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.
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 transport. Enclosed auto transport uses a covered, contained transport truck to move your vehicle and usually comes in two varieties, hard or soft-shell. Enclosed trailers do not leave vehicles open to the elements or damage as previously mentioned in the open carrier, but they come at a higher cost than open transportation.
A: Yes. Once your vehicle is scheduled for pickup, you will receive the name of the carrier company and the driver that is picking up your vehicle. Some areas may require a local tow company to pick your vehicle up and then deliver it to a facility where the long-distance driver can then load it. This is usually the case for cities where the long-distance driver cannot physically reach the pickup location.
A: Pickup depends on several factors, but mainly location. The auto shipping industry is route-based, which means that some places will have lots of trucks along routes servicing them, and others will have very few trucks. 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. so be sure to speak to a representative about your pickup window if necessary.
Q: Can I track my vehicle while it is in transport?
A: Yes. You should know that 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. If GPS tracking is unavailable, other forms of tracking, such as calling and asking the driver where they are, are used.
Q: Do I need my own insurance or do the trucks have their own?
A: All auto transport carriers carry a federally mandated amount of both liability and cargo 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 pick up, 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 pick up 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 non-operational fee, sometimes known as an inop-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 carrier will typically drive vehicles onto the truck to load them. However, if a vehicle does not run, special equipment is required to winch the vehicle into position and to secure it, which takes time and effort, and not all carriers have a winch. 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. Auto transport carriers are licensed only for vehicles, not household items. This means they cannot legally transport anything but vehicles. 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. If vehicles have extraneous items in them, they can push them over the maximum allowed weight. If this happens, drivers are forced to unload any extra weight before they can continue on their route. Many trucks, however, allow what is known as “junk in the trunk” – about 50-100 pounds of linens, clothes, or other lightweight, non-perishable items in the trunk. 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 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.
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!