How to Research an Auto Transport Company
Shipping a car or motorcycle can be a nerve-wracking experience especially with the number of auto transport companies that appear when searching the web. Once you find a reputable auto transport company like Intercity Lines shipping a car becomes an easy experience! We put together the below tips on how to research and find a reputable auto transport company, so you’re confident that the one you choose is one you can trust!
Transportreviews.com – Dedicated to auto transport company and car shipping service reviews
Transportreviews.com is a website dedicated to reviews on auto transport and car shipping services. They provide numerous search features to browse or find auto transport companies. It also provides basic info such as whether they are a broker or a carrier along with basic information on the company. It’s a great place to research a company you’re speaking to about shipping your car. You can find our 5 Star rating and read numerous testimonials from customers who have shipped their car with us here: https://www.transportreviews.com/Company/Intercity-Lines-Inc
Government Records to find key information about the auto transport company
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration provides information on trucking companies that can be used to research an auto transport company you’re speaking to about shipping your car.
Key things to look for about an auto transport company:
Section 1: The auto transport company’s basic info.
- Entity Type: You are looking for whether they are a carrier or a broker. Carriers ship vehicles with their own trucks while brokers pass your order off to carriers at a lower price than they charged you to ship your car. We cover auto transport brokers and carriers in more detail in our articles: Auto Transport: Types of Companies and Be Wary of Auto Transport Brokers
- Their operating status: inactive means they are unauthorized by the government to transport any goods commercially. This is a giant red flag and should be a deal breaker when researching a company.
Section 2: The trucking company’s federal authorizations
- Auth. For Hire: Should have an x next to it for their operation classification. Anything else means they are not authorized to transport your personal car as a business.
- Carrier Operation: Interstate means they are authorized to transport your vehicle across state lines. Intrastate means they can ONLY ship your car within a certain state. If you are shipping your car across state lines this must say interstate.
- Cargo Carried: Companies are only allowed to ship cargo they are authorized and registered to carry. An “x” should be next to “Motor Vehicles’ in the case of you shipping your car.
Section 3: The Carrier’s safety record
- Inspections/Crashes in US: This covers the number of inspections and crashes the company has been involved in. Inspections are routinely done, but any out of service marks means something about their equipment or paperwork was not up to DOT standards. Crashes, of course, are never a good thing and could be a sign of inexperienced or reckless drivers.
- Safety Rating: Rating should say “satisfactory” that is the best rating a company can have and means they have been operating safely and up to DOT standards. Anything else should be a red flag when choosing a company to ship your car with.
You can find our company snapshot below:
FMCSA’s company snapshot search screen:
Search mainstream review websites for the auto transport company
Car Forums for first hand experiences and advice on shipping a car
Car Forums are a great way to get first-hand recommendations and experiences for shipping your car. Most are free to sign up and allow you to post asking for recommendations from other car lovers. you can also search the car forum’s threads for terms such as “auto transport”, “Shipping your car”, and “enclosed auto transport companies” to find previous threads on the topic. Below are a few threads we sponsor and have seen active conversations with tips, recommendations, and testimonials on shipping your car.