The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has launched a new program aimed at finding and putting a stop to unsafe practices used by some auto transporters. The program, known as CSA or Compliance, Safety, Accountability, is a program targeted at commercial transport services such as auto transporters that currently use unsafe practices to transport goods or vehicles for consumers. By using a variety of different tools, such as roadside inspections and accident reviews, the FMCSA hopes to put a stop to companies that take advantage of consumers and their money or goods.
Becoming the victim of a scam involving an auto transporter is everyone’s worst nightmare when it comes to transporting a vehicle. A car or truck is one of the biggest investments that you can make. As such, dealing with a scam can be stressful, especially if you are talking about your one vehicle that you really need to get around. Avoiding scams is not always simple, but there are some things that you can do in order to avoid problems that the FMCSA doesn’t catch with their new program.
- Research the Company: No matter where you are going or how many vehicles you might be transporting, it is a good idea to research any of the auto transport companies that you are thinking of using for your auto transport needs. There are hundreds of companies out there, from the local guys to the big named corporate companies. Make sure that you avoid a scam by choosing a highly rated company that has a track record of customer satisfaction rather than customer anguish. Look online and seek out reviews that will point you in the right direction.
- Read the Fine Print: All auto transporters are going to come with a contract. This contract will likely contain tons of fine print, all of which you should not only read, but understand as well. This is one of the things that gets people every time. Usually, when caught in a cheap car shipping scam or less than desirable business practice, the company refers back to something obscure within the contract that prevents you from doing anything about the problem. This is why you must read everything and understand what you are signing before you sign it.
- Insure Yourself: Insurance is a big deal when you are shipping a vehicle. Not only will insurance protect you when the mover’s liability doesn’t, but it can help you get back on your feet after damage or loss has occurred while your vehicle was in transit. Again, a vehicle can be a huge investment, so it is vital that you protect the money that you put into the purchase and upkeep of said vehicle by purchasing enough insurance to cover even the total loss of the car while it is in transit.
- Choose Transparency Over Price: You might be tempted to go with the cheapest company that you find, but it would be better if you chose a company with transparent business operation over the company that charges the least. This is important. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of a scam, so finding a company that is not afraid to hide anything is the best route to go. Check online and speak to a company representative to find out if they are willing to provide what they claim to customers that have come before you.
Know Your Rights: Regardless of where you are transporting your vehicle to, it is important to know what your rights are as a consumer. Research these rights, such as how much the company can charge and who to contact if something goes wrong before you release the vehicle that you have for transport. In the end, this simple step can give you something to stand on if you are ever faced with a company or situation that is less than what you hoped for.