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How to Track a Car in Transit

How to Track a Car in Transit

The process of waiting for a car to arrive from the factory, port, or truck can be nerve wracking. Fortunately, there are several ways to track your new car while it’s in transit to the dealership:

  • Manufacturer’s online tracking tools
  • Dealership’s internal shipping systems
  • Passive GPS tracking using your vehicle’s VIN
  • Real-time GPS satellite tracking

In this article, I’ll address these options in-depth, providing you with an understanding of how to monitor your vehicle’s progress and what to expect during the shipping process.

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Can You Track Your New Car in Transit?

Yes. Many car shipping companies offer GPS tracking services to the public that allow you to monitor your car’s location throughout the shipping process.

Tracking Options Provided by Manufacturers

Most car manufacturers offer online tracking tools that enable you to check the status and location of your new vehicle.

By entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or order number, you can access information about your car’s progress. The level of detail provided varies by manufacturer, but common milestones include:

  • When your vehicle was built
  • When it was shipped by rail or truck
  • When it was delivered to the dealership

To find out if your manufacturer offers a tracking tool, visit their website or owner portal. In some cases, your dealer may need to provide you with login credentials to access the tracking system.

The Role of Dealerships in Vehicle Tracking

Even if your manufacturer doesn’t offer an online tracking tool, your dealership should be able to provide you with updates on your vehicle’s whereabouts.

Dealers have access to internal systems that give them the latest shipping information from the factory.

Don’t hesitate to contact your salesperson every week or two to check on the status of your car. They should be able to tell you if your vehicle has been built, if it’s in transit, and the expected delivery timeframe.

Keep in mind that while they may not be able to pinpoint the exact location of your car while it’s on the road or rail, they can still provide valuable information about its progress.

Types of GPS Tracking for Vehicle Shipments

When it comes to GPS tracking for vehicle shipments, there are two main types: passive tracking and satellite tracking.

Passive GPS Tracking

Passive GPS tracking allows you to track your vehicle shipment using your car’s VIN. With this method, you’ll receive periodic updates on your vehicle’s location, but not in real-time.

While you won’t have access to exact, up-to-the-minute information, passive tracking still provides a good idea of where your car is at any given point during the shipping process.

GPS Satellite Tracking

GPS satellite tracking offers real-time updates on your vehicle’s location. This service is often included in the cost of shipping and can be accessed through the company’s website, a mobile app, or SMS notifications.

With satellite tracking, you can see exactly where your car is at any moment, providing an even greater level of transparency and peace of mind.

Benefits of GPS Tracking for Auto Transport

There are numerous benefits to using GPS tracking when shipping your new car:

  1. Real-time updates: With satellite tracking, you can monitor your vehicle’s location in real-time, giving you a clear picture of its progress.
  2. Peace of mind: Knowing where your car is at all times can alleviate the stress and uncertainty that often comes with the shipping process.
  3. Improved communication: GPS tracking allows for better communication between you, the shipping company, and the dealership, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding your vehicle’s status.
  4. Increased transparency: By providing detailed information about your car’s location, GPS tracking promotes a higher level of transparency and trust between you and the shipping company.

How to Find an Auto Transport Company with GPS Tracking

When searching for an auto transport company that offers GPS tracking, there are a few key steps you can take:

  1. Research online: Look for companies that specialize in vehicle shipping and highlight GPS tracking as part of their services.
  2. Read reviews: Check customer reviews to gauge the company’s reliability and customer service. Pay attention to comments about their tracking capabilities and communication.
  3. Ask questions: When you’ve identified a few potential companies, reach out to them directly to inquire about their GPS tracking services. Ask how often they provide updates and if there are any additional fees for this feature.
  4. Compare quotes: Request quotes from multiple companies, but don’t base your decision solely on price. Make sure the quotes include services like GPS tracking and insurance.

Remember, a reputable auto transport company will offer door-to-door shipping services and utilize GPS tracking to keep you informed about your vehicle’s location throughout the process.

Understanding the Vehicle Shipping Timeline

It’s important to have realistic expectations about how long it takes for a new vehicle to arrive. Shipping times can vary significantly based on factors such as distance, weather conditions, and transportation schedules.

On average, most deliveries take between 1 and 4 weeks from the time the car leaves the factory or port.

Be patient and maintain regular communication with your dealer.

They are your best resource for getting updates and estimates on your vehicle’s arrival.

My Takeaways From This Article

Key TakeawayDescription
Tracking Options– Manufacturer’s online tools- Dealership’s internal systems- Passive GPS tracking (VIN-based)- Real-time GPS satellite tracking
Manufacturer Tracking– Online tools available- Access using VIN or order number- Provides milestone updates
Dealership’s Role– Access to internal shipping systems- Regular updates on vehicle status<br>- Estimated delivery timeframes
GPS Tracking Types– Passive tracking (periodic updates)- Satellite tracking (real-time location)
Benefits of GPS Tracking– Real-time updates- Peace of mind- Improved communication- Increased transparency
Finding a Transport Company– Research companies online- Read customer reviews- Ask about GPS tracking services- Compare quotes
Shipping Timeline– Varies based on distance, weather, etc.- Average delivery: 1-4 weeks- Maintain communication with the dealer

Sources For This Article

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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