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How to Spot Car Shipping Scams

How to Spot Car Shipping Scams
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.

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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.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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