The Dos and Don’ts of Car Shipping: Tips for Transporting Your Vehicle Safely

Car shipping can be a convenient and efficient way to transport your vehicle from one location to another. However, it is important to understand the dos and don’ts of shipping to ensure that your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and securely.


Understand Shipping Options

Before you decide on the company, you need to check various car shipping quotes, it is important to understand the different types of car shipping options that are available. The most common types of vehicle shipping options are open and enclosed trailers. Open trailers are more affordable, but your vehicle will be exposed to the elements during transport. Enclosed trailers are more expensive, but your car will be protected from the elements during transport.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an option is whether you want your car delivered directly to your destination or to a terminal. Terminal-to-terminal transport is generally less expensive, but it can be less convenient if you have to travel to the terminal to pick up your car.

Research Potential Companies

It is important to research potential car shipping companies before making a decision. Look for companies that have positive reviews, are licensed and insured, and have a proven track record of safe and reliable transport.

You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Additionally, ask the company for references and check with those references to see if they were satisfied with the service they received.


Check Licensing and Insurance

It is important to ensure that the shipping company you choose is licensed and insured. A licensed company will have met certain requirements and standards set forth by the Department of Transportation. Insurance is also important in case of any damage that may occur during transport.

Be sure to ask the company for proof of licensing and insurance before signing any contracts or agreements.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

Preparing your vehicle for transport is an important step in ensuring that it arrives safely and securely at its destination. Remove any personal items from your vehicle, including GPS devices, CDs, and other accessories. These items can become loose during transport and damage your vehicle or other vehicles in the trailer.

Clean your vehicle both inside and out to make it easier to inspect for any damage before and after transport. Finally, make sure your gas tank is no more than a quarter full to reduce the weight of your vehicle and prevent any fuel spills during transport.

Take Pictures of Your Vehicle Before Shipping

Taking pictures of your vehicle before shipping is an important step in documenting its condition prior to transport. This can be useful in the event of any damage that may occur during transport.

Take pictures of your car from all angles, including the interior and exterior. Make sure to document any existing damage, including scratches, dents, or other imperfections.

Understand the cost

The cost of shipping your car will depend on several factors, including the distance of transport, the type of vehicle being shipped, and the type of transport option you choose. Be sure to get a written estimate from the company before agreeing to any services.

It is also important to understand what is included in the cost of shipping. Some companies may charge additional fees for things like insurance, storage, and terminal fees. Make sure you understand all of the fees and what they cover before agreeing to any services.

Review the Bill of Lading Before Signing

The bill of lading is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of your car shipment. Before signing the bill of lading, make sure you read it carefully and understand all of the terms and conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about the bill of lading, don’t be afraid to ask the company for clarification. Once you sign the bill of lading, it becomes a legally binding contract.


Stay in Communication with the Shipping Company

Communication is key when it comes to car transport. Make sure you stay in touch with the company throughout the entire process. This includes confirming pickup and delivery times, as well as providing any updates or changes to your contact information.

If you have any concerns or questions during the transport process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the car shipping company for clarification.

Don’t Ignore Damage When It Occurs

While car shipping companies take great care in transporting vehicles, accidents can still happen. If you notice any damage to your vehicle upon delivery, don’t ignore it. Make sure you document the damage with pictures and contact the company immediately.

Most shipping companies have a claims process in place to handle any damage that may occur during transport. Make sure you follow the claims process and provide all of the necessary documentation to support your claim.

Don’t Make Assumptions About Delivery Times

While car shipping companies strive to deliver vehicles on time, there are many factors that can impact delivery times. Weather, traffic, and mechanical issues can all cause delays in delivery.

It is important to understand that delivery times are estimates and not guarantees. Don’t make assumptions about delivery times and be patient if there are any delays.

Don’t Leave Your Car Unattended During Pickup or Drop-Off

When it comes to pickup and drop-off, it is important to be present and not leave your car unattended. This helps to ensure that the shipping company can inspect your vehicle and confirm its condition before transport.

If you are unable to be present for pickup or drop-off, make sure you designate a trusted representative to be there on your behalf.

Don’t Fail to Prepare for Inclement Weather

Inclement weather can pose a risk to your vehicle during transport. Make sure you prepare your car for any potential weather hazards, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.

This may include adding a protective cover to your car, checking your tire pressure, and making sure your car’s battery is fully charged.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Book Your Transport

Finally, it is important not to wait until the last minute to book your car transport. Give yourself plenty of time to research potential shipping companies, understand the costs, and prepare your vehicle for transport.

Booking your transport well in advance can also help ensure that you get the best rates and availability.


In conclusion, car shipping can be a convenient and efficient way to transport your vehicle from one location to another. By following these dos and don’ts of car shipping, you can ensure that your vehicle arrives safely and securely at its destination. Remember to do your research, communicate with the car shipping company, and prepare your vehicle properly for transport.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]