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A1 Auto Transport Blog

Shipping a Car You Purchased Off Auto Trader

Shipping the car that you've purchased off of Auto Trader doesn't have to be a complicated process, but there are some things that you should be aware of.


First off, you have to be aware of the fact that Auto Trader does not ship cars themselves. Many common scams will inform the buyer that their vehicle is being stored in an warehouse and that they will also be the ones shipping the vehicle. Considering that does not even own a warehouse, any mention of this indicates that it is 100% a scam.


Instead, any arrangement that is made in regards to shipping your newly-purchased car is an arrangement that must be made between you and the seller.


Don't Ship Your Car If the Seller...


  • States that needs specific financial information or personal details about you
  • States that has pre-approved the shipping transaction
  • Asks you to wire them money in order to ship the vehicle



* does not ask for credit card information from the buyer.


Your Options


While a seller may recommend a few different shipping companies for you to choose from, or even one specific company that they normally use, it's better if you do your own research on choosing a shipping company. You want to make sure that you're not only obtaining a fair shipping rate, but that the company is legitimate, trustworthy, and has a positive reputation


If the vehicle that you purchased is located across the country or in a different state, you do have the option of flying there and then driving it back to your destination yourself. If you're trading in a vehicle, you could also drive your trade-in there and then drive back with your new vehicle. However, the most cost-effective method is to have it shipped to you. There are numerous ads available on for shipping companies, but you should also do your own independent research online, such as through Google.


Choosing the Right Shipping Method for Your Vehicle

After you do a thorough search for a shipping company and find a few that interest you, you should make sure that they're legitimate. One of the best sites available for checking out a company's reputation is the Better Business Bureau, which is located at


Make sure that you obtain their Motor Carrier #, as it is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that all shipping companies have one. You can find out more information at


Shipping Methods

The two main shipping methods that are recommended, depending on your specific needs, are:


Open Car Transport

As the cheapest out of the two methods, this one is recommended if the distance isn't too great or if the car isn't highly valuable. Since your vehicle will be placed on an open-air trailer, it'll be more susceptible to damage from the elements. If you purchase either a vintage or luxury vehicle, than this method is not recommended.


lEnclosed Car Transport

A bit more expensive, your car will be placed in an enclosed trailer, which means it'll be better protected, more secure, and won't be at the risk of damage. Make sure to specify that you want a trailer that has been designed to limit the amount of shock that your car will be subjected to during the drive. If you purchase a new car off of, than this would be a method that you should seriously consider.


Since you're the one who purchased the vehicle, make sure that it's YOU who dictates the shipping terms to the seller, rather than the other way around. You're the one who is paying for the cost, so you should also decide on who delivers it.


A-1 Auto will be able to walk you through the shipping process, so contact us today at 1-800-452-2880!



What is a Privately Owned Vehicle (POV)?

Though not a commonly-used term, a Privately Owned Vehicle, which is also referred to as a POV, is a vehicle that is privately owned, borrowed, or leased by a person who uses it in order to conduct business or duties for an organization or company. The driver, in using the vehicle, will receive monetary compensation in the form of a reimbursement for gas and other other expenses incurred while operating the vehicle for designated duties. An alternative to reimbursement is a per diem.


How is Payment Reimbursement Calculated?

The most common way in which a person who is traveling in a POV is reimbursed is through the amount of mileage that they use. In paying per mile, or a similar calculation, the driver is being reimbursed for:


  • Wear and tear (if they own the vehicle)
  • Gas
  • Insurance coverage


Mileage Rates


While mileage rates will vary, as an example, the U.S. General Services Administration has the following rates:


  • If there's no government-owned vehicle available or the use of a POV is authorized, the rate is $0.56 per mile.
  • If a POV is used in spite of a government-owned vehicle being available, the rate is $0.235 per mile.
  • The use of a motorcycle as a POV is $0.53 per mile.


