Welcome to our Complete Guide to Auto Transport, where you'll find a treasure trove of insights. This resource takes you through the process of moving vehicles with ease. Whether you're a car owner, dealer, or shipping newbie, our guide offers expert tips, practical advice, and a clear understanding of the ins and outs of safe and efficient vehicle transport. Everything you must know about auto transport. The Ultimate Guide to Car Shipping.
Our auto carriers are licensed, bonded and fully insured.
Auto transport service, also known as car shipping or vehicle transportation, is a professional service that involves the transportation of vehicles from one location to another. It's a convenient solution for individuals or businesses that need to move their vehicles over long distances, whether it's across states or even countries. Auto transport companies use specialized carriers to safely transport vehicles, ensuring they arrive at the destination in the same condition as when they were loaded.
There are different types of auto transport services, including open transport (vehicles exposed to the elements) and enclosed transport (vehicles transported within a protective enclosure). This service is particularly valuable for people relocating, buying/selling vehicles remotely, or participating in events where vehicle transportation is necessary.
PROS AND CONS OF HIRING AUTO TRANSPORT COMPANY PROS ✅ Hiring an auto transport service means you wont have to drive it yourself. ✅ Having a licensed, bonded & insured car shipper do it for you will make your life easier. ✅ No wear and tear on your car as it is delivered to your front door. ✅ Using a car shipping service will save the mileage on your vehicle. CONS 🔴 Whats not to like about hiring a car shipper to preserve your cars mileage & condition?
Open Carrier: Open Car Transport
Open auto transport is the most common way to ship so expect the standard rates based on availability.
Open car transport service is a method of vehicle transportation where cars are loaded onto open trailers for transit. The vehicles are exposed to the elements during the journey, as they are not enclosed within a protective covering. This type of transport is commonly used for regular vehicles, as it offers a cost-effective and efficient solution for moving cars over long distances.
While open car transport doesn't provide the same level of protection as enclosed transport, it is a popular choice due to its affordability and widespread availability. It's important to note that while vehicles are exposed to weather and road conditions, reputable open car transport companies take precautions to secure and safeguard the vehicles during transit.
This is a cheap and safe option when transporting a car and depending on the circumstances, you can probably get a good low rate. This is also the regular way to get a car shipped for the lowest rate. Since its the standard option, there are more available carriers by volume which allows the rate to be lowered a bit in comparison to other more premium option.
More Open Car Carriers are on the road resulting in more active trucks ready to pickup your vehicle and go!
➡️ Looking for the Cheapest Way to Transport a Car? The cheapest and most affordable way to ship your car is the most common option. The open auto transport carrier. This is the standard way to transport a car to another state. Due to the high volume of open-air car haulers on the road, the price is competitive to other car transport services such as the enclosed car carrier or the flat bed auto hauler.
➡️ Is the cheapest way to ship a car safe? Yes it is. Cheap car shipping can be safe. When being loaded, the driver will secure the vehicle down to the open car carrier trailer with thick straps or chain around the tires or wheel base. This avoids the car from bouncing around on the trailer while in transport. The automobile would be secured to the steel. The driver can deliver vehicles long distances without adding any mileage or tire damage to the cars being hauled.
➡️ Does cheap car shipping include insurance? Another good point to bring up when discussing the safety of shipping a car the cheap way is the fact that all car haulers operating within the United States must carry cargo protection insurance which is a requirement by law. Be sure to ask your car shipper for a copy of the protection policy that way you can see how much the vehicle is covered in case of damage. If damage is present on delivery that was not there at pickup, then the car shipper you hired for the lowest price should be able to walk you through the steps in filing a claim.
PROS AND CONS OF OPEN AUTO TRANSPORT PROS ✅ With open auto transport as the most common, you can expect the rate to be affordable. ✅ Direct communication with your driver will ensure that you stay up to date till delivery. ✅ Top load placement is an option which would be the safest spot on the open car hauler. ✅ Open car carrier transportation is the most economical type of transport. ✅ Open Auto Transport is the cheapest way to ship your car. CONS 🔴 Your vehicle would be exposed to the elements of the air during transit. 🔴 Dirt from travel would most likely cover the car but can be easily fixed with a quick wash. 🔴 Your vehicle would be grouped with many other stops for pickups and deliveries. 🔴 Longest delivery time 10-14 days depending on route and mileage required.
