Car Delivery Service – All you need to know

What next to do you do after completing your auto transport? And what preparation do you need to make for your care delivery? The major thing is that you or your friend should be ready to meet the carrier on the delivery date and site.

Certainly, it can be you or the vehicle owner, but make sure your representative that meets the carrier to accept your car delivery is a reliable person.

There will be a need for someone to sign off the Bill of Lading, and taking pictures with the driver is also a brilliant idea.

This documentation can be very helpful in case you file an insurance claim if there is any damage. The first part of getting your required vehicle delivery service is to hire the best car shipping company.

Auto-shipping companies provide car shipping services to any part of the country at low prices for any type. Contact an agent over the phone to know more about a quote and how it is being determined.

Before choosing any company, be sure to gather a minimum of three quotes from three separate shippers. This post targets how your car is being delivered at your new location.

Car Delivery Service – All you need to know

In this article

What does Car Delivery Service work?

For several reasons like buying a car online, moving to another part of the country or another country, or just sending a vehicle to someone as a gift, you may need the service of a car delivery company one day.

Auto transport requires you to first know how the industry works. After having a wide knowledge of how car shipping services operate, you will be able to stay away from many difficulties most people face when selecting this service.

Types of Car Delivery Service Companies

Many companies offer car transport services, but the three major ones are discussed below:

1. Brokers:

These are the auto shipping industry companies that act as an intermediary. They are the most auto shipping companies you can find anywhere on the internet. Rather than handling the shipping part of a vehicle delivery service, they outsource their arranged transport contracts to other carriers.

Even though their customer service is often great, customers must know that the carrier is actually in charge of vehicle delivery. This service is good in the sense that, it is legally backed-up and you can trace your car.

2. Lead aggregators:

You need a location to view lead aggregators. Designed as websites that may seem reliable, their major aim is to get your personal information so that they can send them to auto-delivery brokers.

They charge the brokers for this information, and the brokers get their cut from it by being able to use this provided personal information to issue a car shipping quote to the customer.

3. Carriers: 

These are the ones who perform the actual vehicle delivery. They can have many fleets of transport trucks or run them individually. There are many transport vehicles, such as open trailers, enclosed trailers, multi-vehicle carriers, and individual trailers.

They must carry an official license to perform auto shipping service and must comply with the rules and guidelines laid down by the USDOT and MC. They often do not make direct arrangements with customers. Instead, they work with the broker and some others.

How do you transport a Car for Delivery?

Before you can understand how your vehicle is transported for delivery, you first need to understand that there are two major types of truck used:

  • Single vehicle trailer: This only transports a single car. Even though the cost to use this service may be expensive, they can move your vehicles to a location that cannot be reached by larger trucks. This option is perfect for door-to-door vehicle delivery. Also, if your vehicle is highly valuable, maybe a vintage car or an exotic vehicle, this option is very secure since it will be transporting only your car.
  • Multi-Vehicle trailer: This option is considered the cheapest and the most popular. Car shipping companies transport many vehicles at once, and this reduces the price. In most cases, this option will look attractive to you. Regardless of the option, you choose to go with, you will have to go with either of:
  • Enclosed trailer
  • Open trailer

An enclosed trailer gives more protection to your car from the elements. It is so much recommended for long-distance moves as if your vehicle is being delivered from one coast to another.

Also, if your vehicle is so much expensive and/or is luxurious, then this option is recommended.

The open trailer, on the other hand, is the most popular option of the two. The cheaper cost is a major benefit, but the limitations are that your vehicle will not be much secure.

However, vehicle delivery service has additional ways to protect your car these days; hence, damage is very rare.

Types of Car Delivery Service

The two major vehicle delivery services that are popularly used include:

Terminal to Terminal Car Transport:

With this service, your vehicle would be picked up from a certain location. It would then be delivered to another certain location that you would also have to pick it from. In most cases, the pickup and drop off points are closer to your location.

This is the cheaper delivery option among the two. Most of the people who live in remote or difficult-to-access locations can only go with this option choose to pay expensive fees.

Door-to-door car transport:

This option is more costly, but it presents you with the certainty that your vehicle will be picked up and delivered directly from the old home to a new specified address. This implies that you will not be involved in driving it to a particular location before pickup or to its delivery point before you can bring it to the new home.

Both of these options depend on several factors. Although the door to door car delivery service is more costly, it is also the easiest option for you.

Also, remember that based on the distance you will drive to the drop-off or pick-up location, terminal-to-terminal vehicle delivery may not be that cheap as expected.

If you are transporting your car to another country, then terminal to terminal car delivery service will be your best option in most cases.

Things to do after taking Delivery of your Shipped Car

There are some things you need to do after receiving your vehicle. You need to do certain things at the beginning of the transaction and when you accept the delivery of your vehicle.

