Auto Transport Facts

Have you ever wondered how companies get big shiny cars into showrooms and mall displays without getting any dirt on them, even on their tires? The answer is auto transport, also known as car or vehicle shipping. It refers to the shipping of vehicles using specialty trucks from one point to another.

Individuals use auto transport when moving to another location, while businesses like car dealerships use it to get cars from the manufacturer to their stores. The whole process may seem intimidating and confusing, but reading some facts about it will give you a bit of understanding about the process. Below are things you need to know about auto transport.

How It Works

The entire vehicle shipping process begins with a client approaching car shipping companies to ask for price quotes for their transport needs. They can directly transact with a car shipper or get services through a broker. If you’re shopping around for an auto transport service, you should get multiple custom price quotes so you can compare which provider can give you the best services on your budget.

Once you’ve selected a service provider, booking the car shipment is the next step. You will need to provide the transport company with the information for the booking. You must specify the date or range of dates you would like the car to arrive and the location of the pickup and drop-off points.

The auto transport company will then work with the transporter to ensure that the vehicle arrives as close to the drop-off point as possible within the agreed-upon timeframe.

Types of Service Providers

Since you may encounter brokers and car shippers during your search for a service provider, you must know the differences between these two types of companies.

Auto carriers or shippers are companies that take care of the vehicle shipping process. They will handle the entire process, from loading it at the pickup point to unloading it at the drop-off location. They are experts at handling cars, and they take the most efficient routes to deliver them.

But many auto carriers don’t want to transact with clients directly, so they partner with brokers to get customers. Transport brokers may not be doing the shipping themselves, but they assist customers in looking for a shopper who fits their requirements and budget.

With brokers, you don’t need to go through the hassle of asking for multiple quotes from different carriers yourself. They’ve formed relationships with different car shippers and can directly negotiate with them. You will only get a single quote that matches your needs and budget. These brokers already do the calculations and comparisons for you.

Types of Transport

Auto transport firms provide two types of services, enclosed and open transport. Open transport uses an open truck to carry around ten or more vehicles at the same time, depending on the size of the truck. The truck is open on both sides, exposing the cars to the elements, including wind, rain, and direct sunlight.

On the other hand, enclosed transport uses enclosed trailers that carry fewer vehicles than open transport. The enclosed nature of the truck protects your car from outside elements. Experts recommend enclosed transport for custom cars with low ground clearance, luxury vehicles, and antique cars. You may consider it safer and more secure, but it costs 40% higher than open transport.

Aside from the type of transport, some companies provide either home delivery or terminal delivery options. Although a little bit more expensive, home delivery is the most convenient because your car gets picked up at your old location and delivered to the doorstep of your new home.

Meanwhile, terminal delivery is the typical process of dropping the car at the nearest terminal and getting it at the drop-off point. Some people prefer this not only because it’s cheaper but also because they don’t want to wait around for the transport company to pick their car up.

Why Use Auto Transport?

There are many reasons why you should opt for an auto transport service. One of these is to avoid the stress and anxiety of driving the car for hundreds of miles to your destination. Some people can’t imagine themselves driving for days, passing through areas they’ve never been to before. They prefer to travel by plane and wait for their car to be delivered.

You may think that it would take weeks for your car to arrive at your new location, but it only takes a few days, even for some cross-country deliveries. Consult the company to get the information you need, including costs and delivery times.

Is It Safe?

Driving your car for long stretches not only takes a toll on the vehicle due to the added mileage and possible wear and tear on its parts. It can also be a safety hazard for you since fatigue and stress may make you sleepy during a long drive and place you at risk of a road accident.

Auto transport companies provide liability insurance as required by law, so you can sleep better knowing that your car is protected from any damage that may happen during transit. But mind that it only covers the vehicle itself and not what’s inside it, so ensure that you’ve cleared it of your personal belongings before it gets transported.

Truck drivers undergo heavy screening before they can work for auto transport firms. They need to be in great shape, and some companies even impose specific medical exams for their drivers. Drivers also need to undergo psychological tests to ensure that they are mentally suited for the work. They should be patient because they are mostly alone during transport.


Learning about auto transport imparts a level of confidence to trust this service. If you decide to move across states in the near future, you already know what happens when you ship your car through auto transport companies.

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