How Does Auto Transport Work?

It`s not always easy to move something from one place to another. If a package is small enough, there are plenty of ways to ship it from point A to point B at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the options start to diminish as the size of the package increases in size.

While most struggle to ship a standard-sized TV in a secure and cost-efficient manner, transporting a car to a new destination can pose all-new challenges. If you wanted to move a vehicle further than a couple of hundred miles without driving it yourself, how would you go about it? A cargo plane’s cost would be ridiculously expensive and financially devastating to the average vehicle owner, leaving it entirely outside the realm of possibility.

Upon further investigation, you’ll find that the most reasonable option is to use an auto transport company. If you aren’t well-versed in these shipping provider’s list of services, you’ll need to research your options and weigh the pros of enclosed auto transport versus open-carrier auto transport.

Auto transport companies specialize in shipping all kinds of vehicles on behalf of a vehicle owner. An auto shipping provider’s primary objective should be apparent: move vehicles as safely and efficiently as possible. The rewards for treating your vehicle with the utmost care is a rather sizable transport fee.

Before you contemplate transporting your vehicle via an auto shipping provider, you’ll need to research the intricacies of the shipping process. With details about the process in hand, you`ll be in a better position to make an informed decision and choose a provider who offers an affordable per-mile rate.

Reasons why people use auto transport services

Before going into detail about the shipping process, you might need to reassure yourself that the costs incurred are worthwhile by familiarizing yourself with the benefits of professional auto transport services.

Let`s start with classic cars. Not all classic cars can endure the wear-and-tear of unpaved roads or long-distance travel. If someone picks one up at a classic car at auction, it`s not practical to drive it home after paying tens of thousands to buy it. If you’ve recently purchased a classic car, this is the perfect scenario for hiring an auto transport company.

If a business is relocating and needs help moving its fleet to the new location, the best option is to hire an auto transport company that can safely ship your vehicle. Finally, hiring auto transport professionals is the recommended route for those vehicle owners moving from one coast to another. Instead of having to spend three or four days on a road trip, it`s better to let the professionals handle the move so that you can focus your attention on daily work matters or other move-related tasks.

Now that you’re familiar with a  few reasons why someone might choose to hire an auto transport company, the next step is to study the shipment process itself.

How auto transport works

The auto transport process starts with initial contact from a prospective customer. During that initial conversation, the auto transport representative will need a few details, including:

  • Starting location
  • Final destination
  • Specific details about the car (color, year, make, model, estimated value)
  • Specific handling instructions (open air transport or closed container)
  • Who will be receiving the car

Based on these details, the auto transport company will issue a quote for services. Assuming the prospective customer agrees, both parties will enter into a contract.

On the pickup date, a representative from the auto transport company will arrive to acquire the vehicle in question. Sometimes, a contract carrier will pick-up a car with instructions to deliver it to the transport company. Other times, the carrier that travels to your home will be the same transporter to make the final delivery.

Since auto transport companies need to take advantage of economies of scale, they might delay delivery until they have multiple vehicles headed in the same direction.

While in transit, vehicle owners will have the ability to track their cars during the delivery process. When the vehicle finally arrives at its final destination, an authorized party needs to be present to accept the delivery. Before the delivery process has concluded, the receiver will need to inspect the vehicle for damage. Once the car passes inspection, the parties exchange payment, and the auto transport process is complete.

Addressing liability issues

As the vehicle owner, it`s your responsibility to make sure you have adequate insurance on the vehicle. As part of the auto transport process, company representatives will present you with the opportunity to purchase insurance that protects your vehicle from roadside hazards and other severe weather conditions

The policy covers your car while in the possession of the transport company. If you opt not to purchase the additional insurance, you’ll likely need to sign a waiver that absolves the transport company from certain liabilities. Depending on the value of the vehicle, investing in additional insurance might be in your best interest.


If you have any remaining questions about the auto transport process, contact an auto transport expert who can settle your doubts and reassure you that your vehicle is in good hands. Remember not to skimp on auto transportation services. Otherwise, your car may be vulnerable to costly damages.

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