Friendly Auto Transport Logo

(862) 207-9386
FORT MYERS, FL

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

By now we've seen and heard everything, so if you have any questions about transporting a vehicle you will find the answer here! We love clarity so if you don't find your answer here, no problem, just call us at 862-207-9386 and we'll be happy to help.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

• HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SHIP MY VEHICLE?
The answer to this question varies based on the route:  Northeast to Southeast usually takes 3 days, Coast to Coast can take between 7-10 days.  Some Carriers do "team driving" which means they have two drivers and can cut the time in half. 

• CAN I SHIP ITEMS IN MY VEHICLE?
Technically, Carriers are only contracted to ship the actual vehicle and not items shipped inside your vehicle because the insurance covering your vehicle does not extend to items shipped inside your vehicle.  However, many Carriers will allow customers to ship items inside their vehicle as long as they follow some simple rules:  limit to 75 lbs, stored in the truck or back space (SUV) only, and nothing of any monetary or sentimental value.  Even with this being stated, please know that Carriers reserve the right to reject any vehicle with items stored in them.  So if you find yourself in a bind and need to ship items with your car, simple make us aware of this and we will communicate this to the Carrier and get approval ahead of time so there are no surprises.  Beware, however, that this could cause the total cost to increase slightly.

• IS FRIENDLY AUTO TRANSPORT A CARRIER OR A BROKER?
We are an Auto Shipping Brokerage responsible for cultivating, developing, and building relationships and trust with our customers.  We provide the quotes, answer questions, give clarity, make sure the customer has everything in place so that the transport can go as smooth as possible, and ultimately dispatch the vehicles to the Carrier for transport.

• WHY AM I DEALING WITH A BROKER AND NOT THE ACTUAL CARRIER?
Carriers (the companies that own and operate the actual trucks) don't normally deal with the general public (customers) and depend on Brokers (us) to handle all the customer facing details of the shipment.  There are many reasons for this.  For starters, Carriers don't normally run regular routes but instead "go where the money is", meaning, they are booking their loads where ever the shipping market is at any given time.  Another reason for this is that many Carriers are not large operations and don't have the resources to devote beyond the actual transporting of vehicles.

• WILL I BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE CARRIER?
Yes.  All customers of Friendly Auto Transport are supplied with information on the Carrier assigned to their vehicle.  It comes in a final email with the subject line "Assigned Carrier" and it contains your order number, a recap of the pickup & delivery dates, a breakdown of the final cost of the transport, some important information on the responsibility of the customer, and finally all the information about the Carrier:  their name, address, who owns the company, their phone numbers, DOT/MC #s, and a snapshot of the insurance covering the vehicle during the transport.Customers are advised to communicate directly with the Carrier once dispatched so that both parties can drill down more specific times of arrival and loading.

• IS FRIENDLY AUTO TRANSPORT'S JOB DONE AFTER BOOKING WITH THE CARRIER?
No.  While most Brokers walk away after they dispatch their units, Friendly Auto Transport will never abandon our customers.  Our position is that we are the ones that have the relationship and trust with you, our customer.  And while you are encouraged to speak directly with the Carrier at this point, we know that many times it can be difficult to do so because the truck driver may be driving or they may be busy with other loads.  We stay engaged all the way to delivery so if you are having an issues communicating with the Carrier you can call us and we will do our best to work around that and get you the answers that you need.

• WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A QUOTE AND AN ORDER?
A Quote is a simple estimate or "sample Pricing" of what your vehicle should ship for and an Order is when the customer, after speaking with us, tells us to go ahead and find them a Carrier.  In other words, they are ready to ship their car.

• HOW WAS MY AUTO SHIPPING QUOTE GENERATED?
Quotes are generated by factoring many variables about your request:  Type of vehicle, time of year, mileage on the route, whether or not the pickup and delivery locations are outside the shipping lane, and what vehicles shipped for at the same time the previous year.  Friendly Auto Transport does not give low-ball quotes, we give realistic quotes and are usually within about $50-$75 of the quoted price up or down. 

