HOW TO START A CAR TRANSPORT BUSINESS
December 26, 2017
Use a Look Vision Trailer to Haul Reliably and Professionally
Do you like cars and want to start your own business? Opening a car shipping company might be for you. It takes some capital investment and paperwork to begin, but experienced car transporters are in demand for both regular and specialty vehicles.
People hire auto haulers for all sorts of reasons. Auto companies and dealers need to move vehicles from one part of the country to another without adding mileage. Snowbirds hire transporters to move their cars to their winter residences either because they don’t enjoy driving long distances or just prefer to fly. Race car drivers, classic car enthusiasts, and owners of specialty or super high-end cars rely on movers to get their precious investments safely to events, meets, and locales without wear-and-tear or exposure to the elements. Some people even hire transporters to move farm equipment.
First, decide what type of car transport business you want to have. Your decision may be based on the amount of money you have—or can get—to purchase a towing vehicle and auto hauler. The more cars you want to transport, the bigger the tow vehicle and car trailer you will need, and the more money you will need to spend. Plus, don’t forget you will need money to live on and to pay expenses while your business is ramping up.
The types of cars you plan to transport will also affect your decision. If your goal is to work for race car or specialty car owners, you will want to purchase an enclosed auto hauler, like a Look Vision trailer or Look Element trailer.
Your location will also factor into your decision. Are you near major routes? Are there people or businesses near you that will need your services? Is there a lot of competition from other auto haulers? Answers to these questions will help you decide whether to open a car hauling business, and if so, what type.
Licensing and Legal Requirements
Check with your state department of motor vehicles for licensing requirements. Almost all states require you have a Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a vehicle or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001-lbs. or greater.
Also, contact the Department of Transportation to see about a motor carrier number and transportation license. You may also be required to get an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and federal Unified Carrier Registration (UCR).
Consult a lawyer about incorporating your business as well as drawing up auto transport contracts and hiring contracts, if you plan to have employees.
Purchase Your Towing Vehicle, Trailer and Insurance
Many people decide to start out small, with a large SUV or pickup truck, and an auto hauling trailer that holds 1-2 cars, before working their way up to a multicar business. Whether you already have a towing vehicle or are purchasing one for your business, make sure it is capable of towing your auto hauler and cargo. Consult with your trailer dealer if you have any questions.
Look Trailers offers different auto hauler models to meet your needs. The popular enclosed Look Vision trailer is a premium trailer preferred by pros. The Vision car hauler boasts tube mainframe construction, a ¾” floor, and a one-piece aluminum roof, ensuring that the trailer will last and protect its cargo from the elements. A pristine ’57 Chevy, classic Rolls, or straight-off-the-line Lexus will make it safely and securely to the owner’s destination. The painted floor, ramp and extension, white vinyl interior, plus polished front corners or nose means the cargo arrives in style. Your customers will be impressed.
The Look Element trailer offers similar sturdy construction and safety at a more economical price.
All auto haulers from Look trailers come in different lengths and colors, with generous standard features and a host of options.
Once you have chosen your tow vehicle and trailer, you will need cargo and liability insurance. Note that many insurers prefer you have car hauling experience; if you don’t already, you might consider working for a car transport company before starting your own business. Consult with your insurance agent for advice.
Promoting Your Car Transportation Business
First, establish a website and email address. You want them to look and sound professional, because clients will be looking for someone trustworthy to carry their precious and expensive cargo.
A good way to drum up business is to hire yourself out to shipping companies that can provide you with assignments. Approach businesses directly, advertise with your local classic car club, and reach out to any ultra-luxury car owner groups.
Another way to elicit business is by signing up with brokers and websites that match clients with drivers, such as centraldispatch.com.
Starting a car transport business requires planning and some investment. However, once you get going, it can turn into a very profitable pursuit. Your local Look trailers dealer can help you find the right auto hauler to make your business a success.