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Car Transport Companies

I am looking for feedback on automotive transport companies. I am in the process of buying a car in Michigan and having it transported to Oregon. I think I have narrowed it down to 2 companies: BT Auto Express and Specialty Mobile Systems.

Not much to go on in the way of online ratings, but on the few I looked at, these two seem to have better than average ratings. Checked with the Better Business Bureau and both came back clean. Would love to hear from others who are familiar with either of these two companies.

Also wondering if you feel that enclosed transport is worth the extra $400-500. Kind of leaning toward open transport at this time.

If you are considering using a transport company, you may want to do some research online. There are some pretty scary stories out there. Here are a couple of websites: www.epinions.com (look under home and garden) and www.autotransportwatch.com. There is quite a contrast of reviews between the two sites for a company called AAAdvantage. Makes you wonder if someone is writing bogus reviews.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Comments

  • dbgindydbgindy Posts: 351
    You just got a reccomendation from the Master. Use the knowledge wisely.:-)

    Duncan
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    $4/500 was the difference between open and closed transport, not the fee... if it only cost that kinda money, i'd go in on the deal and have a 1980 chevy shorty van without rust transported BACK...
    mathias in MI
  • That's correct. $400-500 difference between open and closed. I will call Dash to see what they have to offer. Do you recommend closed or do you feel that open is sufficient? 
    Obviously money is always an issue.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ....... Unless your shipping a 03 CLK, SL Benz or an Audi A6, then I would be going open ... you know what they say: "the Lord hates a coward" .... :)

                         Terry.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **i'd go in on the deal and have a 1980 chevy shorty van without rust transported BACK...**

               ...l.o.l... you kill me sometimes ...

                       Terry.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    ..(he sputtered)... I'm SERIOUS.
    Ever see one? My most-loved car ever.
    It was utility-green. It had rust-holes all along the rocker panels, elegantly covered with galvanized sheet metal, professionally pop-riveted in.
    Straight-six, 3-on-the tree.
    Smoothest clutch ever. Seriously.
    I bought it for $560 and drove it for 9 months in '95 before it completely conked out... only car to ever leave me stranded by the roadside. Aaah, love is blind.
    It had 90 degrees of slop in the steering.
    It leaked from the exhaust manifold.
    Before driving on the freeway for >15 minutes, I had to remove the thermostat for improved flow.
    I LOVED that truck. Pulled from a dead stop in 2nd of 3 gears if necessary.
    Oh the memories.... -m
  • red927red927 Posts: 118
    I have a question. My father-in-law (87 years old) had his car shipped from NY to Florida in October. The car was picked up on schedule and delivered on schedule. When it was delivered he noticed that there were approximately 500 additional miles on the odometer. He also noticed that the material he had stored on the backseat had been moved so that a person copuld sit there. He called the company to complain and they said they would investigate. After not hearing from them for a while, he called again and was told that they couldn't verify the extra mileage and to not bother them again. I found out that at the time of pick up, the starting mileage was not filled in on the paperwork.

    Does this happen very often? What is his recourse, if any?

    Phil
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .. **The car was picked up on schedule and delivered on schedule. When it was delivered he noticed that there were approximately 500 additional miles on the odometer. He also noticed that the material he had stored on the backseat had been moved so that a person could sit there. **

             It does sound kinda suspect, but it doesn't make much sense .. anytime you transport from state to state, you have to have a bill of ladening(sp?), shows weight, distance and whats on the truck .. there's 2 weight stations between NY and FL they have to drop to .. you have the paper work from the company, right.?

             There should also be a "warrant" sheet, shows the vehicle before departure and it gets signed off to the customer AFTER the inspection by your dad ... who's the transport co ..? to answer your question ~ nooo, it's not common ... where was the vehicle picked up, where did it land, what was the time sequence.?

                        Terry.
  • red927red927 Posts: 118
    I do not have all of the information you requested. I do know that the car was picked up in Flushing, NY on 10/8, driven to JFK and supposedly shipped on 10/9. It arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on 10/13 and was delivered to him the same day. The shipper was a company from Long Island, whose name I don't know.

    After speaking with my father-in-law, he said that he doesn't remember anything about paperwork being given to him, only that a few hours after the car was delivered, he noticed the mileage discrepancy.

    At this point he is not going to pursue thisany further, but I was just curious about the procedures these companies used. I am gong to suggest that he call Dash Auto Transport in the spring when he comes back up North. Thanks for your time in answering my question.

    Phil
  • db4db4 Posts: 2
    I shipped a 7 series from Mass to CA It was there in 16 days and the costs were surprisingly low. I got enclosed via rail car from Air, Land and Sea Vehicle Delivery Corp, http://www.alsautous.com They were quick and reliable. I recommend them. Enclosed was worth it for me although with rail car the costs were not much of a difference between open and enclosed. Cars were insured 100% of the transit.
  • Does anyone know of a site where I can search for
    a particular make/model across the inventories of
    many dealers? For example, say I'm loooking for a
    red Dakota with bucket seats and a split rear window. Rather than go through each dealer site looking for that vehicle, is there a place where I can search all dealers at once?
    Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    Hm... this really isn't about car transporting. You might ask in Any Questions for a Car Dealer? instead.

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  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I bought a car in CA and had it shipped with "Insight Cargo" (insightcargo.com) for less than $700 (open transport). It took less than 2 weeks for them to pick up and then deliver the car.