Safest Way to Ship: Enclosed Car Carrier
Enclosed transport is the safest way to ship a car
Enclosed auto transport is widely regarded as the safest method to ship a vehicle. In this specialized service, vehicles are transported within fully enclosed carriers that shield them from external elements and potential risks. This protective environment safeguards vehicles from weather-related damage, road debris, and other hazards. Enclosed transport is particularly favored for high-value, classic, luxury, or delicate vehicles where preserving their pristine condition is paramount.
The secure, controlled setting of enclosed carriers offers an added layer of protection against theft and vandalism. This level of security ensures that vehicles remain out of sight and away from potential threats during the journey. The meticulous handling and securing of vehicles within enclosed carriers further reduce the risk of damage caused by movement or shifting.
While enclosed auto transport offers top-tier protection, it's important to note that it can be relatively more expensive than open transport due to the premium features it provides.
However, for those seeking the utmost in vehicle safety and preservation, enclosed auto transport stands as the ideal choice, ensuring that vehicles arrive at their destination in the same impeccable condition as when they were loaded.
Lift Gate Technology Available
➡️ Looking for the safest way to ship a car? The most safest way to transport a car from one state to another is the enclosed car carrier. This means your vehicle would be fully encased within a trailer surrounded by 4 walls and a roof. Many enclosed auto transporters are equipped with a lift gate and some even have temperature control to maintain the perfect environment during shipping. The safety offered by enclosed auto transport trucks is the best the industry can provide. This type of shipping service is perfect for classic, collectible, exotic and high end luxury vehicles that can Not risk any elements of the road during transport.
➡️ How much does enclosed auto transport cost? Choosing the safest car shipping option, the enclosed carrier to ship a car to another state would cost anywhere from $300-800 in addition to the average cost to transport a car by open car hauler. The extra cost is due to the type of service provided. With the extra protection and safety a closed car transporter provides, the space available to move vehicles is slightly limited. This means enclosed car hauler services can only transport few cars at a time. This can also be a factor is the increased price. There are many different variables a car shipping company analyzes when generating a price to transport a vehicle.
➡️ Is insurance protection included with enclosed car shipping? Yes it is. Even with the added safety of walls surrounding the vehicle completely covered as it travels down the highways, full insurance must be provided by the car carrier as it is a requirement by law. Vehicle inspections must be performed at both pickup and delivery noting the automobiles condition. If any damages occur during transport, the invoices are the way to prove it. Documentation will be needed as proof that something happened. The safe feeling you will have watching your beloved car loaded into a closed car transport trailer will keep you at ease till delivery knowing no matter what, you automobile is fully insured. Be sure to ask your car shipping service provider to send you a copy of the insurance policy prior to loading your car. This can be easily sent to your email on request.
PROS AND CONS OF ENCLOSED AUTO TRANSPORT PROS ✅ The safest way to ship a car as it would be enclosed within a container while in transit. ✅ Lift Gate tech which used a hydraulic lift to safely load & unload your beloved vehicle. ✅ V.I.P. Treatment with carriers that are trained to specifically deal with vehicles of high value. ✅ Maximum Protection concealed within a trailer plus its all 100% fully insured. ✅ Faster delivery times as less cars fit into enclosed carriers. CONS 🔴 Cost would range $600-300 more than standard Open rates. 🔴 Due to limited availability, a 2-5 day pickup window for scheduling would be required.
Protection Policy: Insurance Coverage
Easy to understand insurance policy
Auto transporters are legally responsible for carrying liability insurance per the United States Department of Transportation and the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). You are not required to have insurance to ship a car. This must be provided by the auto carrier assigned to pickup and deliver your vehicle.
Fully insured auto transport services provide comprehensive coverage to safeguard vehicles during transportation. This insurance ensures that if any damage, theft, vandalism, or accidents occur while the vehicle is being transported, the transport company's insurance will cover the associated costs. This coverage offers peace of mind to vehicle owners, knowing that their valuable assets are protected throughout the transport process. It's important to review the insurance terms and coverage limits before selecting a transport company to ensure that your vehicle is adequately protected during transit.
