The Top 12 Misconceptions About Auto Transport

7 min to read
Auto transport misconceptions

There are misconceptions about every industry, and the auto transport industry is no exception. What’s different about the myths attached to car shipping is that they can make moving a vehicle from city to city or from state to state harder than it has to be for customers.   

Why? Because if you believe that auto transport is too expensive for the average person or that shipping a car will be a stressful experience, then you might decide to drive it yourself or pay someone to drive it for you. You might assume that by doing so you’ll save yourself time, money, or some headaches, but the fact is that the auto transport myths you’ve heard are just that: misconceptions. Car shipping is a safe, simple, and cost-effective way to transport a vehicle.  

So, if you have a truck or car to ship, we hope that this list of the top misconceptions about auto transport helps you make a smart decision when it comes to getting your vehicle where it needs to go. And if you still have questions about truck and car transportation after reading this post, get in touch because we’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions.   

Misconception 1: All auto transport companies are the same 

When people believe this myth, they often make the assumption that it won’t matter what company they choose to ship their cars. But in the auto transport industry, as is the case in all industries, there are plenty of great companies and there are some not-so-good ones, too. When you need to ship a car, your first step will be weeding out the car shippers that make big promises and then don’t deliver on them.  

You should look for a car shipper that has a track record of on-time deliveries, strong reviews, transparent quotes, 24/7 customer service, and the ability to give you any time updates about your vehicle’s location. At Montway, we’re proud of our reputation as an industry leader when it comes to not only car shipping but also customer service.  

Misconception 2: Shipping a vehicle will be an overwhelming experience

It can be overwhelming when you work with the wrong auto transport company, but it doesn’t have to be! There are some car shippers out there that are 100% focused on moving vehicles – as many and as quickly as possible. Then there are companies like Montway that believe that customer service is an important part of the auto transport experience – and that the experience itself should be easy and worry-free.   

One of our primary goals has always been to make the car shipping process as simple and as stress-free as possible for our clients. When you talk to one of our representatives, no matter where you are in the process, they’ll walk you through all of your options so you feel completely comfortable transporting your car between cities, across the country, or across the ocean. We’ve even created a step-by-step checklist to help you book your transport service and prepare your vehicle.  

Misconception 3: Reading auto transport reviews are a waste of time

Since we’ve already established that not all auto transport companies are created equal, it stands to reason that reading car shipper reviews can help you find a good one. You should be wary of companies without any reviews at all and companies with a lot of negative reviews that mention the same issues.   

Auto transporters with a reputation for not only getting the job done but also getting the job done well will almost always have lots of reviews online. Some companies will even repost them or stream reviews in real time on the company website. As you research auto transport companies for your shipment, look for car shippers that have a lot of reviews so you can get an accurate idea of what past customers have experienced. 

Misconception 4: Auto transportation takes a long time 

Finding a great auto transport company takes a little time because you have to actually do the research, but booking a shipment should only take a minute or two. And while you’ll wait a few days for a pickup date, you won’t be waiting weeks or months to get your car or truck onto a carrier. There are thousands of car carriers crossing the country on any given day, so chances are that your car will be picked up quickly and then get to its destination right on time.  

That said, don’t wait until the last minute to ship your car. A good rule of thumb is you should book your shipment at least 10 days ahead of when you’d like it to be picked up.   

Misconception 5: It is more expensive to ship a car than to drive it yourself

People often assume it will be not only cheaper, but also easier, safer, and faster to drive your own car across the country than to ship it. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true.  

Let’s talk safety first. Some of the most dangerous roads in the United States are large interstates that stretch across the country. Truckers are trained and then retrained regularly to deal with everything from hazardous road conditions to distracted drivers in other vehicles. Shipping your car across the country is statistically the safer option for you, your family, and your vehicle. 

Now let’s look at whether driving a car across the country is easier or faster than shipping it. A cross country road trip won’t ever be truly easy – especially if you’re traveling the open road with kids – and it’s only faster if your time isn’t worth anything. When you’re driving your car from point A to point B, you’re driving and that’s it. When you ship your vehicle with an auto transport company, however, it gets where it needs to go while you continue to go to work, coordinate your relocation, or do whatever else you need to do.  

