Important Information About Shipping Your Vehicle

What is Auto Load Logic?

Auto Load Logic makes it easy to find the best shipper to transport your vehicle. It's the only system on the market that allows shippers to enjoy peace of mind while having their vehicle transported. Auto Load Logic verifies every service provider on our system and prescreens for active and secure legal authority for transport in the United States. Some of the benefits that only we offer are:

  • Auto Load Logic approved service providers
  • Photo based vehicle inspections at pick-up and delivery
  • E-Contracting within the system
  • Non-intrusive quotes delivered to your own private account
  • Real Time GPS tracking on your transport
  • In-System messaging with your service provider

With the Auto Load Logic system, we are redefining auto transport. You will receive quotes within your free dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to review, correspond, research and decide on the quote that best suits your needs.

We are certain that once you compare quotes from our service providers with those from other shipping sites, you will clearly see that you will save both time and money with Auto Load Logic.

How does the contracting process work?

There are typically three parties involved in a vehicle transport:

  1. The Shipper – That’s you!
  2. The Carrier – That’s the trucking company that actually picks up, transports and delivers the vehicle, and
  3. The Broker – The Broker is an expert in matching the needs of Shippers and Carriers and in contracting for and managing the transport process.
Why is a Broker involved?

The Broker performs several valuable functions in the process:

  • The Broker will search for a reputable and reliable Carrier to provide the service you need.
  • The Broker will contract with the Carrier and will be responsible for managing the Carrier relationship. As a part of that contracting process the Broker will review and agree to the Carrier’s Terms and Conditions governing the transport.
  • The Broker is required by the Federal government to carry a bond securing the payments among the parties to the contract. This provides a layer of legal and financial protection that would not be present if you were contracting directly with a Carrier.
  • The Broker will be responsible for handling any difficulty that might arise with the transport on your behalf.

So the Broker is the transport industry professional acting on your behalf to assure that you get the service you need.

How do I decide which quote I should accept?

Sometimes quotes for the transport of a vehicle can vary widely and the lowest quote is not always the best one for you.

For example, some Brokers are very familiar with certain routes or parts of the country. They’re knowledgeable of prevailing prices and also confident in their ability to find available Carriers in those areas. Brokers who are not familiar with a route or area might feel the need to provide a substantial margin of safety in their quote to compensate for the uncertainty, making their quotes seem very high.

On the other hand, a Broker not familiar with a difficult transport problem, such as a route through slow, mountainous terrain, might not build enough cost into the quote, and those quotes might seem low.

If you know that your transport need is unusually complicated it will be to your benefit to make sure that information is clear when requesting quotes. In general, it’s a good idea to question quotes that seem too good to be true.

Our private messaging system provides you the ability to ask a question in cases where a quote seems either unusually high or unusually low.

These quotes look high: What’s wrong?

There are a number of reasons why the cost of a given transport might be higher than expected:

  • If your vehicle does not run, it will be more difficult to transport and the cost will be higher.
  • If either the pick-up or delivery location is difficult to reach in a typical auto transport trailer, the price will probably reflect that.
  • If your vehicle is oversized, the cost will be higher.
  • If your vehicle has substantial aftermarket modifications, the cost will probably be higher.
  • If the route of travel is through difficult terrain, like mountains, or areas with expensive tolls like New York City, the cost will reflect those conditions.
  • If the route is through difficult weather conditions, like the Dakotas in February; expect to pay more.
  • If the pick-up or delivery location is in a residential neighborhood where large trucks are prohibited or where there are low-hanging trees. Cul-de-sac locations can also cause access problems.

You get the idea!

Open versus Enclosed Trailers

You should be aware that there are two kinds of trailers used by Carriers: open and enclosed. An open trailer is the kind you are probably used to seeing on the highway. You can see the vehicles secured on the trailer and they are subject to the same kind of weather and road conditions as if they were being driven.

An enclosed trailer is built very much like an open trailer but the area containing the vehicles is enclosed. Because of this, the vehicles are protected from weather and road debris.

Enclosed trailers are more expensive than open trailers and so transport in an enclosed trailer is typically more expensive. These trailers are most commonly used for classic or luxury vehicles. If you want your vehicle shipped in an enclosed trailer you need to specify that requirement, otherwise you will almost certainly get quotes for open trailer transport.

Keep in mind, most new vehicles are transported to dealers’ showrooms on open trailers. That’s the industry standard.

Questions to Ask About Quotes

It is perfectly OK to ask questions before accepting a quote. You might want to know:

  • Is this quote all inclusive?
  • Will I be paying the rate quoted with no additional fees?
  • Do you require payment before my vehicle has been picked up?
  • Is the quote for door to door service or will I need to meet the driver somewhere?
  • What forms of payment are accepted?
  • Will I be provided a receipt?
  • Is a cancellation deposit required? If so, is it refundable?
  • Who would I contact if damages to my vehicle were to occur?
  • What is the carrier’s insurance coverage for both liability and cargo?