Making advanced research to get a good, trustworthy vehicle shipping company should give you enough boldness that your car will arrive safely and in good shape. This may be in stages based on the condition of the car when it is delivered.

1. Protecting yourself when taking Delivery of your Shipped Car

Car transport companies will usually deliver your vehicle at your doorstep. However, if you, by chance live in a place that is not easily accessible by car or where your car cannot be delivered to your doorstep. You need to inform your shipping company in advance and agree to where you will take delivery of your car.

Wherever you agree for the car delivery, come with your Original Inspection Report that contains details of your vehicle’s condition when the auto shipping company picked it up.

Come with the following:

  • Come with your camera and a pen for writing’s sake. Immediately your vehicle comes off the transport truck, check each part of your car both inside and out to be sure there are no new chips, dents, scratches on the paint, or cracks on the glass, damage to the door handles, mirrors, windshield wipers, tires, and or underside.
  • Open and close the doors, inspect the wipers and make sure they are working, roll up and down the windows, and check all locks properly.
  • Be sure to start your car and drive it around in that location to be sure it is running properly. Check for heat damage on the paintwork if the vehicle was transported on a long journey through hot weather.

Pro Tip

Your car will be protected from exterior damage when you ship it in an enclosed truck rather than the open trailer option. Check the interior of your car for any new damage. Also, check the mileage to see if it is still the same.

2. Filing a Claim

Immediately you are through with the paperwork and now accepts your vehicle, you can file a claim with the transport company as well as/or their insurance provider using the information and photographs.

After delivery, a Bill of Lading will be given to you in which you are expected to have a copy of it if you plan to file a claim for any non-pre-existing damage to your car.

You need the photographs you initially took during inspection before the car was shipped to prove that the damage was not on your vehicle before the shipping and that it happened when the car was in the shipping company’s custody.

Take photos and note down any new damage found on your car upon delivery. You cannot file claims for personal belongings that were left in the vehicle that are nowhere to be found. Vehicle shippers do not have any legal backing to ship any item aside from a vehicle.

3. Before you begin to cruise your Car around

You should be able to start driving your car right after unloading off the truck unless it’s been with the transport company for several months. However, before you start using it, inflate the tires as necessary; check the fluids as well as a gas gauge. Have a professional mechanic check your car before you start using it for safety purposes.

For instance, if your vehicle has been traveling through hot summer months in an open trailer, the exposure to such heat can cause the rubber parts to crack, such as rubber seals, engine hoses, and windshield beading.

Perform a rigorous check for any heat damage to your vehicle. If your seats are made of leather materials, they could dry out under this particular situation. The leather can crack. Apply a good leather conditioner if you notice the seats are dry.

What is the Cost of Car Delivery Service?

In most cases, shipping a car within the country costs $950 but rates may start from $700 to $1,200. Even though it is hard to find out the actual figure, there are some factors that you can evaluate to obtain rough shipping estimates.

A shipping quote is a calculated figure. Different factors are considered when calculating the price of transporting your car.

The transport company considers some of the information you supplied to them and create an estimate based on it.

Below are some of the factors:


This is one of the major factors. The car shipper will need to know where you are shipping your car from. A longer distance means an increase in cost. Shipping a car 1,000 miles often starts from $500 to $1,000 but the rates drop as the distance increases.

Find more idea on how the average cost is affected by distance through the table below:

Distance Covered The Average Cost Per Mile
500 miles $1.00
1,000 miles $0.75
2,000 miles $0.50
2,000 miles+ $0.40


Your destination shipping location for your vehicle is also very important. Places like Miami, Los-Angeles, and Houston are popular destinations that experience much traffic and demand. This is also one of the reasons these cities have more economy.

However, hard-to-reach places or places with bad roads and infrastructure can be challenging for drivers, and that is why car shipping to those areas is more expensive.

Car Size and Weight

Normally, the cost is also affected by the size and weight of your car. Heavier and bigger vehicle costs more to ship. The cost may be different within the same cities for shipping various car sizes.

Below is a table showing the influence of heavy vehicles on the cost of shipping within the same distance.

From To Compact Cars Heavy Vehicles
East Coast West Coast $1,105 $1270
Midwest East Coast $685 $785
Midwest West Coast $920 $1,060
South North $710 $815

Method of Shipping

There are two different means to ship cars, and each of these methods has its benefits and drawbacks.

1. Door-to-door shipping:

This provides you the most convenient means to ship a car. The carrier arrives at your location, picks the car up, and drops it off wherever you specify. This method may be more expensive than others, but the convenience is unmatchable.

For instance, door-to-door auto shipping to Los Angeles from Denver would cost you about $850.

