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Smooth Sailing: Expert Advice on How to Avoid Common Car Shipping Pitfalls

Car shipping can be frustrating, especially for those who have never done it. One can easily fall into numerous pitfalls, resulting in a frustrating and costly experience. However, with the right guidance, car shipping can be a smooth and hassle-free process. Direct Express Auto Transport has assisted hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers with car shipping. In this article, we will share some of the most common car shipping pitfalls to avoid and offer expert advice on making the process seamless. Whether you are shipping your car across the country or in the state, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to ensure smooth sailing. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of car shipping together! 

Types of Car Shipping Services

Regarding car shipping, there are two main types of services: open and enclosed transport. Open transport is the most common and affordable option, where your car is loaded onto an open-air trailer and other vehicles. Enclosed transport, on the other hand, is more expensive but offers excellent protection for your car as it is loaded onto a fully enclosed trailer.

It’s essential to consider your specific needs and the value of your car when deciding which type of service to choose. If you have a classic or luxury car, enclosed transport may be worth the extra cost for added protection. However, open transport may be the better option if you are on a tight budget and have a standard vehicle.

Another vital factor to consider is the timeline for delivery. If you need your car to arrive at its destination quickly, opt for expedited shipping, which typically costs more but ensures a faster delivery time.

Common Car Shipping Pitfalls

One of the most common pitfalls of car shipping is failing to properly research and vet the auto transport company you choose to work with. Unfortunately, there are many scams and unscrupulous companies in the industry, so it’s essential to do your due diligence before entrusting your car to anyone.

Another pitfall is not understanding the terms and conditions of the auto shipping contract. Review the agreement before signing to ensure you know the pricing, delivery timeline, insurance coverage, and any potential fees or penalties.

Lastly, failing to prepare your car for shipping properly can result in damage or delays. Remove any personal items from your vehicle, secure loose parts, and take photos of your car before it is loaded onto the transport trailer.

Researching Auto Transport Companies

When researching auto transport companies, there are a few key factors to consider. First, make sure the company is licensed and insured. You can check their credentials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Next, read reviews from previous customers to get an idea of their experiences with the company. Look for reviews on independent websites like Google, TrustPilot or the BBB, as well as the company’s website.

Finally, compare quotes from multiple companies to ensure a fair price. Keep in mind that the lowest price may only sometimes be the best option, as it could be a red flag for a scam or poor service.

Understanding the Vehicle Shipping Contract

Before signing the auto-shipping contract, read and understand all the terms and conditions. That includes the pricing, delivery timeline, insurance coverage, and potential fees or penalties.

Ask the auto transport company any questions before signing, and get everything in writing. That will help protect you from any disputes or issues arising during the shipping process.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Properly preparing your car for shipping is crucial to ensuring it arrives at its destination safely and on time. Start by removing any personal items from your vehicle, as they are not covered by insurance during transport.

Next, make sure your car is clean and free of debris, as this can damage other vehicles during transport. Secure any loose parts or accessories, and make sure your car has a full tank of gas.

Finally, please take photos of your car from all angles before loading it onto the transport trailer. That will help you document any damage that may occur during shipping.

Choosing the Right Type of Car Transport Carrier

When choosing a car transport carrier, there are two main options: open and enclosed trailers. Open trailers are more affordable and can transport multiple cars simultaneously, while enclosed trailers offer excellent protection for your car but are more expensive.

Consider your specific needs and your car’s value when choosing which carrier to use. If you have a classic or luxury car, enclosed transport may be worth the extra cost.

Insurance Coverage for Car Shipping

Most auto transport companies offer insurance coverage for your car during shipping. Read the terms and conditions of the insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.

If you have a high-value car, consider purchasing additional insurance coverage for peace of mind.

Tracking Your Car During Shipping

Many auto transport companies offer tracking services that allow you to monitor the progress of your car during shipping. That can be a helpful tool to ensure your vehicle is on schedule for delivery and give you peace of mind during shipping.

Make sure to ask the auto transport company if they offer tracking services and how to access them.

Receiving Your Car at the Destination

When your car arrives at its destination, it’s essential to inspect it for any damage before signing off on the delivery. Make sure to take photos of your vehicle from all angles, and note any damage on the delivery paperwork.

If there is any damage to your car, immediately contact the auto transport company to report it and file a claim.


Car shipping can be a complex and stressful process, but with the proper guidance, it can be a smooth and hassle-free experience. By avoiding common pitfalls, researching auto transport companies, understanding the auto shipping contract, and adequately preparing your car for shipping, you can ensure a successful and stress-free car shipping experience.

Remember to choose the right type of car transport carrier, purchase insurance coverage, track your car during shipping, and inspect it for damage upon delivery. With these tips, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride knowing your car is in good hands.

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and many customers are glad they went with that method.

auto transport tips, Car Shipping Quote Calculator