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The need for high-quality auto transport has been rising at an unprecedented rate. Job relocations, cross-country moves, online car purchases, and even seasonal vehicle transfers have turned the transport industry into a vital part of people’s lives – and the economy.
However, the decision to entrust one’s vehicle to a transport company can’t be taken lightly. The industry brims with a myriad of options, and making an informed choice is crucial not only for the safety of the vehicle but also for one’s peace of mind during the process.
Price is undeniably a significant factor in this decision, but focusing primarily on expenses can lead to potential pitfalls that could prove costly in the long run.
According to Steve Yariv, the owner and operator at Dealers Choice Auto Transport (DCAT), the allure of lower prices is undeniable, but when it comes to something as delicate as transporting a vehicle, quality should always be the top priority.
“Choosing an auto transport service isn’t just about finding the lowest price. It’s about finding a balance of cost and quality that best serves your needs,” he says. “If the transfer goes smoothly, that’s great, but should anything go wrong, many budget companies are unwilling to go out of their way to help you.”
With decades of experience in the transportation industry, Yariv has seen it all: the evolution of the industry, its highs and lows, and the challenges it poses for customers trying to make sense of its complexities. That’s why his mission with DCAT has always been to ensure top-notch service and customer satisfaction every step of the way, from the initial quote to the final delivery.
As Yariv highlights, budget shipping options may initially seem attractive due to their low quotes. But, if the offer seems too good to be true—it usually is. These quotes can often be misleading, hiding a number of hidden fees that only become apparent once the service is underway. This is where the importance of getting a detailed breakdown of costs upfront comes into play.
“Some budget services may exclude necessary costs from their initial quote, only to add them later as ‘additional’ or ‘extra’ fees,” he shares. “These can include costs for fuel, tolls, insurance, and even specific loading and unloading charges.”
These hidden fees can quickly add up, turning what seemed like a budget option into a costly endeavor.
Moreover, with low-cost services, there are also potential drawbacks associated with cutting corners. One such risk involves compromised maintenance and driver training.
To reduce costs, some services may neglect regular vehicle maintenance or skimp on driver training, both of which are critical components of a safe and efficient auto transport service.
The repercussions of such compromises can be severe, leading to an increased chance of vehicle damage and safety hazards. “For instance, inadequately maintained transport trucks might break down, resulting in delays or, worse, accidents,” Yariv says.
Of course, accidents can happen at any time, and they aren’t reserved for low-cost services only. As Yariv emphasizes, incidents come with the industry, and a good number of them can be a result of external factors.
In this context, it comes down to how the transport company handles these situations. Here, insurance plays a critical role. However, many services—budget or not—only offer ‘peril’ policies that do not provide comprehensive coverage.
These policies can exclude essential aspects such as road debris damage or minor accidents, leaving customers to bear the financial burden should something like that occur.
Interestingly, DCAT has a much different approach. The company is one of the few fully insured transport services, covered even by a secondary policy.
“We have our clients’ backs entirely. If an incident does happen, we cover any extra costs,” Yariv reveals. “After all, if you treat your customers with respect, your business will prosper.”
Without a doubt, in auto shopping, the adage “you get what you pay for” rings particularly true. While low-cost options remain attractive, the cheapest isn’t always the most effective. The hidden costs and potential pitfalls, as well as their consequences, can quickly transform it into an expensive affair.
As Yariv says, “Before making your next vehicle shipping decision, step back, reflect, and ensure that you’re not just looking for the cheapest option but the one that truly offers the best value for your money – and peace of mind.”