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Auto Transport FAQ
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How far ahead should I schedule my pickup?
Generally, auto transport companies require 1-7 days notice so they can schedule you on the next available truck. Because this industry is route-based, it is often difficult to find a truck to transport your car on short-notice. Some brokerages offer “express service,” but unless they a) own their own trucks and b) live where you do, express service generally takes more time than if you just scheduled a week or so ahead.
If an immediate pickup is absolutely necessary (in case of emergency), the auto transport company can probably help you. Many companies have contracts with hundreds of smaller trucking companies (and some even own their own trucks), so chances are they can get to you pretty quick. Don’t rely on this, however, because things have been known to go wrong. If you really want your car picked up in the time frame that you requested, make sure the auto transport company has plenty of notice.
Where will my car be picked up?
Most auto transport companies offer door-to-door service, which means they will come to your house and put the car on the truck in front of you. However, with major cities comes tiny roads (a small irony), and trucks can’t drive on those small roads. The auto transport trucks can be as long as 75 ft long, which makes it virtually impossible to squeeze on a small, two-lane road. If the truck can’t get to your house, generally they will contact you and let you know that you need to meet them in a parking lot or some other place that the truck can fit in.
Also, because of the nature of the United States, many cities prohibit giant trucks from going down minor roads (such as suburban roads). This is why you never see humongous 18-wheelers driving past your house at 3:00 am. This is generally why you may need to meet the truck in a parking lot or someplace else that the truck can fit in. If they come to your house and there are laws preventing him from doing so, he could get a major fine–then your car will never move! So let the company that you ship your vehicle with if your streets are narrow and the truck can’t get in…they’ll appreciate that.
Can I put things in my vehicle?
No. Well, that isn’t necessarily true, per se. The way it works is that trucking companies that only use giant, 10-car carriers aren’t licensed to transport household goods because, let’s face it, there’s no place to put it! The difference, however, is the enclosed transport service that many companies offer. If you’re looking to transport some boxes along with your car, companies that use enclosed trailers and trucks are licensed to do that. But don’t pack your car full of boxes if it’s going onto a giant, open truck, because that’s illegal.
The gray area is the trunk. Most auto transport companies allow you to have up to 100 pounds in the trunk only. This means blankets, pillows, maybe some clothes…loose stuff. By putting miscellaneous junk in your trunk, so to speak, you’re not transporting “household goods” but rather just some “stuff” that happens to be in your trunk. This can change, however, if you decide you’d like your stereo to stay in the trunk, because this can be seen as household goods. So no electronics at all in the car, and you can never have anything in the cab (the front and back seats). Loose change and some candy wrappers are okay, but nothing big (like boxes).