Responsible drivers should refrain from taking the car shipping process and being willing to hand over their car keys to the most competitively-priced auto transport providers. No matter how cautious a shipping company might be, your vehicle is always at risk of sustaining damage as car haulers transport your vehicle from point A to point B.

As a point of reference, weather and road conditions will always pose a barrier to your vehicle’s safe delivery, which rings especially true if your car is projected to move through snow-prone areas during the wintertime. Hazardous road conditions always increase the possibility of an accident, whether you’re manually operating your vehicle or it’s resting atop a transport bed.

Other obstacles come into play should you choose to cut corners and ship your car on an open-air carrier in the interest of savings. Making such a decision exposes your car directly to the elements and flying debris, including birds and other wildlife.

While the risks of transporting your vehicle cross-country are undeniable, you must remember the auto transportation company in question has its sights set on potential shipping mishaps, all of which might result in inconveniences or problems for you as the driver. The obstacles your auto transport company might encounter include the following:

  • Inability to quote exact delivery date due to unforeseen circumstances (weather, road closures, mechanical problems, etc.)
  • Providing an incorrect quote and working to correct the situation
  • Incurring damage to your vehicle (more likely with open-air transports)

After reviewing the above information, you’ll realize that car shipping can spell disaster for your luxury vehicle if you don’t take the recommended precautions. With that in mind, here are five mistakes you need to avoid when preparing your vehicle for cross-country travel.

Failing to research shipping companies

When selecting an auto transport company, you need to remember you’re putting one of your most valuable assets in the hands of a company that flies under the industry radar. To minimize your exposure to potentially rogue companies, you must assume responsibility for researching all potential suitors. This research process should include scanning internet comments and following through on references.

Remember, auto transport is a highly competitive and lucrative industry, so be wary of promises that sound too good to be true.

Not securing their belongings

Before you put your vehicle in the hands of a third party, it’s your responsibility to take a complete inventory of every personal belonging stored in your car. If you can’t seem to break the habit of keeping items of value in your backseat, aka belongings you’d hate to lose or see damaged, you’ll need to remove these valuables before the transport company picks up your vehicle. Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to resist the temptation to ship your belongings via the car in question.

Not preparing the vehicle for transport

Chaos can ensue when your car travels from point A to point B. To properly prepare your vehicle for transport, you’ll need to inspect your car’s exterior for existing damage with laser focus. Once that step is complete, you’ll need to document all nicks, dents, or other body damage and relay these cosmetic flaws to your auto transport provider.

To cover all your bases, take pictures to steer clear of disputes. As long as there is clarity about your vehicle’s condition at each point in the transportation process, you shouldn’t run into any difficulties when requesting reimbursement should your vehicle incur any damage.

Securing enough insurance coverage

Accidents do happen. Knowing this, your transport company should offer a base level of insurance coverage. If you feel the base level insurance is inadequate, you should step up and purchase additional insurance to calm your anxieties.

Some drivers may qualify for coverage through their auto insurance company, so be sure to check before you purchase any unnecessary insurance policies. As an additional precaution, make sure your shipping company provides you with information regarding their statutory shipping insurance.

Lack of proper documentation

Given the value of vehicles, the auto transport industry has a substantial amount of pre-shipping paperwork. With these requirements in mind, vehicle owners will need to secure the necessary documents.

Before a transport company takes your vehicle, you will likely need to provide documents to prove your ownership. Besides forking over the required documentation, a vehicle owner should confirm that the auto transport company puts their quotes in writing. As the driver, you’ll also need to collect vehicle inspection documents before and after your vehicle has been delivered to its final destination.

Read More: Everything You Must Factor in Before Buying a New Vehicle


Don’t fall prey to the schemes of unreliable auto transportation companies. To safeguard your vehicle from shipping-related mishaps, keep these all-too-common mistakes in mind when preparing your car for delivery.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments