9 Mistakes To Avoid When Shipping Your Car

Regardless of where you are shipping your vehicle to, another state or country, handling over the keys as well as complete responsibility for your lovely car to a stranger is a big deal.

You have nothing to worry about if you’ve carefully prepared and select trustworthy vehicle shippers. Choosing the wrong shipping company is one of the most popular vehicle shipping mistakes you must avoid.

Even though this process may appear simple, unreliable movers with no professional equipment should not handle this shipping for you. A good car shipping company will give a detailed explanation of the whole process for you and offer you a free moving quote for your specific move.

To ensure that your shipping experience is smooth and sweet, you will need to know the most popular mistakes shippers make. To save yourself any tough surprises while shipping a vehicle, below is a list of popular mistakes that you must stay away from:

9 Mistakes To Avoid When Shipping Your Car

In this article

Choosing an Un-Reliable Freight Company

You need to verify the legitimacy of the shipping company you select to make sure that your vehicle is in safe hands all through the shipping process. You can easily fall, victim of scammers, if the verification is done wrongly. This will possibly set you back with hundreds and thousands of dollars, but your vehicle is inclusive.

How then can you figure out the credibility of your selected shipping service, you may ask? Check if the company is insured, bonded, and licensed.

In general, certified shipping companies possess a license with the TSA, the FMC for ocean shipment forwarders, and IATA for air freight forwarders.

Reliable shipping service will also be glad to discuss their company’s history as well as other details. They should also be prepared to provide reviews from exporters that rely on them.

Have Incorrect or Missing Paperwork

Before you can ship your car, the majority of shipping companies will ask customers to provide some documents the car can be shipped.

These documents often include your insurance certificate and vehicle registration, as well as prove to the transporter that you are the owner of the car and you are permitted to ship it. Make sure all these documents are available to you to avoid any problems.

Before the shipping company accepts to ship your vehicle, they will perform an inspection on it and record any issues on an inspection report. Since this will only give a record of the vehicle’s current condition before shipping, it is, therefore, necessary to be there for the inspection.

When you receive your car, you will necessarily need to perform another inspection.

If there has been any damage to your car, resulting from the shipping, you must note it down on the inspection report and ensure the driver signs it. Else, you won’t be able to lay a claim on the shipping company’s insurance.

Leaving Personal Stuff in the Vehicle

There are no laws to prevent people from transporting a vehicle with items inside, given the item weight is below 100lbs. However, we don’t advise this, and many transporters won’t allow it either.

The major reason behind this is that the shipping company’s insurance will not provide coverage for the items in the event of damage or loss. That implies that if any of your stuff gets damaged or goes missing, you will be liable for the costs and won’t have any claims to make against the company.

In the event where the weight of the items is more than 10lbs, the Department of Transportation would have the right to seize your items. Now you see that leaving items in the vehicle is not just a worthy risk to take.

Poor Vehicle Preparation

Preparation, as with many other things, is the key to success. If you make the appropriate and important arrangements and stick to our recommendations, you will have what it takes to handle eventualities. One of the vital points of conflict when shipping a vehicle happens when the car recipient receives it and figure out the damage.

If no picture is taken before transporting, there is no evidence to state whether the damage was caused by the shippers, the recipient, or the delivery person.

When you clean the vehicle, carefully check it for dents, and take pictures before moving, you have enough clarity about the car’s expected condition when it gets to its final destination.

Not Being Present to accept Delivery of your Vehicle

Imagine you are moving to another city, and your vehicle is shipped long before your arrival. You will hardly know if your car got hit by external objects or scratched while in transit in this scenario.

Wrong move planning is often one of the reasons behind the popular car shipping mistakes. You will have to make arrangements that will enable you to oversee this process.

If you and your mover agreed to a delivery date, ensure you contact them during the transport process.

Not Calculating Transportation Quotes

Shipping rates as quoted by vehicle shippers vary. Therefore, you must hire an auto shipping company that gives you the value that best meets your cost. One of the best ways to do this is to get a company that gives you a free online transportation quote calculator. This will provide you with a good idea of how much your vehicle transport will cost you the most accurate amount.

Don’t also forget that transportation quotes are subject to change. There are different prices, based on the car’s size, the distance traveled, the location, the season, and the mode of shipping.

Read our post on how much does it cost to ship a car?

Car shipping through an enclosed carrier will be way expensive than car shipping through an open-air carrier. Similar to all industries, the minimum prices doesn’t measure up to the best service.

If you go with a car shipper that offers too low a service rate, you might face numerous problems that can ruin your shipping experience. This may include things like the shippers coming late to pick your car, not taking the right safety measures to safeguard your vehicle from harm on the move, and prolonged delivery.

Read our tips to choosing the best auto transport company.

Not Recording Damage

Always note down any damage caused during the transport on the bill of lading. Immediately you receive your car, you will need to perform a personal visual inspection. This will enable you to make sure that no new damage occurred while shipping your car.

Sadly but uncommon, damage does happen. However, if it happens, note it on the bill of lading during your delivery inspection. This will enable you to file a damage claim with that specific vehicle shipping company. Failure to do this when you take delivery of your car from the driver implies that filing a damage claim won’t be possible.

Forgetting Insurance Coverage

Not insuring your vehicle is one of the biggest and popular mistakes that you can make while shipping your car. A good auto shipping company will offer you insurance coverage for any resulting damage from transporting your vehicle.

Ask that the company present their insurance certificate and know that everything will be covered under the insurance policy. If you don’t find the insurance coverage sufficient, you may be able to increase it by paying the auto transporter some amount or lookout for one of the top auto insurance companies.

To rely on the Exact Delivery Date

Predicting the actual delivery date of your vehicle might be a tricky thing to do. Know that you are the only customer a moving company is moving at the moment they load your stuff into their carrier.

However, shipping companies usually haul more than one car at a time. If you are not certain about the time your car will be delivered, the best action to take is to contact your shippers during this shipping process. Ensure you have their phone number with you so you can always check the status of your shipment.


A lot of people ship their vehicles to a new place every day. This process is simple, safe, and most effective. If you are scared of the mistakes to avoid when transporting your car to another country, the above common mistakes and how to avoid them will go a long way. Don’t forget to hire the best car shipping company to avoid most of the mistakes.

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