Bumper to Bumper Protection
➡️ Are cars insured while being shipped? When shipping a vehicle, all legally authorized car carriers operating within the United States are required by law to have some sort of cargo protection insurance. These documents must be provided at your request prior to loading. All car shipping protection policies are different so be sure to ask exactly how much your vehicle is insured for and make sure to get it in writing.
➡️ How to prove damage occurred during transport? At both pickup and delivery locations, the driver will conduct a vehicle inspection report which would document the current condition of the automobile being transported. This record will be made on the Bill of Lading which also serves as the order receipt. If the condition of the vehicle appears to have been damaged during shipping, this document would be the way to prove it. Make sure to assist the driver while making this report and if there is anything you think that should be noted, be sure to express these thoughts to the carrier driver. A carbon copy of this invoice should be left with the person releasing the car at pickup and also a copy should be left with the person receiving the vehicle once payment has been made. Collect these documents as proof of purchase for your own records.
PROS AND CONS OF FULLY INSURED AUTO TRANSPORT PROS ✅ Your vehicle would be repaired or replaced if damaged during transport. ✅ Peace of mind while you await your car delivery. CONS 🔴 Damages covered are only as good as the policy your car carrier provides.
State to State Car Shipping Nationwide
U.S. Interstate Highways
Customers can choose between open transport (exposed to elements) or enclosed transport (protected within an enclosure) based on their preferences and the level of protection required for their vehicles. These services offer a hassle-free solution for moving vehicles across state lines while ensuring their safe arrival at the destination.
Everything is based on who is available. States with some of the largest cities in the country are generally a lot easier to ship cars to and from than states with smaller economies and metropolitan areas. The five easiest cities to ship cars in and out of are Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and Seattle.
If you are looking to buy a car online and want to ship a car to another state, (the state that you are living in, for example), then getting your car shipped from one of these car shipping hubs is going to be much easier than getting it shipped to or from a smaller city in your state. This is mainly due to how much the services would be required compared to population.
➡️ How do cars get shipped from state to state? The way to ship a car to another state is by locating the right auto transport company and requesting a quote online or by phone. If you are happy with their offer, you can proceed by following their reservation instructions. The company should then plan the logistics and send you your scheduled details in writing by email. A good car shipping company will make the process as smooth as possible. Direct communication with the driver should also be provided. It makes the job easier for everyone involved. Once your order is placed, the auto transport carrier should arrive and take care of the rest.
➡️ Can I trust a company shipping a car to another state? Trusting the right auto transporter is hard unless you know how to research the company you're considering. If you wish to find out what a company's reputation is like, the best tool is literally at your finger tips. By doing a simple Google or Bing search of the company name, you will be provided with not only the company's main website but you should also be provided with a list of review sites that will host reviews by customers who have done business with the auto transporter. Keep in mind, non-reputable car shipping companies can give themselves reviews till blue in the face but negative reviews will most likely never be falsified. These are the reviews you want to read first as it will expose what the company is like at their worst. Based on what customers say about the company will determine how the company does business and operates.
PROS AND CONS OF STATE TO STATE SERVICE PROS ✅ Safe and secure car shipping services would make the delivery a breeze. ✅ Direct communication with the driver makes the shipment easier for everyone involved. ✅ You wont have to drive it yourself! CONS 🔴 Standard time across country (2,700 miles) takes 7-10 days due to travel time.
Top Load Spot: Safest on Open Carrier
Some say the Top Load Spot is the safest on Open Car Transport
When you hear the term “top load,” the phrase refers to the area of the auto transport truck where your car is placed. Top load placement means that your vehicle will be placed on the top, or highest, level of the transport trailer. Top load car carrier services involve transporting vehicles on the upper deck of a multi-level car carrier.
In this arrangement, vehicles are loaded onto the upper level of the carrier, offering several advantages. Being positioned on top provides better protection from potential road debris, as well as reduced exposure to dirt and dust compared to the lower deck. It also reduces the risk of fluid leaks from vehicles above. While top load car carrier services are often preferred due to these benefits, they might come at a slightly higher cost than bottom load options. However, the added protection and peace of mind they offer can make them a worthwhile choice for ensuring your vehicle's safety during transport.