And finally, here’s why the myth that driving is less expensive than car shipping just doesn’t hold up. Multi-day road trips are expensive! Gas is the most obvious expense, but you can’t forget about the wear and tear on your vehicle that can lead to costly future repairs. Then there are the meals, snacks, and drinks, plus the cost of overnight accommodations (which can be $100+ per night). All that adds up fast, and if you happen to get a flat tire or your battery dies? You’re looking at one pricey drive!  

Misconception 6: Getting an accurate auto transport quote is impossible 

Because a few bad apples in the auto transport industry lob hidden fees and unexpected charges at their customers, you may believe that there’s no transparency among car shippers. That’s just not true. At Montway, we think that customers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get a shipping quote and that the quote they receive should be transparent and all-inclusive.  

When you need to ship a car, you can get a quote in seconds using our online shipping quote calculator and then book your shipment right here on our site. We won’t make you get on the phone (though we’re always happy to chat with customers) or tack on extra charges after the fact. What you see is what you’ll get.  

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.

Misconception 7: You should choose the lowest price when shipping a car

We believe in shopping around, but we also caution our customers to watch out for shippers promising quick shipments at the bottom of the barrel prices. Here’s why: The chances that the absolute cheapest shipper will also give you stellar customer service are slim to none — and customer service matters a lot when you’re handing over one of the most valuable things you own. When you choose the absolute cheapest shipper, you run the risk of having your vehicle delivered late or having it arrived damaged.   

Misconception 8: Distance will determine your quote

Distance is actually just one factor that will affect your car transportation quote. Some of the other things that will determine how much it costs to ship your car are the make, model, and size of your vehicle, your preferred pick-up and delivery dates, your pickup and delivery locations, your carrier option (open versus enclosed), and the season. If you require a guaranteed delivery date, then your quoted rate will be higher. 

Misconception 9: Shipping a car isn’t safe 

Putting your vehicle into the hands of a stranger can be a little scary because not only is a car an extremely valuable possession, but it’s also one most of us are emotionally attached to. The reality is, however, that shipping a car is very safe – a lot safer than driving it, as noted above.    

What you need to keep in mind is that companies like Montway move hundreds of cars per day without incident. The auto transport industry is incredibly well regulated, and reputable shippers take whatever steps are necessary to adhere to the highest safety standards. Auto transport companies have to limit the number of hours drivers can be on the road to prevent fatigue. Trucks and carriers undergo regular safety checks and maintenance to ensure that all equipment is safe to operate. The U.S. Department of Transportation conducts its own safety inspections, too.  

Misconception 10: Open carrier shipping isn’t safe

Open carrier shipping is actually so popular in part because it is very safe. People who need to move luxury, antique, rare, or extremely valuable vehicles often choose enclosed shipping for the protection they offer from the elements and prying eyes. For most vehicles, however, open carriers provide all of the protection they’ll need en route.  

Misconception 11: You can only ship operable vehicles

Many people believe that a car has to run to be shipped, and that might actually be true at some auto transport companies. Montway can ship any car or truck that is able to roll, break, and steer, even if it can’t run. What you need to know is that shipping an inoperable car can be more expensive because haulers may require special equipment or special training to load and unload them. 

Misconception 12: Preparing a car for shipping is hard

It’s actually very simple! Step one is having your mechanic confirm that your car or truck is in good shape, with no leaks, electrical issues, or mechanical issues. They should check the battery, make sure the tire pressure is okay, and top off all fluids. Once that’s done, wash your vehicle inside and out, remove all personal items from your car (including automatic parking passes and toll tags), disable the alarm system, and secure movable exterior parts so they won’t shift during transport. 

Finally, a full gas tank is a potential safety hazard and will make your car heavier so your next step will be driving your car around town until you have about a quarter of a tank remaining.  

Ultimately, shipping a car across the country can be a worry-free, reasonably priced, and quick and easy experience if you choose the right auto transport company. Montway’s carriers move hundreds of vehicles each day, and we hope yours will be next.  

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.