[s-cars] Car transport

Theodore Chen tedebearp at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 10 01:53:32 PDT 2009

I need to get a car moved from Louisiana to California.  I went to a website (forgot which), entered some information, and got
quotes from a bunch of companies.  Some were much lower than others,
which made me nervous.

I've gotten a quote from Dependable Auto Shippers, which is eBay's recommended auto shipper, for $850.  This quote appears not to include any insurance, and it is terminal to terminal.  Extra cost for pickup or delivery at my specified location  The reviews on epinions.com aren't all that good - 2.5 stars out of 5.  www.transportreviews.com gives them 3 out of 5.

Is there a reliable source of reviews of auto transport companies?  I went to www.transportreviews.com and it appears to be legit, but I wonder how many of the reviews are shills.  Right now I'm looking at a quote from AA Automovers, which seems to check out using the transportreviews.com, DOT, and BBB websites.  The quote was for $725, and they say it includes 2 forms of auto insurance at no cost.  It's door to door.

I think a lot of problems arise around timing of pickup and delivery in conjunction with a relocation.  That doesn't apply in this case.  The timing is not critical, though I don't want to have weeks of delay.  Getting the car delivered without damage is more important.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Below is an email I got from AAA Discount Auto & Truck Transporters, which quoted $799 door to door with insurance included:

"Before you consider any company, check to see how long they have been in business. Ask them for their MC# and go to http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_carrquery.prc_carrlist. Enter their MC# (our's is 425579) in the field that says DOCKET NUMBER and click SEARCH. On the next screen click on HTML, then at the bottom of the page click on AUTHORITY HISTORY. You will see the date they started business. Is it a company with less than a couple of years experience? If so, they don't have the expertise to properly quote, let alone get your car moved. They typically quote low prices, not knowing what it takes to get your vehicle moved.
Also check their rating with the Better Business Bureau. Here is the link for our rating http://www.labbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=13178590
Here are a few important  things you need to know about shipping your vehicle.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover regulations states to the merchant that they are not permitted to charge a card until the service has been performed.
We don't charge your credit card for the deposit until a truck commits to picking up your vehicle.
If the company is charging an additional fee disguised as a service charge for using a credit card, that is also against merchant regulations. THEY CAN'T LEGALLY CHARGE YOU EXTRA FOR USING A CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD.

2.  Is the broker offering you different levels of service?  Why are they charging you a higher deposit for each level?  They are keeping the extra money.
If you want your vehicle to ship faster, make sure the broker is offering ALL of the extra money to the truck.  More money to the truck is the key.

3.  Is the broker or trucking company promising you a specific pick up or delivery date?  If they are, be careful.  It is obvious that a specific day or time is impossible to promise due to the nature of the business, i.e., road  conditions, delays with other pickups or deliveries, detours, driver illness or mechanical problems.  If someone is making a promise or guarantee to you, have them put it in writing!

4.  The trucking company carries the insurance, not the broker.  All of our truckers are licensed, fully insured and have a ZERO DEDUCTIBLE to the customer.

5.  If you get a rate lower than ours, or the rate is the same but the deposit is higher, be careful.  A higher the deposit leaves LESS money for the truck.  A truck must get a certain amount of money per mile.  Some brokers quote prices that are way below the amount a truck needs.  They hope for a trucker that is in need of one last car   to complete his load.    Trucks will rarely accept a car that is priced too low.  That means your car just sits.  The key is HOW MUCH IS GOING TO THE TRUCK!  DON'T EVER, PAY THE FULL AMOUNT TO THE BROKER.

We don't charge your credit card for the deposit until we have dispatched your order.."

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