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Common Problems That Occur During Auto Transport

For most people, shipping your car is not something you do regularly. Auto shipping is a huge industry moving cars around the world regularly for car manufacturers and individuals.

But if you’re thinking of shipping your car, this is most likely a one-off shipment and something you have never experienced before. Almost everything about shipping your car is unknown to you.

While you want your car shipped safely, efficiently, and without problems, you will be wary about what could go wrong. When you understand the potential problems that can occur during auto shipping, you will be well-armed to take steps to avoid them! Finding a reputable car shipping company should be on the top of your list, especially if you want to avoid the following issues:


The potential damage is one of the most common concerns customers will have when shipping their car. Even light scratches and paint chips can affect the value of your vehicle.

Although damage can happen, the top-rated auto shippers maintain their rating by ensuring these little accidents don’t occur. They employ highly trained drivers, use well-maintained equipment, and provide excellent customer service.

The sort of damage that can occur includes:

  • Fluid dripping out of cars loaded on the top ramps onto the vehicles loaded below – car shippers should ask their customers to have their car checked for leaks before shipping.
  • Extreme weather conditions like hail, hurricanes, and tornadoes – cars shipped in enclosed carriers don’t face these problems but they can happen if your car is shipped on an open carrier.
  • Scratches and chipped paint – this can happen when a transport driver isn’t careful when loading or unloading.


This can only really happen if the transport driver isn’t conscientious and keeps an eye on the carrier, especially during stops.

Common types of car vandalism include the senseless slashing of tires, keying the car, smashing windows, or even egging the vehicle. Vandalism is a crime and usually the result of spontaneous random acts.

Insufficient Pre or Post Inspection

It is up to the transport driver to carry out a thorough vehicle inspection at the time of pick-up and the time of delivery. Any existing damage should be recorded at pick up. If this is not done accurately, it can cause problems for all parties when it comes to insurance coverage around establishing where any damage occurred.

Insufficient Licensing or Insurance Coverage

Legitimate vehicle transporters are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and carry specified insurance coverage. They should also have a United States Department of Transportation number.

If you are considering a company without these registrations, you are asking for problems!

Legitimate transporters provide you with protection if anything does go wrong.

Delayed Delivery

This is a common issue and can be caused by factors like extreme weather, accidents, or mechanical problems that can be outside the transporters’ control.

Many reputable shippers will provide a three-day delivery window because some delays simply can’t be avoided.

Incorrect Estimates or Hidden Fees

This is another reason to use a reliable and legitimate transport company. They will base their shipping estimates on the model and weight of your vehicle, plus the distances traveled to and from the pick-up and delivery locations.

You can avoid estimate problems by ensuring the transporter has the correct details of your car and the correct locations.

Illegitimate car transport companies may offer a lower quote to get your business, but when it comes time to take delivery of your vehicle, you find several hidden fees have been added and must be paid before they will release your car.

Pick-up or Delivery Misunderstandings

Make sure you understand exactly where your car is being loaded and unloaded.

If a ship is leaving from or arriving at a port far from the pick-up or delivery locations, your road transport charges may be much higher than if the ship left or arrived at closer locations.

If there are no misunderstandings, then there will be no issues about the costs or hidden fees being added.

Poor Communication

A reputable car transport company will provide frequent and regular communication as to location, progress, or possible delays due to weather, accidents, traffic, etc.

Make sure you look at this part of their service before committing. There’s nothing worse than having no idea where in the world your car is during transport.

The clear message you should be receiving concerning these problems is that choosing a reliable, reputable, and legitimate auto shipping company is essential. This will ensure you either avoid problems or you at least have a straightforward process to address any problems with the confidence that they will be resolved.

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