Auto transport services: what are the different options, and what is the best choice for you

Brantley Kendall

04 Nov 2022 2 years ago

People ship cars for several reasons. They may be relocating, going to college, or have acquired a vehicle in another area of the nation and need it transported. There are many things to consider when making a move, not the least of which is how you will transport your vehicles. Whether you have a car, truck, motorcycle, or another vehicle, you must find a reliable and affordable auto transport company to get your vehicle to your new home. Those that employ a car transport business either can’t or don’t want to drive it themselves. That is where an auto transport company comes in. It’s a safe way to move a vehicle without adding mileage or wear and tear. Auto transport helps transport your car across the city, state, or country. Auto transport companies are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to move their vehicles without all the hassle. But with so many companies to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? This blog post will give you everything you need to know about auto transport companies, from how they work to what to look for when choosing one. By this post’s end, you’ll have enough knowledge of auto transport and be ready to choose the right company for your next move.

What is an auto transport service?

An auto transport service is a company that helps people move their vehicles from one location to another. This can be useful for someone moving to a new city or state or for those who need to transport a car to another country. You can also use auto shipping services to transport vehicles to and from auto auctions and other events.

What is the best choice for you regarding auto transport services?

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best auto transport service. You will want to consider the type of vehicle you are shipping, the distance the car will be traveling, the time frame you have for shipping, and your budget. For example, if you are shipping a standard car, the best option would be an open car shipping . These carriers can transport up to 12 vehicles at a time and are the most economical option. If you are shipping a luxury or classic car, an enclosed carrier is the right option. Enclosed carriers give your vehicle extra protection when it comes to weather elements. Plus, companies typically transport one luxury car to each carrier. Thus, no need for drivers to make multiple stops, saving you time.

open carrier transport

A four-step process to ship your car with an auto transport company

Shipping your vehicle with an auto transport company is a great way to ensure it arrives safely at your new home. By following these tips, you can make the process smooth and stress-free.

Step#1: Choose a reputable company that offers your needed services. You can get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services. Make sure to read reviews of each company before making your final decision.

Step#2: Once you’ve chosen a company, you’ll need to prepare your car for transport. This includes ensuring no loose items inside the vehicle that could shift during transport and cause damage. You should also clean the car inside and out, ready for delivery.

Step#3: The transport company will pick up your car and deliver it to your new home. Most companies offer door-to-door service, so you have peace of mind that the vehicle will arrive at your location instead of picking it up from a terminal.

Step#4: Once your car has been delivered, you’ll need to inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during transport. If you notice any damage, be sure to take photos and contact the transport company right away. Insurance that auto transport companies provide covers such damages. So, you got to lose nothing.  

How long does it take to ship my vehicle?

The time it takes to ship a vehicle can vary depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the distance it needs to travel, and the time of year. Here are ten factors that can affect the time it takes to ship your car.

  • The distance needs to travel: The further your vehicle needs to be shipped, the longer it will take. Shipping a car from New York to California will take longer than shipping it from New York to Florida, for example.
  • The time of year: The summer is the busiest time for auto transport, so shipping your vehicle during this time may take longer than sending it during the winter.
  • The availability of transport: If you need your vehicle shipped during a busy time of year, you may have to wait longer for transportation to become available.
  • The pickup and delivery locations: Some locations are more challenging to access than others. If your vehicle needs to be picked up or delivered to a remote location, it may take longer to ship.
  • The condition of the vehicle: If your car is not in running condition, it may take longer to ship. Many auto transport companies will only ship cars that are in running condition. However, SAKAEM Logistics understands the pain involved in sending such vehicles. Thus, we offer tailored services based on our client’s needs.
  • The vehicle size: Larger vehicles take longer to ship than smaller ones. This is because they take up more space on the transport truck and often require special equipment to load and unload.
  • Your shipping requirements: If you have specific requirements for your shipment, such as rushed service or white glove service, it will take longer to ship your vehicle.

Factors that affect the cost of shipping your vehicle

Here are a few factors that can affect the cost of shipping a car.

The time of year: The time of year can also affect the cost of shipping a vehicle. Some times of the year, such as during the summer, maybe busier and thus more expensive for shipping companies.

The destination: If the vehicle is being shipped to a remote or difficult-to-reach location, the cost may be higher than shipping to a more centrally located destination.

