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Important Things To Know About The Transport Process:

Preparing Your Car For Shipment

  • Advise your representative of any modifications such as a lift kit, altered suspension, oversized tires, wheel offset, camper shell, etc.
  • The vehicle must have no obvious fluid leaks and a fully-charged battery.
  • Please make sure the vehicle is clean for inspection. (A dirty vehicle decreases the ability to perform a detailed inspection)
  • Remove toll tags, stickers or transponders to avoid unnecessary charges.
  • All alarm systems must be disconnected, disabled or turned off.
  • Remove or secure any loose parts including convertible tops and antennas.
  • All personal belongings must be removed (except standard vehicle items such as the manual, floor jack, and spare tire).
  • One set of ALL keys for the vehicle must be provided.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements

  • Vehicle owner or a designated representative must be present during the multi-point inspection conducted at the pickup location.
  • The bill of lading must be signed by the shipper or the shipper’s agent at the origin and destination.
  • A copy of the bill of lading will be supplied for your records at both ends.
  • Shipper or shipper’s agent is responsible for confirming the vehicle’s current condition. We strongly recommend taking photos of the car(s) from several angles.
  • Existing damage will be recorded by our driver on the original condition report.
  • In the unlikely event that the car reaches its destination with damage notate it on the bill of lading and have the driver sign in agreement. Take detailed photos of the damage and immediately contact your representative to begin the claim process.

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions:

We already use a transporter for our vehicles. Why should we make the switch to 5 Star?

Our team at 5 Star has 10 years of experience in the auto-transport industry primarily focusing on assisting automotive dealerships and rental car agencies manage their incoming and outgoing inventory. Our knowledge and understanding of the business has allowed us to shorten the pick-up window and overall transit time without having to break the bank. While a large number of companies ask for a 1 to 7-day window to schedule pick-up our team can usually accommodate within 72 hours due to the connections we have built over the years. We also keep you posted on the progress of the transport every step of the way to ensure everyone is on the same page. It also helps that we have maintained a 5 Star rating in the transport industry since day one.

How do you simplify the scheduling process?

Convenient online booking is now available on our website. Our representatives are also accessible around the clock to help finalize your order. Existing clients regularly call or send us a text message/E-mail with the full VIN of the vehicle(s) being transported, pickup and drop off location, and lastly a point of contact on both ends. You are also welcome to fax or E-mail us the purchase order form in the event of a dealer trade. For purchases at an auto auction pertinent details such as the buyer number, lot or stock number, and vin will be required ahead of time. For privately owned vehicles you are welcome to place an order online by using our automated system or by calling our reservation office.

Am I required to schedule my transport in advance?

It absolutely helps if you call ahead to schedule your shipment with us. A little lead time can help our dispatch team work within your schedule to ensure we meet your requested pick-up and drop-off time frame. Since we service clients in all 50 states we can take on last minute requests and still provide a respectable turn around time.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We gladly accept any of the following payment options: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Venmo, ACH, or Bank Deposit.

Net 15 & 30-day payment terms are available for corporate accounts.

*A detailed invoice along with a copy of the bill of lading will be supplied for your records.

What is the estimated turnaround time (TAT) for a transport?

Generally, we ask for a 1-3-day window to schedule pick-up once the order has been confirmed. Please be advised that we may need an extended window if the pick-up or drop-off location is in a remote area (off a major highway). If there are any changes to the pick-up time frame, our team will stay in contact with you to ensure the transportation process runs smoothly. It is important to understand that drivers are limited by law to a specific number of miles and hours that they can drive on a daily basis.

Estimated transit time based on mileage:

0-500 miles: 1 – 2 days

500-1000 miles: 2 – 3 days

1000-1500 miles: 3 – 5 days

1500-2000 miles: 4 – 7 days

2000-2500 miles: 5 – 8 days

2500-3000 miles: 7 – 10 days

3000+ miles: 8 – 12 days

If you are shipping to or from a rural area, the overall transit time may be longer. Consider meeting our driver near a metropolitan area or close to a major highway to decrease the price and speed up your shipment.

Do I need to be present when my vehicle is picked up and dropped off?

It is strongly recommended that you, or an authorized party, be present at the time of pickup and drop off. Before loading the vehicle(s) our driver will conduct a thorough inspection of the exterior and notate any existing damage on the bill of lading (condition report). A signature is required to authorize the release of your vehicle and also to acknowledge its current condition. We encourage our clients to take photos of the car from all angles and save them for their records. A second signature will be required upon delivery to confirm the transport was completed without any damage.

