A car shipping customer recently described the transport process as “mysterious”. And it’s true, auto transporting does not reflect most shipper’s initial expectation of service. First time auto shippers usually expect transport service to be more like travel and are often surprised to learn that there aren’t grand schedules and regular, dependable routes with large, brand named fleets. Or sometimes folks assume service is on demand, that they can just summon a cross-country carrier the same way you call a taxi. Instead, there are brokers who contract small business carriers on a case-by-case basis, and schedules and prices may vary. It may seem like a hassle to have brokers involved in the auto transport process, but let’s cover the big reasons why they are good for you.
A good broker vets out your carrier. There are literally thousands of auto haulers across the country. There aren’t large fleets like Greyhound or JetBlue in the car shipping industry, there are dozens of independent carriers who could potentially ship your vehicle. But not all carriers are made alike. Some are stellar, but some have issues with insurance lapsing or poor scheduling, etc. A broker has access to more industry information and can be a better judge of a carrier’s worth.
A good broker will explain the process. From timing to pricing to preparing your vehicle for shipment, a good broker can educate you on the reality of the process. Drivers don’t always have time to take your call with questions when they are on the road. But brokers work in offices, so they are available to take calls and emails about your concerns.
A good broker helps smooth communication. Sometimes customers have a scheduling change or want to make a special request. Sometimes there are misunderstandings between customers and drivers, or missed calls, or other issues. Your broker can help you reach your driver with updates, changes, and address miscommunications should they arise.
We are here for you, so give a Ship a Car Direct broker a call: 866-221-1664. We are happy to answer your car shipping questions and find the perfect carrier match 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.