a long stretch of empty road reaching toward the mountainous horizon

Ditch the Dangers of Cross-Country Driving

Ditch the Dangers of Cross-Country Driving

David Stone
Updated November 24, 2021 by David Stone

Table of Contents

    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, and 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 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 by 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, and this is doubly true during inclement weather. Vehicles on or in carriers are safe from elemental road risks and 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, and many of the risks on this list can be compounded if your ride ends up in a towing lot for any length of time.

    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 the safe road and let an auto transport broker 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 that connects 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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    Absolutely fantastic. Guys were far better than I could have hoped for. THE NEXT DAY... NOT A SCRATCH OR DING.... STRAIGHT TO MY DOOR.
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    First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.


    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.


    Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.


    Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.