Vehicle Transport Tips for Car Dealerships

If you own or manage car dealerships, you’ll understand what it takes to move vehicles from one dealership to another. Selling cars is your business, and more often than not you likely have to deal with a vehicle transport company and their driver.

Dealerships, both new and used, have ways of replenishing their inventory outside of trade-ins – when that happens, it is more than likely than a car transport truck will be involved.

Oftentimes we see large auto transport trucks moving shiny new vehicles between dealerships where they will be sold to customers, and we often give them not a second thought – not until we need them, that is. Dealerships have to use carriers on a regular basis, and one of those reasons is to ship a vehicle to someone interstate.

With more and more dealerships offering their cars online, arranging vehicle transportation services for someone who’s bought a vehicle can be one of the most confusing and challenging aspects of the sale.

Find a reliable transportation company, first and foremost, and how can you get them to provide great deals when it comes to transporting those vehicles?

Why Repeat Business is Important to Car Transport Companies

Most businesses understand the importance of repeat business. With most people replacing their car every 5-7 years, dealers know this and will bend over backwards to be the first to offer a replacement to that vehicle they just sold.

And, they’ll establish loyalty by offering incentives such as free servicing for a period of time.

Vehicle transport companies also get it and dealerships that ship cars frequently and sell them online end up being among their most reliable customers.

Car transport businesses however, operate on very low margins and whilst squeezing a carrier on price give you a sense of satisfaction, you’ll probably suffer in the long run when they’re no longer able to provide the same level of service you initially experienced. Or, worse still, they go out of business.

If you find yourself consistently needing to move large numbers of vehicles, between dealerships for example, consider a car transport company that can provide dedicated carriers and establish agreed pricing that provides you with known costs and, more importantly, well-understood service levels.

For dealer-to-dealer vehicle relocations it’s important to find a good company and work with them to achieve the consistency you need.

The One-Off Vehicle Move

There are times when all you need to do is move a single vehicle between a central location (the dealership) and the new owner who may be hundreds of kilometres away.

These types of moves would likely be considered ad-hoc and, while you may have an established relationship with carrier for dealer-to-dealer moves, you might find the terms may not be so favourable for the direct-to-consumer transport.

In this case, you’ll find car transport brokers to be your saviours; able to offer faster pickup services through their network of independent shipping companies and allowing you to get your vehicles to your customers faster and more conveniently.

Finding a broker, especially one that can continue to provide reliable shipping services, can be difficult but that’s where we can help.

We partner with service providers and brokers to bring honest relationships and integrity to the auto transport industry.

When you fill out our free quote form, you’ll get a range of quotes directly from a number of professional companies that will work towards configuring that one-off move you need.

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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.

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