You need an auto transport service to safely relocate your car from one place to another. But do you know how to choose one of the best and most affordable California car transporters?
There are legitimate businesses specializing in transporting vehicles, such as auto shipping brokers, legitimate businesses operating motor carriers, and fraudsters gathering personal information to sell as transport leads to several businesses.
How to avoid auto transportation scams?
Let’s review some red flags for bad vehicle shipping firms and how to stay safe from scams. Identifying vehicle transportation fraud from a real company is quite difficult. Scammers in the vehicle transport industry might sound convincing since their websites are well-designed and their representatives have strong communication skills.
The odds of making the correct choice and shipping your car with a trustworthy auto transport business increase significantly if you do your homework on the service provider. Here are some pointers that should help you choose the best course of action:
· You should know what to anticipate from a service provider!
One may get services from various sources in the vehicle transport sector.
1. Direct transporters:
These are the real folks doing the job of transporting cars. They have a team of drivers, loaders, and a fleet of vehicles. They handle all aspects of shipping your automobile. By contracting with a single direct carrier, your legal exposure is reduced.
2. Transport agents/Brokers:
A broker is a third party that connects direct carriers with potential customers. They partner with various carriers to provide service throughout the United States. After taking consumer reservations, a broker shops around for the most affordable transportation provider.
· Do your research to gather information:
You should begin by looking into the vehicle transport services offered by a company after you have accessed their website. Verify if they are a vehicle shipping broker or a car shipping company. If you cannot locate this data, a third party is probably collecting it for car transport leads. Those are the ones you should avoid at all costs.
A genuine vehicle shipping business will proudly display its company’s name, logo, physical location, and contact information on its website. Good businesses always reconsider whether they act as brokers or transporters. If you cannot locate this data, it is recommended that you immediately disconnect from the website and contact the auto-shipping lead provider.
· Verify the ratings on several review sites:
Most consumers will go with a service provider that has been recommended or has a strong online reputation based on the number of favorable reviews they have received. Checking the company’s registration and ratings on sites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Google might help you avoid transportation fraud. You should go elsewhere if the vehicle transport service isn’t found on any of these review sites.
· Check out their website and contact information:
Scammers develop websites quickly and cheaply, and grammatical mistakes show this. Legitimate companies scan their websites for problems. Check if the website utilizes SSL to safeguard payments and communication.
Auto transport fraud websites lack contact details. If so, they’ll provide a fake number or email address. If you can’t reach a corporation, it’s a fraud. If there’s an address, check it on Google Maps. The Better Business Bureau only identifies authentic and reliable companies, so start there. BBB won’t list a vehicle transport scammer.
· Check for licenses and payment methods:
All auto shippers must register with FMCSA (FMCSA). The FMCSA will give them an MCN. Without this number, a corporation can’t function. The company’s website should provide this number. If it’s not obvious, contact the firm. Verify your FMSCA number on their website.
Auto shipping scam websites seek Moneygram or Western Union payments. Wire transfers are non-traceable. Therefore this is why. A respectable firm accepts bank transfers, credit/debit cards, cashier’s checks, and PayPal. In case of fraud, these transactions are traceable.
· Look for insurance:
Find an insured firm. Reputable vehicle shipping businesses carry contingent cargo insurance. This protects your automobile while in transit.
· Avoid upfront payment and wire transfers, and read the shipping contract:
Most automobile shipment scams are only effective because they can get consumers to pay the money beforehand. Before shipping your automobile, a broker or management business may require a minimum deposit. The remaining payment is due when your car reaches its destination. Scammers often request wire transfers. This is because it’s very hard to dispute the payment if you don’t obtain the service you paid for.
Always read and comprehend each element of the shipping contract. Signing the contract without reading it first risks extra costs, harm, and compensation. Ensure you understand the contract’s conditions addressing responsibility, restrictions, exclusions, and charges. Your car should be delivered precisely as it was picked up. Before the pick-up, check your car and document any damage. When your car is delivered, check for damage and wear. If you have any doubts, ask to talk to management.