For more information, visit:


Usages That Aren't Eligible for Reimbursement


Most companies or organizations don't allow for compensation to be given if the Privately Owned Vehicle is used recreationally, though permission can be granted on a case-by-case basis. This can entail:


  • Visiting relatives or friends
  • Going to places of entertainment or dining
  • Using it for personal matters
  • Traveling to places that aren't part of official business


Depending on the organization, some might even only designate certain physical areas as being eligible for compensation.


Furthermore, if a driver chooses to drive to a location that is far away for official business, instead of flying, they may be compensated less per mileage than in other situations.


In most instances, companies or organizations will prefer for a company vehicle to be used instead of a POV. The reason is because their company vehicle will have a special insurance coverage in place.


Shipping a POV

There are some situations in which a company or organization will pay for a Privately Owned Vehicle to be shipped. The most common circumstance is that of a military officer who receives his or her Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.


There may be size and weight restrictions, and if a car has a long-term lease on it that is at least 12 months, there must be a written letter provided by the leasing authority.


A-1 Auto has a considerable amount of experience in working with government organizations and companies in shipping Privately Owned Vehicles at affordable rates both domestically and internationally. Contact us today at 1-800-452-2880!





Bay Area, California Auto Transport Companies Directory

A-1 Auto Transport


Operating for over 20 years, A-1 Auto Transport ships both internationally and domestically, offering professional and reliable services at an affordable rate. Equally adept at working with manufacturers, dealers, and individuals, A-1 Auto also offers various perks such as real-time satellite tracking and free, no obligation custom quotes. The company is also environmentally-friendly, as they're a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport program. Whatever the need, A-1 Auto Transport can help.


9032 Soquel Drive #200

Aptos, CA 95003





All American Trucking & Transport, Inc.


In operation in the Bay Area since 1994, All American Trucking & Transport provides 24-hour contact with their drivers for your security and also guarantees your delivery dates without a deposit required. They're often used by the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Golden State Warriors, further cementing their ties to the area. Their customer service is also exemplary.


1590 Rollins Rd.

Burlingame, CA 94010



Auto Driveway Co.


This company is highly experienced, as they've been operating for over 50 years. They not only offer full door-to-door delivery service, but also a good insurance policy. In addition, they can handle a wide variety of vehicle types and are conveniently located in the Bay Area close to all of the main airports.


28402 Century St
Hayward, CA 94545-4800



Direct Express Auto Transport


Operating since 2003, Direct Express Auto Transport offers instant online quotes 24 hours a day, which are extremely accurate. Their website has an easy-to-navigate interface and also boasts exceptional customer service. They can transport vehicles to all 48 states and is a reliable transporter.


321 San Anselmo Avenue

San Anselmo, CA 94960




Matson Navigation


This is an excellent choice if you're planning on shipping internationally. Their ocean freight services are impeccable and they're extremely professional and reputable, which is evident in their detailed service offerings. If you need to ship your vehicle to or from Hawaii, for example, or even China, Matson Navigation's services to these areas are extensive.


1710 Springwood Dr

Modesto, CA 95350




Vintage Auto Transport Companies

While it's always a bit stressful when you ship a vehicle, shipping your vintage car can be even more so. Whether it's valued at a high price, has a great deal of sentimental value, or all of the above, ensuring that your vintage car is treated with the utmost specialized care during the transportation process should be one of your main priorities.


Choosing the right company when deciding to transport your vintage car will help to negate many of these worries. Though the tendency may be to try to find a company that offers you the best quote, you should instead try to find a company that has years of proven experience in transporting vintage automobiles with a stellar reputation.



The following are some of the best companies to choose from for all of your vintage car transport needs:


A-1 Auto Transport



Passport Transport



Horseless Carriage Carriers



Intercity Lines



Reliable Carriers




The Importance of Insurance


Make sure that the company that you choose provides not only negligence insurance, but also Agreed Value Coverage. Ideally, this should be from a company that provides some form of Collective / Classic Car Insurance.


Ask the company to specify exactly what the insurance covers beforehand and have them provide you with a list, if possible. You do not want to be caught off guard in having to pay for any damage or delays.