To add an authorized user to your order please contact your account representative and provide them with the contact’s full name and phone number. We also suggest providing the authorized recipient a copy of the pickup inspection report for reference.
What is a bill of lading?

A bill of lading is a detailed list of a shipment of goods in the form of a receipt given by the carrier to the person consigning the goods at pickup and at delivery. It is often abbreviated as “BOL”. When it comes to auto transport it is used to record any existing damage before transport as well as any damage that may have happened during transport. Please remember to keep the original condition report provided at pick-up as well as the one given at the time of delivery.

How can I track the progress of my shipment?

Your account representative will routinely provide updates throughout the transport process via E-mail or text. All parties involved are notified once the vehicle has been dispatched, once it has been loaded, and lastly once the vehicle has been successfully delivered. You are also welcome to contact our office at any time for a status update. Our drivers are instructed to call 2-4 hours beforehand to make arrangements for pick-up and drop-off.

How can we be certain our investment will be fully-insured throughout the transport process?

Open car carriers typically carry anywhere between $250,000 – $500,000 in cargo insurance and $1,000,000 in general liability. Enclosed car trailers on the other hand have higher limits ranging from $500,000 to $2,000,000 and in certain circumstances can increase their limits if the additional coverage is necessary. We strongly suggest shipping any vehicle valued over $50,000 via enclosed trailer. At 5 Star, we have a department strictly responsible for maintaining and organizing the certificates of insurance for each contracted carrier in our network. In the event of a cancellation to a carrier’s insurance policy we are instantly notified by the agent allowing us to act immediately.

What should I do if my vehicle arrives with damage?

For the most part all cars are delivered without a hitch however accidents do occasionally happen. In the event of a problem, we will review the issue and work quickly to resolve it. The first step would be to notate all damage on the bill of lading and have the driver sign in agreement. The next step would be to immediately contact your account representative who can assist with the claim process. We recommend taking photos of the damage and forwarding them to our team along with any other corresponding documents within 24 hours.

What steps does 5 Star take to avoid damage?

Our team monitors safety ratings, performance history, and the licensing and authority of all carriers in our network to ensure they are qualified for the job. All carriers are equipped with professional grade tie-down straps to make sure your vehicle is secured during transit.  Hard sided enclosed trailers equipped with a lift gate are assigned for vehicles with low clearance to avoid damage to the undercarriage. 5 Star offers peace of mind by guaranteeing that the appropriate equipment will be used for the move depending on your vehicle’s needs.

What is classified as an over-sized vehicle?

Oversized vehicles have any one or more of the following: 1. Dual rear wheels, 2. Lift kits (body or suspension), 3. Oversized tires, and 4. Roof / utility racks. Vehicles with any of the characteristics stated above as well as commercial vehicles may have an additional fee imposed depending on the circumstance. In most cases the oversized vehicle will need to be transported on a carrier with movable decks or in some other cases a three or four car wedge trailer. It is important to let us know if you have made any modifications to your vehicle such as a lift kit.

Most standard carriers require a minimum vehicle ground clearance of 4″ to ensure safe loading and unloading. Additionally, most transport carriers require that the vehicle’s height does not exceed 7 ft.

Can you transport a vehicle that is inoperable?

The answer is yes however the transport cost will usually be increased by $100-250 depending on the make and model as well as the route. If the vehicle is purchased at an auction they may be able to assist with loading. Please advise your account representative if there will be assistance at the pick-up and delivery end to help minimize the transport cost. Additional fees apply when transporting inoperable vehicles since specialized equipment is required to load and unload the vehicle. Additionally, inoperable vehicles are typically loaded in a position on the carrier where they will not be moved during transport which increases liability and requires more time to load and off-load.

Am I allowed to pack my vehicle with belongings?

This practice is typically discouraged. Placing a few items in your trunk such as clothing, linens, and towels is fine but generally not much more than that is allowed. Every truck driver is subject to inspection at state lines and can be fined for hauling personal items as the “Federal and State Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations prohibit the transport of household items in vehicles being transported by auto carriers. The general rule of thumb to follow is no more than 100 pounds of personal items safely secured in the trunk. No items or boxes should be loaded in the interior of the vehicle. Please understand the risks of shipping personal items in your car.

  • Personal items are not covered by the auto carrier’s insurance policy
  • Additional items can compromise the weight limitations and cause the carrier to be delayed and possibly face heavy fines
  • May possibly cause damage to the suspension of the vehicle
  • May cause damage to the undercarriage when loading / off-loading due to the extra weight

Ready to hire the car shipping experts?

Or give us a call at (305) 887-7272 to speak with an account representative.