Bringing Myths to a Screeching Halt: 5 Misconceptions About Auto Transportation

Shipping your car can be intimidating. You might envision your car falling off on the highway or getting dinged and scratched by road debris. It doesn’t help that for many, auto transport has been tainted by misinformation.

Most misconceptions about auto transport are easily disproved. With a bit of research, you’ll find that shipping your car is much easier than it seems. It may even be easy enough to try next time you move. Here are five misconceptions about auto transportation.

All auto transportation providers are the same


Like any industry, quality and service will vary between auto transport providers.

Not all vehicle providers provide the same services. For example, auto shipping companies specializing in high-volume shipping, such as Guardian Auto Transport (, offer multiple ways to ship a car, from enclosed transport to open-carrier options.

Before signing on the dotted line, it’s wise to go into your auto transport contract with a complete idea of what services are available. If you realize that your chosen provider can’t ship your car to your standards after you’ve already signed, it can be a massive headache, so prepare by researching providers first.

Fair warning, smaller providers might be more limited in their shipping options and may not offer expedited services for movers on a deadline.

Auto-shipping only takes a few days

Life moves fast, and you want your car to move fast too. Many people expect that it’ll take a few days at most to arrive if they ship their vehicle. Though many car shipping companies advertise three-day service times, you should know that outside factors can influence your delivery speed.

While getting a car from point A to point B is simple in theory, these cars travel on trucks, and they’re at the mercy of road conditions as much as any other vehicle. Ultimately, your auto transport provider wants your car to arrive safe and sound, so they’ll take any precautions necessary, including reduced speeds or waiting out inclement weather.

Sometimes, it’s not even shipping that takes the longest but scheduling the shipment first. Summer and early fall are usually high-traffic times for moving services like trucks and auto transports. If all of their auto transport trucks are booked, you may have a wait before you can secure shipment for your car. If you can, plan and book auto transportation services as far in advance as possible.

For more specific timeframe estimates, call an auto transport company and ask about their shipping times.

Auto transportation is expensive

Many drivers dismiss professional auto transportation services as out-of-budget before they’ve even run the numbers. While you might initially assume a cross-country road trip is a more cost-efficient alternative, that isn’t always the case. Auto transport prices depend on several factors, such as car type and distance. Shopping around is the best way to find a fair price to ship your car. You may be surprised to find that the price tallies up to a DIY-adjacent price tag, without the extra headache. Additionally, you should figure out how you want your vehicle shipped.

The cheapest transport option is open auto transport. The shipper loads the truck onto a trailer pulled by a semi. Next up in price is an enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers are a good option for anyone concerned about weather damage, but they’ll cost you a little more than open transport.

You can also rent a moving truck and have it delivered across the country by a professional driver, but this may be more expensive than other options because you’ll be paying to move other property in addition to your car.

Suppose you’re not comfortable with any of the above options. In that case, you can research rail or barge transportation in your area, but be aware that this is the most expensive option.

Auto transportation is too complicated

Shipping a vehicle isn’t as complicated as people think, primarily if you work with a reputable company. Auto transportation companies are typically specialists in their field, so they’ve seen it all. Shop around until you find an auto transportation service whose associates make you feel comfortable and assured.

In addition to finding a trusted service, you can also streamline the process by having all of the required documents ready to go. Some documents you may need to ship a car include:

  • A form of ID
  • Your vehicle registration
  • Insurance paperwork
  • Copies of the shipping contract

You can set your mind at ease by being open and communicative with the shipping company. If you have questions, ask them. These businesses want to satisfy their customers, and so they have a strong incentive to make the entire process as stress-free as possible.

Lastly, following all the instructions provided by the shipping company will ensure that everything goes smoothly from when the driver comes to pick up your car to when they drop it off.

Car shipping is dangerous for your car

You may be biting your nails at the thought of your car on some rickety trailer barreling down the freeway, but you don’t have to worry. Shipping your car is a secure way to move your vehicle from one place to another. Car shipping companies understand how much your car means to you, and they’ll do everything they can to protect your vehicle while it’s in their care.

Wrap Up

If you’ve spent countless years and complex moves scoffing at the idea of shipping your vehicle, maybe you’ll reconsider the next time you have to move a car a great distance. If you found any of your own misconceptions in this article, think hard about giving auto transport a chance.

Few drivers would embark on the journey if the auto shipping process was unbearably long, complicated, expensive, and unsafe. Yet, there’s an entire industry of professionals and clients moving and shipping cars every single day.

If you still have doubts, the best thing you can do is talk to an expert in the industry. They’re well aware of the misconceptions people hold about their services, and they’ll be happy to walk you through the process from start to finish. If you do decide to ship your car, you can sit back and relax, knowing you’ll be reunited in no time.