Handing your car over to a stranger to transport across the country can be a nerve-wracking experience. Chances are that you are moving far from your current home and this is just one more stressful item on your list to deal with. Auto transport is not something most people need regularly and most people can go their entire lives without needing it. It’s hard to find references from people you know, or even for the transporters to provide you with references from long-term happy clients. It can be practically impossible to know who to trust.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been receiving more complaints against both auto transport brokers and auto transporters. One way to determine if your auto transporter and transport broker are legitimate is to check their MC Docket numbers on the FMSCA website. You can also look into the USDOT number of auto transporters. If a company does not list their MC Docket number on their website or is hesitant to provide you with it, just walk away and find someone else.
It is also a common practice for auto transport brokers to pose as auto transporters. This means that the people you work with to schedule your car’s transport are not the same people who will be transporting it. They will pass the job off to other drivers that you will not have the opportunity to investigate.
Auto transport companies are required to carry a minimum insurance of $250,000 to cover losses by the company, fraud or other problems. Reputable companies often carry much more. Many reputable companies also offer a vehicle tracking service so you will know the exact location of your car while it is en route to your new home.
As always, you should monitor your bank accounts and credit cards. You may need to ensure you are not being over charged for car transport services.
Make sure to do your research and don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you want before you hire an auto transporter.