avoiding car shipping scams

Avoiding Common Car Shipping Scams

Car shipping is a convenient and cost-effective way to transport your vehicle to a new location.

However, among reputable car shipping companies, some dishonest players lurk.

Fear not! If you’re careful, you can easily spot car transport scams, but you must know what to look for.

We’re here to guide you on how to know if a car shipping company is a scam and how to choose a reliable car shipping provider to trust.

To avoid most car shipping scams, you need to:

  • Seek Registered Service Providers
  • Verify the Business Address
  • Browse the Internet for Car Transport Reviews
  • Choose Traceable Payment Methods
  • Carefully Reviews the Contract
  • Trust Your Instincts

We’re here to guide you on how to know if a car shipping company is a scam and how to choose a reliable car shipping provider to trust.

In this article
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    What does "Car shipping scam" mean?

    An auto transport scam occurs when a company or individual falsely presents themselves as a legitimate car shipping service provider but either fails to deliver the service or provides a subpar and unsatisfactory service.

    Auto-shipping scams take many different forms but tend to have one thing in common.

    These scams often involve con artists demanding advance payment for car shipping services that they have no intention of fulfilling.

    Before you book any type of auto transport service, make sure to do your in-depth research on the business and check plenty of customer reviews for warning signs.

    If you choose to book your car shipping service with Unlimited Auto Trans, you can be confident you’re getting a bona fide service.

    We have many years of experience and lots of customer feedback that highlights the quality of our service.

    Our extensive experience and positive customer feedback attest to the quality of our services.

    For the most competitive auto transport rates, request an instant quote today.

    10 Most common types of car shipping scams

    1. False shipping prices

    As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

    This applies to car shipping prices as well.

    Some scammers may lure unsuspecting customers with incredibly low prices, only to provide substandard service or vanish altogether after receiving payment.

    To avoid falling into this trap, obtain multiple car shipping quotes from different providers to get an idea of the average market price.

    Beware of significantly lower-than-average quotes, as they may indicate potential scams.

    Learn everything there is to know about cost calculations by reading our article Car Shipping Calculator: No Personal Info – Takes 1 Minute!

    2. Phishing scams

    Phishing scams involve scammers posing as legitimate auto shipping companies through emails or text messages.

    They may request recipients to click on links or share personal information under the guise of tracking their car’s delivery or making a payment.

    Sometimes, a website or link may seem real and trustworthy, but in reality, it is a fraudulent site created to deceive and steal your personal information.

    Protect yourself by verifying the authenticity of such communications and never disclose sensitive information through unverified channels.

    3. Inadequate insurance coverage

    Scammers may claim to provide insurance coverage for the vehicles they transport, but the coverage is either inadequate or non-existent.

    This leaves customers vulnerable to financial losses in case of damage or loss during transit.

    To avoid this, always inquire about the insurance coverage provided by the car shipping company and ensure it meets industry standards.

    Explore our comprehensive article covering all aspects of insurance and its impact on your car shipping expenses here.

    4. Fake seller scams

    In fake seller scams, scammers pose as sellers advertising cars for sale online or in classified ads.

    They persuade interested buyers to make advance payments for the car, only to disappear once the payment is made, leaving the buyer without the car and their money.

    Always be cautious when making advance payments to unknown sellers and verify their legitimacy through credible channels.

    5. Fly-by-night companies

    Fly-by-night companies are unregistered car transporters that operate illegally without proper licensing and insurance.

    Usually, a company’s motor carrier number is not always easy to identify. However, you can protect yourself by calling the company and asking for it.

    Also, make sure to verify it through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s website.

    Legitimate companies will gladly provide this information for your peace of mind.

    2020 Bugatti Chiron Los Angeles CA to Dallas TX

    6. Unknown drivers

    Some car shipping companies act as brokers, arranging transportation with other carriers.

    Although not inherently a scam, some disreputable brokers may ask for a deposit before revealing the carrier company’s details.

    Upon cancellation, they may withhold the deposit, leaving customers with limited options.

    Rest assured that reputable companies like ours only request a deposit after securing a carrier for your service, ensuring transparency and trust.

    7. Hidden language in the contract

    While not scams per se, contracts with unfavorable clauses can leave customers feeling cheated.

    It’s crucial to thoroughly read and understand the car shipping contract before signing.

    Pay attention to clauses that may allow the company to keep your deposit, even if they cancel close to the shipping date.

    If you have any doubts about the contract’s content, our shipping advisors will gladly provide clarifications.

    8. "Hide the damage" scam

    In rare instances, cars may sustain damage during transportation.

    Reputable companies will take responsibility for such damage and have insurance coverage to compensate for it.

    However, unscrupulous companies may attempt to hide the damage, making it crucial for customers to inspect their cars upon delivery.

    Be vigilant if your car is delivered at night or appears unusually dirty, as these may be attempts to conceal damage.

    9. Add-on fees

    Some scammers initially offer deceptively low prices but demand additional fees after customers agree to the service.

    To avoid this, ensure that the car shipping quotes you receive are all-inclusive, covering taxes, fees, service charges, and more.

    10. Bad reviews

    Online customer reviews are valuable resources for spotting potential scams.

    If you come across reviews mentioning any of the scams listed above, consider it a red flag and look elsewhere for a car shipping provider.

    Aim for companies with an average customer review rating of at least 4.6 out of 5 stars, and prioritize those with positive feedback on low prices, professional drivers, and excellent customer service.

    Car shipping reviews

    6 Tips on how to avoid car shipping scams

    Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to identify car shipping scams, let’s explore some proactive measures to safeguard yourself from falling victim to fraudulent practices.

    1. Seek registered auto transport companies

    Choose licensed and registered companies subject to regulatory rules that protect consumers.

    Research thoroughly and read positive and negative reviews from previous customers to ensure a positive experience.

    2. Verify the business address

    Checking a car shipping company’s business address can help confirm its legitimacy and reduce the risk of being scammed.

    3. Browse the internet for car transport reviews

    To assess a company’s reliability and customer service standards, it’s recommended to read online reviews from different sources.

    While not all reviews may be authentic, reading multiple reviews can provide a more accurate picture.

    4. Prefer traceable payment methods

    Avoid untraceable payment methods, such as cash.

    Scammers may use them to avoid detection and recovery of funds.

    Opt for traceable payment methods like credit cards or secure online payment providers for added security.

    5. Carefully review the contract

    Thoroughly review the terms and conditions of the car transport service to understand what’s covered, any fees or charges, and the procedure for handling damage or delays.

    Be cautious of clauses that may be stacked in favor of the company and seek clarification if needed.

    6. Trust your instincts

    If a deal seems too good to be true, contact the company directly and ask questions.

    Trust your instincts and choose a company with a solid reputation and a proven track record in the industry.

    Final thoughts

    By following these easy procedures and staying vigilant, you can avoid falling prey to car shipping scams and ensure a safe and reliable car shipping experience.

    At Unlimited Auto Trans, we take pride in our reputation as a trustworthy car shipping provider.

    Our experienced team and satisfied customer testimonials speak to the quality of our services.

    Get your instant quote today for the best auto transport prices, and leave your car shipping worries to us!

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