Next to “How much does it cost,” “How long does it take” is the second most frequently asked question when it comes to car shipment. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the auto transport industry, definitive pickup and delivery dates are nearly impossible to predict. In fact, any auto shipment company that says they can guarantee such information is telling you what you want to hear just to snag your business. The fact is, there are several factors that can affect how long it takes to ship a car.
The distance you are transporting your vehicle will affect how long it takes to transport. Obviously, the longer the distance, the longer it will take for your vehicle to arrive. For example, a few hundred miles could take a few days while a couple thousand miles could take a few weeks. You also have to keep in mind that there are multiple vehicles being transported along with yours so the more stops the carrier has to make, the longer the delivery will take.
The location where you are shipping the vehicle can impact the delivery time as well. If you are shipping your vehicle to a metropolitan area it will generally be faster than shipping it to a rural or hard to reach areas. You can cut down on delivery time by offering to meet the auto carrier somewhere more convenient.
Weather can be unpredictable but conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or high winds may occur along a driver’s route. This could impact their trip and delivery may be delayed due to these unforeseen conditions.
As anyone who has ever traveled knows, construction and traffic jams are always a possibility on the interstate and they can delay transport. Unfortunately, there is nothing the driver can do to avoid such circumstances and it could impact the delivery date of your vehicle.
What You Can Do to Ensure Your Car is Delivered On Time
The best thing you can do to make sure you car arrives on time is to plan well in advance. Coordinating the pickup of your vehicle may take some time so it is best to book your transport at least 3 weeks prior to the date you need you vehicle. This gives you a little wiggle room to account for weather and road conditions. Furthermore, you should make sure the auto transport company provides you with a way to communicate with the driver of the carrier. Usually they will call you a few hours in advance to give you an estimated drop-off time, but it can also be a great way to check if your vehicle is arriving later than expected.
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.