Are you moving your car? You should read this first.
There are too many misconceptions about how car shipping quotes really work. So please read this public service announcement before you request a quote from any company to ship your car.
In these economic times, almost everyone is searching for the best deal they can get. In some cases, that’s all fine and dandy but there are instances when going for the lowest price can end up costing you more in the long run, and shipping your car or household goods is a perfect example of one of those instances.
Other companies quoted me cheaper. Can you give me a lower rate?
I know how it feels to be on a tight budget and although you may feel tempted, better yet very tempted to go with the cheapest car shipping quote, I have to warn against it. Yes, sometimes you can save hundreds of dollars and all goes well but again is it worth the risk? By no means am I saying that a broker that charges twice as much is better, I’m just advising you to not choose a company based on price alone.
But isn’t my quote the rate I will pay? Can you guarantee I won’t pay a dollar more?
One common misconception about car shipping is that the quotes you receive from auto transport brokers are completely set in stone. Unfortunately this is not true, because the quotes you receive are estimates. There’s no way for a broker to know how much the transporter will accept until they contact them or post it on a load board.
The auto transporter has the ability to either accept, reject or negotiate the rates based on what they feel is fair for the given route.
So that goes into the next point. The drivers depend on brokers to provide them vehicles for their routes. Because most drivers are independent contractors, they are always on the road an just don’t have the time to answer calls and respond to quotes. The broker becomes the middleman just as a real estate broker, they simple coordinate the transport. Ideally, when I quote a price, I try to predict what the driver would consider a fair deal. Because of my experience as a transport driver, the usual disconnect between brokers and carriers and what’s fair and not fair simply doesn’t exist. I’m capable of seeing it from a carriers standpoint which is why I prefer to personally price my quotes rather than rely on automatic quoting. I use them but only as a starting point.
The auto carriers will go through the vehicles listed on the load board to fill their spaces. This is usually done 1-4 days prior to the day they actually plan to pick up your vehicle. They always accept the best paying jobs first and if it was you, you would too. Think of it as if your boss said to you, “hey I can pay you $500 for the 40 hours you worked or you can go to XYZ and they will pay you $900 for the same 40 hours. What would you do? I know what I would choose.
Okay, so if I post your vehicle on the board for a low rate, the carriers will either ignore it or call me up to bad talk me about how no one will take it for that amount and it’s going to just sit there. Clearly that’s happened before. Sometimes a carrier will take it but only if they are desperate enough and truth of the matter, do you really want a desperate carrier shipping your vehicle? Or do you want someone that feels good about the rate and will take pride in their job?
But I’m willing to wait longer for my vehicle, can I get a lower rate?
Another misconception is that waiting longer will guarantee a lower rate but no matter how long you wait, if your offer is not within what’s considered acceptable, no driver will take it. And the old saying is, “you get what you pay for.” Low rates will only attract the drivers who don’t have a great track record of on time pickup and delivery history, have had numerous negative ratings from other brokers and/or those who have expired insurances and know you are just as desperate to ship the car as they are to get a vehicle to fill that empty space.
But I gave my credit card information to you? Doesn’t that guarantee my rate?
Even if you have given me your credit card information, nothings set in stone until a carrier has agreed on that rate and their credentials have checked out. So even if I try to come in with a low offer to the transporters, what you wind up paying solely depends on whether or not they accept it.
So all in all, you really have to ask yourself, is saving an extra $100 really worth risking your transport with a shady company and/or an unqualified driver?
I get a lot of people who ask why I’m so expensive and I will gladly take the time out of my day to explain how I calculate their quotes. I actually wish more would ask me rather than just skip over me but I can’t control that. So I get it, my quotes are not always going to be the cheapest, but you can bet your last dollar, they are extremely realistic for what it will take to get your vehicle moved. Do my clients sometime have to pay more? Of course! Even though I’ve been a carrier before, I cant predict what a given carrier needs to pay his bills just as I can explain why some brokers charge a fee of $50 and others $300. What I can predict is that when I quote a fair price that will attract transporters, my client gets to walk away with the best deal possible; an easy, breezy auto transport experience.
Just as a recap of my most valuable tip Before Moving Your Car:
Quotes are never set in stone until your vehicle is assigned to a carrier– most times than not you will not pay a dime more than your quoted rate, but it can happen. So bottom line: Keep an open mind and be forthcoming about your budget if there is one. That allows for your auto transport broker to try to get you a better deal and know where to draw the line. Point blank period.
I’m done here, until next time!
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