How does the auto shipping industry work?

Browsing the internet for auto shipping companies will bring up many hits for websites that aim to help consumers make the right car shipping choice. In order to make the best decision, customers should know the ins and outs of the auto transport industry- or at least a bit of background knowledge. That also includes setting realistic expectations.

Before you make any decisions on where to go and what to do, it’s best to get the skinny on some of the best auto shipping tips. Often times you’ll find that you aren’t well-versed enough in the language of the industry and need a car shipping glossary. When this happens, you want to be sure that you are getting your information from a long-standing and respected expert in the industry like Montway Auto Transport because without doing so may open you up to a scam or a major rip-off.

“There is probably a lot of fraud going on out there,” says owner of Montway Auto Transport – Mike Mihaylov. “You have to search opinions from different sources to find out how good the company really is.”

Mike is right. There are quite a few auto transport companies out there who place their “customer testimonials” amid online review boards. They do this to help consumers learn more about their reputation before becoming their client. However, the only way for customers to be sure that these testimonials are real and not created by company employees and affiliates is to dig a little deeper.

Be sure to take the time to browse through the many online review boards that are focused on car shipping. For one, Montway Auto Transport is highly rated on Transport Reviews and other reputable review companies. Checking these reviews only takes a bit of time and research, but the benefits are worth the effort.

Industry Regulation

Even though the designation of categories like ‘specialized transport’ in federal law, many professionals feel that industry standards can be better regulated. There are, however, still some safeguards in place to help you navigate through the world of auto transportation. Finding information about the laws and what they may mean for you can be a pretty tedious job. Luckily there are sites that explain new laws as well as many articles that discuss the changes that affect consumers. Simply put, you’ll have your work cut out for you if you want to make a sound and safe decision!


Truckers, better known as carriers, don’t advertise their prices. What you’ll find are brokers who do just what their title implies: they broker the deal between the freight and the carriers. When a customer goes online attempting to find a car shipping company, they usually won’t find actual carriers– only brokers. However, there are a few good companies that you will find, like Montway Auto Transport. Here at Montway we are a licensed broker and carrier, meaning we have our own fleet of trucks and can also put you in touch with other carriers. This takes the stress out of scheduling an upcoming shipment.

Who Makes The Decisions?

 auto transport carriers








For the most part, carriers make the bulk of the decisions when it comes to the actual shipping. Look at it this way: let’s say you work in a bakery. You work all day to create beautiful cakes and some random stranger walks in from the street, straight into your kitchen and begins stirring the cake batter. They didn’t know if the batter was settling and they should have known to wash their hands. That’s what securing drivers and transporting your car safely is like. A person shouldn’t expect companies that are set up to do this job to leave it to the customers.

You’ve entrusted your vehicle to the company and they’re there to do a job. They should be allowed to do it. Auto transport companies post jobs on what’s called the “load board” and carriers take their pick from there. All carriers responding to the board must have proper credentials. They approach the board knowing that they hold the bulk of the control. They are the ones who make the final determinations regarding routes and departure times for the transport. What they don’t determine are the things that are beyond their control.

“There are many things that affect delivery of vehicles. Things like weather conditions, road conditions, other customers and city driving that makes traffic heavy and difficult for trucks to get through. Brokers cannot – by law – force a carrier to be someplace at a certain time. Carriers can provide a guarantee for the pickup time, but realistically, they can’t make any promises about the arrival time.” -Mihaylov

Contracts, Terms and Conditions

auto transport regulations for each company






“Every reputable company will have their terms and conditions posted online for customers to review. Customers can use that information to determine whether or not they want to use that company,” says Mihaylov. Not every contract is made to hurt someone in some way. It’s important for companies to have their process, expectations and guarantees available for customers to inspect. Without this information a person in need of a shipment goes solely by the word of their broker, and that can get very dangerous.

Lead Generating

“You have to make sure as a consumer that if you browse a website, you give your information only to reputable car shipping companies. At Montway, we don’t require personal information to receive a quote. Our handy car shipping calculator makes it possible to receive quotes and even pay the down payment online,” says Mihaylov.

What Mihaylov is talking about is how there are many companies out there that generate leads by forcing their customers to enter their personal data online in the hopes of receiving a fast quote. What must be understood is that reputable companies will not do this. Companies with their customers in mind will make it possible for you to shop around without taking your information and selling it to other companies.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Sure, as the customer you can demand that service be a certain way when you decide to ship your car. But in the end, that just makes the process more difficult and the experience stressful. When you find the right shipping company, it’s important to remember that you’ll have a much better experience if you’re playing with your company of choice and not against them.


Our interviewee, Mike Mihaylov, is the owner and operator of Montway Auto Transport in Chicago, IL. Montway has been in the business for nearly seven years carrying cars by treating each delivery like they’re hauling someone’s baby. They’re committed to quality service and educating customers to make life easier for everyone involved.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Loopdeeloop via Flickr