Recommended Shipping Methods

The two main methods will involve either an Open Trailer or a Closed Trailer. In shipping a vintage car, it's recommended that you choose a Closed Trailer. It is the more expensive option, but when choosing to ship a vintage car, it'll significantly decrease the risk of any damage occurring. In addition, if it's a vintage car that isn't operational, a Closed Trailer will also be the better option, as many of the Open Trailers do not have the winch that is needed to transport them.


Regardless of which shipping method you choose, a reputable vintage auto transport company should be using wheel nets or nylon straps when they load and store the vehicle in the trailer. Other aspects such as the level of ground clearance should also be taken into account.


*Choosing to ship your vintage car is a process that should be planned out more so than if it was a regular vehicle. Companies will need special equipment in transporting it and there is a chance that there will be limited space available, so plan ahead. You should try to contact smaller, local companies if the larger company can't transport your vehicle right away.


Call A-1 Auto Transport today at 1-800-452-2880! We have over 2 decades of experience in transporting vintage automobiles. 

How to Spot Car Shipping Scams

With the abundance of car shipping services that are available through the internet, one of the unfortunate side effects is that there's also a variety of scams that are present.


In order to avoid falling prey to these car shipping scams, it's important to recognize them and to also take proper precautions through all the steps of the process. Despite the scams that exist, most of the auto shipping companies are perfectly legitimate and safe. In fact, there have been various regulations passed by the United States that have made it much more difficult to for these dubious shipping companies to get away with theft.


Examine the Company's Website

Many of the auto shipping companies that are scammers unknowingly give away their intentions through their website. One of the main ways that they do so is through having a poorly designed site that just seems thrown together. After all, they don't care much about their presentation, but instead, are focused on spending as little amount of money as possible to obtain yours.


Here are some the warning signs:

  • A site that seems extremely basic and archaic in its design
  • A frequent amount of typos throughout the text
  • Little to no contact information besides an e-mail address
  • No available Motor Carrier # visible on the website
  • Few pages besides the main page


Make Sure That There's a Telephone #

Every car shipping company will have a phone number that you can contact. Having a telephone number not only provides a sense of legitimacy, but it also is something that is needed in this industry. Otherwise, it can be very difficult for fast and effective communication to occur when arranging for the shipment of an automobile.


There are certainly some scam companies that do have phone numbers, but the best thing to do is to always call and speak to a customer service representative, in which you can then ask them for a variety of information that any legitimate company should have. This includes their Freight Broker License and Motor Carrier #.


Do Your Due Diligence

In order to spot car shipping scams, you should always make sure to do your due diligence through researching the company. With the internet, there's no excuse for not doing at least a Google search on the company.


If the company isn't listed on those sites, the chances are that they're not legitimate. Look for the best companies to have plenty of positive reviews. As is the nature of business, some companies may have negative reviews present, but it's important to see if the company actually responds to the negative reviews and leaves a comment.


As has already been mentioned, all of the shipping companies in the United States will have a Motor Carrier #, as it's a requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You should visit their website at for more information.


Finally, most legitimate shipping companies will have their information present on the Better Business Bureau's website. Not only are most shipping companies registered on that site, but it also allows consumers to post reviews about each one. Visit it at


Be Aware of the Common Shipping Scams

Some of the common shipping scams will ask you to wire payment through a transfer service. Any wire transfer request should be a major warning flag. Instead of a wire transfer, the only payment methods that you should agree to are checks, debit cards, and credit cards.


Another common warning sign is seeing a price quote for shipping an automobile that is much lower than what other companies are offering. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Bargains certainly exist, but don't expect to pay much lower than the normal shipping rate that other auto shippers offer. The low offering price is a way for these fake companies to lure you in.


Finally, don't send a payment without first getting the information of the driver that will be transporting your vehicle.


Don't be afraid to ask the company for as much information as you need in order to feel comfortable. Companies that have nothing to hide will not hesitate to answer.


A-1 Auto Transport has been shipping vehicles for over 20 years and freely provides all of the required license and registration information! Contact us at your convenience.