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Auto Shipping FAQ
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How will my vehicle be shipped?
Generally your vehicle will be transported on a 10-car open carrier, like one of the ones you’ve probably seen at car dealerships hauling cars to and from. This is usually the best way to go because there are plenty of these trucks on the road. Another option for you to consider is enclosed transport. These trucks are a lot like the big rig trucks you see hauling produce and stuff, except they haul cars instead. Your car will be a lot safer in an enclosed truck, but this service is more expensive. We generally recommend enclosed shipment if you have an exotic or classic car that really can’t be exposed to the elements.
What is door-to-door service?
Door-to-door service is the way many auto shipping companies operate. Door-to-door means that a truck will come to your house (or another pre-designated location) and pick up your vehicle…right in front of you! Both you and the driver will inspect the vehicle, marking any dings or dents that it may have, plus the mileage and anything else that may be relevant to shipping it. This inspection is to make sure that both you and the driver know what the car looks like when it is loaded onto the truck and for reference if any new damages occur.
Door-to-door service is different than terminal-to-terminal service. With terminal-to-terminal service, you drop your car off at a pre-designated terminal that the auto shipping company owns or rents and you wait for them to pick it up. However, terminal-to-terminal service isn’t generally recommended unless you absolutely need it because you never know when your car will be picked up. It can takes weeks for a trucking company to get around to actually picking up your vehicle from a terminal and finally delivering it to their terminal in destination city, where it then waits for you to come get it.
What kind of insurance is there?
In the auto shipping industry, we have what is called cargo insurance. This means that each car that the truck is carrying is insured through the trucking company. So, if your vehicle gets damaged (a rock hits it or a tire pops) the insurance that the trucking company has pays for the damage. This insurance is good for as long as your vehicle is on the truck. Now, aside from cargo insurance trucking companies have what is called liability insurance. This is just insurance against a massive accident or something where more than one or two cars gets damaged. The federally-mandated minimum is $750,000 for liability, although some trucking companies have more.
Also, when you use terminal-to-terminal service, your vehicle is not insured for as long as it’s sitting in the terminal. That means that if your car gets damaged while sitting in the terminal, you are liable for all damages (unless the terminal has its own policy, which is rare).