Direct Auto Transport: What It Is

Direct auto transport is essentially door-to-door auto transport services. What this means is that if you need auto transport, you need your vehicle shipped from a specific address to another specific address, or as close as possible to those specific addresses.

Unlike terminal-to-terminal auto transport, direct (or door-to-door) auto transport doesn’t require you to bring your vehicle to a terminal, or holding station, where it will wait to be picked up; instead, the auto transport driver will drive to your desired pickup and delivery locations (or as close as possible thereto; it’s not always possible for auto transport companies to get to every single place, whether it be because of local municipal laws or geographical restrictions).

Direct Auto Transport: Direct vs. Indirect

Indirect auto transport, unlike direct auto transport, is also known as terminal-to-terminal shipping. Terminal-to-terminal auto transport requires you to bring your vehicle to a specific location where it will wait until an auto transporter will pick it up and drive it to a terminal near your desired delivery location.

While cheaper, it is not as reliable as direct auto transport and can actually take much more time in terms of the entire process, as pickup from a terminal depends primarily on whether or not an auto transporter needs to fill spots on his truck. Usually indirect auto transport can take up to three weeks for a carrier to pickup your vehicle, so if you need faster pickup times door-to-door auto transport is usually the way to go, unless pickup times don’t really matter.

Truly, if you don’t really need your car, but you need to get it out of storage or something to that effect, terminal-to-terminal transport may actually be preferable due to its lower cost; customers who don’t need to worry about the pickup and delivery, but just the price, would maybe benefit from indirect auto transport, but then again it is less reliable. We’ll leave that up to you.

Direct Auto Transport: Different Methods for Different Vehicles

Direct Auto TransportDirect auto transport comes in three main varieties: open transport, enclosed transport and flatbed transport. Auto transport services that use the open method of shipping leave the vehicles they haul open to the elements, and as 90% of all freight transported across the country uses open transport, it’s usually the best way to go about shipping a vehicle.

If your vehicle is a daily driver (i.e. you drive it daily), open auto transport services should be just fine. If your vehicle is in need of some extra protection, enclosed auto transport is perhaps best; while more expensive, this form of auto transport protects higher-end vehicles from the elements that open transport does not.

Lastly, if your vehicle is too large for an open carrier, you may need a flatbed transporter; these auto transport companies are not as prevalent as open and enclosed companies, so it’ll most likely be more expensive, though you really won’t have much of a choice if no other direct auto transport companies can haul your vehicle because of its size.