Top Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Car in 2021

Moving is a big process for everyone – especially if it’s your first time, or you’re going to a different country. It can seem that there are a million things to take care of, and another million working against you. Escape this feeling by staying informed of the potential mistakes or unfortunate events that can happen, and forget bravely ahead, equipped with all you need to know.

Here’s a summary to start you off, featuring the most crucial mistakes to avoid when shipping your car – adapted to 2021. It covers everything from car shipping quotes to the types of options that you should get. Let’s dive in!

The big ones

Firstly, let’s get the biggest pitfalls out of the way:

  • Hiring a company with a poor or no reputation;
  • Paying far more than the shipment is worth;
  • Not preparing the paperwork in advance – in case you’re moving abroad;
  • Not getting insurance;

And finally:

  • Not getting everything you own out of the car first, before shipping it.

How to avoid making them

When looking to hire a shipping company, ask your friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else you know. Chances are, they’ve moved before in their lives, or could ask someone they intimately know. Word of mouth does wonders – both for helping genuinely good local businesses, as well as providing you with a real-life review of past experiences. This has the added benefit of you knowing that there are no stakes for the person you’re asking, which makes it somewhat more reliable than some of the online reviews.

Failing that – there are plenty of car shipping companies that have been around for many years, which can help you move your car with minimal effort on your part. Companies with a good reputation and significant longevity are the ones you can rely on the most.

Deciding the right company will help prevent most of these mistakes, as the company will work with you to help you avoid them. With built-in insurance, interior cleanliness requirements, and fair prices are something you can expect with most bigger car shipping companies.


This deserves its section – even though your shippers should know and be aware of all the necessary documents, bad luck, miscommunication or human mistakes happen. Be on top of your game, and you’ll avoid having to wait and worry about your car arriving safely, or at all, to where you’re headed. Find either international auto movers or people who have had many successful international shipments in the past.


If you need your car to arrive at a certain place, at a certain hour – make plans and inform your shipping company. Have it specified explicitly in a clause in your contract, and be prepared to pay a bit extra. With the world’s current situation being what it is, some things are still up in the air – get your guarantees early and in written form. You don’t want to be stuck in an unwinnable situation with no recourse due to a lack of foresight and a dose of prevention.

And if you can afford it – work with a looser schedule. Ship your car earlier than expected and arrange for it to remain parked somewhere, or someone you trust to take it over. Things are less reliable than usual these days, and planning is worth every second.

Finally – prepare your car appropriately for shipping. This means taking your belongings out of the car, leaving the tank at quarter-full (so the driver can load it into the truck), and respecting all state-mandated health regulations. Make sure to get a written agreement (preferably with photos) of the car’s state before shipment as a safety measure for future insurance purposes. Safe shipping!


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