Unless you have moved across the county, you probably haven’t ever thought about shipping cars or what that entails. It’s a service most folks may only need once in their lives – if ever.
But when the need does arise, most people have no frame of reference for the basic process. Here’s what happens after the truck is assigned.
Your driver will call to provide an estimated time for pick-up, usually within 24 hours of arrival. While drivers prefers to stay on schedule, they are easily affected by traffic or weather or issues with other customers.
You won’t have to wait around all day, but it is realistic to be flexible with your time or have a back-up person on call. As long as the truck can safely access the address you specify, the carrier will come right to your neighborhood and load your vehicle there.
The hauler is large enough to transport multiple vehicles so the truck does need a flat, open space away from heavy traffic. Because the driver is usually alone and probably not based in your city, you may be asked to meet the carrier nearby if your location is not ideal for loading.
Your driver is shipping cars for other customers in the same region going the same direction. Open auto carriers take 7 or 8 other customer vehicles at the same time as yours.
Enclosed carriers can only accommodate 1, 2 or sometimes 3 vehicles at a time.
Your vehicle may have to be off-loaded during the transport to load/unload another customer’s car.
While en route shipping cars, drivers are regulated as far as how many hours a day they can drive, are required to take meal breaks and must sleep at night. In many states, drivers are not allowed to drive and use cell phones at the same time, so your driver won’t always be available to take or make update calls.
Before delivery, you will want to have your final payment ready – COD (cash on delivery) is standard.
Seven to ten days in transit is average from coast to coast, and your driver will call to provide an estimated time for their arrival within 24 hours of delivery.
And as mentioned before, they deliver to your address as long as your street is safe and accessible.
I hope that gives you a good picture of the basic process for shipping cars. If you have any further questions about car shipping in general, please contact us today at 866-221-1664 - (or just play around with our Free Rate Calculator)
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.
We’re Loved by Customers