    I checked out some other companies, and talked to some people, but these folks just seemed really nice. They explained that if the car is damaged by their driver (gettig the car on/off the bed), it's covered by their insurance. If it's damaged by something like hail, you have to go through your insurance. If damaged by something like a piece coming off another car, or where it's debatable whether it's the driver's fault or not, then there might be disagreement as to how to handle it.

    as far as open v closed, I opted for open, mainly b/c of $$$$ and the fact that the drive from Southern California to Midwestern FL is not that treacherous. If it was winter and the car was going through some of the colder climates with ice and stuff, that might affect my decision.
  • db4db4 Posts: 2
    I also shipped with Air, Land and Sea. They were great with I received my car from NY to Los Angeles in 8 days. link title :D They were great. Tina was exceptionally nice. I felt like I was her only customer. Nice job.
  • asergeevasergeev Posts: 2
    I found by Internet this reference of "Air, Land and Sea" transportation company. I
    want to warn of possible fraudulent nature of this company. I am their client since
    January of 2005. They promised to ship a car in February 1, 2005. Then they give
    confusing information regarding status of my order. Finally, they disconnect their
    telephone each time when I try to ask about status of my order.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    That doesn't sound good. Did you already pay them?

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  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    That serves as a good warning. Anyone checking out companies for the 1st time should look at a bunch of websites. Even if you know what co you want, different webites advertise different things, so you'll know to ask whether they're licensed by XYZ or bonded or what level of insurance they carry, etc.

    There's always risk involved, so don't hesitate to contact the better business beaureau, too.

    With my company (I forgot their name, but I posted it earlier on this board), even though I felt comfortable, I opted to pay in cash after delivery b/c they only take credit cards (my preference) if you pay before delivery. I definitely didn't want them to have my money before I had the car (of course, the car is worhte a lot more than their costs, but still...).
  • asergeevasergeev Posts: 2
    I payed $200 deposit. My complain with BBB regarding this issue has "unresolved" outcome. My bank give me a provisional refund until investigation.
  • amplidyneamplidyne Posts: 1
    Guys, beware of these transporters who ask for deposit upfront and then refuse to refund it. I have had very bad experience with Express Auto Transport of Cincinnati. The guy told me that if car is not loaded on a truck in 5 days I could cancel my order but when that didn't happen and I cancelled my order they kept the deposit.
    I have been in touch with BBB and hopefully I will get my money back. But I have learned a good leasson here-never put a deposit on a auto transport. There are plenty of companies who don't require deposit, putting a deposit just expose you to their exploitation.
    Thanks,
  • Help!!! This is a nightmare...all I can say is it is day 22 and I can't get a straight answer out of where my car is. Actually, just getting a person on the line is difficult! Has anybody ever actually received their vehicle from these people, and if so, how long did it take? What should I do??? HELP!!!
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...had a car shipped to Hawaii from Michigan and it took well over a month. Not sure from where to where you're going, but 22 days might not be too bad.
  • It was going from Lexington Park, MD to OKC.. According to "Paul" at ALS, everyone there has quit in the past week. "Fred" was out of the office today, and all the others have abandonded ship. He called to give the the drivers phone #, only the driver doesn't answer, either. At least I guess eventually people do get their vehicle, however I'd still like to know what everyone else has to say...
  • Long, long story short::: DON"T GET INVOLVED WITH THESE LIARS!!!!
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    Hi, all. Amidst all the horror stories out there, I want to name 1 company that did a good job for me - In Sight Cargo (insightcargo.com). I had my car shipped from California to Florida, and these folks were straight forward in explaining the process to me (they even told me that the main area where there are disputes is when there's damage to the car and it's disputed whether it's the driver's fault (where ICS insurance covers it) or not, such as hail damage or a piece from another car comes loose and hits yours).

    They and their drivers returned my calls promptly, picked up and delivered my car within the time-frame quoted, and charged me no more than the amount we agreed upon initially. They also didn't require more than a slight depo to be prepaid.

    Just want to give 1 company that did me right some props!
  • jb6jb6 Posts: 1
    My son had a similair situation with "Air, Land and Sea". He said that they are one of the worse companies he ever delt with. Now we need to ship his car back from Florida & was calling other Transport companies for prices & found out the owner Gene/Fred whatever of Air, Land & Sea is now apart of another transport company called Major Transport Inc.

    So beware!!!
  • dansanteedansantee Posts: 1
    We are moving December 05 from Maryland to Hawaii. I need feedback on reputable and reliable auto transporters. Thanks in advanced!
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I discussed a company that I was very happy with a few posts ago. You're transporting overseas though, which may present special issues
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I do not know whether you are transferring your daily driver or you have an antique car collection from your post. You MIGHT find that it makes more sense to sell in MD and buy in HI than to incur the shipping costs.
  • elf2elf2 Posts: 1
    I had my car shipped by The Car Carrier (based in Pasadena, CA) from Santa Barbara, CA to outside of Boston, MA. The car was delivered within 2 weeks, but the customer service was ABYSMAL and the pick-up/delivery schedule was not even close to timely. I almost had to delay my move because they were late in picking up my car, but didn't keep me updated. I had to call them about 30 times to get any kind of answer. I left complaints with the receptionist and specifically requested that a manager return my phone call, but I'm still waiting. The driver was rude and largely unavailable by cell phone. PLEASE DON'T USE THIS COMPANY!
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