The origin: Similar to the destination, the origin can also affect the cost of shipping a vehicle. If the car is being shipped from a remote or difficult-to-reach location, the cost may be higher than shipping from a more centrally located origin.

Whether the vehicle is operational: If the car is not functional, it will typically cost more to ship as it will need to be shipped on a flatbed truck.

Open Vs. Enclosed Carrier

Shipping a car with an open carrier is often the cheapest option, but it’s only sometimes the most convenient. An enclosed transport offers more security and peace of mind but can be expensive. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider which is best for your needs.

Open carrier auto transport 

It is a shipping method that uses large, open trucks to move automobiles from one point to another. This type of transport is typically less expensive than other methods, such as cargo shipping or rail transport, and it’s also more environmentally friendly. Cars are loaded onto the truck in bulk and then transported to their final destination in a single piece. Safety measures adopted during shipping include securing the vehicle to the carrier with straps or chains and covering the car with a tarp to protect it from the elements.

Enclosed carrier auto transport

The experts ship your vehicle in a completely enclosed car shipping . This is the safest way to ship a vehicle, as it protects the car from weather and road conditions. The safety measures adopted during the shipping process include securing the car to the trailer and using straps to prevent the vehicle from shifting during transport.

Enclosed transport

The Most Common Auto Transport Services

There are a few different types of auto transport services. Below are a few of the most common ones:

Door-to-door transport: This is where the company will pick up your vehicle from your home or office and deliver it to your specified destination. This is the most convenient type of service, but it is also the most expensive.

Terminal-to-terminal: This is where you will drop off your vehicle at a designated terminal and then pick it up from another terminal at your destination. This is a less expensive option but less convenient because you have to coordinate the drop-off and pickup times.

Expedited shipping services:  It allows for quick and easy delivery of your car or truck. This service can get your vehicle to you within a few days, which is excellent if you need it urgently. You will also be able to save on the cost of shipping by using this service.

Guaranteed vehicle pick up: This service is generally available from large trucking companies and guarantees that the professionals will pick up the car at the agreed-upon time. This convenience can be a lifesaver if you need to get your vehicle quickly, and it’s often cheaper than having to find a parking spot and pay for parking.

 A list of vehicles you can ship through an auto transport company

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Buses
  • RVs
  • ATVs
  • Boats
  • Military vehicles

Documents you need

If you’re shipping your car, you’ll need to gather the following documents: – Title deed or lease

• Vehicle registration

• Proof of insurance

• Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)

• Bill of Sale or other transfer document

• Copies of all required vehicle papers

When shipping a car, it is vital to ensure the title and registration are in order. These documents are necessary for driving the vehicle away from the port. The MCO must also be present and identify the car as being imported from a specific country or region. After all, the documents have been gathered, make copies for your records and take them to a transport company. The following are some additional documents that may be required when shipping your car:

• Odometer certification,

• Abandonment declaration form

• Temporary importation permit.

Car documentation

Reasons to hire an auto transport company.

There are many different reasons why people may need to hire a car transport service. These include relocating to a new home, transporting a classic vehicle, helping elderly parents with their move, and shipping a car they bought online.

Safe and efficient

It might be challenging to transport a vehicle yourself, mainly if you are unfamiliar with the process. The fact that you’re working with experts that manage these kinds of jobs regularly is one of the main advantages of choosing a professional vehicle transporter. They are not only skilled and knowledgeable in the work they do, but they also probably have far better tools than we have to do the task. Most auto shippers use specially designed large trucks to secure the car and ensure that it stays in place even during a trip that takes them across the entire country. The shipping company uses tie-downs and heavy-duty straps to protect your vehicle during shipping. It also holds the car in one place, not allowing it to move during the journey. You can be confident that every precaution is taken to ensure your automobile arrives securely and safely when you hire an auto transporter.

Avoid the hassle and relieve stress.

During relocation, the attention is on packing, discarding unnecessary goods, and cleaning the departing location. You may regard auto transportation as secondary. However, you won’t have to worry about traveling a long way to go to your new house is a stress reliever. This is particularly true for those who own more than one car and may need to go back to their previous residence to get another vehicle.

Spend Less and Get More

The cost of using an auto transport company to move your vehicle is sometimes less expensive than buying the necessary supplies for a lengthy road trip, such as fuel, food, and hotel. Furthermore, it would help if you also considered the time and energy savings from not having to drive.

