Frequently Asked Questions
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We understand that shipping your vehicle may be a stressful process. However, we are confident that our proven process can make the experience as easy as possible. If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Table of Contents
How does shipping my car work?
Normally, the shipping industry is filled with brokers who can help customers (AKA shippers) find a carrier who can move their cargo. Exclusive Auto Shipping only moves vehicles via open and enclosed trailers – basically anything with a VIN.
What is the difference between open and enclosed transport?
The biggest difference is price. Open trailers are more common and tend to be the most affordable overall, especially the larger 7-, 8-, 9-, and even 10-car trailers. Again, the carrier always determines pricing. But enclosed is usually always more expensive in every situation due to the equipment being used and insurance provided simply being more expensive.
Is Exclusive Auto Shipping a broker or carrier company?
Exclusive Auto Shipping is a broker company that manages the vehicle shipping logistics for the customer by finding a carrier that can collaborate with the customer’s schedule at an agreed upon price.
How does a broker find a carrier?
The customer usually has a desired schedule in mind, and the broker will inform the carrier about the requested schedule. The carrier must present a schedule of dates for pickup and delivery that the customer agrees with, and then the order can be booked through the broker. Pricing and schedule can vary dependent amongst carriers. Having a flexible schedule (i.e., multiple days available to accommodate a pickup) can help a broker produce multiple options. The fewer days of availability for pickup simply limits the broker’s options.
How does a customer get pricing information?
The customer can contact Exclusive Auto Shipping directly and talk to the owner, Jared. All contact information is provided on the main page. Please note that Exclusive Auto Shipping does NOT sell any customer information, as this is a single person business run from a home office. We will provide a free estimate to the potential shipper once they offer their information. That can be done through the submission form on the site, or directly with the owner.
Why does pricing vary so much?
Pricing is on the vehicle shipped, the route distance (short-haul vs long-haul) and type (common or uncommon), vehicle type (dimensions and weight), time of year being shipped (seasonal routes, such as snowbird routes), and of course, the carrier’s requested rate. Not every carrier has the same rate. And then a broker fee is added to the carrier fee so to receive a guaranteed total. Also, not every broker charges the same rate.
Why does everyone seem to be a broker?
Brokers will have most of their business invested in advertising. Carriers will not, and this means internet searches tend to yield brokers. Even smaller operations like mine are potentially spending more on advertising when compared to carriers with dozens – or even hundreds – of trucks.
How come I can’t find a carrier myself?
You can! You just need to verify their license, insurance, reliability, and check the FMCSA reports to ensure they can be trusted. Then you can negotiate the price and make sure you are comfortable using that carrier. And now you can figure out scheduling and see which of their trucks are available. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it does not. It might be a simple scheduling issue and they are unavailable since your schedule dictates if they are interested or not. And many carriers do not want to have those conversations since it’s possible you might not book. Also, some brokers say they are carriers. This is getting fun, isn’t it?
*Helpful hint: https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx – this federal website will confirm active or inactive licenses for a broker as ‘AUTHORIZED FOR BROKER Property’ – a carrier would not have this ‘BROKER’ portion mentioned anywhere. Feel free to search Exclusive Auto Shipping as an example and use DOT #2968838.
The carrier told me I could book months in advance – why can’t you?
That ‘carrier’ is (most likely) a broker. Again, determine that by using the site given above. If it is a broker, and they say they can still offer a booking with a guaranteed price with their preferred carrier, then they should be able to supply the carrier info to you immediately upon booking. This means you have both the broker company info including the carrier company info. If you have to wait for that information after signing, it is likely that there is no carrier confirmed and you are waiting for the broker to find and book a carrier option that agrees to their offered price. Some carriers will book in advance and others will not. The carriers who do book early tend to run the same route with multiple drivers, and they tend to be long-haul options. For example, an order from Los Angeles to Philadelphia can be booked almost 3-4 weeks in advance. But the same car going from Minneapolis to Phoenix (due to it being a less busy route) might be booked about 1-2 weeks out. Long story short, there will be two companies involved: the broker, and the carrier (each has their separate DOT and MC numbers) – the idea is hopefully both are dependable and trustworthy.
Why am I being told to pay cash on delivery?
COD (Cash on Delivery) is always an option – the same goes for a cashier’s check made out to the carrier. The carrier normally will not take a debit or credit card, but brokers most likely will accept cards. But not all brokers will take cards. Exclusive Auto Shipping offers multiple payment options, including debit/credit cards, to suit the customer. Cash on Delivery (COD) at the destination is the most common way to pay in this industry, or even Cash on Pickup (COP) at the origin is fine, as well. Partial payments can be made on the card with no extra charges, but please note there is a convenience fee of 5% added to the total when a customer pays Exclusive Auto Shipping in full, and payment will always be rendered prior to pickup of the vehicle. Being a smaller operation means needing to ensure the money is in the bank prior to the pick-up, as Exclusive Auto Shipping is contracted to pay the carrier once the order is dispatched.
What about alternate methods of payment such as Zelle, Venmo, and CashApp?
Exclusive Auto Shipping accepts partial or full payments via Zelle. The business Zelle account for Exclusive Auto Shipping is tied to Jared@ExclusiveAutoShipping.com. No extra fees are incurred using Zelle. We do not currently accept CashApp or Venmo.
Carriers have been more regularly taking Zelle payments on delivery – and the same goes for Venmo and CashApp, yet they are not preferred as there are usually extra charges involved. These alternate payment methods can be set as COD, and if the preferred method(s) fail, the carrier will have to accept cash or a cashier’s check, or possibly a money order).
What should I know about a carrier’s insurance?
Carriers have policies that have limits and deductibles that can vary, just like personal vehicle policy coverage. It’s always suggested that a customer insures their own vehicle before shipment. The carrier’s cargo insurance covers their cargo, and their cargo is the vehicle being shipped. The insurance is for exterior damage and there is an inspection done upon pickup and delivery. Open carrier limits range from $100,000 to $500,000, while enclosed carrier limits can go up to $1,000,000.
Am I allowed to put items in the car?
Carriers will normally allow some items in the car as long as the customer is reasonable. But this is never noted on a contract as a carrier’s license is only to ship vehicles – it does not allow household goods or miscellaneous items to be moved. Considerations can be made on a case-by-case basis, as carriers have weight limits on their trailers. The rule of thumb is that usually under 100 lbs. is allowed in the trunk / cargo space, and sometimes more. Also, vehicles are subject to inspection by the DOT, so all items must be accessible. DOT will unlock any locked boxes, safes, etc.
How should I adjust my schedule to accommodate the carrier?
A customer should give the earliest pickup date and the latest pickup date (the pickup window). If there is any type of delivery request that needs to be worked on – such as ‘delivery on or after a certain date’ due to a flight, for example – this must be noted. Usually, the customer is supposed to be flexible, or have a friend or family member help them with the pickup or delivery, as the trucks are usually too large to meet at residences. If the customer cannot be flexible, we can attempt to have the car dropped off (at the pickup origin location) or delivered to a terminal the carrier owns. This allows for a lot of flexibility and is suggested when schedules are not flexible. A good broker makes sure scheduling works for both parties and the price is fair and competitive, and that any type of issues are addressed prior to booking.
Is there anything else I should know?
The biggest take home message is that the carrier sets the rates, and the customer’s availability of pickup dates determines which carrier is available to move the car. If the customer has a wide window of dates and their schedule is flexible, more carrier options can be considered, and thus pricing and scheduling can fluctuate.