First-time Auto Transport Tips

More used car dealers are searching for late-model inventory from online auto auctions far outside their usual 200 – 500 mile trading area. For dealers shipping long distance online for the first-time, here are a few tips to help choose an auto transport partner who will ship cars and trucks conveniently, affordably and safely.


When looking for an auto transport company, it is important to select one that is experienced, federally-licensed and reputable, with a documented history of nationwide auto transportation. Find a transporter that is listed with the Better Business Bureau and is financially solid. The transport company should also be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Visit the company’s web site and check their membership in dealer and remarketing associations. Memberships in professional organizations such as the National Independent Auto Dealers Association, National Auto Auction Association, and the International Auto Remarketers Alliance are a strong sign that the vehicle transporter is experienced, reputable and committed to excellence in customer service.

Look for an auto shipper that is a SmartWay(TM) Transportation Partner. Working with an environmentally-friendly transport company which is certified by the U.S. EPA can be important and provides several benefits, such as reducing fuel consumption and contributing to cleaner air quality.

Online Convenience

The look and feel of a transport company’s web site is generally a good indicator of how modern and progressive the company is. If the site is difficult to navigate or looks dated, their business systems and practices might also be outdated.

Does the site feature easy-to-use tools to help dealers obtain an instant price quote and estimated transit time?

Can visitors to the site quickly access frequently asked questions, as well as additional information about shipping options, special promotions, and terms and conditions?

Does the auto transporter’s web site offer the ability to track shipments online?


Look for a transport company that offers the flexibility of multimodal auto shipping services.

With rising fuel prices, transport by rail for shipments over 500 miles can lower shipping costs by 15 to 30 percent. This helps keep delivery costs low when shipping cars from more distant auto auctions.

Railroads now move a ton of freight nearly 457 miles for each gallon of diesel fuel used, and modern automotive railcars can hold up to three times more vehicles than a truck transport. This amounts to more efficient shipping at lower costs.

Quality Auto Transport

Safe, quality transport should always be a primary concern. Check the transport company’s website for their record of safe and complaint-free delivery, as well as the safeguards they provide. Look for a customer-focused auto transport company that maintains rigorous quality processes. Door-to-door pickup and delivery of vehicles should be performed only by licensed and fully-insured service providers.

The vehicle transport company’s Operations department should be able to provide up-to-date status of vehicle shipments during every phase of the auto transport process, including a Proof of Delivery document once the shipment has been delivered. If the company offers online tracking, customers can monitor their own shipment progress as well.

Auto transport by rail generally includes shipment in fully-enclosed railcars. Rail transport provides vehicles better protection than an open car hauler; more than 99 percent of all vehicles shipped by rail arrive in pre-shipment condition.

For added peace of mind, only use an auto transport company with helpful, friendly customer service personnel who can be reached 24/7.

Finding the right used vehicle inventory can be challenging, but an experienced, progressive and customer-focused auto transport and logistics partner like ShipCarsNow can make transactions easy and hassle-free. Make the final selection of an vehicle transport company based on which one offers the most convenient, affordable, and safe solution that best meets your business price and timing requirements.

About the Author:
ShipCarsNow, A Union Pacific Company, was created to provide the used car industry affordable multimodal auto shipping services. For more information, visit or contact ShipCarsNow Toll Free (866) 207-3360 and join our online communities at facebook and Twitter

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