2. Terminal-to-terminal:

This is another way to ship your vehicle to another place. This method requires you to drop off your car at a certain storage location and pick it yourself from a pre-agreed location.

Even though this shipping option seems to be cheaper than the door-to-door option, it can still be expensive and overwhelming.

When you consider the cost for terminal storage and the stress of hauling the car to the storage centers, you will discover. For instance, you can spend about $725 to ship your vehicle to Los Angeles from Salt Lake City.

3. Season

Transporting cars during winter is a tough task to do. From bad weather to blocked roads to dangerous driving conditions, which can increase risk and lead to delays.People who love snow also like to ship their vehicles during this period, causing an increase in demand.

The cost of shipping cars during the winter season is always higher. Car shipping cost is always on the high side in peak months. If you plan to ship your vehicle in spring or summer, get ready to pay about $200 to $300.

4. Destination Fees

Cost is also determined by the shipping method you choose for your vehicle, whether door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal. You will spend a higher on the first option.

Your fees will take care of everything on the receiving end if you are shipping to another country, including the United States custom clearance. This cost may be increased by transport from the arrival terminal and unloading.

5. Number of Cars

Shipping quotes also present a package deal like other industries. If you own between 2 and 4 cars to be shipped to the same destination, you can ship them altogether because of the scale economy. This will help you lower the transport fee greatly by hundreds of dollars.

How to obtain a Car Delivery Service Quote

Car shipping quotes can be obtained in different ways. You can obtain car shipping cost online through the shipping company’s website or by just calling them. Be sure to inform them in advance if you need a speedy pick up for your car.

Before you can obtain accurate and updated car transport quotes, you need to have the following information with you:

Car pickup and delivery destination (preferably zip codes for more quoting accuracy).
Car shipping preference (open or enclosed option).
Car year, make, and model (make sue the needed transport trailer size is available).
Operational status (can be driven back and forth, with normal steering for loading and unloading on the truck).
Earliest preferred car pickup date.

Hiring Car Delivery Services

There are many transportation companies available in the market to help you with your car shipping needs. You can reserve with one of them, and after that, you will get many bids from different auto shipping companies.

You can also obtain the rough shipping estimate of your car using the vehicle shipping rates calculator.

There are three means of transportation: an open trailer, a multi-carrier, and an enclosed trailer.

Almost every auto shipping company will offer at least two of these transport methods with other car shipping services with an estimate calculator. However, you should perform a little research before you release your car to a car transport company.

The following tips for shipping a car will provide you peace of mind when choosing a car transport service and obtaining a shipping cost:

1. Check if there are any insurance plans with the company

You need to often check the insurance policy available with the company. Do not leave your car to a company that cannot provide insurance coverage while it is being moved.

2. Reading reviews is a good idea

You should try and get recommendations from local dealerships, friends, and family. You are risking a lot of money when shipping a vehicle. You must use a reliable and trustworthy shipping company. Check the FMCSA website to determine the safety record of a company.

You can also make use of vehicle forums and review websites to make sure that you are choosing a car transport company that will give you quality service.

3. Do not base your decision on price alone

When you are looking to determine the cost to ship your cars cross country, the lowest offer is often not the best or most secure option. Car shipping companies’ pricing is evident in the quality of the company’s equipment, experience, and service level.

You can possibly deal with an auto shipping broker or an open carrier with inferior equipment or drivers with little or no experience at a lower price.

4. Do not give a deposit

Notice the warning signal if you are asked by a company to make a deposit. Reputable and reliable car shipping companies do not need a deposit, but instead, they request for payment when the vehicle is picked up or dropped off.

This enables you to make sure you are receiving the service you need and gives you a chance to cancel if they don’t perform up to your expectations.

5. Inform them of your scheduling needs

Many auto shipping companies need a particular timeframe for scheduling a pickup and delivery during vehicle shipping. Usually, about five to seven days since the truck is not like airlines.It runs daily on different routes, and there are risks like traffic, weather, and customer’s schedules.

If your vehicle shipping is targeted at a special event such as a birthday or a car show, you need to state this with the car shipping company and your transport truck driver to make sure they make delivery at those dates. Priority scheduling may affect the car shipping cost.

6. Explain the conditions of your car

Explain the whole condition of your vehicle to the driver, such as alarms, kill-switches, cut-off switches, and brakes that only work with the motor running.

Giving your driver enough information makes it easier for him to safely transport your vehicle across the country and saves you from being charged an unnecessary inoperable fee. You can leave written instructions.


Be sure to choose a credible auto shipping company. Many rogue companies can sell out your information to brokers to get leads. They will attract you with emails and calls from companies only looking to take your money instead of rendering quality service.

Remember that the lowest shipping quotes are an indication of poor service. In some cases, it shows there is no quality service from the company. We hope that this post will help transport your vehicle at the most affordable price.

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