Auto Transport Tips: How to Choose the Right Auto Transport Company

Brantley Kendall

21 Nov 2022 2 years ago

When you own a car, there will come a time when you need to transport it. Maybe you’re moving to a new state and want to avoid driving there. You may be selling it and need to get it to the buyer. Maybe your car is in the shop, and you need a rental to get around. No matter the reason, transporting a vehicle can take time and effort.When you need to move a car, you have a few choices. You can drive it yourself, have a friend or family member do it, or hire a professional auto transport service. Driving a car long distances can be stressful, and it can be dangerous, too. Trying to navigate busy highways and city streets with a large, expensive vehicle can be a recipe for disaster.That’s why it’s often a good idea to hire a professional to move your car. Professional auto transport services have the experience and expertise to move cars safely and efficiently. They have the right equipment and know how to use it to minimize the risk of damage to your vehicle. They also have the knowledge and resources to deal with any problems that may come up during the move.  But how do you know if auto transport is the right solution for you? And what should you look for when choosing a transport company? Here are a few tips to help you pick the right auto transport service.

Decide on the right vehicle shipping service

There are various methods of auto shipping, each with its benefits and drawbacks. The most common forms of auto shipping are enclosed transport, open transport, RoRo, and container shipping. 

  • Open carrier auto transport

You may have seen cars and trucks towing trailers with what appear to be open compartments. The purpose of these strange-looking vehicles is to transport cars and other vehicles from one location to another. The vehicles and trailers are called open carriers. Open carriers are used to move cars and other vehicles long distances, which is often the most economical way. The open compartments on the trailers allow the cars and other vehicles to be driven effortlessly on and off the trailer. The open car shipping are also very safe. The cars and other vehicles are securely fastened to the trailer and constantly monitored by the driver. In addition, the trailers are often equipped with safety features, such as lights and reflectors, that make them visible to other drivers on the road. Consider using an open carrier if you need to transport a car or other vehicle long distances. They are the most economical and safe way to move cars and other vehicles.

  • Enclosed auto transport

 An enclosed carrier is a truck or trailer specifically designed to transport cars. The trailer is completely enclosed, protecting your vehicle from the elements and prying eyes. Unlike open carriers, which can expose cars to road dirt and debris, enclosed carriers keep cars clean and free from damage. This is important for people transporting a valuable or antique vehicle, as it can help to protect the car from wear and tear. Overall, enclosed carrier auto transport is an excellent option for people looking for a safe and secure way to transport their vehicle. It is important to note, however, that enclosed car transport is often more expensive than other methods, such as open carrier transport. If cost is a concern, other options might be worth considering.

  • RoRo Shipping

RoRo, or roll-on, roll-off, is a shipping method that utilizes specialized vessels that allow vehicles to be driven on and off the ship. The process entails loading cars onto a boat and transporting them to their destination. The vehicles are typically loaded onto the ship using a ramp, which is why the service is sometimes referred to as Ramp-to-Ramp car shipping.  This is a convenient and efficient way to transport vehicles, eliminating the need for trailers or other specialized equipment. RoRo vessels have become increasingly popular in the automotive industry, as it allows carmakers to quickly and easily transport vehicles to their dealerships and manufacturing facilities worldwide.

  • Door-to-door auto transport

 Door-to-door transport means the transport company will pick up your car from your home and drop it off at your destination. This eliminates the need for you to take the vehicle to a transport yard or a port and wait for it to be shipped. It also means that you don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting your car to and from the transport yard. Door-to-door transport is an excellent option for anyone who needs to transport a vehicle. It’s convenient, affordable, and reliable. Plus, it’s the best way to ensure that your car arrives at its destination in the same condition as when it left.

  • Terminal-to-terminal auto transport

In this service, you will need to drop your car off at a designated terminal and pick it up at another terminal. This type of service is usually less expensive than door-to-door auto transport, but it can be more challenging to schedule since you need to find two terminals close to each other. This is a good option if you can drop the car off at the originating terminal.

Ask about insurance

Not all auto transport companies carry insurance, and even if they do, their insurance may not be enough to cover your car in the event of an accident. It’s essential to know your options if something happens during transport and to be sure you’re fully protected in case of an accident. Some auto transport companies will offer insurance as an add-on to their services, while others may require that you purchase your insurance policy. It’s important to know what to look for when shopping for insurance and to make sure that you’re fully covered in case of an accident. Auto transport companies typically offer three types of insurance coverage.

  • Consumer insurance: What you have here is proof of your auto insurance. You’ll need to get this coverage if you need to ship an automobile. This is true regardless of any supplemental policies you may purchase while away. You have this minimum level of auto insurance coverage to drive legally and safely. It will also include a built-in addition to reduce the expense of replacement. This will protect you if anything happens to your automobile while it is in the care of the auto shipping business, such as theft or damage.
  • Carrier insurance: The carrier’s insurance will pay for any losses or damages sustained by your vehicle. Always verify that the auto transport company you’re considering has the necessary insurance coverage. If they don’t provide you with their insurance details before you hire them to transport your vehicle, that’s a huge red flag, and you should look elsewhere.
  • Broker insurance: To clarify, brokers mediate agreements between drivers and their customers. On the other hand, they do not own the transportation firms that move these cars. You’ll learn that a broker’s insurance isn’t their own. They may, however, provide supplementary insurance coverage from a different provider. It would help if you were careful when hiring a broker for your vehicle transport needs, as they may try to sell you unnecessary additional coverage that you don’t need.