Reserving this spot may require an additional fee ranging from $150-50 depending on weight and size of the vehicle. This is all based on availability. Some drivers may even do it for free. That is completely up to the drivers discretion. Discuss these details with the driver direct if you wish.
PROS AND CONS OF TOP LOAD PLACEMENT PROS ✅ Top spot ensures your vehicle will not be secured beneath any other vehicle. ✅ Top load means your vehicle is the first to be picked up due to stacking order. ✅ Safe from oil leaks which may occur from vehicles posted above. CONS 🔴 Branches from trees may be an issue with an inexperienced driver. 🔴 Added cost in some cases, depending on availability. 🔴 Your vehicle would definitely be the last one of the load delivered due to stack order.
Door Front Car Delivery Service
Most Car Haulers prefer door to door delivery.
Door to Door car shipping services provide a convenient and comprehensive solution for vehicle transportation. With this service, the transport company picks up the vehicle from the owner's specified location and delivers it directly to the desired destination. This eliminates the need for the vehicle owner to drop off or pick up the vehicle from a terminal.
Door-to-door car transport ensures a seamless and efficient process, saving time and effort for the customer. However, it's important to consider factors like accessibility and local regulations that might affect the ability of large transport carriers to reach specific addresses. While this service might come at a slightly higher cost than terminal-to-terminal options, the convenience and reduced hassle make it a popular choice for many customers seeking a stress-free vehicle transport experience.
It might not bear the literal meaning of having your car delivered right outside your door. In most cases, drivers prefer front door delivery as it avoids them having to wait for anyone on pickup or delivery. They just arrive, load or unload and go.
➡️ Will shipping a car to my doorstep cost more? No. Most auto transport carriers prefer door to door delivery as it avoids the driver from having to wait for anyone. They just arrive to load or unload and keep going. This saves them time as having to coordinate with a client may have them waiting. A number of reasons can keep the customer from a scheduled pickup or delivery time. Traffic, extended meetings, kids at school or maybe they forgot to turn the oven off which would force them back home, meanwhile keeping the driver stalled as they await to load the vehicle. By picking up and delivering from door to door, they are ensured the most efficient when it comes to time. Remember, time is money and money is the reason they drive.
➡️ Looking to learn how door to door service works? Door to door service is preferred by auto transport carriers because it allows them to arrive, load or unload and continue going on their route. The driver should contact the person releasing the vehicle to schedule a pickup time to load and secure on the car hauler. Once loaded, the driver should contact the delivery point to coordinate a time. If there are no obstructions or restrictions, then the auto transport carrier should be able to deliver the car straight to your door front.
PROS AND CONS OF DOOR TO DOOR CAR SHIPPING PROS ✅ Convenience of having your car delivered to your home is mostly preferred by customers. ✅ The comfort of inspecting the vehicle with the driver when delivered on your property. CONS 🔴 Some contact zones restrict carriers due to laws, narrow roads or low hanging trees.
How to Calculate Cost
Rates are calculated by a few different factors.
The cost to ship a car from state to state can range anywhere from $200-$2000 depending on many different details which would come into play when calculating your car shipping rate. This is assuming you are selecting the open auto transport option. Enclosed car shipping will cost 30% to 70% more than standard open transport due to the level of carrier the service provides.
Rates are mainly generated by taking the following factors into consideration:
➡️ Looking to get car shipping rates? The cost to ship a car to another state varies due to many different factors. Some of these include: Route Availability, Vehicle specs (weight/size), Mileage, Carrier Type and Current Diesel Fuel Rates. All this data is calculated to generate the cost to transport a vehicle. To get pricing for your route and specific needs, complete our free quote request form to get started.
➡️ Are auto transport prices accurate? Some companies are more honest than others and stick to the national average rates in comparison to other companies in the industry. Non-reputable companies are capable of low-balling you with a low quote (estimate by definition) to only switch the rate on you later. Estimates can change. This is known as the bait & switch. Be careful and always do your own research into a companies background. A simple Google search can reveal a lot. A 'good' company is only as 'good' as their reputation.
Preparing your vehicle for a car shipper to load is crucial for a smooth and safe transportation process. Proper preparation ensures that your vehicle is ready to be securely loaded onto the carrier, reducing the risk of damage during transit. This includes tasks like: cleaning your vehicle, documenting existing damage with photos, removing personal items, checking fluids and tire pressure, securing loose parts, and disabling alarms.
