The auto transport industry is filled with different companies – thousands upon thousands of different auto transport companies vying for your business. However, there are only two types: auto transport brokerages and auto transport carriers, and the companies that you want to book your auto transport with are auto transport brokerages, for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is cost – auto transport brokerages help to keep the prices low, because they take their own fees out. It sounds odd, but having auto transport brokerages in the mix forces auto transport carriers to take loads from them, because they have cornered the market in terms of customers. Auto transport carriers take loads from auto transport brokers; that’s where their business comes from, so in this case auto transport brokerages help lower the prices.
This doesn’t mean that auto transport carriers have no say in the price; it is ultimately up to the auto transport carriers to decide how much any given shipment is, but because auto transport brokerages take their fees as well (this is known as the deposit), auto transport carriers and brokerages have to find a balance. If a carrier is asking for, say, $700 for a particular shipment, the auto transport broker is going to tack on their deposit to that (which is usually around $200). If an auto transport broker wasn’t there, however, auto transport carriers would have all say in terms of pricing; an auto transport route that would go for $700 with an auto transport brokerage involved could cost twice or even three times that with just an auto transport carrier involved. The auto transport carriers want to take as much money as they can, so brokerages sort of set a limit.
However, be wary when it comes to the auto transport quotes you receive; auto transport brokers try to price your auto transport to where it is balanced between what the customer is willing to pay and what the auto transport carrier is willing to take the load for, but if a price seems too low, chances are your vehicle will not move. So pay attention to the prices you receive, especially when shopping for auto transport quotes. Try to find prices that are in the middle; if you pay too little, your vehicle won’t move. If you pay too much, you may be overpaying for your auto transport.
Different auto transport companies charge different deposits and have different methods of collecting payment. Some auto transport companies take just their deposit, and then when your vehicle is delivered the auto transport carrier will collect their portion upon delivery. Other companies have you pay in full for your auto transport, and then send the carrier’s payment to them after delivery. Sometimes, under rare circumstances, the auto transport brokerage will ask the carrier to collect their deposit when the vehicle is delivered in addition to whatever the carrier would be collecting. Ask your auto transport agent if you have any questions regarding payment, as they are the final authority in that regard.