Car shipping: Expectations vs. Reality

Car Shipping Expectations vs Reality

Can you trust anything you read online these days? If you search long enough on the internet, you can find 1,000 different contradicting opinions on the same topic. It’s hard to separate the fact from the fiction, the truth from the lie, and the reality from the expectation.

Many people think that cross-country car shipping is a stressful and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be! So, what is the car shipping reality? If you’re wondering how to ship a car without the anxiety that everyone talks about, yes, it is possible!

And why trust us? Well this is what we do. This is all we’ve done for 2 decades. Car shipping is our business and our reputation is our currency.

The auto transport industry offers various companies that specialize in shipping cars, ensuring they have the experience and knowledge to get your car from point A to point B without any problems. Auto transport companies will also be able to provide you with insurance in case of any damages that may occur during shipping. Shipping your car with an auto transport company is the easiest way to ship a car, and it will take all the stress out of the process!

Key Takeaways: Expectations Vs Reality of Car Shipping Summary

Expectation 1: Every Car Shipping Quote is the Same.

Reality: You have to shop around. Every car shipping company is going to promise the world. Find one that delivers on promises. And be sure to find a car shipping company that won’t change your quote for no reason midway through the process.

Expectation 2: Reviews are 100% Trustworthy

Reality: Checking reviews is definitely step 1, but if you want to make this process really painless, then you have to check more than just the reviews. Look on the Better Business Bureau’s website, check forums, do a little Googling. Find the best company before you make that call.

Expectation 3: The Initial Quotation is the Final Price

Reality: Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the car shipping business. You are quoted one way, and then suddenly told about an increase. A trustworthy, reputable car shipping company will not change the quote unless you have made additional requests, or details about the shipment have changed.

Expectation 4: Requested Dates & Times are Always Guaranteed

Reality: Expect things to adjust slightly. Most car shippers will give you a pick up window and a delivery window, but if you’re shipping your car from Florida to Hawaii for example, there may be unforeseen delays. These things happen. If you’re working with a great car shipping company then you will receive these updates clearly and often.

Expectation 5: The Entire Shipping Process is Handled by One Company Only

Reality: Not exactly. The car shipping industry has a few key people involved. What you’re looking for is a reputable car shipping company (like ShipYourCarNow) who vets and works with certified carriers. The car shipping company will work with others, but if you’ve picked correctly, then that car shipping company has done all the vetting and work for you.

Expectation #1: Every Car Shipping Quote is the Same

When you submit an online quote request form for car shipping services, you may receive 10 different quotations, ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands. But are they offering the same service?


The truth is that price is merely one factor to consider when learning how to ship a car. Car shipping companies vary as much as the quotes you receive, and you, as a customer, are responsible for understanding what services are included in the prices quoted.

The company with the lowest quote may not always be the most economical option for getting your vehicle shipped when and how you want it.

The choice of company and the rate will largely depend on several factors, including:

  • Supply and demand, the originating and final destinations.
  • The type of car you need to ship (such as classic cars).
  • The shipping method (open transport or enclosed transport).
  • The timing of the shipment, and any upcharges or special requests.

A reliable car shipping company will help ensure your car arrives safely and on time.

It’s important to consider not just the car shipping cost but also the services offered by auto transport companies, such as insurance coverage, the condition of your car, and the entire process from pickup to delivery.

Whether you’re dealing with cross-country vehicle shipping or international car shipping, choosing a reputable car shipping company can save you money and ensure a smooth shipping process.

Expectation #2: Reviews are 100% Trustworthy

Everything you read online regarding a car shipping company’s reviews is 100% accurate and written by a real customer.


Oh boy, the internet can really make finding facts difficult. The truth is that online reviews are only part of the picture. Studies show that happy customers are less likely to leave reviews compared to unhappy ones. This means that review portals are not necessarily an accurate representation of consumer satisfaction with a product or service.

Additionally, most review sites are run for profit, and some, such as Yelp, offer companies more prominent placement in search results for a monthly fee. Practices like these mean that it’s much harder for honest reviews to rank above those that are boosted through various methods of review filtering.

As the auto transport industry operates so differently from what clients expect, many negative reviews result from a severe misunderstanding of the service.

Despite the best efforts by legitimate car shipping companies to inform their clients, most customers only become interested in understanding how to ship a car when a problem arises.

Customer opinion can threaten a company’s online reputation and affect the trustworthiness of a website.

In addition to all of the above, companies often post fake revies to better their online reputation. False reviews posted by competitors have become an increasing trend over the years. This common attempt at one-upmanship by damaging a competitor’s credibility is the last nail in the coffin for review reliability.

Whether you’re dealing with cross-country car shipping, international car shipping, or shipping a classic car, it’s important to consider more than just reviews when selecting a reputable car shipping company.

Look for comprehensive auto transport services, clear communication about car shipping costs, and a smooth shipping process from pickup and delivery locations to insurance coverage.

