Car Shipping 101: Choosing the Best Car Shipping Company

May 21, 2019

When preparing to ship your vehicle, one of the hardest tasks can be finding the best car shipping company to ship with.

There are many companies that offer this service, so sifting through them can take a lot of time and could lead to a lot of frustration if you choose incorrectly—after all, you’re entrusting one of your most valuable investments into the hands of a company that you’ve never dealt with before. In this article, we hope to offer you some guidance on how to choose the best vehicle shipping company for your needs.

Before researching companies, make a list of services that you need from the company. These could be things like enclosed shipping to protect your vehicle because it’s highly valuable or has low ground clearance, door service to save you the hassle of driving to or from a terminal, or international shipping if you’re purchasing a vehicle from out of country or moving to another country.

Once you’ve made your list and have narrowed down your selection of companies, spend some time and find out where they operate, what type of company they are, how they are rated by their customers, if their prices are fair, and if they are indeed a legitimate company.

Service Region

Where do they offer their services? Before looking too far into their list of services, it’s worth your time to find out exactly where they operate. There are four main areas that shipping companies can serve: local, regional, national, and international.

Local transport companies typically service one province. If you’re looking for a short-haul transport between cities or towns within a province then these companies could suit your needs.

Regional shipping companies will service larger areas such as the Prairies, East Cost, etc., that will include multiple provinces. If you’re moving to your neighbouring province then these companies should be able to help you.

National companies typically have many trucks and could have a large network of other partner carriers that will allow them to do long-haul shipments that can span the whole country. If you’re looking to move cross-country, then these shipping companies would be your best bet.

International companies will typically do national shipments as well, but have the added capability of shipping between countries. If you’re looking to ship outside your country, make sure you find a company that knows the ins and outs of importing and exporting shipments.

Insurance Information

When you speak with someone at the car shipping company, can they easily explain the insurance coverage? Do they have a specific car shipping contract with terms and conditions that outline exactly what is insured during the transport process?

Generally, car shipping companies in Canada will have 3 types of insurance policies:

Commercial General Insurance – Protects the company from a loss if found legally liable for bodily injuries or property damage to a third party.

Automobile Liability – Insures the company owned or non company trucks from loss if in an accident

Inland Marine/Motor Truck Cargo – Provides insurance should vehicles that are being shipped, are damaged when travelling across Canada while in the control of the car shipping company.

Customer Reviews

What do their customers say about them? This day and age it’s getting tougher and tougher to find legitimate reviews on a company’s website—after all, who wants to show off their bad reviews? Check out some third-party sites such as Better Business Bureau, Google, Facebook, and others to see what their customers’ experiences have been, as well as any responses from the company in question.

Another way that you can check out a company is by looking up their website on whois.com or any similar service. Whois.com is a free service that lists details about websites such as when the website was created and other interesting information. This is useful to see if the testimonies on their site are real or fake; if the testimonial says the customer has dealt with the company for 10 years, but the website and domain was only created in the last year then you will know that the company could very well be fraudulent.

Online Presence

How do they present themselves to potential customers? Is their website kept up to date, attractive, and easy to navigate? A clean website means less confusion and less time spent looking for the right information. Companies realize that your time is precious, and therefore should reflect that in the design of their website.

Do they have any social media presence where they post helpful articles and other information relative to the shipping industry? Shipping a car can be a stressful process, but with the right information it can be made quite simple. With the popularity of social media and the increase in different platforms, it has become a great tool for companies to use to educate their customers on the ins-and-outs of their industry. Find out if your list of companies has facebook, twitter, or any other social media platform, and see what they post, how often they post, and how they interact with potential customers on their profiles. 

Whether it’s their own website, facebook page, twitter profile, or any other social media marketing program, a little design and professionalism goes a long way.

Don’t be discouraged… shipping your vehicle saves a lot of added mileage and wear on your vehicle

Transit Times

When considering shipping your vehicle with a company, transit time is a big factor. You may notice some discrepancies between companies in shipping time; some companies will tell you the bare transit time (how long the vehicle will be on the truck or train), while others will include the wait time that could be associated with shipment. These companies will add in the wait time because they understand that from the moment you drop off your vehicle at a terminal, you don’t have access to it anymore, and every day matters.

When getting estimates on shipping time, keep in mind that while you are not governed by the distance you drive per day, truck drivers are limited to a set amount of kilometres or time spent driving each day. This means that a two day drive by car could very quickly become a four or five day shipment via truck. Don’t be discouraged with the transit time that you receive, shipping your vehicle saves a lot of added mileage and wear on your vehicle than if you were to drive it yourself.

Fair Price

The other big factor when choosing the best shipping company for your needs is price. While most people would lean toward choosing the cheapest option presented to them, first consider why it is so cheap. When you pay for a cheap service, you will often get what you paid for; cheap service, slow shipment, and damaged goods.

When you have received quotes from multiple shipping companies, weigh the worth of their service based on reviews and services against the cost for shipment. This will help you get a better idea of if the more expensive company is worth the added cost to ensure that your vehicle makes it to its destination without any issues.

…you will often get what you pay for; cheap service, slow shipment, and damaged goods.

Shipment Tracking

Being able to track your vehicle during shipment is an added cherry on top. The larger and more established car shipping companies will have some sort of tracking available to view the progress of your vehicle while it’s being transported. These services could vary in functionality, but the added layer of service will help to put your mind at ease knowing that both the company and yourself will know where the vehicle is at during its journey.

Summary

In summary, get to know the company that you could ship your prized possession with. Find a company that is transparent with their transit times, fair with their prices, and will handle your vehicle with the care that it deserves.

Want to see what we have to offer? Request a price from our online quoting form or give us a call and we would be glad to help you out. Browse through our site and read our testimonials or follow the links to where people have written hundreds of reviews about us. 

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Just a few of the leading companies who have trusted MVS Canada with their vehicles