Auto FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Transporting Your Auto
How does the inventory process impact me, and what if there is damage to my car upon delivery?
What is Coverage or Valuation?
Is my car covered when it is loaded?
How is my vehicle secured in the trailer so that it does not roll around during transport?
What is door-to-door service?
What is dock-to-dock service?
Is there an additional charge for an oversized vehicle like an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)?
Am I charged if my vehicle is not running?
What is expedited service?
What is exclusive use of a truck?
What is an Enclosed Transport Vehicle?
What is an Open Transport Vehicle?
Can I load things in my car?
Do I have to have the fuel purged from my car prior to loading?
How can I be certain my car is ready to be loaded?

How does the inventory process impact me, and what if there is damage to my car upon delivery?
The driver, prior to loading your vehicle, will do a thorough inspection. Be there for that inspection. The driver will point out existing damage and make a notation of that damage on a vehicle inspection form. Look it over carefully prior to signing.

The next, most important step is to be there when the vehicle is being unloaded. It is just as important that you see the vehicle come off the truck as it is going on. If you are unable to witness the unloading, send someone reliable in your place. Have the driver go over the car with you and compare the vehicle’s condition to that noted on the original inventory form. If you sign off that there is no damage, it will be virtually impossible to file a claim for damage discovered after the fact.

If you should note damage, make sure it is clearly listed on the inventory. Point it out to the driver and, in your own writing, make a note of it on the inventory. Be sure to keep a copy of the inventory for the use in filing a claim. All carriers have a claims policy. Understand it prior to selecting your transporter. Also know what the coverage is on your vehicle. Make sure that it is sufficient to cover the cost of the vehicle, in the unlikely event that a catastrophic incident might occur.

What is Coverage or Valuation?
Each carrier offers a standard amount of coverage should your car sustain damage during shipping. Be sure to check to see what the standard is and if it is enough to cover the value of your vehicle. Each carrier also offers additional valuation or coverage should you require a higher dollar amount. Be certain to consult with the carrier as to what the additional cost will be. Check with your insurance provider for your vehicle to see if your vehicle is covered during transportation with a professional car carrier.

Is my car covered when it is loaded?
Many auto transporters have specially designed covers for your vehicle to prevent any type of abrasion or rub marks. The surface on the outside of some of these car covers is a plastic material while the inside of the cover is a soft material.

How is my vehicle secured in the trailer so that it does not roll around during transport?
Auto transporters utilize wheel tie-downs to secure each wheel of the car to the floor of the trailer, thus eliminating any movement that might take place during the transport.

What is door-to-door service?
In door-to-door service, the professional automobile transporter will pick-up and deliver the vehicle to and from your home or designated location. Please be sure to discuss beforehand anything you are aware of that might hamper the loading or unloading process. Usually the auto transport vehicle is a large, over-the-road truck and may have difficulty accessing certain areas. If you live on a street with large, low-hanging tree limbs or power lines; if you have a tight, narrow driveway or street that leads to your home; or if you live in an area that is mountainous with steep grades on narrow roads, you might need to bring the vehicle a short distance to meet the driver. Should this be the case, the driver will make this as easy as possible for you by bringing the truck to the closest location available that allows safe loading and unloading of your vehicle.

What is dock-to-dock service?
Often an auto transporter will offer an alternative pickup method that is, in most cases, more cost effective for the consumer, dock-to-dock service. In dock-to-dock service, your selected auto transporter will make arrangements with a local auto transportation company or moving and storage company that has a facility with a dock. You will be instructed where to bring your car. It will be secured at the facility and the actual truck that will haul your vehicle will pick up your car from that facility. Dock-to-dock service allows the auto transportation company to be more flexible in the loading of your auto and, if the vehicle is coming into the transporter from a dock, the loading is typically simplified. The car is literally driven straight on to the over-the-road truck and secured for transport. When your vehicle arrives at its new destination, it will be brought to the nearest facility. The vehicle will be unloaded and secured until you come to pick it up. Typically, you have a few days to get your vehicle before the local facility charges a holding fee. Your transportation company will be happy to provide you the timeframe for drop off and pickup of your vehicle.

Is there an additional charge for an oversized vehicle like an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)?
Yes. Typically, when your vehicle is loaded in an enclosed or open trailer, the cars are loaded two high. However, the height of some sport utility vehicles is such that often times it doesn’t allow enough space for another vehicle above it. The loss of that extra loaded vehicle means the company cannot maximize the space and will lose money by not being able to move an additional vehicle. Therefore, the charge assessed to you for an oversized vehicle is to offset the transportation company’s lost dollars.

Am I charged if my vehicle is not running?
Yes. If a vehicle cannot be driven into a trailer, the driver has to do a considerable amount of additional work to load your car. Often times it will need to be pushed or winched into place.

What is expedited service?
If you require your vehicle be delivered very quickly, not allowing the time for the other spaces in the truck to be loaded with cars, this is considered expedited service. To make your delivery date, they have to load your car and head on to the delivery city. Literally, the time allowed between loading and unloading is just enough to make the drive.

What is exclusive use of a truck?
If you are transporting a one-of-a-kind collector car, you may not wish to have any other vehicles loaded around your vehicle. In this case you may request exclusive use of the transport vehicle in which case you will be charged for the space on the entire truck.

What is an Enclosed Transport Vehicle?
Many auto transporters can move your vehicle in an enclosed trailer. These vehicles look very much like the standard tractor/trailer you see traveling down the highway. The enclosed trailer allows your vehicle to be fully protected from the elements. The car is loaded onto the trailer by driving the vehicle onto a ramp at ground level. Once the car is fully on the ramp, the ramp is hydraulically lifted until it’s level with either the floor of the trailer or the second deck inside the trailer. The car is then driven off into the trailer and secured for transport.

What is an Open Transport Vehicle?
You might be familiar with these types of car transportation trucks -- you can see what is loaded on them because there are no sides or tops surrounding the cars. Your vehicle will be loaded onto the transporter through the use of a ramp, lowered to ground level. The misconception is that is it safer to transport your vehicle in an enclosed transport. The statistics show that the frequency of damage is not greater in an open trailer than in an enclosed trailer.

Can I load things in my car?
No. Automobile transporters do not allow the loading of personal effects in a vehicle that they are going to transport. You might be tempted to put some of those items that are fragile or needed immediately in your car; however, the driver will inspect the vehicle thoroughly prior to loading. See our Pre-shipping Checklist

Do I have to have the fuel purged from my car prior to loading?
No. The car will need to be in running condition to get it on and off the transporter. It is a good idea to run the tank down to of a tank, but keep some fuel in the vehicle. See our Pre-shipping Checklist

How can I be certain my car is ready to be loaded?
One of the items that is important to check is to make sure that no fluid is leaking from the vehicle. Leaking fluid can damage the trailer or another vehicle during transport. Make sure you remove everything from the glove box. Many people keep maintenance records with their owner’s manual. You might want to secure that with all your other valuable papers. Wash the car so that you and the driver can accurately assess the condition of the vehicle upon loading. Have someone you trust available during the loading process if you can’t be there in person. See our Pre-shipping Checklist