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Finding a Reliable Car Transporter (Podcast)

Finding a Reliable Car Transporter (Podcast)

Mike Scenna, sales manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts, discusses finding a reliable car transporter.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher And I’m here today with Mike Scenna, sales manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. And today our topic is finding a reliable car transporter. Welcome, Mike.

Mike Scenna: Hey, John, how are you?

Asking Advice from a Car Transport Company

John: Good, thanks. So, Mike, one of the things that might come up a lot when people call you is maybe they don’t have a lot of experience with getting their car transported or shipped to another state, that kind of thing, and they might need some advice from you. Maybe have a lot of questions about what type of truck that they’re going to have to choose for their particular model of car, just any kinds of questions that people might have. Are you guys prepared to give a lot of advice and is that the sign of a good auto transport company?

Mike: Yes, yes, absolutely. And I think that this is something that we find people are looking for advice on a lot. And I think it’s important to have people who can provide that information. We get calls all the time from people who are new to car shipping, it might be their first time, and they need some help. They want to be walked through the process. It can seem a bit overwhelming and they really want someone that can help them make sure they’re making the right decisions.

So we’ve talked before about when you call in with us, right from when you get your quote through whether or not you book through the whole shipment, you’re going to get a dedicated rep throughout the entire process. And all of our reps are very, very well trained here. I would consider all of them experts at moving cars. They spend significant time with dispatch departments. They even spend time out on the trucks, really learning the industry before moving into a seat where they’re dealing with the customers. Once they get to the point where they’re on their own, dealing with customers, they’re all very well trained to answer any questions you might have. What type of shipping is best for you? We give advice on timelines.

So for example, one I get a lot is people moving. And they call us and say, “Mike, we’re going to send our cars out. How quick can you get them there? We don’t want to be without our cars. We want them to get there very quickly.” And it’s something people miss a lot. But the simple piece of advice there is why don’t we send out one car first, so you have one car while you’re at point A and the other car gets to point B, and then right before you leave, you give up the other car so when you get to point B your other car is there and then you wait for the second car to follow. And it’s one we give a lot and people are like, “Wow, I didn’t even think of that. That makes so much sense.”

But yeah, little things like that, just pointing them in the right directions, tips outside of just moving the car, but what life is going to be like without the car? Well, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on. So, yeah. Yeah. We get asked questions like that a lot. We’re very happy to answer them and to help make the entire process of shipping the car, but also living without the car as easy as possible.

John: Yeah. That’s interesting. And that’s a really interesting point that you brought up about shipping two cars. Maybe my wife and I, we’re both moving and we both have our own cars and we want to ship them both, but we don’t want to both be without cars. And so maybe going a week or two where we can share a car on either end is a worthwhile thing so that we don’t have to both be without our cars at the same time. So yeah, that’s the kind of thing that I wouldn’t have thought of, but if somebody explains what their individual issue is and what they’re trying to do, you guys can help us work through those problems and figure out a way that works best for us.

Mike: Right. Yeah. There are all kinds of factors and our team is trained very well to ask the right questions and help get this done in a way that really suits your needs.

Obtaining a Quote

John: Asking questions brings up another point, which is getting a quote. What happens when I’m trying to get a quote from maybe multiple companies? And should I be expecting that I’m going to have to talk to a company and then they’re going to maybe give me that sort of high pressure sales pitch to try to make a decision today? Is that what I should be expecting? Or should I be expecting that a company will give me a quote and then let me take a week to think about it? And in terms of asking questions, what kinds of questions should I be expecting that the auto transport company is going to ask me in order to be able to give me an accurate quote?

Mike: Yeah, those are all really good questions, John. So of course, I don’t think you should be pressured when purchasing anything. I don’t think anyone likes the feeling of being pressured to make a quick decision. And we certainly wouldn’t do that here. We really lean on our honesty here and integrity. And although sometimes decisions are important to make, because if you have certain accommodations you’re looking for during the shipment, you want a car at a certain place at a certain time, it’s important to get the ball rolling on that process, give a company time to work on that move so they can accommodate what you’re looking for.

But for a company like us, I would present that to you. I wouldn’t pressure you into making that decision. I’d tell you, in my opinion, it’s important to make this decision quickly if you want the car at this place at this time. But ultimately at the end of the day, I want everyone who I work with to feel comfortable about the decisions they make.

