Almost every sales call you receive when requesting a quote to ship your car will be a broker. Now some will be carrier/brokers meaning they have the authority from DOT (Dept of Transportation) to both operate trucks (specifically auto transport trucks/trailers) and to broker loads to another carrier. Either way, you will want to verify their mc/dot number for good standing through the FMCSA . Further, this will allow you to so what kind of authority they carry. Broker, Motor Carrier or both.
The price a broker is quoting you will include their fee (deposit or broker fee) in addition to their estimate of what it will take to get a willing and able driver to take your car. They will base it on comparable prior payments for the same route, time of year etc. You will want to know up front what the broker fee is. A fair and honest company would charge their fee and work to get you the best price. Not get the best price just to pad their bottom line.
Careful with price quotes that are too low. Very likely the left over pay to the actual carrier will not be sufficient to secure a driver. That could end up costing you even more. Rideshare, taxis, car rentals, storage at the origin. Generally if you see the per mile amount lower than $0.50 problems are likely.
How do auto tranport brokers find carriers? They, along with almost every car carrier, belong to a load board. Central Dispatch. Part of their fee is the access to that. Like the MLS for real estate, only proffesionals in the car industry have an account. Unfortunately, you do not know who the actual carrier or driver will be until it has been booked on your behalf through a broker. The equipment used varies greatly as does the general ability and professionalism of each separate carrier.
If you have a damage claim with your car you will be going through two separate companies. Getting to know the driver and carrier you are trusting your vehicle with can alleviate those concerns if not outright mitigate them. Check our post regarding your most important document.
Use our handy Auto Transport Company List to connect with a car hauler in your area.
PS If you prefer to just make one call to a broker instead of looking for a carrier on your own we recommend reaching out to A1AutoTransport 1-866-780-2152