AUTO TRANSPORT 101
What is an an auto transport broker and what is an auto transport agent?
An auto transport broker and an auto transport agent are two different positions. The auto transport broker is the one that owns the brokerage that holds the authority letter from the government. They hire agents. Auto transport agents do not have a “LICENSE” or AUTHORITY. When you get quotes online 95% of the time your working with an auto transport agent not the auto transport broker. At Enterprise Auto Transport you work with the auto transport broker who has the license not an auto transport agent. The auto transportbroker is owner of the company and therefore cares more about the companies reputation and customer satisfaction.
When I submitted my information online why do so many auto transport companies keep calling me?
When you submitted your information online on sites like Carshipping.com and HaulingDepot.com or A1Autotransport.com they sold your personal information to as little as 4 companies but most like 10-12. The information you submitted is now turned into a lead is parsed upon receipt (please note we never share your information with anyone). It is then sent to the auto transport companies software that paid for your information via email. This lead is sold on average for $1.50 and as much at $3.00 to each company it is sent to. The average broker AGENT recieves 1000 leads per month. About 35 to 50 leads per day. They are just want to throw up a bunch of orders on the board and hope for the best. Due to tremendous competition they will want to get to you before anyone else does. The first few days you will be bombarded by phone calls and emails from 10-12 brokers. Each calling you on average of 2-3 times per day. Also, they will send you emails even months after you have moved your car. These emails are automatically sent via a click of a button. Most of the quotes you recieve from them will be automated. The person who took your order most likely wil send the order to a dispatcher who you wil never speak to who has about 200 other cars to dispatch so your priority has now droped to almost nothing. Here your work with the dispatcher and the broker .The broker dispatches their own loads.
We do not automate our quote on our website. We do them each by hand to ensure your quote is accurate. We do have automated quotes on Uship.com because they own their site and we use their api however Uship adds up 20%+ in fees to each order. Those fees go to them not us or the driver so your paying 3 companies instead of two.
Well if 10 different companies are callling me I am going to get the best rate right?
Yes and no! The dirty little secret in the auto transport industry is their is only one nationally recognized load board for auto transport. This is where all auto transport drivers find their loads. This auto transport load board is called centraldispatch.com and is not open to the public. You must be a licensed auto transport company or dealer or auto transport driver to access it. This is where all auto tranpsort brokers/agents post their loads so this means all brokers essentially use the same drivers. This means most of us get the same price from drivers. Drivers do not choose favorites. They choose the highest priced vehicles first , then find cars nearest each other, then choose the smallest cars first. When you get 10 quotes a good rule of thumb is get rid of the lowest and highest that will leave you with 4. Those four companies will all be about the same price.
In order to save time most companies pay their software company to automate the quote using a pricing calculator tool. What this means is this. Central Dispatch keeps a history of all cars dispatched. It shares this data with all companies. When a zip code is entered for pick up and delivery and the year make a model the average price accepted by the driver is brought up. This will be on average 5 loads. Lazy brokers use this tool by taking the middle number called the drivers tarrif (this is the price “some anonymous” driver accepted the load for last). They will then add their broker fee on and then send out the quote. An honest broker knows there is an average rate for hot lanes and that automated quote will work for that however in poor lanes this average rate seldom works but dishonest auto transport broker agents will send it out anyway. Some auto transport broker/agents take the cheapest rate out of all 5 and send it out because they know all customers book on price. Just remember when you get cheap service you get the bad service to go it. IAlso, if there are alot of cars on the load board then a low ball price is less likely to get accepted. Also, if you do get driver to accept a cheap price he is more likely to cancel with some silly excuse because he found a better paying car.
TIP! All auto transport carriers choose cars that are located near major highways and cities first. They try to pick up cars within 50 miles of each other. The further you are from the interstate you are the longer it takes to find a driver. In some areas called black areas very few cars are ever available. For example, if a driver has a 10 car hauler he will offer the cheapest price per mile because he can haul more cars. 10 car haulers also cost the most to run. If your car is the only one to pick up within 100 miles most likely you will not be picked up by a 10 car hauler. However if your in a big city going to a big city going long distance you will. It is the auto transport broker/agents job to figure out how many cars are near you at the time you need to be picked up to figure out what size hauler you will go on. A driver in a ten car hauler charges about 43-53 cents per mile. A 7 car haulers charges about 53-56 cents per mile. A 5 car hauler charges about 63 cents per mile. A 3 or 1 car hauler charges 1.00 or more per mile. So you see an automated rate does not take to account the current amount of cars on the board. Its looking at previous car shipments so most of the time the rate is wrong by as little as $100.00 . This is why we do not like automated quotes. If you get a quote on our website here, we will look the car up on the board and give you a market rate not an automated rate This will ensure your car will not sit on the board. Remember too, the drivers choose the highest priced cars first so if your too low you will never move. We have a standard broker fee on top of the driver fee. We don’t need to lie about what is going to the driver because we dont profit from his money (the tariff). If a broker does not tell you their broker fee most likely your getting a low ball rate.
