7 Unfounded Myths About Auto Transport

a sign showing facts and myths about the auto transport industry

Some misconceptions surrounding the industry could deter people from using car shipping carriers.

Key takeaways

  • Auto transport is an underused service by many people
  • The lack of use leads to the creation of myths
  • These myths prevent some individuals from trying car shipping
  • Learning the truth makes your decision far easier

It’s easy to fall for misinformation if you aren’t familiar with a subject. For example, if you’ve never used a particular mechanic, and someone tells you he overcharges for subpar work, you’re probably less likely to use that mechanic. 

That mechanic could have hundreds of satisfied customers, but if you never hear from them, the only information you have is one person’s negative review.

Unfortunately, since car shipping isn’t a frequently used service for most people, all service providers get lumped together. If someone in your social circle has a negative experience with a carrier, you might believe every vendor is the same. 

The lumping together of every vehicle-shipping company has created myths about auto transport that discourage some from trying the service. Here’s a look at seven common auto transport myths — and the actual truth.

1) It’s a slow process

A common myth about auto transport states that it takes an incredibly long time to complete a shipment. Though logistics require that shipping your car will take longer than driving, it’s actually quite efficient.

Booking a car shipment starts with finding a carrier with available space in your timeframe. You’ll reserve your spot and take your car to the drop-off point. It’ll take a few days for your vehicle to reach its final destination. The linked article estimates how long it could take to transport your vehicle. 

Yes, car shipping takes longer than getting in your vehicle and driving it somewhere, but it’s relatively fast once you get your car on the truck. Using a broker reduces the time it will take to locate an available carrier.

2) Driving is cheaper

Shipping a car will cost you, and driving might seem cheaper. The difference is becoming less noticeable with today’s fuel costs, though, and gas is only part of the equation.

Driving across the country carries expenses you’ll need to consider, including food, hotels, and entertainment. Think about the wear and tear the drive puts on your car and tires. When you add the time driving takes and the stress it puts on the driver, shipping the car might be more appealing than driving long-distance. 

3) Car shipping isn’t safe

Sure, damage to your vehicle could occur when shipping long-distance, particularly on an open carrier. Rocks and other debris could cause chips in your paint or windshield, which are costly and a hassle to repair. 

However, minor damage to your vehicle is infrequent, and reputable carriers are fully insured. As long as you note the condition of your car before putting it on the truck and inspect the vehicle at pick-up, it’s improbable you’ll have to pay out of pocket if damage occurs. Besides, damage caused by road debris can happen when driving; your car is as likely to sustain damage compared to shipping your vehicle. 

4) Distance determines the price

Many inexperienced car shippers believe the distance is solely responsible for determining your price. The distance indeed influences the service’s cost, but it isn’t the only factor.

Cost factors your carrier considers include the time of year, the transport type, the weather conditions, the terrain, and the pick-up and drop-off locations. 

Much like with an airplane ticket or hotel room, car shipping prices are dynamic and based on various factors. It’s possible to find a great deal on long-haul delivery, or overpay on a short shipment to a neighboring town. It all comes down to the variables.

5) Reviews don’t matter

Reviews matter more in some industries than others. You probably won’t read many reviews before booking an airline ticket because your options are limited, and most carriers offer the same services.

Car shipping is different because reviews can provide tremendous insight into a carrier’s reliability and punctuality. Remember that fake reviews are somewhat common, so read carefully as part of your research.

6) Getting the car ready takes a lot of work

You might have heard cars require heavy prep work before shipment, but that usually isn’t the case. Although you should ensure your vehicle isn’t leaking fluids and has a good battery and proper tire pressure are solid, you’re otherwise only responsible for removing personal items and giving it a quick wash. 

You’d probably take most of these steps when driving your car on a trip anyway, so preparing your vehicle for shipping won’t add significantly to your workload.

7) Contacting the carrier directly saves money

Using the hotel example again, you probably know you can sometimes get a better deal by contacting the front desk and asking for the best rate. In this case, you’re saving the hotel money on brokerage fees.

However, the opposite is true for car shipping; brokers have strong buying power. An auto-transport broker has access to an extensive network of carriers, and will leverage that network to provide the best possible price.

In short, car shipping is one industry where customers benefit from using a broker.

Finding a car-shipping broker

After resolving these auto-transport myths, you might take the leap and ship your car the next time your travel. You’ll want a broker to ensure your carrier is reputable and you receive the best quote for the service.

Mercury Auto Transport provides car-shipping brokerage services to customers throughout the country. Our network is entirely FMCSA-licensed and insured carriers, limiting your risk. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today for a free 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.