How to Track a Shipped Vehicle

Shipping your car coast to coast is a matter of trust. And to know which companies you can trust and rely on with your car, you must know which companies are transparent with their clients.

Too many unreliable transport carriers promise to ship vehicles seamlessly only to remain unresponsive once the car is loaded in the truck for shipping. This results in late shipment arrival or, worse still, damaged or missing cars.

To top it all off, these companies don’t  have clear explanations about why these issues occur. These problems are avoided if auto shipping carriers remain honest and trustworthy from the beginning. 

To avoid having these issues with your auto transport, the company should allow you to track a shipped vehicle. Giving you a way to track the shipment yourself shows that they’re confident with their services and have nothing to hide from you.

In this post, you will learn how to track a vehicle from your car shipping company. Knowing how to monitor the shipment should help you understand what to expect when getting tracking updates from the company.

Find Out What Tracking System Your Auto Shipping Company Uses

The best auto transport companies allow you to track your car shipment. They are aware that you’ve entrusted them with your car because you know they’ll take good care of it during the shipment process.

With this knowledge, they should have a system in place that allows them to track your vehicle and inform you where it is. This keeps you informed of where the shipment is at any time and they can provide you with further update about estimated arrival times.

There are currently two systems that car shipping services use to track vehicles:

Option #1: GPS Satellite

This system lets an auto transport company track shipments and drivers in real-time. Whenever the truck is on the move, the system provides an instant update of where it is on the map as it travels on the marked route. 

Aside from giving you peace of mind, GPS satellites help companies lower operational costs by keeping track of the driver delivering your car. They can see if their drivers are speeding or taking the longer route and communicate with the truck driver about necessary corrections.

Option #2: Passive GPS

Unlike GPS satellites, passive GPS only takes “snapshots” of where your vehicle is at a certain time. The pin on the GPS map doesn’t move in real-time. This means you’ll only be able to see the movement of the pin on the map at intervals. To track your vehicle’s location accordingly, you must know when the car shipping company updates the location of your vehicle.

Determine the Best Method to Access the Shipment’s Location

Not all companies use the same methods of tracking their car shipping carrier. As a result, you need to either adapt to the tech they have or use this to help you choose the best car shipping company for you.

Below are some of the different ways that carriers in the auto transport industry update their clients regarding a car shipment’s location. Keep in mind that not all companies offer all methods listed below, so make sure you ask about their options when booking.

1) Online Tracking

You need an internet connection to track your shipment and see where it currently is. Online tracking works best on companies that use GPS satellites to monitor the location of your shipment in real-time. To access this feature, go to their website and log in using your credentials and tracking number to access the location of the shipment.

2) Mobile Tracking

Similar to online tracking, you will need an internet connection to access this. However, you won’t visit the company’s site to view the car shipment. Instead, it will require you to download a tracking app so you can monitor the shipment from there.

3) Notifications (E-mail or Text)

Some less sophisticated tracking systems only allow mobile tracking to keep updated regarding your car’s location. Using your phone, enter a string of commands including your booking number to receive a text message updating you about the auto transport. You can also send an email to receive the shipment details, 

4) Phone Calls

You will have to use the contact information provided by the company so you can stay updated with your car’s shipment status and exact location. While phone calls are inconvenient compared to the methods above, the great thing about it is you don’t need an internet connection to make this work.  

Have Fail Safes in Place so You Can Keep Track of the Car Shipment

Sometimes, there’s a chance that the methods used by the car shipping companies fail for one reason or another. It could be a technological malfunction or an error on your end that’s causing the issue. Either way, it’s important to know what to do when this happens.

Below are some possible issues you may encounter when trying to get tracking updates from your company’s driver:

The Internet Connection is Not Working Properly

If you can’t get updates from the company to track your vehicle using the methods they provided, consider a disruption with your internet service provider (ISP). It’s possible that you are experiencing an outage that prevents you from tracking your vehicle properly.

In this case, you can log in to a different internet connection or wait for your provider to restore service.

Track Only During Times When the Company Allows It

Since some companies don’t have sophisticated tracking systems, you can only request updates at certain times. In this case, limit your communication with the company to the provided times only, which are usually during business hours.

If you keep requesting a progress report of your shipment outside of the allowed times, you probably won’t get a response from them no matter how hard you try.

Recheck Your Tracking Code

Sometimes, a tracking number includes numbers and letters. Therefore, it’s easy to confuse the number zero with the upper-case letter “O” or the number one with the lower-case letter “l,” for example.

If the tracking number didn’t work the first time, it could be a simple matter of mistaking the numbers as letters or vice versa. Try different variations of the tracking code to cover all your bases.


Tracking your coast-to-coast car shipment shouldn’t be an issue if you choose a trusted and reputable shipping company. In fact, with excellent service and customer support, you won’t have to worry about your car shipment at all.

Guardian Auto Transport is a car shipping company that fits the bill. With our decades of experience, commitment to transparency, and a 4.95-star rating from past and returning customers, we can help smooth every aspect of your car shipment, including tracking your vehicle. Get a free instant quote with our live booking agents today.