One of the most common questions about car shipment involves timing. Customers want to know how long it will take to have their car shipped from one location to another. Although it seems like a very basic question, the answer isn’t always so simple. There are several factors that can determine the amount of time it will take to ship your vehicle so the best auto shipment companies can do is give you an estimated window or range. Here are a few things to consider when creating a timeline for your vehicle from pickup to delivery.
Before your vehicle ever hits the road, there are several factors that can affect its delivery time.The lead time refers to how long it will take a driver to be assigned to your vehicle. This is dependent on a few factors:
- Location- It is much easier and faster to transport vehicles between major cities. Small towns or rural areas will take longer.
- Season- Auto transport usually picks up the spring and summer months so carriers are more readily available and this can speed up the delivery process.
- Vehicle Size- Most auto carriers can only fit certain size vehicles so larger vehicles will require a longer timeline than smaller ones.
Keep all of these factors in mind and provide the auto shipping company with detailed information about your vehicle upfront to get an estimated time when you vehicle will be ready for pickup.
The next part of your timeline to consider is the transit time. Again, several factors can impact the amount of time it takes for your vehicle to arrive at its destination.
- Distance- Consider the distance your vehicle is being transported. A couple hundred miles could take just a few days while a couple thousand miles could take a few weeks.
- Weather- Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the weather but it can definitely impact the amount of time your vehicle is in transit. Rain, snow, ice, and high winds can slow down travel time and delay your delivery date.
- Traffic/Other Hazards- Auto transport can be an unpredictable industry because drivers can experience delays from things like road construction, traffic jams, or even mechanical problems. Factor these possibilities into your timeline and allow for a bit of extra time.
The final part of your timeline is the delivery of your vehicle. In order to make this process as fast and easy as possible, make proper arrangements to meet with your driver ahead of time. The driver will usually contact you a few hours prior to delivery to let you know an estimated time. You may have to leave work to meet the driver or you may have to agree to meet a location that is more convenient for the driver. The more flexible you are with the delivery location, the faster you will be able to retrieve your vehicle.
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.