Tips for Long-Distance Vehicle Transport

Long-distance vehicle transport has become increasingly popular and is one of the easiest ways to transport a vehicle.

With many different car transport companies and options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

To help you make a more informed choice, here are some things you should know about long-distance auto transport.

Driving a vehicle from one location to another can be time consuming and stressful, not to mention the wear and tear it puts on the vehicle. Which is why auto transport companies can make the process much easier and less stressful, especially for those who don’t have the time to drive their vehicle a long distance.

Not Every Company is Created Equal

When you are paying money to have your car shipped, you want to be sure you are using a transport company you can trust.

Start by researching the company and reading reviews. Websites like Product Reviews and Google Reviews

You can even use car forums and reviews websites to ask for recommendations to ensure you are picking a reputable company.

Check for Transit Warranty

When handing over your vehicle to a shipping company, you want to make sure the company has appropriate risk mitigation practices should anything happens.

Generally, less than 1% of vehicles moved will experience some sort of damage which is a high achievement considering a large portion of vehicles we’ve been moving have been second hand with common wear & tear.

If a claim needs to be raised, we’ll review the first copy of the survey conducted at collection (or drop off) & gauge the difference with mark-ups on the final delivery (or customer collection) survey.

If we find reasonable evidence that there are fresh damages on the vehicle that did not exist at the time of collection, we’ll request that the customer visit an assessor and provide an estimate for repairs on the new damages only.

You may also check with your own insurance company to see if your vehicle is covered during transport.

Delivery Times Cannot be Guaranteed

Some auto transport companies may require a certain window of time for scheduling a pickup and delivery. This window is usually between two and three days.

Unlike airlines, auto carriers encounter several variables that can affect delivery time such as weather conditions, traffic, and road closures. So, be wary of any company that says they’ll guarantee delivery.

There are Different Types of Transport

You have the option to ship your car in an open or enclosed trailer.

Open trailers are usually cheaper, but the vehicles are subject to potential damage from weather conditions and road debris.

Enclosed trailers are typically more expensively priced because there are so few of them on the road. But, they keep your vehicle safe from outdoor elements and potential theft.

If you’re looking to transport a luxury or prestige vehicle, enclosed trailers may well be a better option.

Prices can Change any Moment

While auto carriers should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate quote for shipping your vehicle, there are several variables that will determine the actual cost.

These include the size and weight of your vehicle, the location of your delivery (door to door or depot to depot), the distance of your transport, and the type of transport (open or enclosed).

Pricing can change frequently and many companies will guarantee the quote if its in writing so its best to get a quote now and then potentially confirm the pricing closer to making the booking.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment

Once you have chosen a car transport company, you will need to take the proper steps to prepare your vehicle for shipment.

  • Clean your vehicle inside and out and take pictures of your vehicle’s condition;
  • Make a note of any scratches, dings, or dents;
  • Remove all personal items from inside the vehicle;
  • Make sure the fuel tank is only a quarter full; and
  • Check to make sure your battery is fully charged.

You can find more information on preparing your vehicle for transport here.

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 get 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