Direct auto shipping, also known as door-to-door service, is a convenient and hassle-free way to have your vehicle picked up and delivered to your destination. The other option is to have your vehicle picked up and delivered at a terminal, which could be several miles away depending on your location. When you are in need of shipping a car, you want the process to be as simple as possible. That’s why direct auto shipping is such a popular choice for many people. This convenient service definitely has its advantages, so let’s take a closer look at how the process works.
Door-to-door service is by far the most convenient option, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. It works best for people who live in a major metropolitan city with wide streets that can easily be maneuvered by a large auto trailer. This would not be an ideal option for someone living in a rural area with dirt roads or windy roads. In addition, there is a higher demand for car shipping services in major cities, meaning it’s more convenient for the carrier. You also want to keep in mind that direct auto shipping is more expensive, given the added convenience of the service. The shipper is using their fuel and time to deliver your vehicle directly to you, so this is reflected in the overall shipping cost.
If you know you want direct shipment, look for a company that offers door-to-door service. Though many companies will give you the option, some only offer terminal to terminal shipment. Therefore, you want to inquire specifically about the service and make sure it is available in your location.
Next, you will have the option to choose between open and closed transport. As the name suggests, open-air transport means your car is shipped on an open-air trailer that will be exposed to the outdoors. This is the most common and affordable option. If you choose enclosed transport, your car will be shipped in an enclosed trailer where it is sheltered from the outdoor elements. This is a more expensive option, but it may be ideal for luxury, brand new, antique, or exotic vehicles that may require additional protection.
Another advantage to using door-to-door shipment is that you get to personally meet the driver. You will have the opportunity to see your vehicle loaded on and off the trailer and you can ask the driver any questions you may have. You may also be able to get their contact information, which can be helpful for estimated delivery times as well as general peace of mind.
You will need to be present when your vehicle is picked up so you can show proper identification, registration, and proof of ownership. You will also need to be present upon delivery to handle payment and to sign the Bill of Lading.
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.