Trying to find reputable auto transporter to move my car cross-country


#1

I am moving from Charlotte, NC to Los Angeles, CA and am trying to find a reputable auto transport/relocation company (NOT a broker) to move my 2013 Mazda CX-5. I’ve looked on the BBB website, but a lot of the ones they list are brokers. I’ve heard horror stories of people going through brokers to have their cars moved and I am really trying to avoid using a broker.

Has anyone used a service like this that they would recommend? Any and all help on this issue would be greatly appreciated as I’m headed into a time crunch.

Note: Driving the car cross-country myself in just not an option for me, just to be clear.


#2

Edit: if you’ve used a reputable broker or know of one, I’ll accept those too. Thanks! :slight_smile:


#3

I shipped a car about 15 years ago and also mostly found brokers. My best suggestion is for you to call as many brokers as reasonable and get quotes for both time and cost.

Btw, it is possible that different brokers will end up booking you are with the same driver and rig, so looking for price might work well if the pick up dates are the same.

I remember running into a bad broker out of the NY area… But the one I ended up using was fine. Sorry but I don’t remember the broker name.


#4

And remember the obvious. Leave nothing important in the car and take a good and complete video inside and out in case something happens.


#5

Pick up a copy of Hemmings. On pages 136 and 137 of the December issue there are at least 20 listings for auto transport. Some single trailers, some weekly coast to coast runs etc. I’ve never used one but if you find a Morris Minor out there I’d be interesting in the return run.


#6

There are all sorts of risks involved when someone else drives your car. That’s why professional Brokers are the best agencies to use, b/c they’ve had experience and know how to minimize the risks, and somehow get your car to where it needs to go more or less unscathed.

If you’re opposed to using Brokers, one method I’ve used is to go to your nearest college/university, find a bulletin board where you can post offers for jobs students might be interested in, and post what you need there. I’ve done this before when I’ve needed moving help, and the results were good. With this method you have an opportunity to interview the drivers yourself first, to make sure they seem sensible and responsible.


#7

Your first choice is do you want it driven, or transported. Amtrak used to provide a transport service, but not a cheap alternative when I looked into it. There is a website that used to be on tv that people bid on transport services. The show as called shipping wars, ther was a website where they would bid lower than the next guy to get the job. Even put a few bids myself, but got undercut for the job. Was the low bidder n transporting a horse from KY to WI, ready to borrow a buds horse trailer, 1800 my bid, went for 1200 at the last minute.


#8

Figure $1-$1.50 a mile…Open trailers are cheaper than closed…It’s cheaper if you deliver it and pick it up at their drop points.


#9

I heard that intercity lines is reputable


#10

I don’t know if they still have it. But, years ago, they had a ‘race’ (Cannon ball) across the USA. Tickets are yours. I can’t remember if they won or came in second. But, two guys were being paid to drive a person’s beautiful Cadillac across the USA, and that is what they used. they were only supposed to go so far a day, not drive over 70, and stop after dark. I believe they averaged well over 100 mph, but that is my poor memory telling me that. Also by memory I think they beat the Ferrari. Wish I could verify my memory. Anyone know?

But, the point is, there is risk letting someone drive your car.


#11

This is off-topic for OP but does give details on the original race.


#12

A good reputable transport company will inspect the car with you, and note down any mars/scratches/dings etc on a standard form BEFORE they load it. You then sign that sheet agreeing to its condition. Then, when you take delivery (Or, pick up, depending on the type of delivery you pick.) you go over it again and compare it to the original inspection sheet. And yes, take plenty of pictures during that pre-shipment inspection. A good reputable company will have no problem with that. Good luck and have a nice trip to LA.


#13

As a rule, you’ll have a deal with brokers, even if they name themselves as the direct carriers. Brokers have a bulk business with the carriers, that’s why they know how to make price lower. Carriers can’t cover all the routes on their own, so they do it with the help of brokers. So, there is no sense to search for a direct carrier, you’ll only waste your time without saving money.


#14

There are a number of those brokers who get individuals to drive cars to the West Coast.

Years ago my brother and I drove a Buick Riviera from Detroit to San Francisco. The broker was called “Cars to California”, and they specialized in getting students and other non car owners to drive the cars West. We got the car for nothing, but had to pay for our own gas. Needless to say we took our time and travelled through Colorado, Utah Reno Nevada and all those other interesting places.

You do risk damage to your car depending on the driver. The original Cannonball had one of the contestants drive an executive’s Cadillac from New York to LA at full competition speed, which averaged over 100 mph. The car" behaved well", but used some oil.

There is a thriving Snow Bird service in driving seniors cars from the North (NY, Boston, etc) to Florida. and back.