Scams are sadly common in the auto transport industry and you should always be careful when choosing your car movers or motorcycle shippers. Here are some common tricks you may come across and should be aware -and beware- of:
Very Low Rate
You may receive an unbelievable low rate to gain your attention, then promise whatever it is you want them to promise. Of course, you will have to pay a deposit (their fee) in advance and right away in order to secure this "amazing deal". Truth is, their quote is not good enough to move your vehicle and they know it. All auto transport brokers (including ourselves) work with the same national network of carriers and, other than honesty and good pricing, there are no magic tricks to get trucks. Carriers go for the highest paying loads first and if your broker is not offering enough money your vehicle could wait indefinitely or never get shipped at all. So, after you pay the deposit upfront, your car will either never get shipped or you will be forced to pay extra in order to attract a carrier.
Truck in the Area
You may receive emails with statements like "we have a truck in your route available to pick up right away, pay the deposit now to book the spot" then, as such truck never existed, you will hear things like "the truck broke down" or other similar stories. As deposits are never refundable, you will have to either pay more or lose whatever money you have already put down. At King of the Road we pride ourselves of ONLY charging for our services when we get the job done.
Money Back Guarantee
"If we don't assign a truck for your vehicle within (so many) days we will refund your deposit". This is oftentimes followed by a low quote and many promises. When the time starts running out and the days go by, they will magically dispatch your vehicle to a truck, but that truck will never show up. Why didn't they show up to pick up your vehicle? Simple: it never existed in the first place. Just like the Truck in the Area Scam, they will fake a dispatch to justify the charges and cover their end and then tell you the truck broke down, or the driver got sick and you will have to wait for the next truck or pay more. Do not fall for this, if your broker is confident he can move your vehicle as agreed and is honest about what you can expect, there will be no reason for upfront charges. Only ship with auto transport companies that do not charge anything upfront, like King of the Road.
Some companies advertise a No Deposit policy. Do you really think they work for free? Do they really think you are that gullible? Make no mistake: every company involved in the shipping of your vehicle will charge a fee, despite the name used for it or the way chosen by the company represent said fees. The broker's fee is the "deposit". If a broker is telling you they do not charge a fee (or deposit or whatever they may call it) he's lying to you, no doubt. What they will do is either charge you the full amount on your credit card to only pay a portion to the driver, or have the driver collect their part from you upon delivery to give you the illusion your broker doesn't charge for his services.
We have our own trucks
No actual carrier will be calling or emailing you to offer their services. None. Any and every email and phone call you are receiving is coming from brokers exclusively. Some brokers may misrepresent their services leading you to believe they are not a broker and they own the truck that will be shipping your vehicle. Nothing further from the truth. Let's break it down: You probably went online to one or more websites that advertise car shipping services and requested a quote from them. Those websites (most of them nothing but lead providers) will then turn around and sell your and other potential customers information in bulk packs of thousands to about 3 to 10 different brokers, which will then compete against each other to obtain your business. If you requested quotes from many websites, be prepared to receive an overwhelming amount of offers and speeches. Actual carriers do not buy this information as most of them run the same one route back and forth or they service only certain states and routes. As carriers cannot pick which leads to purchase, 95% of their investment will go to waste as he cannot serve them all and the competition is large. Carriers simply let the brokers deal with the thousands of daily requests and the logistical organization. We plan the logistics, find the best suited truck for your needs and keep their trucks full in their own routes. King of the Road has a network of thousands of carriers that can ship any vehicle and cover any locations in the US to successfully suit all of our customers needs.