Check their license   

Auto transportation service companies require an auto transport license to operate. For example, auto transport companies might need a permit to work as a carrier, serve as a broker, or operate as a freight forwarder. Some states require auto transport companies to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) number. The application process can take up to eight weeks, so it’s essential to start the process as soon as you decide to begin transporting cars. The most reliable source to verify a company’s license is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. The FMCSA is the government agency responsible for regulating the auto transport industry.

Compare rates

Rates can vary significantly from company to company, so it is crucial to ensure you get the best deal. Get competitive quotes from a few different carriers. Comparing rates is the best way to ensure you get the most affordable price for your transport. Remember that some companies may offer a lower price, but their service will be better than a company that charges a little more.  Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some companies may include additional services in their rates, while others may not. Be sure to ask for a full breakdown of what is included in the price. Also, be sure to ask about any hidden fees. Some companies may charge a delivery fee or a fuel fee. Make sure you know what the final cost will be before you sign any contracts. By comparing rates, you can be sure you are getting the best deal possible on your auto transport. The quickest way to get a quote is to visit the company’s website and fill out a form. Other ways to get a quote include calling the company, speaking to a representative, or sending an email. 

What determines the cost?

The cost of shipping a car can vary greatly depending on several factors. Below are some crucial factors that will affect the cost of transporting your vehicle.The distance of the shipment: The longer the length, the higher the cost to ship your car. The transport company will need more fuel and time on the road.

The type of vehicle being transported:

The cost to transport a large SUV will be much higher than that of a small car. This is because large vehicles require more fuel and space on the truck.

The weight of the vehicle:

The transport company will need to use a giant truck to accommodate the weight, leading to increased fuel costs.

The time of year:

The cost of transporting a car is generally higher during the summer months, as there is a higher demand for transport services. This is because more people travel during the summer and therefore need their cars transported.

The Condition of the Vehicle:

Vehicles in need of special care or poor condition typically cost more to transport than those in good condition.

What determines the time to transport your vehicle?

The time it takes to ship a vehicle across the USA depends on several factors about the car itself. The vehicle’s weight, size, and shape all play a role in how long it takes to transport. Heavier, more significant, and oddly-shaped cars will take longer to transport than smaller, more compact ones.The condition of the road can also affect how long it takes to ship a vehicle. If the road is in poor condition, it will take longer for the driver to navigate the car safely to its destination. In addition, if the road is long and winding, it will also take longer for the driver to complete the journey. Bad weather can also slow down the shipping process. Heavy rain or snow can make road conditions dangerous and challenging to navigate, leading to longer journey times. The distance between the origin and destination points can also affect how long it takes to ship a vehicle. If the points are far apart, the driver will have to make more stops along the way, adding time to the overall journey.


Auto transport companies should have experience transporting vehicles, including cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles. Inexperienced companies may need the knowledge and expertise to handle your vehicle’s transport safely. This could result in damage to your car and could even be dangerous. On the other hand, a professional organization will have a strong reputation for offering high-quality service. This is vital because you want to ensure your vehicle is safely delivered. If you need a car shipping service, be sure they have experience. This will ensure your car’s safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using an auto transport company? 

There are several benefits of using an auto transport company, including:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your vehicle is in good hands
  • Reduced stress: Since you don’t have to worry about driving yourself
  • Convenience: you can have your vehicle transported to your desired location

How do I get a quote from an auto transport company? 

To Youn, call the company directly or fill out an online quote form.

How to get a quote? Will I know when my car will be delivered?

The car transport company will usually provide a tracking number so that you can track the progress of your car. You will also be given a contact number if you have any questions or concerns.

How will I know if my car has been damaged in transit?

 The car transport company will usually photograph the car before and after transport to document any damage.

What is the process for transporting my car? 

Here are the steps to transport your vehicle:

  • The customer contacts a transport company and provides information about the car and the shipment.
  • The transport company provides a quote for the shipment.
  • The customer accepts the selection and pays the deposit.
  • The transport company schedules the shipment.
  • The car is picked up and transported to the destination.
  • The vehicle is delivered to the destination. 

Why trust a car transport service?

 Auto transport services undergo rigorous scrutiny and are licensed and insured to protect you and your car. Furthermore, they are usually BBB accredited with a good rating. 

What is the payment process? 

Most auto transport services require a deposit up-front and the remainder of the payment once the car has been delivered. The most common way to pay for car transport is by credit card. You can also pay by debit card, check, or wire transfer. 

Can I pack my belongings in the car? 

Yes, you are allowed to pack your belongings in the car. However, the auto transport service may not be liable for any damage to your belongings.

What is the best way to ship a car? 

The best way to ship a car depends on the distance of the shipment and the type of transport service used. Ground transport is typically the cheapest and most popular option, while air transport is the cheapest but fastest option.

What is the average turnaround time for auto transport? 

The average turnaround time for auto transport is usually around 7-10 days, but it may vary depending on the route and the size and weight of the vehicle.

Brantley Kendall