• WHY IS MY QUOTE NOT YET A GUARANTEED PRICE?
Because auto shipping works on a supply & demand model, and is ultimately dependent on the availability of the Carrier, many things can change from year to year and prices can vary as a result.  Auto shipping is also a very seasonal business and a route could have hundreds of vehicles needing shipping one way and almost no vehicles needing shipping that same route just the opposite direction with the former being much more expensive than the latter as a result.  Point being, we don't like to lock our customers into a quote before we even had a chance to speak with a Carrier whereas the price could be different than that quote.

• DOES FRIENDLY AUTO TRANSPORT TAKE DEPOSITS UPFRONT?
No.  We will never take a deposit upfront from our customers.  We will do all the work on the front end and get all the details in order with the Carrier FIRST such as making sure that the timelines match up as close as possible, the final cost is spot on or close to the quote, and that the Carrier is reputable and has all their paperwork and insurances in place.  Once all that is done, we communicate this information with you, the customer, and if you are satisfied, we will then go ahead and actually book your vehicle with the Carrier.  Only at this point, once everything is not a definite and all parties sign off on it, will money begin to change hands and an small Initial Payment (which comes off the top of the total cost) is made to secure the spot on the truck and the remaining balance is to be paid in full upon delivery.  

• WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED IN THE TOTAL COST OF MY SHIPPING ORDER?
The Total Cost is made up of the Broker Fee and the Carrier Cost.  The Broker Fee is the Initial Payment that you make on your credit card once you agree to the details that we go over with you.  The Carrier Cost is what you pay directly to the truck driver at the delivery point.  There are no hidden fees, charges, or surprises.

• WHY AM I PAYING AN INITIAL PAYMENT ON A CREDIT CARD BUT THE REST IN CASH ON DELIVERY?
There are a few reasons for this.  First, the Initial Payment acts as your commitment to us that you are moving forward with your shipping order and also so we can share with the Carrier that you are a real customer and will be there when they show up to load.  Remember, this is not a Deposit because at this point we are not dealing with a quote but an actual fixed price as agreed to by the Carrier.  And as stated earlier, this Initial Payment on your credit card constitutes the Broker Fee - payment to us for the work that we already did for you in making sure your request can be met logistically.  Secondly, the COD (Cash On Delivery) is the Carrier Cost - the amount they agreed to to ship your vehicle - and is to be paid upon completion of the job.

• CAN I PUT THE WHOLE AMOUNT ON A CREDIT CARD?
Yes but we do not recommend this practice for a couple of reasons.  For starters, this option comes with a 6% service fee because Friendly Auto Transport will have to redirect resources to physically go to the bank and make deposits to the bank account of the Carrier and all the information gathering and permissions associated with that.  We also strongly recommend that you do not pay the majority of the cost upfront before the job is complete.  If you absolutely need this option, we are happy to serve you.

• DOES IT HAVE TO BE CASH ON DELIVERY OR CAN I PAY THE CARRIER WITH A DIFFERENT PAYMENT METHOD?
Just as in any business, cash is always the best way.  However we are seeing more and more Carriers begin to accept payment through various apps like Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, etc.  You will have to discuss this directly with the Carrier after your vehicle is dispatched.  In no cases will a Carrier ever accept a personal check as a valid payment.

• WHY DO I HAVE TO SIGN A SHIPPING AGREEMENT AND IS MY CREDIT CARD AND OTHER INFO SAFE AND SECURE?
We don't like surprises and are pretty sure you don't either!  Therefore for your protection, and ours, we need to know have in writing that you are in full agreement with the logistics of your auto transport and have a full understanding of the details involved with so many moving parts.  If any changes are made by you or by us, the Shipping Agreement is rendered invalid and will need to be signed again as a result.  It is also time-stamped and contains a unique IP address so that nobody can make unauthorized alterations.  We also use a very secure system that encrypts your credit card information and we are PCI Compliant with all regulatory agencies that monitor how businesses accept credit cards  Your credit card information is never shared with the Carrier and stays in-house with us and we don't even see all of it, only the last four digits and expiration for our records and future orders you might have.

