Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Car Transport Company

Choosing the right car transport company can be tricky. But it needn’t be. We share the biggest mistakes to avoid when choosing a car transport company.

When you’re looking to ship a car across the country, there are plenty of interstate car transport companies to choose from.

While they all serve the same purpose, there can be quite a difference in the quality of their service, and you need to know the most common mistakes to avoid when you’re shipping your car to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Avoid Paying too Much

Car transport rates vary from company to company,. The same business might charge you different amounts depending on the type of service you need.

Make sure you know how much your shipping company is going to charge you and exactly what the price includes, so there are no hidden costs you hadn’t bargained on.

Most companies will provide you with a car shipping quote free of charge, which will make it easier to compare the costs of different services.

It’s important to bear in mind however,  that cheaper isn’t always best. Lower prices usually mean that you will be dependent on the shipping company collecting your car when it suits them, not the other way round.

If you’re in a hurry or want to have your car delivered on a particular date, you may need to pay a little more.

Believing the Cheapest is the Best

The car transport industry as a whole has got a bad reputation from these companies. Many of these non-reputable car transporters will “go low” on theirauto shipping quotes in order to get a customer’s business.

Customers may see these quotes as the best value for their dollar. However, they may be unaware that these types of car transport companies have no real intention of shipping their vehicle at the stated price.

They may have bid the vehicle too low and are having trouble moving it in a timely fashion. After the vehicle has not moved for an extended period of time, you may get a call with some excuse (fuel prices have gone up, driver is asking for more money, we made a mistake on the bid, etc.).

Invariably, they’ll say they need more money to move the vehicle because of some unexpected expenses.

Using companies like these may end up costing you more than a reliable car transport company that might have had a higher starting quote to start with.

A word of caution…

You may encounter corrupt or non trustworthy companies in the car transport industry. Unfortunately, as much as we seek to rid the industry of the bad eggs, it’s not always possible.

Not Comparing Quotes

Take the time to gather as many quotes as possible and compare them for the services and rates. This will help you find the company that offers the transporting services you need for a cost that fits perfectly in your budget.

Don’t ever choose a company without first comparing quotes or you could find that you easily made a big mistake by hiring the wrong company.

Check for Hidden Charges

Usually, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

If the rates of an auto transport company seem unbelievably low, then you should make sure that it doesn’t charge any hidden fees.

This is a tactic that many businesses are using these days.

At first, they offer services at unbelievably low rates to lure customers, but at the time of delivery, many hidden charges are added to the bill.

Good companies try their level best to provide accurate estimates to their clients so that any misunderstandings can be avoided.

Paying a Deposit

If a car transport company is asking for a deposit when you place your order, careful…they may be one of the untrustworthy ones.

These same companies will ask you to sign a contract with them. In the fine print of the contract, it could say the deposit you give them is non-refundable – even if your vehicle is never moved.

There are reputable car transport companies that collect the full vehicle shipping price, not a deposit, when a customer places a booking.

Do the Research

The easiest way to be sure you’re choosing the right car transport company is to become informed and that means do some research of your own.

All good companies get themselves registered with the Department of Transport in each of the states they will be transporting through.

So, before choosing a car transport company, you might want to make sure that it is duly registered. With a few clicks, you can see whether the service is worth your time or not.

Make sure your transport company provides everything in writing. For complete peace of mind, ask for references from previous customers as well.

If you have a friend or family member that has shipped cars before, ask them for a referral.

If you are buying a car from a dealer, they will most likely have a car transporter they use on a regular basis.

If you are moving your home, ask your home movers who they use for vehicle shipping.

All of these referral sources are good methods to help you select a reputable car transport company.

The popularity of interstate car transfer services has caused an increase in competition among companies and some are using unconventional means of getting your business – sometimes at your expense.

Hiring a professional vehicle transport company for interstate delivery has been made easy but to avoid pitfalls; you need to take extra care.

Just like any other industry, this one has its share of fraudsters.

Need a Quote?

Let’s Get Started

188,306 kmTransport requested last 24hrs

100% FREE. No account needed.

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