How to Research and Find the Best Auto Transport Company

vehicle in safe hands


Your guide to placing your vehicle’s journey into the right hands

There are a lot of vehicle shipping companies out there, but here’s the good news: The basic requirements for a positive experience are comparatively few. At the very least, customers deserve a team that ticks two key boxes. Thereby, providing a fair deal for the service while appreciating and adapting to the unique transportation needs of the vehicle.

There’s more you need to know before entrusting your valuable business to an automotive carrier. Understanding what to look for before you start researching is key to saving time and finding the right relationship.

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • Why professional and social profiles matter
  • What the best auto transport companies should know
  • The importance of licensing and bonding
  • How Mercury Auto Transport sets the standard


Why professional and social profiles matter

It’s a good sign when auto transport companies prominently display reviews on their site. Even in the event of a less-than-stellar review, you can still learn a lot about the company’s character by noting how they engage with dissatisfied feedback. Did they acknowledge the reviewer’s issue and address it respectfully and responsibly? Did they get defensive or, even worse, ignore it?

The next consideration is how a transport company’s professional reputation looks with industry review bodies. The Better Business Bureau offers a quick and easy way to gauge a company’s standing, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is more industry-specific. The FMCSA keeps a close eye on industry best practices, and on which companies abide by them. We recommend their advice as an important part of making any auto transport decision.

Lastly, drop by the auto transporter’s social media pages. LinkedIn is a great way to “meet” the boss and employees of a company. Seeing what drives the people in power gives you a better understanding of how those people would drive for you. Less resume-oriented social sites like Facebook and Instagram are also good indicators of how a transport company interacts and connects with its customers and the wider community.

What the best auto transport companies should know

There are a lot of rules to keep track of inside the world of auto transport; guides that are frequently altered and updated. Federal, state, and intrastate regulations set industry standards for the safety and benefit of everyone concerned.

These deal with many factors: vehicle weights, heights, and how long a driver can legally be on the road are just a few of them. That last metric can be a crucial one in choosing a transport company – if a quote for a long journey seems too quick to be true, they’re likely cutting corners and breaking rules in the process.

It’s not the customer’s job to be up to speed with regulations; that responsibility lies squarely with the transporter. Therefore, make sure your selected auto transport company knows the rules of the road, rail, and sea.

You can gain peace of mind (and learn a lot in the process) by checking an auto transport company’s compliance with and awareness of FMCSA, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations and statutes.

The importance of licensing and bonding

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for regulating and licensing all American auto transport companies. Asking for and then verifying a transporter’s 7-digit DOT number is an important step in your selection research. Also, it is important to request their 6-digit FMCSA MC Docket number. 

Bonds, licenses, and insurance provisions prove that an auto transport company is accountable, both to regulatory bodies and to the customers they serve. If a candidate can’t provide you with these details in a quick and clear fashion, we recommend scratching them off your list.

For further insight, check out our previous blog where you’ll find more valuable selection criteria based on how auto transporters work, where insurance factors in, and on prepping a vehicle for pickup. We didn’t overlook the cost aspect, either – that critical concern merits a blog of its own.

How Mercury Auto Transport sets the standard

You’re now on your way to confidently researching and finding the best auto transport company for your vehicle. Viewing candidates from a professional, social, and procedural point of view gives you the edge before making an informed choice.

The Mercury Auto Transport team makes that decision even easier through our combination of expertise and transparency. We’re fully licensed and insured, so you can rest easy that we’re 100% in line with DOT and FMSCA procedures.

You can access all our licensing information with a single click to see how seriously we take safe and compliant conduct. You’ll find at-a-glance data that fills you in on everything from our inspection results and insurance status to audits and compliance reviews.

Feel free to contact us at the details below with any other queries you might have on the auto transportation process. We’re here to help!

Mercury Auto Transport finds quotes in minutes for open, enclosed, and flatbed auto transportation. We’ve arranged safe delivery for over 186,000 vehicles by road, rail, and air while working with the most trusted shipping partners in our industry. Email or call us free at (800) 553-1828 or for a quote.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.