FIRST AND THE MOST IMPORTANT CAR SHIPPING TIP, is to pick the ONE broker that has the BEST policies THAT PROTECT YOU!
The first thing that you may want to do is to FORGET the PRICE QUOTE for a MOMENT and NARROW a list of companies down to 1 or 2 brokers that you want to work with, based NOT on the price quote, but SOLELY on the companies policies and ratings they have with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org or you can also check out companies at www.transportreviews.com and www.transportreports.com. Then start the order process with your first pick and tell them the price that you are leaning towards. If they do not want to work with that price, then go to your 2nd pick, until you find a broker who you feel comfortable working with. But, DO remember that the drivers want the orders that pay them the best money in the route that they are going.
Pay NOTHING upfront. Pay a deposit ONLY AFTER the vehicle has been picked up
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay 100% of the transport fee for your vehicle move to a broker upfront when just placing your order. Paying the broker in full upfront, does NOT help move your vehicle faster. Matter of fact, most drivers when they are putting their next trip together are more likely to claim orders that pay them upon delivery of the vehicle and NOT on orders that they have to wait a week or more to get their money from the broker. Just like in any industry, auto (transport) companies can go out of business at any time, ONLY pay a deposit AFTER the vehicle has been picked up. You don’t want to lose your deposit money or spend a lot of time and effort to trying to recover your money from a company who may go out of business before your car is picked up.
Usually you will pay the driver upon delivery of your vehicle. If your circumstances require you to pay the driver at the origination point, as it is impossible to have the driver paid at the delivery point, then at least wait to pay the broker his fee until AFTER the vehicle has been picked up. This way, the broker is PROVING to you that your vehicle is on a truck and is already on its way to your destination. Do NOT pay a deposit if the broker calls you and says that he has a truck. Trucks can and do change their minds sometimes, so paying a deposit after JUST dispatching the truck to your order means nothing until it’s actually picked up. Some brokers will tell you they have a truck and then they take the deposit and then later tell you that the truck has changed it mind or is running late because the truck broke down.
Do NOT DOUBLE BOOK with two or more brokers
When you first talk to a broker, never give them permission to look for a truck for you WITHOUT a contract. If you talk to another broker later, and you want to sign a contract with them, then it complicates things when two trucks show up to pick up the same vehicle as both companies will put your order on the national load board. Besides, most trucks will not claim an order that is double booked as the driver does NOT want to risk being the 2nd truck to arrive to pick up your vehicle, wasting their time and fuel. Someone is going to owe the 2nd truck that shows up to pick up your vehicle some money and it is NOT the brokers fault and many times the customers ends up paying the 2nd truck an empty truck run.
Verbal guarantees are worthless
Some companies will tell you WHAT they feel that you WANT to hear, rather than tell you how it actually is. Some brokers will sugar coat the answers to your questions or give you a low quote, just to get an order and a deposit from you. You may talk to some companies who will VERBALLY promise or guarantee you services. Verbal guarantees are totally WORTHLESS. Most of the time, they are just telling you what you want to hear. Chances are very high, that you will never get a guarantee in writing in your contract from them.
Written guarantees in a contract need to put $$$ in your pocket if no service is provided
If you do get a WRITTEN guarantee in your contract, then ask yourself and ask the broker, “Does the contract put any EXTRA money back in my pocket if the broker fails on the guarantee of service?” If the guarantee does NOT put any EXTRA money in your pocket, then the guarantee is totally worthless, as there is NO financial penalty to the broker, just like the verbal guarantee from a broker is totally worthless. If the broker doesn’t have to take money out of their own pocket, then they have NO risk in the guarantee. Does that make any sense?
Low quote price = Slow or No Service / Higher Price = Faster Pickup
Remember, that low quotes equal SLOWER service or even NO service and higher quotes means your vehicle will get picked up FASTER. Trucks have their choices of which orders they want to accept, and money talks! Again, your time frame dictates your price level that you need to move your vehicle.