FYI: I thought I would list this topic/discussion here because this is where most forum members are looking for cars and possibly thinking about transportation needs....Unfortunately when we buy vehicles out of state we’ve to either fly/drive out to get them/inspection etc. or arrange for a auto transporter to pick them up and transport them safely back home to nest. I’ve been buying cars most of my life, most of the time I just fly out and inspect them and tow them back or drive them back but unfortunately due to distance/time etc., I decided to list for some help to have the vehicle transported back to my nest. Lots of ways to achieve this through internet help like U-Ship, Auto transporters, brokers etc. Anyhow after getting probably 30 bids/offers (started at $800.00 ended up at $1,400.00) which is what I’ve found is a form of Scam Bait/hook where they initially offer you a low bid then only raise it when they find a driver in the area which is the same driver usually that all the companies are trying to get on board! Anyhow I finally agreed to go with a company called 4 Seasons Relocation Services out of Florida. Shipping vehicle from Iowa to Oregon. They promised they would pick the vehicle (914) up on a set date June 28th and deliver it by the July 1st (2000 miles). Anyhow they didn’t get the vehicle picked up until late on the 29th and here it is July 4th and the vehicle hasn’t been dilivered yet! The driver says they are broke down close to Portland, Oregon. It’s aboiut 2 hours from my residence thinking about just driving up and picking the vehicle up there, providing they can get the vehicle unloaded there! Anyhow I’ve given the company a 1-star rating for there lack of Professionalism etc. I’ve sure they will deliver eventually. I finally received my car 4 days late and on top of that the transporter takes the car to the wrong residence which is about 30 minutes from my house. Unloads the vehicle and cain’t get it started. I tell him just leave it alone and i will come to him. My car was at least in one piece and started right up. Happy 4th.....What’s the solution to nipping this in the butt, possibly going with a first rated auto transporter and paying premium for their services!
Yes, the name brands cost more but are more reliable. I usually have low expectations from the cheaper ones so I don't count on a specific pickup or delivery day. I also don't count on them to take good care of the car but these are usually rollers or project cars. The high end carriers have good equipment and are usually very professional. They note and take pics of every scratch and scrape before the car goes on the truck and review the car with you at delivery.
It's they typical - You get what you pay for.
What you describe is pretty typical. Having bought and shipped probably 30+ cars in the last 6 or 7 years you can always count on one thing.... they will almost never pick up and deliver on time.
As Mark said, going with the big name carriers typically gives a better experience. However, even they have their issues.
Delays are typical and, while a hassle, not that bad so long as you expect them to happen at some point.
Swiss clock service is available but will be 2x to 3x the price.
OP, you say that you have been buying cars most of your life - well this is typical of using a Broker who bids out the work and you should have known that.
if you don't have a good relationship with a shipper, then the smart thing to do is ask on Forums if somebody else does. I have a great shipper who last year picked up a car 3 states away and delivered it within 24 hours
I bought a a Mercedes from Plano Texas Mercedes last year and had the car transported to my front door “Calif” for $ 800.00 cash.
The dealer had me go through a 3rd party transport broker which on the outside looking in seemed pretty sketchy to me as I never did this before and it seemed to work more like a Uber service. Meaning I didn't know who really picked up the car and with no GPS tracking like you would on a Fed Ex shipment the only contact I had with the driver was that he was going to be 24 hours late and to make sure I had cash money.
Other then me worrying about where my car was it was a pretty easy process. The driver and I inspected the car for any possible damage that may have occurred from the dealer to my house. None noted.
Prices from East Coast to the West Coast was double and if I wanted the car in a covered hauler that would also be double the price.
I ship a lot of cars. and all shippers including BIG names their idea of "schedule" is a joke. I basically just ignore them until they show up at my warehouse. and once they there, its too much work for they to leave. then I'll take my time to meet them in the warehouse.
Unfortunately I have only used a shipper a few times in my life and like I’ve learned don’t expect much and you wont be disappointed. Just be thankful if your car gets there in one piece.
I went to the local Lexus dealer and asked them who they used for their personal cars ( they purchase a lot I was told) - used them and it was great. I have heard horror stories with the cheaper ones.
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