Biggest First Time Mistakes in Vehicle Transport

If this is the first time you’re looking to have a car transported interstate then this article is for you because it will help you avoid many of the biggest first time mistakes made in vehicle transport.

We recently spoke to Patrick Kashani, a veteran of the industry and the National Commercial Manager at Carways, and asked:

What are the biggest first time mistakes people make when preparing to have a vehicle transported?

Because, while there are many shipping companies that promise to transport your vehicle safely and on time, it’s important to note that not all of them provide the same quality of service.

Taking the right steps to research auto transport companies can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches.

Furthermore, you want to take the right steps to make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for shipment.

Not Doing Your Research

There are hundreds of auto transportation companies advertising online so it’s important to do adequate research to make sure the one you choose is reliable.

There are regulations in place that require logistics companies to register with their respective Departments of Transport.

And, with the advent of the Internet, many review sites now exist that provide real consumer reviews of car transport companies which makes doing research so much easier than it used to be.

Choosing the Cheapest Price Option

There is nothing wrong with comparing prices to find the best deal. In fact, we recommend it.

But never go with the cheapest company just because it offers a price that is drastically lower than the competition.

If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

Some companies have a reputation for luring customers with lower prices but fail to mention all of the additional fees and charges that will be added to your final charge. Be cautious of these companies.

Lower prices don’t always mean better deals and sometimes it’s also possible that your offer could be a scam.

Reputable auto shipping companies are typically comparable in price. 

Explore Reviews of Popular Car Transport Companies on Product Review

Check on Insurances or Warranties

Your car is one of your most valuable assets so you want to ensure it is properly cared for during transport.

Ask about insurance or warranty coverage and the process for if something were to go wrong and your car were damaged. More than 99% of vehicles are delivered without even a scratch but it’s good to know if yours were one of the unfortunate 1%.  

Poor Vehicle Preparation Prior to Transport

There are several things most companies recommend you do to do prior to shipping your vehicle to be sure it is ready for transport.

Firstly, clean your vehicle inside and out and take pictures of its condition prior to shipment. That way, you can compare your vehicle’s condition after transport and provide documentation of any dents or scratches.

You also want to make sure your fuel tank is only a quarter full, your tires are well inflated, and your vehicle is running properly before transport. 

Leaving Belongings in Your Vehicle

Some people might think it’s okay to pack their vehicle with personal belongings for shipment, especially if they are moving or relocating.

However, most transport companies advise against this or at least, are able to provide instructions for what can and cannot be transported along with your vehicle.

There’s a reason why belongings in the vehicle are a hazard.

Firstly, it could cause your vehicle to exceed its weight limit and this could put the driver, and other road users, in danger during transport.

Secondly, the items in your vehicle could be subject to theft or damage during shipment and it may not be the car transport company that’s at fault. When your car is on an open carrier, your belongings could be in full view of everyone.

Companies that permit personal belongings in the car, will also have very tight legal clauses to minimise responsibility in case of theft or damage. So, be sure to fully understand how they may affect you.

Car Transport Services – Serving You Best

Car Transport Services connects shippers like you with auto transport companies.

If you need to ship a vehicle to any part of the country, it’s easier than you think and probably more affordable too. Find out by geting your quotes online today. 

Patrick Kashani

About Patrick Kashani

Patrick Kashani is the National Commercial Manager at Carways Pty. Ltd. and a vehicle logistics industry leader. With more than two decades of experience in logistics, supply chain and automotive transport industries, he has seen the best (and the worst) of what the industry offers its customers.

Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

Find out more