First time car shippers are often surprised to discover that there aren’t precise advance schedules for car hauling. Unlike trains or planes or buses that have regular schedules out of common hubs, car shipping schedules vary from week to week because every route is unique.
While car haulers serve the same general areas (some cover just the Midwest, for example), they don’t start and end at the same place. Car haulers don’t even follow the exact same route every time. They have new pick-up locations and different delivery locations for each customer. Some runs are longer than others, and sometimes the logistics allow for a quicker turn-around.
Not only are the routes different with each truckload of unique customers, car shipping drive times are always subject to the demands of weather, traffic, holidays and even maintenance issues. There are situations that arise that your driver simply cannot predict or prevent from behind the wheel, so no matter the season it’s realistic to allow for flexibility in your car shipping schedule.
That said, it should be no surprise that winter presents the most obvious challenge to predictable drive times. Obviously, the weather can be terrible – one bad snowstorm can effectively shut down in an entire region for a few days. And that slow down effects vehicles on trucks being hauled as well as vehicles waiting for transport. (In fact, there are some months when the backlog of waiting customers is so great that frustrated shippers cancel and resign with multiple haulers, as if there are some truckers not affected by the snow!)
Also important to note: drivers observe holidays just like you do! You may find that car hauler availability is limited between the weeks around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. This reality tends to push up prices around the holidays - and even through January for some markets.
We know how precious your time is and we wish we could give you timing guarantees. But the truth is that this time of year the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. It will save you frustration in the long run if you make contingency plans with friends and neighbors should your car hauler be affected by inclement weather or other seasonal issues. If you have questions about car hauling delays - or any other car hauling questions - please call us at 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.