Some people have concerns about whether someone will be driving their vehicle when it is shipped with an auto transport company. This is a legitimate concern given that our vehicles are usually one of our most expensive assets next to our home. The truth is that someone will likely have to drive your car at some point during the shipping process, but the good news is that it shouldn’t be very far.
Many transport companies have a drop-off location where customers will leave their car prior to shipment. When the vehicle is ready to be loaded, it might be necessary for a worker to drive your car from a storage location to the carrier. Typically, this is not a far distance. At this point, the driver of the auto carrier will have to drive your vehicle onto the truck. It will remain on the carrier for the entire transport and then the driver will have to drive it off the carrier when it’s time to unload. Depending on the transport company, your car might remain at this location or it might be driven to a storage location where it will remain until it is picked up. Other than these short distances, your vehicle should not be driven during the transport process. You will be asked to give your keys to the driver of the transport carrier so they can load and unload your vehicle from the carrier.
Although your car will be driven at some point during the shipping process, the distance should be minimal. You should note the mileage of your vehicle at the time of drop-off and the transport company should provide you with a bill of lading which will also document the mileage when the car was dropped off. You should always compare the mileage at drop-off to the current mileage of the vehicle to check for any discrepancies. Most reputable auto transport companies will also offer insurance while your vehicle is being shipped, but you should check to see if this includes driving it to and from the auto carrier. If they do not cover this part of the process, check with your own insurance company to ensure your car is covered. In some cases, additional insurance might need to be purchased. In order to provide additional coverage, Ship a Car Direct provides a 'Damage Free Guarantee'.
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.