9 Common Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shipping Your Car

9 Common Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shipping Your Car

Whether you’ve just won a car at one of the nation’s top car auctions or are involved in a cross-country relocation, you’ll need to tackle car transport at some point.

Of course, if you’re new to vehicle transport, as most people are, you must avoid common pitfalls to ensure the best experience.

These pitfalls include everything from naivete about how much to ship a car to which documents you’ll need. Mistakes could lead to delays or added expenses.

Fortunately, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by this new and unfamiliar experience. Instead, you need a handy list of mistakes to avoid. Here are the nine most common ones and what to do about them.


1. Understand How Much to Ship a Car

Let’s start with the big one. How much to ship a car? This question is far from straightforward. After all, car transportation companies vary greatly when it comes to price.

Naivete can lead to consumer overpayment, especially if you don’t have a firm grasp on what shipping costs typically run.

Generally, rates start at $1 per mile for the first 1-500 miles. They decline to $0.75 for 1k miles and $0.50 for 2k.

What are the factors that might contribute to a higher price? They include transport of larger cars, use of an enclosed carrier, and rural pickup and dropoff destinations. No matter what, it behooves you to comparison shop.

2. Don’t Forget to Compare Quotes

Companies should willingly provide you with free, no-obligation quotes. If they don’t do this, move on to another business. As you explore quotes from different companies, inquire about what’s included in each figure.

You must know precisely what you’re getting charged, as well as when and why. Otherwise, hidden costs might surprise you down the road.

3. Resist the Urge to Go Cheaper

When comparison shopping, it’s tempting to settle for the lowest quote, no questions asked. Of course, if you’re following these tips, then you’ve already inquired into what’s included in each quote you receive.

Even then, don’t make price your be-all, end-all. After all, you’re not buying bargain basement items at your local thrift store.

This quote could mean the difference between your vehicle’s safe arrival and an unprofessional disaster.

4. Don’t Neglect a Thorough Vetting of Each Company

This brings us to our next point. Vet each company to find the best one, not necessarily the cheapest one.

As you call around to various companies, pay attention to how they treat you. Do they respond to your inquiries quickly and respectfully? Do they seem like a company that consistently puts customers first?

If not, move along. Believe us, you’ve got plenty of other options.

Don’t stop there, however. Hop online for some research. Start by checking out the Better Busines Bureau’s (BBB’s) website to see what they have to say about each company.

Go to the US Department of Transportation’s page to find out more about each company’s safety record and to ensure they hold all the licenses, insurance, etc., standard for the industry.

If your plans involve shipping a car across state lines, double-check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, too. The company you work with must be registered through them.

5. Stop Ignoring Online Reviews

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring online reviews, either. Give Yelp and Google reviews a comprehensive look-see.

Pay attention to the reviews most in line with your current needs. They’ll provide excellent insight into what the customer experience of each company looks like.

6. Don’t Get Caught Without Proper Documentation

Most car transport companies will require certain documents to ship your car securely. These documents usually include:

An insurance certificate

Vehicle registration

Proof you own the car

To avoid delays or other problems, speak with your car carrier company in advance. Make sure you’ve got all of the documents that they need ready.

7. Don’t Skimp on the Inspection

When you meet with the driver to have your vehicle picked up, you’ll have the opportunity to do a thorough inspection of your car. Don’t skimp on this step.

After all, it provides you with a visual record of your car’s pre-transport condition.

We even recommend taking it a step further by doing your own pre-inspection before the driver arrives. Take pictures of any issues or problems your car already has. That way, you won’t feel so rushed on pickup day.

Once your car arrives, you’ll want to repeat this procedure. If you find any signs of damage related to transportation, make a note. Then, make sure the transporter signs off on it.

8. Don’t Forget About Insurance

In general, car transporters should carry insurance on the vehicles they move. This insurance should prove sufficient to cover costs incurred due to transport damages or loss.

But don’t take a company’s word for it. You need to see their insurance policy. What’s more, if you find the coverage leaves you feeling less than secure, call your insurance company and add more.

Or, work only with the best car shipping company, one that provides full insurance coverage of the cars they transport. They do exist, and this extra coverage proves well worth it.

9. Don’t Leave Belongings in Your Car

Many people get tempted to use their vehicles as giant suitcases during auto transport. After all, they’re in the middle of a move, and it seems like an efficient thing to do.

Discard this idea right now. Car hauling companies don’t want to contend with your stuff. They also don’t want theft risks associated with storing it in your automobile.

Although a handful of companies will allow you to pack 100 pounds or less of personal belongings in your vehicle, they’re not liable for loss or theft.

How to Ship a Car Without Major Mistakes

The nine tips above will put you on the fast-track to a successful car shipping experience. We’ve covered it all from how much to ship a car to what you can store inside.

Use this advice to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. Are you looking for more tips to help you lead your best life? Explore our blog now for the useful advice you need to succeed.