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9 Things That Can Go Wrong on Cross Country Road Trips

Subscribe May 26, 2016
Auto Transport | Car shipping process | Choosing an auto shipper | Industry Information

While the quintessential American road trip has always had a special place in American lore, shipping a car is a terrible excuse to plan the road trip of your dreams. Trust us, there's a reason auto shipping services are so popular.

Just look to Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We would add one caveat as well: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (especially on a road trip).

There are so many problems that can happen on a cross country road trip. If you believe in Murphy's Law, then check out Jalopnik's guide to "The 10 Worst Things That Can Happen To You In A Car." If you're still not convinced that auto shipping services are your safest option, then just consult this partial list of everything that can go wrong on a road trip.

The Top 9 Things That Can Go Wrong on Road Trips

1. Natural Disasters

Perhaps this seems like hyperbole. After all, are you really likely to get caught in a hurricane while driving cross country? Then again, most people don't realize the United States is home to the most diverse climates and geographical features in the world. Name a type of extreme weather/natural disaster, and you'll find it somewhere in the States. At the time of this writing, there were giant forest fires blazing in California and New Mexico, a devastating heat wave boiling Arizona, flooding in the Southeast, earthquakes in the Midwest, and more.

2. Robberies and Muggings

The longer your road trip lasts, the greater the possibility that you'll encounter a criminal along the way. And while you're traveling, even a minor pickpocketing incident can turn into a full blown travel nightmare.

3. Illness and Injury

Trust us, there's nothing more miserable than falling ill or breaking a leg while on a major road trip. It's not uncommon either because traveling exposes you to far more people and germs than your everyday life. And coming down with the flu (or even a common cold) can suck all the romance right out of your road trip.

4. Speed Traps and Tickets

Planning to enjoy the sights along the way? Take the road less traveled? Enjoy the countless speed traps you'll drive through along the way.

5. Lost Wallets and Misplaced Luggage

At least when an airline loses your luggage, they do their best to track it down and return it to you ASAP. But if you lose your luggage on a road trip, you're totally on your own.

6. Fatigue

Unless you have a buddy willing to tag along for the ride, it's easy to fall into a prolonged state of fatigue on the road. Not everyone is cut out for long-distance car moving, and all those miles can really take their toll on your alertness.

7. No Cell Phone Reception

Remember: if anything on this list does go wrong, don't count on having cell phone service to call AAA for help. Before you go, start practicing your frantic please-stop-and-help-me hand motions.

8. Suspended Driver's Licenses and County Jail

We have no doubt you're a fine upstanding citizen, but you wouldn't be the first person to have forgotten about unpaid speeding tickets from their youth, only to find themselves facing a driver's license suspension on a dusty rural road. And since you can't call cell phones from jail phones, there's no telling how long it will take to get in touch with the outside world.

9. Mechanical Problems

That's right, forget about natural disasters and daylight robbery, there are always flat tires and busted transmissions to deal with. Not only can these mechanical problems drastically inflate the costs of your road trip, but they can be difficult to deal with far from home. At the end of your journey, your car could be worth far less than it is today. It's little wonder that U.S. auto shipping services make up an industry worth $12 billion. Not only are car moving companies far more convenient that doing it yourself, but they're cheaper, too. Auto shipping services between Houston and Chicago (1,084 miles) would cost just $550 while a cross-country trip from New York City to San Francisco (2,916 miles) would only cost $1,000.


No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal


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