The 7 Biggest Auto Transport Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on
3 min to read

Montway Auto Transport has been in the business for a number of years and we’ve noticed a few mistakes that consumers repeatedly make when shipping their cars.  We’ve put together this handy list to help educate consumers looking to transport their car.  The first five mistakes happen during the booking process and the last two occur during the transport process itself.

1. Giving your phone number to get a quote

Avoid sites advertising “7 quotes in a minute” or “Compare 10 quotes”. While at first glance this sounds like a great deal, in reality, this means you will be getting called instantly from several companies all hoping to book the job. You will likely be getting calls for several days and will wish you hadn’t given out your phone number.  It’s far better to call for a quote than to give out your number in order to get a quote for shipping.

In the case of Montway, we do indeed provide instant online quotes (with no phone number needed) which can be booked immediately online or within seven days.  We’re also here to provide quotes over the phone by calling 1-888-666-8929 if you’d prefer that option.

2. Believing that anyone will ship your car across the country for $500 or less

The old saying of “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” is doubly true double in the auto transport industry.  Some companies will say anything to get your business and leave you disappointed when they don’t deliver—either literally or figuratively. They will require you to either pay more to get the vehicle shipped or the vehicle will sit while you wait endlessly to ship your vehicle for the promised rate —which may never happen. It typically costs about $1,000 to ship a car cross country. Be very leery of anyone promising significantly less than these rates.

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3. Trusting an auto transporter who is Guaranteeing a certain pickup date

If you talk to someone who is guaranteeing that they will pick up your vehicle on a specific date for no extra cost is simply telling you what you want to hear in order to get your business.  They may get lucky and be able to pick up on the promised date, but there is simply no way anyone can know what the exact pickup date will be at the time of placing an order.  Be especially cautious if that guaranteed date is today or tomorrow —the shorter the notice, the less likely the guaranteed date will be fulfilled.  Be aware that someone quoting a guaranteed pickup or dropoff date is not being fully honest with you.

4. Paying a non-refundable deposit

Many auto transport companies that quote low-ball rates or tell you what you want to hear to get your business will charge a deposit of up to a few hundred dollars and will not refund it, even if they are unable to ship your car for the promised rate or on the promised date. Before booking, make sure any money paid before transport is fully refundable in the event that the transport company does not deliver as promised. Montway provides a full refund for any cancelations made before services are provided.

5. Not checking reviews 

It is critically important to research a prospective auto transport company before booking by checking their reviews on independent third-party sites.  It’s equally important to look at the average rating of reviews as well as the total number of reviews posted.  You should only consider a company with numerous positive reviews. A company with few or no reviews probably hasn’t been in business long and may not provide top-notch service.

6. Not marking damage at delivery on the Bill of Lading

Sometimes during the auto transport processes, accidents do happen.  All damage is fully covered by insurance and you won’t have to pay a dime out of pocket.  However, to make sure you are protected, it is vitally important to mark any existing damage on the “Bill of Lading” at the point of pickup and then mark any new damage at the time of delivery. A properly marked and signed Bill of Lading will make the insurance claim process much smoother.

7. Trying to withhold payment from the driver at delivery, for any reason

When the vehicle reaches the destination, regardless of the condition, payment for freight services must be made.  This is U.S. Federal Law as outlined in Section 10761 of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 USC 10761).  In the event that damage occurs en route, payment must still be made at the time of delivery if there is any balance due. Freight charges and insurance claims are two completely separate transactions and insurance claims will not be paid without first paying freight charges in full.

You may not even be able to file a claim until freight charges are paid.  Withholding payment only makes things more difficult, not easier.  If you book your car transport with Montway, in the event of any damage, make sure you mark all damages on the Bill of Lading, keep your copy of it, then pay the trucker any money owed, give us a call and we’ll assist you in the insurance claim process.


You are now one of the most knowledgeable consumers when it comes to auto transport. With great power comes great responsibility so please use your newfound powers for good.  We hope this information helps you make an informed and wise decision for your next auto transport.

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