Finding a reliable car shipping company is crucial for ensuring your car arrives safely and on time, regardless of the shipping method or transport type.

Expectation #3: The Initial Quotation is the Final Price

The Initial Quotation is the Final Price: Car Shipping Expectation

After you request a quote, you get the final price for the service you requested. But… did you?


This has become an unfortunate part of the car shipping industry. Companies will quote on price but then change that quote mid-way through the process.

Now, if you have added additional details or requests to your car shipment, then of course the quote will and should change to reflect that. But if you haven’t changed a thing but you suddenly get told you have to pay more… well that ain’t right.

If it’s still early in the quote process then, sure more things may adjust.

It’s important to note as well that quotes in the auto transport industry are always estimations. This is because the industry operates on a bidding system influenced by complex supply and demand dynamics, leading to fluctuating prices from one day to the next. It’s quite possible that the initial car shipping quote may not match the final amount requested by your contracted carrier due to market shifts.

Car shipping quotes are usually valid for 7 to 14 days, and companies offering ‘guaranteed pricing’ often add a significant mark-up to protect themselves from sudden market swings. While this can be beneficial for some clients, it results in unnecessarily high rates for others.

When looking for a reputable car shipping company, whether for cross-country car shipping, international car shipping, or transporting a classic car, it’s important to understand that the initial quote is just a starting point.

Factors such as pickup and delivery locations, shipping method (open or enclosed transport), and the car shipping process itself can all influence the final car shipping cost. A reliable car shipping company will provide clear communication and a smooth shipping process, ensuring your vehicle arrives safely and on time.

Expectation #4: Requested Dates & Times are Always Guaranteed

When a car shipping company gives you a delivery date, they are ensuring that that will be the exact day you will receive your car.


All reputable car shipping companies will inform you of a ‘pickup window’ and ‘delivery window’ and will never guarantee a specific date and time.

The reason behind this practice is that auto transport carriers plan their routes only a few days in advance of departure, resulting in uncertain shipping schedules for each route.

Numerous factors can affect a carrier’s progress on the road, such as delays caused by other customers booked on the same hauler, adverse weather conditions, traffic congestion, and mechanical failure.

If you’re being guaranteed an exact delivery date or time—with no upcharge or special conditions—be very wary.

Expectation #5: The Entire Shipping Process is Handled by One Company Only

One company and one company only will handle the entire shipping process on their own.


In the majority of cases, you’ll be dealing with two transport companies when shipping your vehicle: auto transport brokers and auto transport carriers.

The auto transport broker is responsible for negotiating with carriers to ascertain which may best meet a client’s shipping requirements.

They present all bids from interested carriers to the client for consideration and approval, draft a shipping agreement/contract between the client and their chosen carrier, and remain available throughout the shipping process to provide administrative assistance to the client where necessary.

Additionally, they mitigate any issues that may arise with a shipment.

The auto transport carrier, on the other hand, is responsible for executing the shipping agreement as contracted. They ensure they have valid insurance coverage for the vehicles in their possession between pickup and delivery, handle the vehicle safely and professionally, conduct inspections before and after transit, and keep the customer informed of their progress during transit.

What To Expect When Shipping Your Car: Car Shipping Reality

What To Expect When Shipping Your Car: Car Shipping Reality

When you need to ship your car, you can expect a few things. First, you will need to choose a car shipping company. There are many car shipping companies that offer this service, so be sure to do your research to find one that is reputable and has a good track record. Next, you will need to prepare your car for shipping. This includes making sure it is cleaned, and any personal belongings are removed. The shipping company will also provide you with a list of items that must be removed from the car, such as the spare tire and jack.

Once your car is ready, the shipping company will pick it up and transport it to its destination. You can usually track the progress of your shipment online so you can see where your car is at all times. Shipping your car can be a hassle-free process if you are prepared and know what to expect.

Get A Thorough Inspection of Your Vehicle Before it’s Loaded Onto the Truck

A thorough inspection of your vehicle is always recommended before transport. This is to ensure that your vehicle arrives at its destination without any damage.

The first thing you should do is check for flat tires, damaged windshields, or loose parts.

These could cause serious problems during transport. If possible, take pictures of the condition of your vehicle before transport. This will help you in making a claim if there are any damages after transport. After you have inspected the exterior of your vehicle, it is also important to check the interior.

Make sure that all personal belongings have been removed and that there is nothing loose inside the vehicle that could slide around and cause damage.

Once you have checked everything, you can then proceed with loading your car onto the truck.

Once your car arrives at its destination, it is crucial to inspect it thoroughly to ensure it is in the same condition as when it was loaded.

