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8 Do's and Don'ts When Working with Car Moving Companies

Question #1. Is a deposit required?

If you only take one thing away from this article, it is the answer to this question! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Have you ever worked for anyone that has paid you before you went to work for them? Same thing should apply in the auto transport business. You should only pay your transport fees after someone has done something for you. Most companies want a deposit immediately when they take your order. For your protection, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you never pay the deposit with an auto transporter until AFTER YOUR VEHICLE HAS BEEN LOADED onto a truck. It is alright to give your credit card number to the company when you place your order, but make sure that the company agrees not to run the credit card through until AFTER your vehicle has been loaded. Our policy is to get your credit card number to secure the order, but the credit card will NOT be charged until your vehicle has been picked up.

There are a few auto transport companies who receive the deposit and then they do not have as much incentive to move your vehicle ahead of someone else's vehicle that they did not get a deposit on. Also, a few companies will bid too low of a price, just to hook you into giving them your order. These companies will lead you into thinking that you may save $100 to $300, but they know full well that the price is too low and the chances of moving your vehicle will be slim. These companies may also say that they have a truck lined up already to pick up your vehicle within 3 or 4 days. The company tells them that a deposit is required to "secure a spot on that truck". So the unsuspecting customer pays the deposit, signs a 20 to 30 day contract. A few days later the truck "cancels" so the company tells you that they will find another truck. Two weeks later, still no truck and now they are asking for more money to move your vehicle since no truck driver can be forced to take an order that does not pay him enough. The low bid a lot of times turns out to be not so low after all.

Question #2. Will I get faster service if I place my order with more than one company?

This is one of the most important questions that you need to know the answer to. The proper way to place an order is to FIRST get all of the quotes that you can get, and then call the company with the POLICIES THAT PROTECT YOUR BEST INTERESTS. I am sure that this company will work with you on what you want. The reason that you should never book your order with more than one company is quite simple. If everyone did this, it would throw the whole trucking industry into a mass of unorganized confusion. Can you imagine driving 100 miles to pick up a vehicle, only to arrive and see another truck driving away with the vehicle. This would add cost to all truck companies, therefore driving up the cost of transporting vehicles. It will not make any difference who you place your order with, since ALL companies will place your order on the SAME national load board. The truck driver or dispatcher will see your order, no matter which company that you place your order with. If the driver or dispatcher sees the same order on the board with two different companies, they will not even bother calling on your order to avoid the possibility of driving 100's of miles to pick up a vehicle that may not even be there any longer.

Question #3. After I place an order with the company that I want to do business with, do I need to sign and return a contract to consider my order booked?

If you give the pickup and delivery information to the company and verbally give them the OK to find a truck, you are considered under contract from most companies including AAAll States. We will immediately post your order on the national load board after you give us the names and phone numbers of both the pickup and delivery locations. This is to give you the fastest service possible. If you are just discussing your vehicle move with a company and have not decided who is going to get your order, do not give the company the pickup and delivery information.

Question #4. If I do not get an actual dollar quote from AAAll States, why not?

AAAll States is one of the largest auto transport companies in the United States. We receive over 500 quote requests per day. A lot of times, we just can't get to each and every quote request. We quote as many as possible, so if you do not get your request quoted, feel free to call us so that we can get you a proper and accurate quote.

Question #5. Why did I receive quotes from different companies that are $200 or more apart?

There are two factors when it comes to price differences.

  1. If an auto carrier has a 1,500 mile trip planned, a 3 car carrier would need more money than what a 10 car carrier would need to pay their expenses to operate a truck for the same trip.
  2. Some companies bid on your vehicle move assuming that you need your vehicle moved immediately. Other companies bid on your quote thinking that you don't care how long it takes to move your vehicle and that you just want to save money. Since nobody really knows your situation, it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to quote you accurately on your vehicle move without guessing. Many times the rates can vary $200 to $300 for the same vehicle move, totally depending on your needs. Give us a call, so we can discuss the different rates for your specific needs.

Question #6. Is my vehicle insured during the transportation process?

Federal D.O.T. law requires that every carrier must have cargo insurance. The carrier is 100% responsible for any damages. The driver will perform a pre-load and a post-load inspection on your vehicle. If any damages occurred during the transit, the person signing for the vehicle at the delivery end must note the damage without exception and have the driver sign for the damage. Without a signature, it is impossible to verify with the insurance company when the damage occurred.

Question #7. Are there any additional costs on top of any quotes that I receive from AAAll States?

Yes and no! Any bid that is made, is made with the assumption that your vehicle runs, steers, drives, has brakes and is transported on an open carrier. Never let a company tell you that you must buy cargo insurance through their company. (See question #6 above). Also, never let any company tell you that they are charging you a fuel surcharge, sales tax, road tax, etc. Quotes should already include all of these charges. To bid low and then increase the price later is not right.

There are 3 main reasons the price could increase:
  1. During transit your auto becomes in-operable, some companies may charge $100 to $200 more.
  2. The order does not state that there are items packed in the vehicle, most companies will charge more because of the additional weight. Federal D.O.T. rules state that no auto transporter can carry household goods inside of a vehicle. This D.O.T. law applies to everyone.
  3. The third reason is that some trucks that carry fewer vehicles such as a 3 car carrier need more money per vehicle than a 10 car carrier would need for the same trip. So the driver of a smaller carrier may ask for more money. You may then accept or reject any offer.

Question #8. Do you use terminals?

We do not allow a company to take your vehicle to a terminal. Terminal companies need to gather a full load of cars going from point A to point B and this may take several weeks before they will send in a truck to pick up a full load. Avoid these companies for your protection. So our policy is for the truck to go door to door.

About AAAll States Auto Transport

Member of the Better Business Bureau of Iowa - - we have a 5 star rating on transport reviews ( We are located in Schaller, Iowa a small northwest Iowa town of 800. The owner of AAAll States, drove an auto transporter for almost 10 years. When he started AAAll States Auto Transport in March 2004, he based AAAll States company policies around the concerns and complaints that he had heard from his customers over the years.

This article is a courtesy of AAAll States Auto Transport
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