Whenever you’re shipping a vehicle there aren’t any delivery time guarantees. It’s really difficult to guarantee when a car is going to be picked up or delivered. As such, carriers and brokers discuss time frames instead. They will ask you about your first available pickup and delivery date but they will explain that there isn’t any way in which this time can actually be guaranteed. While a lot of people wonder why this is, it’s basically because delays really do happen quite frequently within this industry. What are some of the causes of such delays though? The cause of most delays in auto shipping vary greatly but will include any of the following.

Alternate Routes

  • While most companies have common routes that their business travels, if they have to pick up or deliver a car that’s not located along that route, you may have a delayed delivery. Another problem that they may incur is when a vehicle has to be picked up at a terminal instead of door-to-door delivery. Of course, the truck company will more than likely charge additional fees for such services but it will cause delays.

Travel Problems with Vehicles

  • Vehicles that don’t meet travel specific requirements (i.e. height) can cause problems, especially if the transportation company doesn’t know about these things ahead of time. This also applies to things like camper shells, exterior spare tires and other exterior attachments. Some customers simply don’t pay attention to these restrictions and thus it can slow down the transport process in the long run.

Incorrect Addresses

  • There’s a lot of paperwork that has to be filled out, which means that there’s the possibility of accidentally misspelling the new address. Additionally, there are a lot of cities that share the same name. As such, you’ll want to make sure that the shipping company is heading to the right one.

Traffic and Weather

  • All of us have to deal with traffic but that’s even more of a problem for big trucks because they need more space and time to maneuver through it. This is also true for adverse weather conditions (i.e. rain, snow) or driving through mountainous passages.

Truck Mechanical Issues

  • There are also times when mechanical failures will occur. While these are rare, they do happen and when they do, they’ll slow down the transport of the vehicle. Since these trucks are used daily, you have to understand that they’re bound to break down sometime. All of this is due to the wear and tear that takes place on the vehicle with all of the work and travel that it does.

Customer Delays

  • Even if you’re on time with your vehicle, there may be other customers who are running late, as well as those who may not even show up at all. This actually happens a lot more frequently than you’d believe, which is sad when you stop to consider how it adversely affects other customers. It is important to understand that this can happen so that you won’t be part of the problem yourself. Instead, you’ll want to keep open lines of honest communication with the company throughout the shipping process.


Auto haulers are on the road a lot because they want to make the most of their car and truck carriers. The more they are able to work, the more they can afford to offer less expensive rates for the vehicles that they transport. However, this also means that they may encounter more things that can cause them delays, like problems with paperwork whenever they’re picking up a vehicle, a customer who’s running late, a tire that’s gone flat or a long line at a weigh station. Now you can clearly understand why most auto transport companies give a 3 day window as to when they will be able to pick up your vehicle. Doing so allows them to make allowances for any potential delays that they may encounter along the way.