Unloading and Delivery of Your Car Right to Your Doorstep

Have you ever wished that you could just have your car delivered right to your doorstep? Well, now there’s a service that can do just that with door-to-door car shipping! Whether you’re buying a new car or need to get your current car serviced, we can pick it up and deliver it right to your home or office. We offer a convenient and hassle-free way to get your car where it needs to go. Plus, we’re always available to answer any questions you may have about our service. So why not give us a try today and see for yourself how easy and convenient it is to have your car delivered right to your doorstep?

Essential Tips for Ensuring Safe and Timely Package Delivery

When you are shipping a package, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose a reputable shipping company.

This will help to ensure that your package arrives safely and on time. Second, be sure to pack your items securely.

This will help to prevent damage during transit. Finally, keep in mind that there are some things that are out of the shipper’s control, such as weather conditions or traffic delays. If your package is delayed, be patient and contact the shipping company for updates.

With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure that your package arrives safely at its destination.

Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out to Car Shipping Companies if You’re Wondering How to Ship a Car

Don't Hesitate to Reach Out to Car Shipping Companies if You're Wondering How to Ship a Car

The shipping process can be complicated, and there are often a lot of questions that arise during the process. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the car shipping company for assistance.

The customer service team is more than happy to help you through the process and answer any questions that you may have.

They can also provide you with updates on the status of your shipment and let you know when it is expected to arrive. In addition, they can provide you with tracking information so that you can follow the progress of your shipment every step of the way.

So, if you have any questions or concerns during the shipping process, don’t hesitate to contact the car shipping company for assistance.

Hassle-Free and Affordable Car Shipping with Ship Your Car Now

ShipYourCarNow offers a great way to get your car from one place to another. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using our service:

  • ShipYourCarNow is a great option if you need to get your car from one place to another quickly and without any hassle.
  • The process is simple and straightforward – just fill out a form with your information, and we’ll do the rest.
  • We are a reliable and affordable option for car shipping. Thanks for choosing ShipYourCarNow!

Additionally, Ship Your Car Now offers competitive car shipping costs, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

Full Summary

Many people find the idea of a car shipping process stressful and complicated, but selecting a reputable auto transport company can alleviate these concerns. What you need is an experienced and knowledgeable company (just like ShipYourCarNow!) that can provide insurance for potential damages, making the process hassle-free.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Ok, ok that’s a pretty hokey saying, but in this case it’s true. Prepare your car! This involves cleaning the car, removing personal belongings, and performing a thorough inspection to document its condition. Taking these steps ensures the vehicle is ready for transport and helps in addressing any damage claims if necessary.

Car shipping services often include convenient features like doorstep delivery and online tracking. These services allow you to monitor your car’s progress and receive it at your specified location, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

The team at ShipYourCarNow is dedicated to making the process smooth, and they’re available to address any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a reliable car shipping company?

To select a reputable car shipping company, start by researching various options in the auto transport industry. Read customer reviews and check each company’s track record. Look for car shipping companies that offer insurance coverage and have extensive experience in vehicle transport. ShipYourCarNow, for example, is recognized for its reliable car shipping services and high customer satisfaction [1].

What should I do to prepare my car for shipping?

Before you ship a car, clean it thoroughly and remove all personal belongings. Inspect the vehicle for any existing damage and document it with photos. Remove any loose parts or accessories, such as the spare tire and jack, to prevent damage during transit. This preparation is crucial for a smooth shipping process.

Can I track my car during the shipping process?

Yes, most car shipping companies, including ShipYourCarNow, provide online tracking services. This feature allows you to monitor your car’s progress and know its location at any time during the transport, offering peace of mind throughout the car shipping process.

What should I do if my car arrives with damages?

Upon delivery, conduct a thorough inspection of your car. If you notice any damages that were not present before shipping, document them with photos and report them to the car shipping company immediately. Having pre-shipment photos will aid in making a claim with the auto transport company.

What factors can affect the car shipping timeline?

While car transport companies strive to deliver on time, some factors are beyond their control. Weather conditions, traffic delays, and road conditions can impact the shipping schedule. It’s important to be patient and stay in contact with the car shipping company for updates on your vehicle transport [2].

Why are open carriers so popular?

Several factors contribute to the popularity of open carriers: they are cost-effective, as they can transport multiple vehicles simultaneously, reducing overall costs compared to enclosed carriers. Their design allows for quicker loading and unloading, enhancing efficiency. Additionally, open carriers are widely available and commonly used across the country, further boosting their popularity [3].

( Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at SYCN Auto Logistics-Alchemist, blending the best technology, analytics & service available. )

Senior automotive logistics professional with a passion for the industry and a 10+ year history of accomplishments. Proven track record of exemplary client management working with both RMCs, Van Lines and OEMs. Keen ability to react to an ever-changing marketplace while offering superior technology solutions, programs and services. Architect of award winning auto transport portal technology offering transparency and agility to clients, agents and transferees. Successful team builder and leader easily managing budgets with effective leadership, strategic planning, and problem-solving capabilities.

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