How does the inventory
process impact me, and what if there is damage to my car upon
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 vehicles 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
What is Coverage or
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?
What is door-to-door
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.
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
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
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 doesnt 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
companys lost dollars.
Am I charged if my vehicle is not
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
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
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
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 its 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
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
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 ¼ of a tank, but
keep some fuel in the vehicle. See our
How can I be certain my car is ready to be
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
owners 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 cant be there in person.