Good old Curious George the sock monkey has a lot to teach us about asking questions to get to the root of the problem and discover all of its ramifications. Just like good teachers who encourage their students to ask questions, Curious George was a good character who did the same. If you are thinking about shipping your vehicle to your new location instead of driving it (if that is even possible) emulate the sock monkey and ask a bunch of questions.
Since auto shipping is usually not something the average person does on a regular basis, it makes it even more important to diligently inquire about the unknown. As people and property can be on the line, not asking the appropriate car carrying questions can lead to significant consequences down the road. The practice of auto shipping can be a complex process and asking the right questions is one of the only ways we can better prepare for all that it entails. Going over some of the basics as well as some of the more obscure questions related to sending and receiving cars should allow us to make informed decisions and in turn will increase performance and conformability.
There are numerous questions we should be asking when shipping cars and starting with some of the most basic can lay a great foundation for dealing with the more advanced nuances of the transaction. A simple question that should be asked is, “what type of container will your vehicle be shipped in or on”. There are big differences in closed and open auto shipping and they should at least be asked about in terms of categories like protection and cost. Another crucial question to ask is about pricing. It’s always worthwhile to learn about what price quotes cover. Companies often quote a total price as if it is comprehensive only to have customers find out later that things like insurance, weather changes, door to door shipping, direct and expedited routing and closed containers actually cost more.
When you are discussing costs, you should also be questioning cancellation fees and insurance policy examinations. Going into detail with the shipping company representative regarding the terms and conditions of costs and services are always an important consideration in auto transport. You also need to find out how long the shipment is estimated to take, the guarantees of the organization completing the delivery, and whether the company you are dealing with will handle all details of the transport themselves or if there are third parties and/or brokers involved in any of the shipment’s phases. In conjunction with this line of questioning, ask about scheduling parameters, locations for pick up and drop off and whether or not it is okay to ship personal articles inside the vehicle. Now let’s move on to more complex details.
If your car has special needs and/or if it going outside of domestic boundaries, shipment knowledge definitely becomes even more of a priority. For example, even though Hawaii is certainly a part of the United States, there are distinctive conditions that apply to this particular state, and you need to find out what they are. In international shipments, you will need to inquire about customs clearing, local laws and the current idiosyncratic rules and regulations of the particular country of destination. If your vehicle is rare, vintage, classic or oversized, special handling is required. Ask the shipper how they handle such vehicles.
You need to know about damage reporting also. This entails understanding how inspection sheets work, drivers licenses, and how signature reconciliations are coordinated to avoid surprises. You need to be aware of how the shipper handles emergency situations and the historical background of the shipper in that respect and many others to be sure that you are dealing with a shipper who cares about customer satisfaction. There are no dumb questions to ask when finding yourself in unfamiliar territory. If you are dealing with a shipper who is impatient by the many questions you ask, go find yourself another shipper. This one is not interested in customer service and satisfaction.
The automobile shipping industry is a mystery to just about everyone that doesn’t deal with it on an everyday basis. Questions about how much gas to leave in the tank, will the car be driven by someone else at any time and does the vehicle have to be in operating condition to ship are not dumb. As a matter of fact, questioning any phase of the process that you do not understand until you do understand it in detail is the wise way to go. Once again, you do not want to encounter any surprises when shipping something so important as your major means of transportation.
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