Car Transport Services

The automobile is a symbol of freedom and expression, one that really sticks in the heart of the average American, and whether you have a small two-door coupe, A sports car, A sedan, or whatever it may be, it’s important to you because it’s your car. We know when you’re looking for car transport services, you want your vehicle to be well taken care of. We compiled this handy article to explain to you some of the more important aspects of transporting regular cars and how they will affect your auto transport prices and experience.

Auto transport methods, Auto transport carriers

How To Ship Domestically Or Internationally

Cars have changed the face of transportation forever, going from the horse and buggy to the modern face of transportation that takes us everywhere from family reunions to the grocery store. In addition to utilizing vehicles for our everyday driving there is also a special class of vehicles that are known as collectors cars, and when it comes to moving across the country you probably wouldn’t want to drive a rare car for thousands of miles would you. Car shipping is a service that we are all going to need at one point or another, and choosing the right company to transport your prized possession will take some research.

The car transport business is not a one size fits all glove, and there is a good deal of prep work that should go into the process. There is more to transport your vehicle then just throwing it on top of a tow truck, especially if the vehicle is going to be transported a far distance. Let us examine a few of the things that go into shipping a vehicle the right way, and what you’ll need to plan to get this job done right. The car transport business is full of professional companies who have been doing this for a long time, and you shouldn’t have to lose sleep at night when you ship your car.

Car Shipping

Affordable Car Shipping

A standard car is anything that is a coupe or a sedan, from the smallest subcompact cars all the way to the huge full-size sedans that seem like you’re driving a boat. But all of these vehicles are considered “standard” in the auto shipping industry, which means that all prices and quotes that you receive for transporting a standard car will be the bare-bones price you’ll need to pay. Many larger vehicles are priced by taking the price of a standard vehicle on the same route and adding additional money to the order to compensate for the larger size or additional weight.

The most important aspect of your auto transport price, when shipping a standard car, is where the vehicle is coming from and where it’s going to – in other words, the specific route that your vehicle is traveling on. There are thousands of carriers running thousands of routes through thousands of different areas, regions and cities.

Why Some Carriers Won’t Pick Up

Some Carriers won’t pick up loads for a variety of reasons – it’s too far off the route, the delivery city is too far, the route isn’t busy enough, they’re going the opposite direction – there’s a lot more than that too, but carrier availability is based primarily on where you’re moving from and to.


Reliable Car Shipping

With a standard car, it’s a lot easier to find a carrier, which is always nice. If you’re transporting a vehicle into or out of a rural area, and you aren’t having luck finding a carrier, moving the pickup or delivery city (or both) to a larger metropolitan area could help the cause. Carriers don’t like traveling too far off their routes to pickup or deliver vehicles without additional incentive, and moving to and from major metro areas can also help save you money on your car transport services.

Other Factors To Consider When Shipping A Car

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

The cost of shipping a vehicle has several factors.  For instance, supply and demand.  If there are many people shipping a vehicle on the same route and there are few carriers, the cost could be higher than average.

On the other hand, if your route has few vehicles moving but, many carriers with spots open, you can get a great deal.  This sort of thing happens all the time. For example, most people ship their car south for the winter, so if you’re shipping your vehicle north during that same time period you can get a great price.

There are other elements such as weather and fuel prices that can affect your rate as well, however, nothing so much as supply and demand. Rates do fluctuate month to month, however, these are some basic pricing indexes.
Vehicle Shipping Cost per mile index
Directional Pricing IndexRegional DistanceCross Regional DistanceCross Country Distance
North to South$0.91$0.73$0.58
South to North$0.61$0.49$0.39
East to West$0.47$0.38$0.30
West to East$0.53$0.43$0.34
Vehicle Shipping Cost per mile index
Original Region Pricing IndexRegional DistanceCross Regional DistanceCross Country Distance

Car Transport Types and Methods

Type 1: Open Transport Car Shipping

You’ve probably seen the auto transport trucks on the highway, the big open trailers that can house up to eight vehicles. But, that is not the only type of auto transport, as there are quite a few options. You can choose from the enclosed trailer form of auto transport. This is ideal for protecting rare vehicles that you might not want to be exposed to the elements. Similarly, the closed transport is also great for recreational vehicles and motorcycles. Although the enclosed form of auto transport can cost a little more, the added benefit of the protection is definitely worth the price when your vehicle makes it to its destination.

Type 2: Closed Transport Carriers 

If you’re dealing with an exotic or classic car you might want to opt in for a closed car transport which will be a lot more safe for your vehicle. Closed car transports are what you generally see transporting super cars and race cars!