By following these steps, you contribute to the overall efficiency and safety of the loading process, ensuring that your vehicle is properly positioned and protected during transportation. This proactive approach minimizes potential issues and helps both you and the car shipper have a clear understanding of the vehicle's condition before it embarks on its journey.
Q: Is Open Auto Transport Carrier Really Safe? A: That all depends on the auto carrier which has been assigned to your order. In all cases, any auto transportation provider operating within the United States of America should have the required cargo insurance policy enforced by the F.M.C.S.A. This means that your vehicle should be fully protected against any damage inflicted during transport. Be sure to ask for insurance documentation prior to pick up. The insurance docs could be easily requested by the auto transportation logistics coordinator who is responsible for dispatching your vehicle to the auto carrier. Make sure to check the expiration date on the insurance policy and also reassure yourself that your vehicle is completely insured during transport. With all these details in order regarding the insurance during shipment, your vehicle should be in good hands as the last thing anyone wants is an added claim to their policy. This assures you that the driver will take care of your vehicle with the respect it deserves.
Q: What Type Of Cars Can Be Loaded? A: This all depends on the size and weight of your vehicle. A standard car or truck can pretty much fit in any option you choose to ship your car. Pretty much any standard sized vehicle in the category of sedan, regular sized trucks, normal sized S.U.V.'s and even some vans again depending on the size which are determined by length and height. The total size of a vehicle able to fit on an open auto transport carrier would depend on the other vehicles which would be loaded along with it. If you have seen an open auto trailer, you will notice that the top level can be adjusted to different heights which would allow for the loading and unloading of many different types of vehicles. In any case, expect the vehicle to be strapped down to the frame of the trailer. Thick leather straps or light chains are used around the wheelbase and securely fastened to the metal frame of the open-air auto carrier trailer. This avoids the vehicle from bouncing around during transport and ensures that the unit will be delivered in the same condition as it was picked up. Please Note: Low clearance vehicles may require alternate methods.
Q: Can Open Carrier Transport Save Me Money? A: The cheapest option to ship your car is the most common, the open auto transport carrier. When shipping your vehicle on an open-air auto transporter, you are most likely being transported along with six to sometimes nine other vehicles which are all loaded and secured. Having so many vehicles on a load to deliver allows the driver to ease up on the total rates per unit. Of course car shipping rates are all dependent on: ✔️ Vehicle Specs (Size/Weight). ✔️ Carrier Availability. ✔️ Route Variables. ✔️ Current Diesel Fuel Rates. The higher the demand for service on the route you require will determine the total cost of the transportation in question. Rates will always fluctuate as they reflect gas prices, mainly diesel fuel. There is never really any set rates for shipping a vehicle in this industry as everything in the end revolves around fuel prices. Even when gas prices may be at their highest, going open auto hauler will always be your safest and most affordable option when shipping a car state-to-state.
Q: Can Personal Items Be Loaded? A: Most auto hauling companies prohibit the inclusion of personal items in vehicles being shipped. This is for three very good reasons: ➡️ License & Insurance It is against FMCSA regulations for carriers to transport personal possessions within a vehicle. Carriers risk fines for transporting any personal possessions. In addition, the auto transport carrier insurance policy typically does not cover the loss or damage of personal possessions included in a vehicle being shipped. ➡️ Weight Auto haulers have strict limits on the weight of loaded trucks and trailers. Additional, unanticipated weight of personal items could cause carriers to be overweight. In this situation, the carrier has to make a choice to drive overweight (risking fines and significant delays) or not take the vehicle. ➡️ Safety Extra weight in the car could cause damage to the undercarriage during loading and unloading. If items of perceived value are visible through the car’s windows they may attracted unwanted attention from thieves or vandals when carriers park at truck stops. No hazardous materials (e.g. explosives, flammables, poisons, compressed gases, oxidants, corrosives, etc.), firearms, ammunition, items of unusual value (e.g. cash, money, bonds, precious metals, stones, and gems), alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, drugs or medicines (either prescribed or illegal), antlers, furs, or pornographic material. To avoid the potential loss of personal items and to make sure that vehicles can be delivered on time, please avoid shipping any personal items in your vehicles. Although we will ship customer’s personal items upon request we ask that you limit the weight of personal items to 100 lbs. Additionally personal items stored inside the vehicle must not be above the window line and must not inhibit the driver’s seat from moving all the way back.
