First off when you are looking to transport a car you must determine the dates you need the service as according to the season prices and availability change. It is OK to start shopping around early on, however don't guide yourself by the price you were provided in April to ship in September, always call back to confirm price as the market can change considerably from month to month and the price you were quoted back in April may not even take you half the way in September. Provide first available pick up dates or the latest it can be delivered so agents can work towards you schedule as well.
After dates are determined, make sure you provide as much details for your car as possible as depending on the make and model different accommodations are required, for example low clearance cars, convertibles, classics, high end luxury cars and sports cars need to be transported via enclosed carrier to ensure their safety. Transporting in an open carrier can cause certain damages due to their exposure to the environment and road conditions. If your car is inoperable, you must notify your agent so that the carrier has proper equipment in order to mount it safely. Check with your booking agent of cars need to be prepared before pickup as far as emptying the gas tank, taking things inside, or any other requirement. If cars are not ready to go upon arrival of driver, this will cause delays and possible cancellations at your cost.
Once everything has been arranged as far as the car, you need to provide the exact pickup and delivery locations along with contact info for both locations. Drivers contact both locations 3-4 hours before estimate time of pickup and 1-2 hours before the exact time so you can also be prepared. If a delay occurs you will also be contacted by driver or his dispatch.
You will be provided an agreement to sign which is called a Bill of Lading (BOL). This is a small agreement that certifies that state your car was picked up in. If there are any damages, scratches or dents they will be notified in this agreement; the driver keeps a copy and you are provided one. Once car is delivered driver compares car to initial agreement to check for any damages that may have occurred along the way. This paperwork is very important to keep in case you need to file any claim with insurance for damages, it also helps the driver and yourself keep control of the state of your before, during and after the service is provided.