When you need to relocate your vehicle, the prospect of hiring car shipping services may make you nervous. Plenty of scammers exist in this field, and it’s a valid worry. Arranging car shipping services online is convenient, but doing so also raises your risk of falling prey to a fraudster.
The prevalence of fraud schemes typically rises with the volume of online transactions. Consequences from automobile shipping scams can be avoided if you are well-informed and watchful at all times.
Common vehicle transport scams:
To protect yourself from fraud, you must have some knowledge about the scams of car shipping services one may experience during their vehicle transportation process. Here are a few of the common scams you could go through:
1. Vehicle transport with a down payment:
Payment terms often involve a down payment with the balance due upon delivery. But the title of this con implies that the victim will be asked to pay the whole amount necessary to ship their automobile in advance. Although prepayment may seem like a hassle, if this is your first time shipping an automobile, you may be willing to do so. Scammers offer you low prices and easy access to drivers. When people see this unbelievable offer, they’re tempted to jump at the chance to take advantage of it. Clients send the money through wire transfer, but the auto transportation firm disappears without a trace.
2. Indirect carrier firms:
Car shipping services aren’t all direct carriers. So they’re brokers who locate other firms to ship your automobile. They profit from the difference between what you pay them and what they pay the carrier. It’s not a fraud, but the way they hire drivers might be a scam. If a broker requests a deposit before naming the carrier, beware.
If you cancel within a set number of days of the job, you may lose your deposit. Some unethical organizations utilize this terminology to give you lowball pricing, then tell you that no carrier would work for such a low payment after the cancellation time ends. You may pay more to ship the automobile or cancel and forfeit the deposit. A good firm won’t do this. If they seek a deposit without naming the carrier, walk away. Consumers shouldn’t do this.
3. Shipment of Hostage-Taken Cars:
The auto shipping company will often give you a cheap quotation and then refuse to transport your car until you pay extra money. Using vehicles as hostages is a common tactic in automotive shipping frauds. The car owner will likely feel a great deal of worry and inconvenience due to this.
Scammers may ask for payments to be made using non-refundable services like Western Union, Venmo, etc. or even wire transfers or bank deposits. You will be charged for storage and redelivery of your car, even though they will not tell you where they are keeping it.
This is more likely to occur if you hire a carrier alone. Car shipping services seldom provide written agreements that guarantee a certain delivery charge for your vehicle. If this happens, the cost of transporting automobiles may need to be adjusted. Most providers don’t promote themselves, and you can’t even rate them or submit any complaints.
4. Coded Contract Clauses:
Technically you cannot call it a fraud. Being on the wrong end of this situation might make you feel like you’ve been scammed. Contracts often contain provisions that greatly benefit the business. Such a condition, which allows the firm to keep your money even if they cancel too close to the shipment date, is relatively frequent, as we saw above. Be mindful of any contract that has such an easily exploitable provision.
This agreement is binding under law. Even if you don’t read it, you’re consenting to everything. A clause won’t be enforced only if a court rules it illegal. You may have to court to prove that the clause is unenforceable. It would be costly and time-consuming to do it. Remember that contracts may be unfair in many other ways, so read them well before you sign anything.
5. Damage Cover-up:
Transportation may harm autos, and vehicles may get scratched or damaged when driving on and off trucks in small areas. Only reputable car shipping services will cover the harm with insurance. Lesser firms may hide harm until it’s too late. Finding the damage a few hours later is too late. Disreputable firms might help themselves by hiding damage.
Be wary if the automobile is delivered at night; that’s a good technique to hide the damage. Suspect a dirty automobile. You should have rinsed it before giving it to the courier, as dirt might disguise the damage.