Avoid these Car Shipping Mistakes When Transporting Your Vehicle

If you’re new to transporting your vehicle, you might wonder if any obstacles can make the whole experience difficult and unpleasant. 

Unfortunately, yes: There are several significant mistakes many people make when shipping their car. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom! So long as you keep the most frequent missteps in mind, you’ll find that shipping your car doesn’t have to be a scary task. 

Here are five significant errors you might make when transporting your vehicle:

Not Preparing the Vehicle

1. Not Preparing the Vehicle

Often, those planning on shipping their car don’t take the necessary steps to prepare their vehicle for transport.

To save yourself any unneeded delays and headaches, you’ll want to verify that your car is ready for transit. Some common items to check off when preparing your vehicle for the shipping process include:

  • Cleaning the car. For ease of transport and damage inspection, it’s best to thoroughly wash and clean your vehicle before shipping it.
  • Performing a maintenance check. A maintenance check will ensure the car is ready for transport and immediate operation upon delivery.
  • Filling the gas tank. It’s best to fill the gas tank about a quarter of the way full before shipping the car.
  • Double checking your availability. One crucial step is to ensure you’re available for the shipping carrier to pick up your vehicle.
  • Verifying the pickup and dropoff locations. To sidestep any problems with pickup, it’s always a good idea to memorize your car’s pickup and dropoff points.

Overpaying for Transport

2. Overpaying for Transport

While quality service and reliable shipping are always preferable over picking the cheapest option, there’s no need to settle for an unreasonably expensive service.

It’s generally best to compare different rates offered by transport companies in your offer to get a firm idea of what the average price range is for shipping a vehicle. This way, you’ll have a fair estimate of whether or not you’re overpaying your transport company.

Additionally, you can use several different online calculators and compare their pricing estimates to determine what qualifies as a generally reasonable shipping price for your situation.

Leaving Items in Your Car

3. Leaving Items in Your Car

As a rule, you’ll want to remove any personal belongings from your car’s interior before you have it transported.

Leaving personal items in the vehicle risks losing, misplacing, or potentially damaging those belongings en route to your car’s new destination.  

Since there’s usually nothing to gain from keeping those items in the car during transit, removing them beforehand is optimal.

Not Verifying Your Car's Insurance

4. Not Verifying Your Car’s Insurance

An uninsured vehicle is a highly unnecessary risk to take when you plan on shipping your car. 

For best results, double-check that your car is adequately insured, even if you’re already confident that you’ve done this. No harm can come from a bit of caution in this area!

There are also auto transport insurance plans, separate from your regular vehicle insurance, that you’ll likely want to consider before shipping. Whether or not you wish to purchase one of these plans will depend on several factors, but it’s always good to know that you at least have the option.

Picking the Wrong Company

5. Picking the Wrong Company

Unfortunately, only some transport companies can be trusted. Some may need proper credentials, offer poor customer service, or display negligent operational procedures. 

Experts highly recommend that you properly vet the transport company beforehand to prevent your vehicle from falling into unsafe hands. 

A genuine, reliable company will not take offense to honest questions. Verifying their legitimacy will save you a world of stress and concern between your vehicle being picked up and dropped off.

Ready to Ship Your Heavy Equipment? Contact Ship A Car, Inc., Today!


While shipping your vehicle to a new location opens up the risk of mistakes and unexpected challenges, you can safely avoid the most significant and common transport errors with patience and preparation.

To find more resources, helpful articles, and tips on shipping your car, visit Ship a Car’s other blog posts and feel free to make a call today!