Classic Car Transport
By Satch Reed
We recently received these tips from our friends at American Auto Movers, a company that handles classic car transport nationwide. We hope that this will give you some pointers to consider so you can avoid some of the pitfalls when planning to have your classic car shipped.
Here are a couple of the primary things to consider that highghlight the common mistakes people fall into when they are arranging their classic car transport. Sometimes these mistakes can subject you to less then stellar performance by the shipping company, and in worse case scenarious, make you vulnerable to the various scams that occur in the industry.
1. Avoid getting quotes from the one-stop shopping "Get 7 quotes at one time" websites. This can be an "iffy" strategy because many of these websites are primarily in the business of selling your private information (name, email, phone number, etc.) to any company willing to pay for it. You will get 7 different quotes, but you have no way of knowing how your information will be shared, or what companies may purchase it. Since their primary business model is about collecting customer information, they aren't really concerned about the quality of the services they're promoting. Many of these "get a quote" sites will choose the cheapest shippers out there (that usually gets the most responses — and email addresses) without spending any time to check whether the companies listed are reputable. Often these auto transport companies are less than scrupulous and use these lead-generating sites to get as many leads as possible so they can take advantage of the unwary.
A better approach is to get quotes directly from your prospective auto transport companies through their own websites. Before you get the quotes, though, you may want to check out these companies with the Better Business Bureau. What is important to know is how many years they have been in business and number of complaints filed against them. Keep in mind that a company that has been in business for only a short while may not be concerned about protecting its reputation, so if things go less than perfect it's easier for them to walk away and leave you stuck. But if you find a more experienced, established company, should their be any problems, they have "skin in the game" so they will want to properly resolve any issues that may arise. It is also recommended that you read the report yourself. Disreputable companies will be disreptable in all their dealings and will not shy away from telling you "they have an A+ rating and had been transporting cars for 15 years," even though it may not be true. That is why taking the time to look at the BBB report yourself online is important. Search the BBB website using the company's phone number or website address since many auto transport companies have similar names.
2. Open or enclosed classic car transport There is a lot to consider when making this decision, but here are the basics. If your car is fully restored, with lots of chrome, and you wouldn't ever drive it in the rain, ship your car enclosed. If, for example, your car is an open car, and you're concerned about rain or dirt getting into the interior of the car, ship it enclosed. Otherwise, the majority of you will be fine on an open trailer. Keep in mind that shipping a car in an open trailer will subject it to weather and road dirt. But how much, of course, depends on how far it's shipped. If your car is not a running vehicle, be sure to point this out when talking to the moving company's rep. If the car does not run, and the transporters will have to winch it onto the trailer, there may be an extra charge for this service.
At the end of the day, hiring a reputable car transport company will help you avoid the majority of problems and scams in this industry. But that means you will have to do your homework ahead of time. Don't add to the confusion by getting quotes from many companies you've never heard of. All that does is make your decision more difficult and increase the odds that you may become victim of a scam. Find 3-5 companies with good reputations and get quotes from them. Remember that the cheapest price isn't always the best price and choose a company that has the price right for you and that makes you feel comfortable.