Ditch the Dangers of Cross-Country Driving

a long stretch of empty road reaching toward the mountainous horizon


Long-distance drives can present a number of costly risks to your vehicle. Learn how using an auto transporter reduces or eliminates them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solo long-distance trips only save money in one category and spend money in others
  • Working with an auto transporter saves money in multiple categories
  • Long trips alone are more likely to result in accidents
  • Unprotected vehicles are prone to the elements and crime when not on an auto carrier
  • Auto carriers provide experienced care to cut long-distance dangers and expenses

Ask any avid motorist if they enjoy a long drive and saving money. Also, you’ll probably get a “Yes” both times. This combination is what causes many drivers to skip paying for an auto transport service if their vehicle has to go a long distance. There is no arguing that not paying for auto transport initially saves you money. However, it also opens your wallet up to further costs.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that careful selection of the right auto carrier can save you a lot of time, trouble, and potential danger — along with a significant amount of money — compared to driving the distance yourself. This guide will spotlight all the risks drivers can avoid by letting a transporter carry the long-distance load and who to call to make the right connections.

What constitutes long-distance driving?

Here is another car owner question that rarely gets the right answer: Ask any handful of drivers what counts as “long-distance driving,” and you’ll probably get as many different guesses. The fact is that long-distance has a mile cap: 50 miles or more from home to the farthest destination traveled. Other experts advise that you should never drive for more than 4.5 hours without a 45-minute break.

These are good guides for looking after drivers who often forget two very important points. Keeping these in mind helps people face up to their own vulnerabilities and the statistics that show most car trouble strikes long before long distances are reached:

  • 1. You are your vehicle’s most important component: The most car-conscious motorist will fuss over brake pads, tire treads, and headlight bulbs while forgetting that the driver is the most valuable auto part. Underestimating the self-care necessary to make a long-distance drive only puts the vehicle at risk of scrapes, collisions, and crashes.
  • 2. Drivers often overestimate their abilities: You may feel confident in your ability to drive long-distance without damaging your vehicle but here are some stats to consider: 52% of all crashes occur within five miles of the driver’s home (and those are just the reported ones) while 77% occur only 15 miles from home.

It is clear to see that even very short distances can result in your vehicle taking an expensive or dangerous hit. You deserve to stay personally safe and to prevent your car from being exposed to unnecessary risk. One call to an experienced auto transport broker can put you in touch with the right carrier to deliver safe and reliable long-distance service for your vehicle.

The top 4 dangers vehicles avoid by shipping long-distance

Even minor vehicle repairs present unwelcome expenses. Common fixes range from $25 to over $1000, and those figures are before we even consider running the gauntlet of long-distance driving alone. Entrusting your vehicle to a licensed and insured auto transporter means you won’t have to worry about paying way above common maintenance prices along with a heavy fuel bill.

  • 1. Theft and vandalism: Long journeys often take a vehicle through the unfamiliar and sometimes unsafe territory. Even the most vigilant driver occasionally loses sight of their car over long distances when they need to stop for food or sleep. These visual lapses are when thieves and vandals can strike. These risks are much lower — and insured — when your vehicle is safely aboard a carrier’s rig.

  • 2. The ravages of road debris: Road debris ranges in type from fine particulate matter like sand and grit to larger and more impactful things like stones, rocks, and broken glass. Any form of this hazard can leave a nasty mark on a car. Marks from scraping paintwork, popping tires, or breaking windshields and lights. Choosing carrier shipping — particularly a closed carrier — creates a protective environment for your vehicle, so its long-distance journey doesn’t leave a legacy.

  • 3. Escape the elements: Rain, fog, or snow may not harm your vehicle directly, but it’s the road you have to worry about. You are more likely to have a car accident the longer you’re behind the wheel. Likewise, this is doubly true during inclement weather. Vehicles on or in carriers are safe from elemental road risks. Likewise, they can be shielded from them entirely in closed carriers.

  • 4. Minimize wear and tear: Imagine the perfect long-distance driving conditions: No bad actors, zero accidents, and spotless roads under clear skies. This still leaves your vehicle open to one more negative that auto transport removes. Driving long-distance always takes a toll by wearing down tires, draining batteries, and putting more miles on your odometer.

  • 5. Avoid towing trouble: A long-distance drive could find you breaking down somewhere between civilization and nowhere. Towing companies are not just expensive, they can also be clumsy. It is not uncommon for vehicles to receive bumper, glass, or tire damage from careless crews. Also, many risks on this list can be compounded if your ride ends up in a towing lot for a while.

You can now plainly see why the initial savings of not hiring an auto transporter can be quickly wiped out by driving long-distance alone. Even the most prepared and responsible drivers don’t have control over human nature, the elements, or simple bad luck. Choose an auto transport broker to hook you up with a transport company you can rely on.

Go the distance with Mercury Auto Transport

Mercury Auto Transport is a nationwide, full-service auto shipping company. We connect buyers with reliable vehicle carriers anywhere in the country. We only work with the most responsible carriers who respect the rules of the road and will keep your car safe no matter how long the journey. Our process is transparent and trustworthy, and we’re always working to get you the best deal. Call us today for a quote!



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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.