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Looking for an auto shipper?

By Derek
May 11th, 2012 - 8:16 AM

It’s Flashback Friday! Each week we take a look back at a post that readers have found helpful in the past. Since many people who are in the process of moving their household goods also need to ship their vehicle, posts about auto shipping are often very popular. If that’s you, today’s flashback – Looking for an Auto Shipper – should be very helpful. Happy Friday!

If you’ve spent any time online researching auto shippers, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear that you’re overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds of choices for auto shipping. Since we’re a mover of household goods, and often customers shipping household goods also have a need to ship a vehicle, we’ve done some research designed this post to help answer some of your auto shipping-related questions.

First, let me explain that U-Pack is not equipped to ship vehicles; though we can ship motorcycles, lawnmowers and small ATVs if the flammable fluids are drained. But, if the reason for shipping your vehicle is a long-distance move, I highly encourage you to get a moving quote from U-Pack – it’s a great way to save money!

Now, to break it down, you'll find two different kinds of auto shippers: Brokers and Carriers. The most common difference between the two is whether they own their own equipment and employ their own drivers or not.  Usually Carriers do and Brokers don't (owning their own equipment is preferable). Some carriers find it necessary to broker the service on occassion (even thought they own their own equipment); this usually happens when specialty equipment is required, the area is out of their service range, or a date is requested that cannot be accommodated with their own drivers or equipment.

Carriers usually have more control over their resources which may help as far as timing, customer service, and price is concerned. And, Carriers typically are more flexible when it comes to deposits/payment. Brokers normally require a deposit when the reservation is made and it may or may not be refundable if you have to cancel (the remaining amount due is paid to the truck driver.) 

It's a good idea to check with the auto transport company you are considering to determine what type of vehicles they specialize in – especially if you've got an expensive or delicate car. You'll find there are auto shippers who can transport anything from compact cars to SUVs and boats.  If you need to have the vehicle dropped off directly at your door, you'll also want to see if they offer door to door transport. Some will, some will offer only terminal to terminal and some will offer a combination.

If you're like me, handing your vehicle off to someone else might make you a little nervous. I would definitely recommend finding out what kind of insurance each auto transport company offers while your vehicle is in their possession. You might also talk to your own insurance company and figure out whether your personal auto policy will cover your vehicle for damage while it is in their possession. Here's something specific you may want to ask the auto shipper and your own insurance company: what is the deductible (if any) and which insurance would be Primary and which would be Secondary? 

I hope this information is useful in helping you to decide the best way to ship your vehicle. While it’s important to research any auto shipping company you’re considering, U-Pack recommends Auto and Boat Relocation Services for Auto Shipping.