fancy website, it may be good indicator as to how they really view “quality” and how much of that you’ll get.

Car Transport Services – Serving You Best

Car Transport Services connects shippers like you with auto transport companies.

If you need to transport a vehicle to any part of the country, it’s easier than you think and probably more affordable too. Find out and get quotes online today. 

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