Expert Tips for Hassle-Free Car Transportation

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on navigating the car transportation industry. As a corporate worker who has transitioned between multiple tech companies across various states, I've accumulated a wealth of experience in relocating vehicles. My insights are derived not only from personal experiences but also from extensive research and numerous customer reviews on various transport companies. This guide aims to provide you with informed decisions to help you avoid common industry pitfalls.


How to Avoid Car Shipping Scams: The Bait and Switch

The "bait and switch" scam is a well-known trick in the car transport industry. Here's how it usually works:

avoid scams
  • Low Initial Quote: You get a very low quote and are asked to pay a booking fee, usually between $150 and $200.
  • Price Hike: As the pickup date gets closer, the company gives various excuses to increase the price significantly, such as rising fuel costs, unpopular routes, or high demand.
  • Customer Pressure: This price increase often happens when you're on a tight schedule, making you feel forced to accept the higher fee.
  • Company's Focus: These companies take advantage of your urgent need, prioritizing quick profit over long-term customer satisfaction.

Fear-based Scam

  • Fake Insurance Sales: Some brokers try to sell you extra insurance, but all legitimate carriers already include it. Offering additional insurance is essentially a scam because it's a nonexistent product. Your cars will be protected by trucking company`s insurance not brokers insurance!
  • fake documents
  • Top Load Charge: Brokers might charge an extra $100-150 for a "top load" spot or claim it's included for free. This is misleading because vehicles are often moved around during transit, making these promises dishonest and unnecessary. Do not fall for it!
  • top load

Understanding Car Shipping Options

When shipping your cars, you generally have two main options: open transportation and enclosed transportation. Below we will describe what you need to know about each option

Open Transportation

  • Cost-Effective: This is the most budget-friendly option for shipping your car.
  • Exposure to Elements: Your vehicle will be transported on an open trailer, meaning it will be exposed to weather conditions like rain, snow, and sun.
  • Road Debris: There is a higher chance of your car getting dirty or being hit by road debris during transport.
  • Dirty Arrival: Expect your vehicle to arrive dusty or dirty after the journey.
  • Insurance Coverage: Standard insurance covers up to $75,000 per car, but it often comes with a high deductible. Make sure to check the specifics of the insurance policy provided by the transporter.

Enclosed Transportation

  • Ideal for High-Value or Delicate Vehicles: If you have a luxury car, a classic vehicle, or any other type of high-value or delicate car, enclosed transportation is the best option. It offers the highest level of protection for your precious automobile.
  • Protection from Weather and Road Damage: Unlike open transportation, enclosed transportation shields your vehicle from the elements. This means your car will be safe from rain, snow, hail, and other weather conditions, as well as potential damage from road debris.
  • Higher Cost but Worth the Investment: Although enclosed transportation is more expensive than open transportation, the additional cost is an investment in the safety of your vehicle. By choosing enclosed transport, you can avoid potential repair costs down the line, ensuring your vehicle arrives in pristine condition.

Door-to-Door Service: Marketing vs. Reality

  • Promoted Service: Door-to-door service is often heavily marketed by brokers as a highly convenient option for car shipping. They emphasize the ease and simplicity of having your vehicle picked up and delivered right at your doorstep.
  • Real-world Restrictions: In reality, this service can be quite impractical. Local regulations, narrow streets, and physical limitations like low-hanging trees or power lines often make it difficult for large transport trucks to navigate residential areas. As a result, true door-to-door service is rarely feasible.
  • Better Alternative: Instead of struggling with these challenges, it's usually more effective to coordinate pickup and delivery at more accessible locations. Large retail parking lots, for example, provide ample space for transport trucks to maneuver and load or unload vehicles safely and efficiently. This approach ensures a smoother and more reliable car shipping experience.

