Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) December 23, 2012
Most first time auto shippers have the wrong idea about the auto transport industry. Sometimes, that can affect a customer’s ability to successfully ship a car in a timely fashion. Here are the top 5 mistakes first time auto shippers make when trying to ship a car, according to Safe-Direct Car Shipping.
One common misconception is comparing getting a spot on a car carrier’s truck to reserving a seat on an airplane. In the auto transport industry there simply are no advance schedules like there are for the travel industry. That’s because, unlike airlines, that schedule regular flights out of regular hubs, there are no hubs or regular runs in the auto transport industry. Instead, there are thousands of independent trucks across the country each serving general routes (southeast to southwest and back, or the Midwest only, as examples). Each independent car hauler has unique customers with unique addresses and destinations. So, car carrier’s routes vary from week to week, which affects timing and scheduling.
Related to that is the expectation that a customer should be able to reserve a truck weeks or months in advance for pick-up on a specific date at a specific time. But there is no standard, coordinated pre-set schedule for all trucks. For the reasons outlined above, pre-planning is simply not an option no matter how much notice a customer gives. Cross-country auto transports are confirmed the week of pick-up. Since truckers cannot control things like the weather, traffic, issues with other customers, they cannot predict with accuracy the time each run will take them. As drivers have to allow for the fluidity of their schedule, so too should the customers expect flexibility with the service.
Another mistake eager auto transport customers make is putting down a deposit before a truck is confirmed for their transport. Most customers assume that doing so guarantees service within a specific time frame and/or for a specific (very low) price. This is simply not how the industry works. Until a specific trucker agrees to the pay and confirms availability on a specific date, there is no carrier transport contract. In fact, having rigid timing restrictions and/or a low-ball budget is more likely to scare off potential carriers whether or not there is a deposit.
That brings up another critical issue: price-point. Many potential customers receive lots of estimates, only place their order with the lowest suggested offer assuming the price quoted is a done deal. However, as explained earlier, there are thousands of independent haulers, each setting their own routes and accepting the best offers. The lower the offer, the less appealing it is to a potential trucker. There are no set rates or lowest price guarantees – if the offer is too low, the vehicle will simply not draw interest and will unfortunately not move, no matter how long the wait.
One final mistake first time car shippers make is not researching the industry. There are lots of on-line resources including plenty of customer review sites where a newbie can learn about the car shipping process from the experiences of those who have gone before. While it is prudent to read customer reviews with a grain of salt, it becomes clear that many “unhappy customers” simply had unrealistic expectations of the service from the get-go. Most satisfied customers were, in fact, well-informed about the industry and prepared for the unique business that is auto transporting.