Frequently-Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to drop my car off somewhere?

A: Most likely not. Most all auto transport companies use what is known as door-to-door service, which is where the driver comes straight to your door and picks up the vehicle, and then delivers it right to your new home (or wherever else it is going to). Certain circumstances may force you to take your car somewhere like a parking lot, but that only happens if the truck cannot get into the neighborhood or is prevented from doing so (some cities have laws restricting large vehicles from driving in neighborhoods). If this is the case, the driver will ask you to take your car to a large area where they can then load the truck on their auto transport truck. Find out more about the whole Auto Transport Process, Start to finish if you have more questions.

Q: Open or Enclosed Transport? 

A: That depends on many factors. Open auto transport is a service where we ship your vehicle on an open carrier. It is a fully-insured form of auto transport (that comes with a really affordable price and provides protection from most damages that may happen to your vehicle during the transport. The vehicle still can be damaged and will not be covered by damage involving weather or road-related conditions (flying rocks). Your Insurance would have to cover that type of damage typically. Enclosed auto transport uses a covered, contained transport truck to move your car (hard or soft-shelled)Enclosed trailers do not leave vehicles open to the elements or damage as previously mentioned in the open carrier.

Your vehicle will be protected and isolated from the elements, bugs, other vehicles, and random occurrences. It is best used if you have an antique, exotic, or luxury vehicle that needs the highest level of protection. While it is more expensive than the standard open option, it does protect your vehicle more efficiently.

Q: Will my vehicle stay on the same truck for the entire transport?

A: Most of the time, yes, any company that you book your transport with will tell you the name of the driver that is picking up your vehicle, and he typically is the one that will be driving your vehicle to the destination. There are some instances where a second truck is required, as in a local smaller truck may need to gather the trucks and take them to a HUB location like a storage yard to load the main trucks for the long part of the journey.

Q: When will my vehicle be picked up? 

A: Pickup depends on several factors, but mainly location. Some places have very few trucks running through them – it’s the nature of the auto shipping industry, and still, others have a plethora of trucks coming and going. Most auto transport companies will give you what is known as a pickup window – a range of dates that the vehicle should be picked up within. These can range from anywhere from 1 to 4 days to 1 to 14 days depending on location, so be sure to ask your auto shipping company about your pickup window.

Q: Can I track my vehicle while it is in transport?

A: With the advent of satellite tracking and GPS systems, many auto transport companies offer some sort of tracking. However, tracking via satellite and GPS is expensive, and many auto transport companies are simply owner-operators who do not own any GPS systems; they are reserved mainly for fleets of auto shipping carriers. Contact your car shipping representative about whether or not they offer to track while your vehicle is in transit.

Q: Do I need my own insurance or do the trucks have their own?

A: All auto transport carriers carry a federally-mandated 250,000 worth of insurance; still others go above that and carry $1 million worth of insurance. As long as your vehicle is on a car transport truck it is insured through that carrier’s insurance, and your personal insurance becomes secondary.

Q: Do I need to be present when the vehicle is picked up/dropped off?

A: Yes. Well, not you specifically – if you’re moving and you won’t be there for pickup, you can always give the keys to a friend or relative and they can handle it. However, someone must be present for both pickup and delivery of the vehicle, unless you are using terminal-to-terminal transport – in that case, whoever is working at the terminal can authorize pickup or accept delivery.

Q: My vehicle was damaged during transport; what do I do?

A: Any damages that are incurred during transit will be repaired at the expense of the trucking company’s insurance. The driver, upon pickup, will walk around the vehicle with you and inspect it for any prior damages and note them on the report. This is to ensure that any new damages that occur can be documented and separated from any original damage. After the vehicle is delivered, you and the driver will again inspect the vehicle, and any new damages must be documented accordingly. This involves pictures of the damages as well as a price estimate from a repair shop – from there, the truck’s insurance will take care of the rest.

Q: Do I need the title of the vehicle in order for it to be shipped?

A: No. The reason why is many people ship vehicles that once belonged to relatives or they are acquiring auto transport for friends or family. Most auto transport carriers only require you to have the keys to the vehicle so they can drive it onto the truck, but other than that nothing else is required.

Q: My vehicle doesn’t run, can I still ship it?

A: Of course! Vehicles that do not run, however, are subject to a small fee; check with your auto shipping company to find out how much they charge for non-operational or INOP vehicles. The reason why they charge extra for non-operational vehicles is that the driver of the truck typically just drives the car onto the back of the truck; if a vehicle does not run, however, special equipment is required to winch the vehicle into position and to secure it, which takes time. Check with a representative as to how much extra you need to pay if your vehicle is not running.

Q: Can I ship personal belongings in my vehicle?

No. Most auto transport carriers are licensed only for vehicles, and not household items; this means that they cannot have anything that isn’t a vehicle in their possession while they are in transport. Not only are they not licensed for household goods, but all auto shipping trucks are required to make regular stops at weigh stations to assess if their vehicle is overweight or not. If vehicles had anything in them, it would push them over the maximum allowed weight, which would increase transit times for everyone as well as forcing them to unload your belongings before the truck can get on the road again. Many trucks, however, allow what is known as “junk in the trunk” – what this means is that you can put up to 50 pounds (some allow 100 pounds) of linens or clothes in the trunk only. The cab of the vehicle (the front and back seats) must be clear of any goods.

Q: What forms of payment do you Accept?

We accept all major cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover as a form of payment for our down payment. The remaining balance is due upon delivery and MUST be in CASH, MONEY ORDER or CERTIFIED BANK CHECK. We have found that if you speak to a carrier ahead of time most of them now use ZELLE, VENMO or CASH APP also and will take that also.

Final Thoughts

Before you make your final decision, our website is designed to help you accurately consider auto shipping costs. By filling out our online form for auto transport quotes, you will receive a free, custom quote for your shipment right away. If the price for shipping your vehicle is much more affordable than you expected, you can book your shipment right on the website, or over the phone with an agent. We think you will be surprised by how affordable shipping with American Auto Shipping can be!

Dave Armstrong
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