Auto transport is quite a large business. So much so that it has its own industry watch dog in the FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As with any market, car shipping is rife with scams and just plain bad service. This makes the idea of using auto transport companies a very nerve-wracking experience for consumers. There are many great businesses out there, but the trick is to find them. In order to accomplish this, it is important to stick to some key tenets in separating good from bad.

Credentials

Reliable auto transporters will have all the necessary credentials needed to operate in the U.S. This means they will have the proper licenses, bonds, and insurance. They will also have no problem showing them off to potential consumers. Most auto shippers transport cars across state line so they to adhere to regulation and bear necessary permits. They also have to be regulated by the FMCSA. All you have to do is take a look at their webpage for two primary things: a USDOT number and an Authority to Operate number. This are identifier numbers that prove the business is regulated by the FMCSA, and therefore can be trusted to adhere to the necessary standards of auto transportation.

Insurance

Auto transport companies are required to have insurance. This is because they are dealing with personal property and that property needs to be protected. Even top-level companies can sometimes have accidents, but what sets them apart is the coverage they supply. Sure, your vehicle may get damaged, but they will compensate you for that damage. This is another thing that can be viewed on most company websites. For instance, if you are looking at Direct Express Auto Transport the information is in their FAQ’s section. If they do not, simply ask them. They are required to show you their insurance. The insurance should cover your personal property so that you are not liable for any damage incurred. It should also cover the people transporting it so if one should be injured at all by your vehicle you are also not liable.

Vehicle Check

Another thing to be on the lookout for is vehicle inspection. This is something that comes along after you choose a service. They should always instigate a vehicle inspection before taking your automobile, that way they can take notice of any minor damage incurred during the trip. If they do not that is a warning sign. You yourself should perform one as well. The idea is to take account of every blemish, dent, and scrape on your car. The auto shipper will so they cannot be blamed for damage they did not incur. You should do it so you have an active record to prove that damage did in fact incur during transport. The inspection should also continue to the engine, the mileage, and the interior of the vehicle. If your car is working fine but has problems after transport that may be something you can get compensation for.

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