No wear and tear on your vehicle

Suppose you hire a professional to transport your vehicle. In that case, you won’t be adding unnecessary miles to its odometer or increasing its risk of developing mechanical issues or being damaged during the journey. This is different if you drive the vehicle yourself, notably for long distances. When you hire a company to move your car, the provider will load your vehicle onto a carrier designed to withstand the rigors of the journey. So, hiring an expert ensures that you won’t have to worry about mechanical issues, the degradation of tire tread caused by bumpy roads, collision damage, or damage caused by road hazards.

Ship multiple cars

If you hire an auto transport company, you can move more than one car simultaneously. This is helpful if you have bought more than one car from an online auction or dealer, if you sell cars yourself, or if you are a car collector. A lot of people with families also have more than one car. If you hire a company, you can have everything moved simultaneously. You will also save money because many transport companies offer discounts for shipping more than one car at once. It means they will make fewer stops, and you will save money.

Tips for choosing the right auto transport company

Here are some tips to help you choose the right company for your needs:

  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured. This is important in case of any damage to your vehicle during transport.
  • Ask for quotes from several companies. This will help you compare rates and services.
  • Choose a company that offers door-to-door service. This will save you the hassle of dropping off and picking up your vehicle at a terminal.
  • Make sure the company has a good reputation. You can check online reviews to get an idea of the company’s quality of service.
  • Ask about the company’s tracking system. This will allow you to track your vehicle’s location during transport. 
  • Ask friends and family if they know of any good auto transport companies.
  • Check online reviews of various auto transport companies.
  • Talk to your insurance company about using an auto transport company. They may have specific requirements or recommendations for certain types of auto transports.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your area and ask about the quality of different auto transport companies.

FAQs about auto transport companies

When moving your vehicle, you want to ensure that you are working with a reputable and experienced auto transport company. Many companies out there claim to be able to provide this service, but only some of them are created equal. To help you make the best decision for your needs, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about auto transport companies.

How much does it cost to use an auto transport company?

As mentioned above, the cost of using an auto transport company will vary depending on several factors, such as the distance of the move, the type of transportation service, and the number of vehicles transported.

How do auto transport services work? 

Auto transport services typically pick up vehicles from their origin and deliver them to their destination. Experts can do this via truck, trailer, or even ship.

How long does it take for an auto transport company to transport my vehicle?

Again, this will depend on several factors, such as the move’s distance and the transportation service type. Generally speaking, it will take a few days to a week for the vehicle to be delivered.

Are auto transport companies legitimate?

Some people are hesitant to use auto transport companies because of the perception that they are only out to take advantage of consumers. However, many reputable auto transport companies operate under the same strict standards as traditional freight carriers. They must meet particular safety and licensing requirements, maintain high insurance coverage, and adhere to a strict code of ethics. Auto transport companies can be valuable for moving large or heavy items. They can help reduce the time and cost of moving your vehicle by consolidating multiple moves into one trip. Plus, they often offer additional services such as storage and delivery. Before choosing an auto transport company, read reviews and compare prices. You’ll find that there are a variety of reliable options available online.

Are there any auto transport companies I can trust?

There are a few things you can do to ensure your car arrives safely:

• Check the company’s credentials and history.

• Make sure the pickup and delivery locations are reputable and secure.

• Request a written estimate of the cost of shipping your car.

• Get insurance for your car in case of damage or loss during transport.

Are there any risks associated with using auto transport services? 

As with any shipping, there is always a risk of damage or delays. However, most reputable companies offer insurance in case of any problems.

What methods of payment do auto transport companies accept? 

Most auto transport companies accept credit cards, cash, or wire transfers. Some may also accept checks.

What is the success rate for the delivery of vehicles?

The success rate for the delivery of vehicles is typically relatively high. However, weather and road conditions can affect the ability to deliver a car on time.

Are there any restrictions on what can be transported? 

Some restrictions on what can be transported, such as hazardous materials. Contact your service provider for more details on this.


When moving your possessions, you want to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. That’s where auto transport services come in handy. These companies can take care of everything from picking up your belongings at your home or office to shipping them across the country or globe. Moreover, many offer guaranteed pickup and expedited shipping, so you can rest assured that your belongings will arrive on time. If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to ship your vehicle, look no further than auto transport services.

Brantley Kendall