Car Transport Methods

When it comes to auto transport, there are several methods of transporting your vehicle. We’re not talking about auto transport carriers here – that’s an entirely different subject. No, in this section, we talk more about the method of transportation that will be used to move your vehicle. This is not the carrier itself, but what particular transport service they are providing. For the reason that, there are a few different ways that people can go about transporting their vehicle.

By far the most common method of auto transport is door to door auto transport. Door-to-door is what most carriers prefer as it allows them much more control over where they are driving their truck, the routes they use, and they can avoid some harder places to ship in and out of which they cannot do via other methods.

Terminal To Terminal

Terminal to terminal auto transport is not nearly as popular as door-to-door transport, but it is still a valued part of the industry today. Some companies will not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping, as there are not as many carriers that provide terminal-to-terminal shipping than door-to-door, but it is still available out of most major cities in the U.S.

Standby Auto Transport

Standby auto transport services are when you pay a lower price on purpose and essentially wait for a carrier to be willing to pick your vehicle up at a lower price. Because of how long they take to arrange, we don’t usually advise these services, yet they are available. Interested in them? Check out the link for more.

Auto Transport By Rail

Auto transport by rail is the last method of auto transport that we will break down for you. It is only available on select routes, and we don’t really work with any rail transportation companies. However, it is a method of auto transport that is still quite popular despite its slow disappearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can insure your vehicle up to $100,000 from the FMCSA licensed carrier that is shipping your vehicle. Similarly, you can request the insurance certificate from any licensed carrier and will provide you a copy. With Mercury, all carriers have their insurance verified with every shipment.


You must provide the selected carrier with keys to the ignition, trunk, gas cap and any locked compartment. Please have copies of your keys made and leave only the copies. Keep your original set of keys after you have checked. This is to ensure that the copies fit all devices/compartments.

Don’t Fill Your Gas Tank:

Due to DOT weight regulations, we recommend that your gas tank be less than a ¼ tank.

Do not Over-pack:

Light and soft personal items. Luggage or small boxes may be shipped inside the trunk only (100 lbs max). An infant car seat and spare tire with a jack are integral parts of the vehicle, so they may be included. You will/may be asked for additional compensation if your vehicle is over-packed. You may also be required removing anything that is not permanently mounted or bolted to the vehicle.NOTHING obstructing views out of the windows. This is mandatory and is for the safety of our crew. Our crew often must load these vehicles on to the trailer with the mirrors folded in, using only the windows. If their view is obstructed the potential for damage and injury increases greatly.

Don’t Pack Firearms or Fire Extinguishers

No firearms, ammunition of any type, or fire extinguishers may be shipped in a vehicle.

Alarm Systems:

If there is an alarm system, it must be disconnected. This is prior to dropping off or the alarm remote must be provided.

Disabled / Inoperable Vehicles:

If your vehicle is inoperable it must be in a safe location. In addition, it must have easy access with inflated tires, fully operational brakes, and steering.

 Oversized / Modified Vehicles:

Unless otherwise previously noted to our dispatch department, Vehicles that are Factory Stock cannot exceed certain height or clearance. All vehicles must have at least 6½ inches of ground clearance and/or maximum 6’4” high. Otherwise, we may be unable to accept your vehicle for a regular auto trailer which may increase your estimated rate.

The vehicle should be clean:

To ensure an accurate vehicle inspection report can be completed, please clean your vehicle. This will assist you and the driver to speed up the walk around the vehicle at pick up and destination.

Ready To Transport Your Car?

Now that you understand the ins and outs of the auto transport process, you can rest assured that your vehicle will make it to its destination on time and intact. Researching is key when it comes to a positive process. 

Thus, take the time to gather information on where you are moving to and the characteristics of your vehicle. This will help in providing you with an accurate quote. The automotive transport process doesn’t have to be an intimidating one. 

Similarly, the process can go quite smoothly once you have everything in order. Take the time to do your due diligence and compare the various auto transport quotes. This will help you to make an informed decision. You’ll also have your vehicle safe and sound at your new destination in no time.

Get a Quote Today

The more you know about the auto transport process and how we work, the fewer surprises will be waiting for you. You can fill out our free online quote request form right here on our website.

For assistance, you can give us a call toll-free at 800-553-1828. The free auto transport quote is calculated by one of our friendly and experienced staff members. We work hard to make sure your transportation experience is the best we can make it, bar none, or Request a Quote online.