FAQ's

Getting Started

Tips for Preparing Your Car for Transport

  • Your vehicle should be operable (ie, it must start, roll forward and in reverse, steer and brake). We can still move it if it is inoperable in some way, but additional fees will apply.
  • We need to know about any modifications made to your vehicle such as 4×4 lift kit, camper shell, vehicle lowered, excess length or width, etc. Most modifications require special processes and additional fees may apply.
  • If your vehicle exceeds 7’ in height, special methods and additional costs may apply.
  • Your vehicle must have a minimum of 4” ground clearance to safely load and unload your vehicle.
  • We will need a working phone number where you may be reached throughout the duration of your vehicle relocation.
  • Transit times will vary depending on the time of year and the origination and destination of your particular move.
  • Keep in mind that estimates on pickup and delivery times are “estimates” only. Your best resource for tracking and updating the status of your vehicle in-transit will be the communications you receive from our Dispatcher.
  • The vehicle cannot have any obvious fluid leaks.
  • Your battery must be secure in the mounting bracket.
  • The vehicle should be clean for inspection. A dirty vehicle decreases the ability to perform a quality inspection.
  • The gas tank should have a minimum of (1/8) tank of fuel, but no more than (1/4) tank of fuel.
  • All alarm systems must be disconnected, disabled, or turned off.
  • Radios, cassette decks or CD players not built in, car phones, garage door openers, and E-Z pass must be removed. Also, electronic devices such as computer equipment are not permitted.
  • All antennas should be fully retracted or removed.
  • All personal belongings must be removed. (except standard vehicle items such as the jack and spare tire)
  • All exterior spare tire covers, grill covers, or car covers must be removed. These may be locked in the trunk.
  • Plants and hazardous materials are forbidden by law to be transported.
  • One set of ALL keys for the vehicle must be provided.
  • Non-permanent luggage racks, bike racks, or ski racks must be removed.
  • Your vehicle must be prepared for the new climate. This may include engine coolant, transmission oil, and other fluids.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements

  • You or your designated representative must be present for the inspection at the time of pick-up and delivery.
  • You or your designated representatives are responsible for confirming your vehicle’s condition by signing the condition report at both the origin and the destination locations. This must be done before the driver leaves the location.
  • All damages will be noted by our representative on the condition report at origin, confirmed by your countersignature. In the unlikely event there is additional damage on delivery, it will be noted by our representative on the condition report. All discrepancies should be noted on the condition report in order to qualify for damage claims.

FAQ’s

How long will it take to ship my vehicle?

When it comes to shipping vehicles, no company can offer you a guaranteed date, day, or time for pick up and/or delivery. Transit times vary depending on several factors. These include where your vehicle is being picked up, its destination, weather conditions, road conditions and each customer’s schedule. Most importantly, the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the number of hours / miles a truck can run each day, which can determine the timeline of your shipping process. Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes occur too, despite careful preparation. When your order is placed, your vehicle is typically picked up within 3-5 business days, and then normal drive time is used to estimate a delivery date.

What is the difference between open and enclosed carriers?

Open carriers are just that, they are open to the elements. Most of these carriers are designed for capacities of between one to six vehicles. Open transport trailers are considered the industry standard, so unless you request otherwise, your vehicle will be quoted and shipped with an open carrier. Enclosed trailers are completely boxed and vehicles are parked inside, so your car is completely protected from the elements. Enclosed carriers are typically used to transport high-end luxury vehicles, antiques or expensive specialty cars. They are limited to transporting a smaller number of vehicles, and are accompanied by higher insurance costs. As a result, they are more expensive for the shipper. We have access to hundreds of carriers with enclosed trailers, so if you feel you require enclosed transport to meet your logistics requirements, give us a call to speak with a professional about your situation. We only accept phone calls for enclosed transportation quotes, however, these quotes are still FREE! Call (269) 483-2010 to get started

Is my vehicle insured while in transit?

Yes! Your auto transport carrier is required by law to carry liability and cargo insurance to cover your vehicle while in transit. The DOT requires all auto transporters to maintain a valid insurance policy. During transport, your vehicle is fully insured with no deductible to you. Damages caused by drivers and trucks are covered. We do not cover any items transported in the vehicles or damage caused by those items moving. First Choice takes the additional steps to ensure than any subcontracted carrier we may use also has the proper insurance.

What do I do if my vehicle is damaged during transit?

In the unlikely event that your vehicle is damaged in transit, please contact our claims department immediately. Any information you have regarding the claim should be sent directly to a claims representative.

What if I am not available at the time the vehicle is scheduled to be delivered?

You should do your best to be present for the delivery of your vehicle. If this is not possible, you may have a trusted representative at the drop-off point to accept delivery on your behalf. Make sure this person is aware that an inspection will be performed, and a contract bill of lading must be signed. Your representative must take the time to inspect the vehicle for any damages and be sure that all damages are recorded on the bill of lading. In order to ensure that you are satisfied with the condition of your vehicle on the receiving end, all of that vehicle’s condition information must be documented. Once the receiving documents are signed, the delivery is finalized.

Can I load personal items in my vehicle?

It is not recommended to place any personal items in your vehicle to be shipped. The DOT can fine a transporter $10,000 if found to be carrying household goods without proper legal authority. Not only are the items not insured during transport, but any damage to your vehicle due to household goods shifting or breaking is not covered. Under NO circumstance can the car contain firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, or contraband.

Which methods of payment are acceptable?

First Choice accepts all major credit cards or any type of certified funds. We will never ask you to pay a deposit! If you choose to pay with a credit card, we will take the information from you upon order placement but will not run it until the vehicle is picked up and on the way. If you choose to pay upon delivery, we require that payment to be made with any type of certified fund; cash, certified check or money order.

What should I expect?

The most important point to understand about the process of car-shipping is that our industry is not like is not like UPS, Fed-Ex or even the Postal Service. Pick-up and delivery dates are estimates at best, not guarantees. Weather and road conditions present challenges to timely deliveries, as well as unforeseen problems from congested traffic or even mechanical problems. Most often the delays we see occur at the pickup location, when the car is not ready or unavailable to be transported. These situations arise when the seller has not received final payment, and will not release the vehicle. It can also occur if we learn from the carrier that the vehicle is inoperable or oversized, or if the customer has last minute changes to the order (such as on the pick-up or drop off locations). We know that the safe and successfully delivery of your vehicle is of the utmost importance. We also find that open and frequent communication with each shipper helps diffuse frustrations, and ensures there are no surprises. Over 98% of our moves are hassle-free and delivered on-time and we have no doubt that you will be pleased that you placed your trust in the professionals at First Choice!

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