• CAN I CANCEL MY ORDER AND RECEIVE A REFUND?
While Friendly Auto Transport isn't in the business of taking people's money for a job that isn't done, it is imperative that you understand the our job consists of arranging transport of your vehicle and not actually transporting your vehicle.  We do know that your plans could change, some of which may even be outside of your control, therefore it is imperative that you read our Shipping Contract that outlines what happens if you cancel after you already signed the Shipping Agreement.  The Shipping Agreement also outlines processes, procedures, and timelines surrounding your shipment and how things are handled should any issues arise whether from you or from the Carrier.

• CAN YOU GUARANTEE PICKUP & DELIVERY TIMES?
Unfortunately there isn't a Broker nor a Carrier that will ever give you a guaranteed pickup/delivery time.  This is due to so many external factors that could cause delays such as other slow customers, bad weather, traffic, Carrier availability, etc.  We encourage all of our customers to always have a contingency plan in place should the Carrier be running behind for whatever reason.  Flexibility and patience ensure a smooth and pleasant experience!

• DO I HAVE TO BE AT THE PICKUP & DELIVERY LOCATIONS?
No, but someone does need to be there.  You can authorize someone else to release and/or receive your vehicle on your behalf as they will be signing their name to the Bill of Lading.  The person on the pickup side will need to have the keys to your vehicle and the person on the delivery side will receive those keys and will also be responsible for final COD payment to the truck driver.  Friendly Auto Transport and the Assigned Carrier are not responsible for screening or authorizing the people that you designate as your representative at the pickup and delivery locations.  If you designate someone other than yourself as your representative, you will simply give us their name and phone number and this info will be included on the Shipping Agreement as well as the Order that goes to the Carrier. 

• WHAT IS A BILL OF LADING AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
The Bill of Lading is the document that you (or your representative), along with the Carrier, sign at the pickup location.  It constitutes a legal-binding agreement between both parties highlighting any damage, big or small, that your vehicle has prior to being loaded.  This document travels with your vehicle and then is again signed by you (or your representative), along with the Carrier, when your vehicle is unloaded to ensure that no damage was occurred during transport.  Carriers are very thorough with this as it acts as their protection so we encourage you to be just as thorough when pointing little nicks, scratches, and dents at pickup.  The Bill of Lading will also act as your receipt of COD payment which you (or your representative) will be given a copy of at delivery.  Not vehicles will be loaded without a signed Bill of Lading.

• IS MY VEHICLE INSURED DURING TRANSPORT?
Yes.  Your vehicle is covered under what is called "Motor Truck Cargo" that is an attachment to a General Liability policy that all Carriers are required by law to have.  Friendly Auto Transport requires that all Carriers supply us with a current and valid Certificate of Insurance (COI).  However, we don't like taking unnecessary risks so we go a step further and independently validate all COIs that we are given by calling the insurance agency listed on the COI and verifying that the COI is legitimate, that all the information included in it matches the records of the issuing agency, and their are no pending cancellations on the policy. 

• WHAT DO I DO IF DAMAGE TO MY VEHICLE OCCURS DURING TRANSPORT?
While it is very rare, damage can occur.  This is another reason why Friendly Auto Transport validates all Carrier insurance.  We enjoy protecting our customers.  Should something unfortunate occur and you need to file a claim, simply call us and we will help get that started with you.  It is good practice for you to take photos of the damage and to call your insurance company.  We will pull the Carrier COI and call their agency making them away that a claim is being filed and will also put your insurance company in touch with theirs allowing them to work it out on your behalf.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The best way for you to have the confidence in allowing us to handle your auto shipping needs is to read what our customers say about us! We are continuing to build our presence online and expanding our reach into different platforms but at the moment, the #1 review site for companies like ours is the place to check up on us. Click the Transport Reviews logo to see all our customer reviews!

Friendly Auto Transport

Fort Myers, FL

(862) 207-9386

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