And to your second point, yes, considering the questions that the shipping company asks you is very important. There are a lot of companies out there that you call and tell them I’m looking to move a car from Atlanta to Chicago and they say, “That’s great. It’ll be this much.” So if you get that, that is not a company that I would recommend moving forward with because I could tell you, you’re probably going to run into problems there. There are all kinds of questions that a company should be asking in order to give you an accurate quote and safely move the vehicle. So timeframes are important. The type of vehicle is extremely important. There’s a huge difference between a Toyota Prius and a Cadillac Escalade. Weight’s going to [inaudible] the price.

Also the locations. You need to know if they’re accessible for these trucks. You want to know on the front end there if the location that you need the car shipped to is inaccessible by a truck, then that’s a problem you’re dealing with when the truck is really close to the destination. We have a new set of problems that could bring on new sets of money. So it’s very important to ask a lot of questions. But detailed information about the origin and destination, detailed information about the vehicle and detailed information about your expected timeframe. Those are all questions you should be asked when receiving a quote for auto shipping.

Types of Auto Transport Available

John: Okay. That’s great. What about choosing a car transporter which offers multiple types of auto transport? So depending on what type of car that I have, I might want that shipped on a car carrier with a lot of other cars or possibly on a flatbed by itself or even in an enclosed truck. Is it important to make sure that the company offers multiple options in terms of the types of trucks?

Mike: Yeah, of course. I mean, ultimately at the end of the day, what’s important to an individual is that the individual type of shipment they’re looking for. So I guess it’s important that they offer at least that type of shipment. But when you get into the bigger companies, they are going to have all of those options. So we have options out there. As you had mentioned, everything from, you could be on a nine car carrier, open a nine car carrier with eight other cars, to an individual enclosed trailer pulling just your car, dedicated solely to this single move.

And there’s just kind of a give and take there of what’s important is that do you have a really high end expensive car that you need to get somewhere at a certain time? And it has to go smooth that we can’t have damage on this at all. Then yeah, we want that dedicated enclosed carrier. But are you going somewhere and are you more flexible on time? Is it not as important that the car stay covered the whole time, but it is important that you save some money? We have options for that as well.

So, yeah, I think it’s good. I mean, if you’re shipping one time, make sure the company meets those needs, but a lot of people ship on a regular basis. People are shifting over to not feeling like they need to walk into the dealership to buy a car. They can find one online and have it delivered to their house. So those people could be purchasing as soon as every two or three years. So yeah, but you don’t know what kind of car you’re going to buy next or what type of shipment that you’re going to need so I think it’s very important that you start to build a relationship with a company that offers different types of shipments.

Online Reviews

John: What about reading online reviews? Is that an important part of finding a reliable car transporter? And should I be cautious of a company that doesn’t seem to put their reviews kind of front and center on their website?

Mike: Yeah, I would. I mean, there are reviews out there for a reason, and there are a lot of companies out there with bad reviews that put a big effort into hiding them. There are companies out there that have bad reviews and put a bigger effort into changing those, which is good. And there are companies with good reviews that put a big effort into making sure they’re getting good reviews. And I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to get good reviews in this industry. People’s expectations seem to not always align with what the reality of the industry is. So for a company like us, we’re really happy to maintain very high reviews and we’d do that through helping people understand what to expect in this industry and delivering a very quality product. So I think, yeah, it’s very important to check the reviews. If you find an auto transport company that maintains good reviews, you know that they’re working very hard to do that.

John: Right. Expectations are a huge thing. If I just have the right expectations that, Hey, this is going to take a week or this is going to take two weeks or something like that, then I know upfront that’s how long it’s going to take and then when it happens, or maybe you even beat that time, then it’s great. But if my expectation is that I’m going to get my car in two days and then it takes a week, well, now I’m upset. You know? So I think setting the expectations for the consumer is a huge factor.

Mike: Right. Absolutely. I say that to people all the time. I talk to people and I tell them, you’re looking at about a week, maybe 10 days to get the car. And they don’t like that answer and it can be very upsetting. And I always say that I could tell you, it’s going to take less time, but that would be unrealistic. And that would probably be more upsetting to you on the other end. The reality is, this is a reasonable transit time for any company. And people appreciate that by the end of that discussion. I don’t like that it’s going to take a week, but I’d rather know that now than find out when I thought I was going to get my car.

John: Right. And my car is on a truck somewhere halfway across the country and I don’t have it.

Mike: Right. And then you’re learning, okay, the reality is it really takes longer than these times people are saying.

John: Right. All right. Well, that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Yeah, of course. Thanks, John.

John: And for more information or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at or call (877) 542-1955.