Why do you charge your broker fee up front ?
We charge our broker fee up front because we realize every customer wants to save money. We know that many customers will double book thinking by doing this it is making the brokers compete against each other and think they will pay the least amount of money this way. In reality it works against the customer and all brokers involved. Since we all use the same load board all the posts will be seen by the drivers interested. What the driver sees in a car listed in a certain state going to a certain state and a price listed by several auto transport companies. He will not want to waste his time finding out who really has the order and if he does he will call the company who has it posted the highest and accept theirs. Then the other companies dispatchers continue to look for a driver not knowing their competitor booked a driver. Also, the drivers realize the customer is probably anxious to get their car since they posted it with so many companies so whoever he calls he will most likely now ask for more money. So again either your car will sit and no one will ever call because of this or you will end up paying to much. Then you will blame the broker for this because they didnt get you a driver and you think you waited to long or you now think you were overcharged. In reality many customers sabotage themselves when they double book. This creates a bad customer experience.We charge the fee up front to avoid all this.
Watch out for the lazy broker
Lazy brokers call on their leads and sometimes find out a customer is booked with their competitor and has not moved. They know the customer is serious about moving their car so they are immediately going to try to convince you your with the wrong company. They will use phrases like: We have our own trucks, we have trucks in the area, we have our own drivers,or bad mouth the company your with. We have a rule. If the customer is booked with someone else we simply will not take the order. Brokers agents are straight commission. They have families to feed. Unless you a broker can tell the car was clearly underpriced or the broker had the car more than 10 days there really is no reason to steal someone elses customer. It’s very unethical and unprofessional. If you do fire your broker to go with a new one the new broker agent will post the car back on the same board and nothing willl change unless you gave them more money or changed the location. Now you have just wasted the brokers time that you fired and your own and they wont be paid for anytime they worked on the order. If they did find someone it was surely a matter of luck that the driver logged in and they had the car because of the other company still had it the driver would have called the first company the customer booked with instead. The customer doesn’t realize this and probably feels that the broker they fired was being lazy. There are times tho that you should let your broker go. For example, when they dont return your calls, they didnt offer to change the location to make it more desireable or didn’t suggest increasing your price or you figured out they low balled you. So to answer this question…We charge the broker fee up front to make sure the customer does not waste our time, their time or the drivers. It also make us accountable to move the car in a timely manner.
What happens once you find the driver?
Once an auto transport carrier is found we check the drivers ratings and insurance and dispatch the load. If the driver has bad ratings or his insurance cannot be confirmed we pass on the driver. If your car is dispatched, you will then recieve a dispatch notice informing you who your driver is with his liscense information an company name and contact information and pickup and delivery dates. Your car is usually picked up within 1 day of receiving this notice (on average). The ratings we look up are not public knowledge. They can only be found on central dispatch and you have to be a broker to access them. If you book with a carrier direct how can you be sure he will fix your car if it gets damaged. How can you hold them accountable. The Federal Motor carrier safety administration made brokers licensed to help protect consumers so we can be your advocate just like you would hire a broker to purchase a home. Drivers can tell you anything you want to hear but driver ratings on central dispatch do not lie. We know who damages cars, whose rude, who no shows. Also, we ask after your move how your transport went. If it went bad we blacklist the driver from our company.
Can I pack personal items in the car?
Yes up to 100 pounds. They cannot be firearms or explosives. Its actually illegal for drivers to ship personal items inside the cars so it is up to the driver if he will be willing to do that or not. Speak to your broker about this. These items are not covered by insurance.
How long does it take my car to get to me once its picked up?
Drivers can legally drive up to 700 miles per day. This does not mean they will. On average a cross country move will take 7-10 days (think Los Angeles to Miami). A short move of less than 700 miles will take 1-3 days and half country move will take 3-5. Please be considerate of the driver if they need more time due to weather delays or if their truck does break down. No drivers want to be late.
What happens if the car is damaged?
Ask the driver to give you a copy of his insurance and call us immediately and stay calm. It will be ok. Your car will be fixed. Less than 5% of all auto transports nationwide result in damage but that is what insurance is for. Make sure you do not sign off on the bill of lading unless you have marked the damage. If you do not notate the damage before the driver leaves your claim will be denied and your car wil not be fixed.
Do you offer Military Discounts for car shipping?
The auto transport drivers don’t but we offer $50.00 off as long as its mentioned at time of booking.
Do you offer student discounts, senior rates or AAA discounts?
No. We do offer multiple car discounts.
I booked with a moving company and they said they can ship the car for me should I agree?
No! Most moving companies will go thru a broker. The broker will charge a broker fee, the moving company will charge a fee and then the driver will charge a fee. That’s too many fees! Double brokering is also illegal. Also, since they are not really an auto transport broker they just getting an estimate from whomever that may or may not be right. Let them stick to what they are good at and leave the auto transport job to the pros and call an auto tranport company direct.