Q: Does Viceroy Deliver Door to Door? A: Our expert car carrier drivers prefer to auto transport door to door on most routes. Delivering your car door to door would avoid our auto shipper waiting for a customer to meet. They just simply arrive, load & go! Of course, if the roads prohibit or the law restricts in the area, then the auto hauling driver would contact the customer ahead of time to secure a more accessible pickup/delivery location close by. Keep in mind, our dispatch team is always on stand by to assist with any & All auto transport information or updates.
Q: Will My Car Stay On The Same Truck? A: Yes. Our auto haulers prefer to Not move your vehicles around once they are loaded onto the auto transporter. Before the route begins, our car shipping logistics teams plan the routes before hand & carefully schedule all auto transportation loads to flow smoothly. The same auto carrier driver that picks your car up will be the same auto hauler that drops your car off. We provide all contact information for the car shipper driver direct so you may stay in touch from pickup to delivery is completed.
Q: Can I Track My Car By GPS? A: As things advance technologically speaking, some car shipping companies will offer some sort of tracking system. Keep in mind, Satellite tracking & GPS monitoring can get quite expensive. Most car carriers are simply owner-operators who do not own GPS equipment & would rather not due to expenses. GPS tracking is mainly reserved for military Auto Shipping or high profile car transportation. That is why we connect you direct with your auto hauler.
Q: Is My Car Insured During Transport? A: Yes. Your vehicle would be completely insured under the cargo protection policy required by law to operate in the United States under D.O.T. Proof of auto transport insurance can be provided by the car carrier direct prior to pickup. Complete both car shipping vehicle inspections with the car carrier driver on pickup & delivery to ensure the vehicles condition. Our claims department is always here to assist you with all of your needs. 100% Guaranteed!
Q: How does the Payment process work? A: The payment is split in 2 parts. The first would be a reservation fee to validate the order. The remaining balance would be owed on Delivery in certified funds: Cash, Money order or Bank Certified check. This is the industries standard way to reserve a spot on a car carrier.
Q: How long does it take to ship a car? A: The delivery time to ship a car varies depending on the route. Keep in mind, most car haulers can carry 5-9 vehicles at a time. This may requires 5-9 different stops for both pickup and delivery. Also factor in loading and unloading at each stop along with drive time. Every route is different and times for delivery are determined once the order is added to schedule. Here are some common examples:
Miami to New York City 3-5 days.
Seattle to Chicago 5-7 days.
Houston to Charlotte 3-5 days.
Boston to Los Angeles 7-10 days.
Q: Am I able to communicate with the driver? A: We connect you with the driver direct by providing you the contact information for the carrier selected. Even though you will be in direct communication with the driver, please remember to always keep your dispatching agent as your primary contact. Our dispatch office can manage everything from here.
Q: Is the price quoted a guaranteed price? A: The initial quote is an estimate based on your required needs. Once the order has been booked and your spot is reserved, the quote would then become your final price. All details pertaining to your order will be sent to you in writing by email. The total amount should also be reflected on the bill of lading or vehicle inspection sheet at both pickup and delivery.
Q: Are pickup and delivery date guaranteed? A: There is a two-day pickup window which is required for scheduling. Once the order has been added to schedule, the driver would have a better idea of exactly when pick up and delivery would take place. More accurate times for both pickup and delivery would be coordinated between you and the driver direct. We would also email you the driver direct contact info along with estimated times for both points.
Q: Does Expediting my order speed up transport? A: To expedite a vehicle would require a 2 man driver team which would rotate shifts. They specifically drive nonstop to destinations. Drivers are only allowed to operate 500 miles per shift by law. With a two-man driver team, they are able to travel Non-Stop. This service may cost the customer 25 to 40% more than the standard hauling delivery time depending on mileage and Route variations.
Viceroy promises to deliver the very best in customer service from the time your vehicle is picked up to the point of completion when your automobile is safe at its destination. State to state service with door to door delivery on most routes. All our services are Fully Insured.