How long does it take?

The quoting and contracting process can move very quickly if your situation is not very complicated. It is often possible to get quotes, review your options, decide on a service provider, and get a commitment within just 1 to 3 days.

From the time the commitment is made, it is normally possible to have your vehicle picked up in 3 to 7 days. That will depend on the location of the pick-up point, the route of transport, the condition of the vehicle, etc.

In general, it’s a good idea to plan as far in advance as you can. That will increase the opportunity for broad exposure of your need and that should give you the chance to get the best possible price. The time to actually deliver your vehicle will depend principally on the distance the carrier will have to travel. Short distance can be covered in as little as a day, while cross-country runs may take 7 days or more. Transit times will also vary depending on the time of year, weather, road conditions, and the possibility of construction.

What information will I need to provide?

You will be asked:

  • The year, the make, and the model of the vehicle,
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Don’t worry, there’s more help when you get to this step.
  • Does your vehicle roll, steer, brake, run, and drive?
  • Is your vehicle inoperable?
  • What is the ZIP code of the pick-up location and of the delivery location?
  • When would you like your vehicle picked-up and delivered? (Be reasonable here. You can’t get from New York City to Los Angeles on the same day!)
  • Your email address
  • Does your vehicle have any aftermarket modifications to the vehicle? (Lift or lowering kit, oversized tires, headache rack, grill guard, work bed, spoiler, ground effects, camper shell, replacement bumpers, etc.)

What should I do to prepare my vehicle for transport?

  • Clean the inside and the outside of your vehicle. The standard vehicle items may remain, such as a jack, spare tire, jumper cables.
  • Remove everything from the vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not allow any personal items to be transported in the vehicle.
  • The driver will perform an inspection of your vehicle upon pick-up and then again at delivery. The best way to ensure that the inspection is accurate is to clean the vehicle and perform a quick inspection yourself. Make sure you document the odometer reading as well. This will prepare you for the driver’s inspection.
  • Inspections are easier and more accurate in good light. So, if possible, avoid pick-up and delivery times after dark.
  • The vehicle should not have more than ¼ a tank of fuel.
  • Check the fluid levels, especially if you are shipping from a warm climate to a cold climate.
  • Check for fluid leaks and let the driver know if there are any. (The driver doesn’t want to position a vehicle with a fluid leak above another vehicle on his trailer.)
  • Make sure that the tires are properly inflated. If they are not, please share that information with your auto transport specialist as well.
  • Please remove any aftermarket items that are not permanently affixed to the vehicle. (CD players, radios, car phones, garage door openers, toll tag passes, etc.)
  • Please remove exterior items that are not permanently affixed, (Spare tires and tire covers, grill covers, vehicle covers, luggage racks, bike racks, ski racks, etc.)
  • Caps, Tonnueau™ covers, and canopies on pickup trucks must be properly bolted to the bed of the truck to ensure a safe delivery. Canvas or vinyl Tonneau™ covers must be either retracted and locked, or removed.
  • Please check your battery and verify that it is securely mounted.
  • Antennas must be removed or fully retracted.
  • Plants or horticulture, firearms, and hazardous materials are forbidden by law to be transported.
  • The USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) requires that the carrier be provided with one set of all keys for the vehicle, including the trunk, the door, the ignition, and the glove box. Carriers pass through points of entry and inspection stations in which DOT officers will inspect the carrier’s equipment as well as the vehicles in his/her possession. It is important that the carrier have the proper keys for these inspections.
  • If there are special instructions required to start your vehicle, please advise the driver.
  • Alarms should be turned off.

Do I have to be present when my vehicle is picked up or delivered?

Yes, you or your designated representative must be present at the time of pick-up and delivery. You are responsible for signing the inspection report (Bill of Lading) at both pick-up and delivery. It is very important that you be present for delivery so you can verify that there has been no damage done to your vehicle in transit. If there has been any damage, make sure it is noted on the delivery Bill of Lading.

The Auto Load Logic system provides a means for location and time-stamped photo inspections both at pick-up and delivery.

It is a good idea to make sure that photos are taken of any area or item that you think might represent in-transit damage to avoid any subsequent dispute.

Is my vehicle insured?

Auto Transport Carriers are licensed by the FMCSA and required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance. The Carrier’s insurance as well as their Operating Authority is checked by Auto Load Logic before they can become an approved service provider on our site. Auto Load Logic understands that your vehicle is a very important and a costly asset.

Even though the Carrier is required to maintain insurance we strongly recommend that you make sure your vehicle is also covered by your own automobile insurance policy. There are certain exclusions in your Carrier’s policy, such as damage by snow or hail or by other defined “Acts of God” which are beyond the control of the Carrier.