The True Costs of Transportation

One of the most important factors when considering auto transportation is cost. The hidden reality is not the monetary cost involved, but rather what the nonmonetary costs are and how they can materially impact your store in the long run. That’s why it’s important to select a reputable vehicle transport company.

Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a vehicle transport company:


From the moment a customer walks in the store to the delivery of the newly purchased automobile, every action and communication is eventually factored into the dealer’s CSI metric. A dealer can be picture perfect throughout the entire process, only to fall short after delivery issues caused by transport delays when executing a dealer trade. Additionally, when new vehicles are sold through the Internet sales department, customers’ want their vehicles delivered quickly and missed delivery expectations will almost always cause a lower CSI grade.

Used car inventory turn

Another critical factor for dealerships is how quickly they can get their vehicles delivered from the auction once purchased. With many dealers turning to online auctions, transport, in-transit time and a quick delivery is very important as many dealers have 30-45-60 day inventory turn procedures. If the vehicle takes two weeks to arrive from the auction to the dealership, then it could potentially cost the used car department money from wholesale losses.

Less than full load transport and dealer trades

With the advent of online auctions, many dealers are buying single vehicles and arranging transport from multiple auction locations throughout the country. Depending on the trailer configuration, some transport companies will sit at auctions until their trailer is fully loaded, especially in today’s economy and with fuel prices back on the rise. If your dealership is handling transport internally and not using a transport broker or logistics company, it is important to make sure that the truck you have booked with is departing immediately and not beginning to load his truck, which could take anywhere from one day to a week, depending on the location. Therefore, some knowledge of trailer configurations and capacity as well as how many cars the driver has already loaded on his truck will help you estimate the arrival time and avoid costly delays.

Liability and vehicle damage

Liability is often an overlooked cost in vehicle transport. By choosing the right auto transport company who is reputable, you can minimize the risk of damage, but you want to verify that your vehicles are covered by insurance. With tough economic times, insurance is usually the first cost a carrier will forgo. If you are working with a broker or logistics company, verify that they have a cargo umbrella policy. It is also wise to verify to confirm the carrier or driver’s operating license is current as well as his insurance. It is recommended that you use an experienced broker or logistics company as they will usually handle the insurance due diligence, licensing verification, do a thorough background check on every driver they are considering, and make sure that you follow liability procedures such as denoting damage on the bill of lading upon delivery if damage was incurred.

For more information, call Greg Giles at 866-309-7700 or log on to

Greg Giles


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