Choosing a Trustworthy Transport Broker

  • Do Your Research: Choose brokers who are known for offering fair, realistic pricing and have positive customer reviews. Reading reviews can help you understand the experiences of other customers.
  • Value Transparency: Pick brokers who communicate clearly and don't hide any fees. It's important to know exactly what you're paying for without any surprises.
  • Look for Experience: Opt for brokers with a proven track record and a solid reputation in the industry. Experience and a good reputation can give you confidence that your vehicle is in good hands.
  • Chameleon Trucking Companies: Be careful of brokers who use unlicensed and low safety score carrier to cut costs, they might even steal your vehicle run to Mexico and you can not do anything about it

Vehicle Preparation Tips

  • Disclose Modifications: Make sure to tell your transporter about any modifications to your vehicle, like aftermarket lifts or custom tires.
  • Take Clear Photos: Take detailed pictures of your car on pickup and make sure driver is taking pictures too. This will help prevent any disputes about the vehicle's condition later on.
  • Personal Items: Talk to your broker about putting personal items in your car to avoid surprise fees. Your personal items will never be covered, try not to leave valuable items inside the vehicle. No insurance will cover personal items related claims.
  • Thorough Inspections: Carefully check your vehicle for any damage at both pickup and delivery, and make sure to document everything accurately.

Detailed Profiles of Suggested Car Transportation Companies


  • Best prices overall. They stick to the original quotes, so no surprises now matter of what. Discounts for multiple vehicle shipments.
  • Does not colloborate with chameleon carriers who has history of very bad safety and unpaid claims.
  • Guaranteed Delivery and Pickup Dates. Other than Outbounds, no one else offer Guaranteed delivery in the industry.
  • Car Rental Reimbursement for delayed deliveries. Other than Outbounds, no one else offer this in the industry
  • No Credit Card needed for Booking and Free Cancelation with no penalty
  • Car Wash Reimbursement for vehicles delivered dirty open or enclosed transportation- not offered by other companies
  • Offers real insurance coverage with 0$ deductible to customers, no scam no missing coverage.
  • Completely US based Customer Support, not outsourced to other countries
  • Have educational videos and blogs about how to prepare for shipping, and how to be expert shipper.


  • Services are only available within the U.S. mainland.
  • Doesn't transport travel trailers.
  • No services for Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico.


  • Their prices do not change after the final quote. They stick to the original quotes.
  • Uses Professional Carriers, no chameleon carriers.
  • Offers shipping services to Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
  • They have professional US Based Customer Service, not outsourced to other countries.
  • Have a real insurance coverage for vehicles
  • After hours support team for customers for 365 days delivery.


  • Do not offer Car Rental Reimbursement for delayed shipments.
  • Do not offer Car Wash Reimbursement for dirty vehicles.
  • Do not offer Guaranteed delivery dates for customers who need a 1 day delivery window.
  • Prices tend to be higher compared to other companies
  • Requires Credit Card to book the order, you will need to pay to confirm booking.


  • Uses only professional carriers, no chameleon carriers.
  • Have US based support team, not outsourced to other countries.
  • Provides Real Insurance for the cars that are being transported, no misleading insurance.
  • They ship vehicles to Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
  • Have a real insurance coverage for vehicles
  • Ships travel trailers and heavy equipment, for construction companies.


  • Does not offer Car Rental Fee Reimbursement for delayed shipments.
  • Does not offer Car Wash Reimbursement for vehicles that arrive dirty.
  • Does not offer Guaranteed Delivery dates for customers who needs 1 day delivery window.
  • Prices are a little higher compared to other companies.
  • Requires deposit to book order, you will need place your credit card on file.


  • One-price quoting is your final amount with no hidden extras.
  • Every transport is insured while on the carrier, no chameleon carriers.
  • Ships vehicles Internationally via sea and plane.
  • Has a storage terminal in MA, provides storage for customers who need it.
  • Competitive Prices and discounts on multiple vehicles.
  • US Based Support Team not outsourced to other countries.


  • Does not offer Car Rental Fee Reimbursement for delayed shipments.
  • Does not offer Car Wash Reimbursement for dirty cars.
  • Does not offer Guaranteed Delivery dates for customers who needs 1 day delivery window.
  • Does not have after hours support for 365 days.
  • Requires deposit to book the order, you will need to place your card on file.


  • Transparent Pricing no hidden fees.
  • Professional team to handle complex requests. Such as shipment requires multiple carriers.
  • Mostly handles corporate relocations.
  • Can ship internationally all over the world.
  • Can ship heavy equipment and travel trailers.
  • Provides various booking options.


  • Does not offer Car Rental Fee Reimbursement for delayed shipments.
  • Does not offer Car Wash Reimbursement for dirty cars.
  • Does not offer Guaranteed Delivery dates for customers who needs 1 day delivery window..
  • Does not have after hours support for 365 days.
  • Requires deposit to book the order, you will need to place your card on file.