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8 Auto Transport Safety Measures We Take When Shipping Your Exotic Car


Both car owners and car shippers want to ensure the safety of their precious vehicles throughout the transportation process. Here at SGT Auto Transport, it’s one of our top priorities. By ensuring your precious vehicle is as safe as possible, we’re putting your mind at rest and making sure you’re entirely satisfied with your car shipping experience. 

However, it’s all well and good to tell you we take care of your vehicle. What you really want to know is how we ensure car transport safety. 

In this post, we’ll look at the transport safety measures we have in place and the DOT regulations for car haulers that must be followed.

1. Open vs. enclosed car shipping

There are two options for you when you want to ship your car: open auto transport and enclosed car shipping. Choosing the service that best suits your car is vital if you’re concerned about auto transport safety. 

Open auto transport

Open car shipping is a safe and reliable transport option for standard vehicles. It is also the most cost-effective shipping method. 

With this form of auto transport service, up to as many as ten cars are loaded and secured in place on a specially designed trailer that typically has two levels. This type of truck and trailer is very familiar on highways across the United States. 

Something to be aware of when you use open auto transport is that your car is exposed to the elements and road grime. It’s much the same exposure as if you were driving it on the highway yourself.  

Enclosed car shipping

Enclosed car shipping, on the other hand, is a service that caters to the needs of more exotic, valuable, unique, and custom-made vehicles. It offers the highest level of protection because the trailer your car is transported in is enclosed on all sides. Your vehicle is protected from the elements, and road debris, and kept away from prying eyes, 

As well as complete protection, enclosed trailers are also equipped with advanced loading devices such as hydraulic lift gates. These act like an elevator when your car is being loaded and unloaded. This piece of equipment also provides added protection for vehicles with low clearance and avoids the need for using steep open carrier ramps. 

It’s important to note that enclosed auto transport costs between 30% and 40% more than open car shipping. 

If you want to know how much it will cost, get your free instant quote today. 

2. Loading inspection at the pick-up and delivery

The first thing a carrier will do when they arrive to pick up your car is thoroughly inspect it. This is part of the auto transport process that you get to be an important part of as well. As the owner of your exotic car, you’re encouraged to be present during the inspection. This part of the process is just as important if you’ve chosen express auto transport because time is short.  

It’s also recommended that you perform an inspection yourself, take pictures of the car’s exterior and interior to document any existing damage. 

When the auto transport service is complete, you must inspect your car again, along with the auto transport driver. The reason this is done is to be sure nothing is wrong with your car. 

Should any issues arise, albeit very rarely, the preloading and delivery inspection documents are used as evidence should there be a need for you to make a claim. It might also be advisable to give your car a quick test drive. Then, if the service provider asks for feedback following delivery, you’ll be in a position to do it. 

3. Vehicle securing

The securing of the vehicles is important when it comes to shipping vehicles. When your vehicle is safely secured it prevents it from moving forward and backward or from side to side while in transit. 

This is particularly important if your vehicle is being shipped over rough seas, across less-than-perfect rural roads, or during poor weather. When your vehicle is properly immobilized, it is held in place securely thereby minimizing and even avoiding the risk of your vehicle getting dented, scratched, dinged, or damaged in any way during shipping. 

How do carriers secure your vehicle? The most common method for securing cars on trailers and ships is to use tie-down ratchets or wheel straps. A reliable car transport company may also use specialized equipment to secure your vehicle. 

To ensure the best auto transport service for your car, look for a company that goes the extra mile to secure your vehicle. This typically means using tie-downs for the chassis and wheels.  

4. Protection of delicate parts

Every car is different, but they all have stress points and sensitive parts, depending on the make, model, and size. One of the more vital auto transport safety measures is to be knowledgeable about where and what these are and know how to protect them. 

For SUVs and other similar big and heavy vehicles, this means using thicker wheel straps and bigger ratchets. Car transport safety protocols mandate the use of tie-down methods that ensure the equipment can handle the pressure and extra tension required for a larger car. 

Classic or vintage cars, on the other hand, tend to be lighter than more modern cars because of their thinner metal components. Many of the parts of an antique car require special care because they’re more vulnerable to damage. In such cases, the auto transport company will need to use specially designed straps. 

5. Removal of exterior parts

Many vehicles have exterior features that can easily get dislodged or broken. It is usual for a shipping company to inspect and possibly fold these before loading, but it’s advisable that you do this yourself. 

Other parts on the outside of your car that might require extra protection include hood ornaments, grille emblems, blind-spot mirrors, car roof decors, or grille ornaments. 

6. Making interior accessories secure

The interior of your car is just as important as the exterior. You must make sure there are no accessories or items that could move about during transit and cause damage to the inside of your vehicle. 

The items include:

  • Seat covers
  • Cell phone holders or mounts
  • Air fresheners
  • Cable clips
  • Bobblehead dolls, wobblers or nodders
  • Bag or jacket hoods
  • Cable organizers
  • Drink or coffee cup holders
  • Rear View mirror danglers
  • Stick-on window shades

If there is anything removable inside your car it’s vital that you remove or secure it. This also applies to personal belongings that are at risk of being stolen or lost. Generally, operators absolve themselves from any liability for losses of this kind, so make sure you check your auto transport contract thoroughly. 

7. Auto transport safety rules and regulations

There are rules and regulations in place that all auto transport operators have to follow. They are meant to ensure US highways and roadways stay safe. These auto transport safety rules are set by various government agencies, including federal, state, and local. 

Here at SGT Auto Transport, we carefully vet all the carriers we work with to ensure their trucks, routes, and drivers meet all applicable regulations. Drivers also have to follow highway rules, vehicles must meet safety standards, and companies follow environmental guidelines. 

8. Ways you can help to keep your car safe during transport

There are several things you can do to help keep your car safe:

  • Read reviews: Make sure you do your homework before booking your auto transport service. A good rule of thumb is to take 10 minutes or more per company to read their online reviews. If you spot any red flags pertaining to complaints about car damage, driver no-shows, or missing personal items, take this as an indication you should check out a different company.  
  • Watch out for scams and fraudsters: You might have heard people referring to the auto transport industry as the “Wild West”.  This is because almost anyone can start an auto transport company with just a few hundred bucks. One way you can be certain an auto transport company is bona fide is to ask for its motor carrier number. These are assigned by the FMCSA and verify that the transport service is properly licensed and insured. You can also use the number to look up the company’s accident and customer complaint records. 
  • Get multiple car shipping quotes: Safety is not just about the condition of your vehicle. It also relates to keeping your bank account safe from unexpected charges. When you’re looking for a car shipping company, ask for several quotes before making a booking. When you’ve got multiple quotes, it gives you the opportunity to negotiate a better price and identify early red flags. A company that wants to charge you two or three times as much as another auto transport company could show some scammy behavior further down the line. 
  • Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true: As well as being skeptical of unusually high prices, significantly lower prices should also make you doubt the legitimacy of a company. If a price seems too good to be true, it’s likely that it is. 
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready: There’s a lot more to shipping a car than driving it onto a truck, waving goodbye, and waiting at the other end for its delivery. There are things you can do to prepare your car for transport, such as removing personal items, deactivating electronic toll devices, folding in side mirrors, and much more. 
  • Get to know your driver: When you make your booking, ask the carrier for the name and contact details of the driver. If there are any delays in delivery, you have the means to get in touch. 

If you feel more confident about the safety of an auto transport service, now's the time to get in touch and check out how affordable it can be. You can speak with our shipping advisors by calling (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.

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