Door-to-door car transport by open carrier is the most common method of transporting a vehicle across the country. And often the service is exactly that: door-to-door. The car carrier will load up a vehicle at one home address (or place of business) and deliver right to another home address (or place of business), as requested by the customer. But there are times when that convenience is not logistically possible. Especially for cities like San Francisco, New Orleans, New York City, or Washington DC, it is realistic to plan to meet your carrier outside of the tight metropolitan area.
The open carriers that ship vehicles across the country are large, multi-vehicle haulers. For standard door-to-door service, you are contracting transport on just one truck and usually just one driver. That one large truck has to have enough space to easily access each address and load or unload vehicles safely. Such loading is not possible in tight downtown areas, especially with one way streets and congested traffic, steep hills or security restrictions. These are all challenges that your driver simply can’t negotiate.
For car transport to or from major cities, it is realistic to plan to meet the carrier outside of the urban area. Because the carrier needs a wide, open space away from traffic, a meeting location in a nearby shopping mall parking lot is a popular option. If you don’t know the city very well, your driver may have a suggestion too. Either way, it’s best to allow for a little flexibility when coordinating carrier arrival. It may mean that you have to rely on a friend to drive you or public transportation to get to/from the meeting location. And to spare yourself some angst, don’t schedule other important activities on the day of the meet.
Your driver would prefer to make car transport completely convenient for you. But for major metropolitan areas, it is more realistic to think of the service as person-to-person rather than door-to-door. If you have any questions about that, feel free to give us a call: 866-221-1664.
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.