Auto shipment has become an increasingly popular industry and there are several companies offering different auto transport services. Some companies offer terminal to terminal shipping while others offer door to door shipping. How do you know which service is right for you? Before you decide, you need to have a basic understanding of each so you can choose the method that best meets your needs.
Terminal to Terminal Shipment
Much like an airport, many auto shippers have terminals which allow for fast and easy loading and unloading as well as storage for your vehicle. With this type of shipment, you will have to drop off your vehicle at a specified location but most of the time these terminals are located on common routes of travel. That is one of the main benefits because carriers don’t have to travel as far to get your vehicle. Terminals are also convenient for people who have to drop their car at a specific time and day. Furthermore, if you cannot be around when the vehicle needs to be picked up a terminal is a great solution because you can store your vehicle there until you are ready to pick it up. This flexibility can make it possible for you to get your car faster.
Door to Door Shipment
As the name implies, door to door shipment means that your vehicle will be picked up at your home or another nearby location and then dropped off at another location of your choosing. The best part about door to door shipment is the convenience of not having to drive your car very far to drop it off. Door to door shipment is a great option for those who live within city limits or close to the highway. However, it can be more difficult to arrange if you live in a rural area. Many people also assume that door to door shipment is more expensive but it will be much cheaper than leaving your vehicle stored at a terminal for several days. If you can make yourself available for the delivery, door to door shipment might be your best option.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of shipment and it really comes down to which drop off location is most convenient for you. Are you flexible enough to work around the driver’s schedule? Do you require additional storage? Do you live in a metro or rural area? The answers to these questions can help you decide which drop off location is best suited for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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