Man holding vehicle keys with car in background after the completion of a door-to-door car shipping transaction.

Your Guide to Door-to-Door Car Shipping

Your Guide to Door-to-Door Car Shipping

David Stone
Updated September 15, 2021 by David Stone

Table of Contents

    Man holding vehicle keys with car in background after the completion of a door-to-door car shipping transaction.

     

    While door-to-door shipping is convenient, there are a few quirks you should learn before you begin.

    As you go to ship your vehicle to another community, state, or country, you’ll notice there are multiple shipping options available. 

    For starters, you’ll have to choose between open, enclosed, or flatbed transport. The mode you select will determine how secure your vehicle is during shipment but will also influence the price. The gist is that open shipping is the cheapest and most readily available, while flatbed is faster and enclosed is more secure. Your selection will ultimately come down to your personal preferences and budget.

    The same applies to the location your car transport begins and ends. Vendors will frequently provide you with terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door shipment options, which have pros and cons to keep in mind. 

    Once again, budget and preferences will guide your decision.

    Here’s a look at how door-to-door car shipping works and some information on its limitations.

    Key Takeaways

    • Multiple car shipping options are available
    • Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient
    • It isn’t always possible to find legitimate door-to-door shipping
    • Mercury Auto Transport can help you find the best car transport option

     

    What is door-to-door car shipping?

    In short, door-to-door shipping is when your transport vendor picks your vehicle up at one address and delivers it directly to another one. 

    The location the transport begins from could be your residence, a car dealership, or the home of a person who is selling you a vehicle. 

    Door-to-door car shipping is incredibly convenient because you don’t have to take your vehicle to a shipping terminal to begin the process. The result is a transaction that saves you time and eliminates some of the stress associated with shipping a car, particularly if the shipping terminal you’d have to use is far from your destination.

    Your vehicle will also arrive at the door of your destination. So, if you’re shipping a car to your new residence or a vacation home, you don’t have to worry about picking it up from a terminal, either. 

    Overall, door-to-door car shipping will save you time, but it’s worth noting that it costs more and comes with some limitations. 

    A look at the limitations

    Despite the benefits of door-to-door shipping, the limitations are worth discussing. We’ve already mentioned the price, as you can expect the transaction to cost more money because the driver will have to put in more time and effort. Having said that, door-to-door also lets you skip terminal storage fees, which can drive up the other option’s total price. So, the total bill can sometimes be cheaper than terminal-to-terminal once all the costs are counted

    Another potential drawback is that door-to-door car shipping might not even be possible to your address. Some of the trucks that handle car transport are large and aren’t meant to drive in residential neighborhoods or downtown areas. In fact, some communities have banned these rigs from their streets. 

    As a result, if you live in a residential neighborhood or inner city with narrow streets, there may not be a way for the truck to reach your door, and you’ll have to make alternate plans. 

    The main issue with this process is the inconvenience. You’ll have to meet the driver at an accessible location at a specific time to drop off or collect your vehicle. While the process is relatively fast, it is an additional hassle.

    Adding to the hassle is that you might have to find a ride to this central location, assuming it isn’t within walking distance of your house. The drop-off location could be around the corner from your home in some situations, which isn’t a big deal. However, there’s always the chance the drop-off or pick-up will be far from your residence. 

    You can sometimes speak with the driver to find the closest possible place the truck can reach, making the entire process more convenient. It’s worth remembering, though, that meeting at a central location could save you some money on your shipment, so it might not be a bad thing after all.

    Terminal-to-terminal shipping

    Your other option when shipping your car is terminal to terminal shipping. The vendor you choose likely has a terminal where all shipments depart. This terminal is often in an accessible area for trucks, like an industrial part of town. 

    It might be out of the way, or it could be close to you. It all comes down to where you live and the shipping vendor you select. 

    The main benefit, other than cost, of terminal-to-terminal shipping is that it’s more flexible. You don’t have to meet the driver at a specific location at a particular time because the vehicle can wait at the terminal for you to arrive. 

    Remember, there could be storage fees if you end up leaving the vehicle at the terminal. You’ll want to discuss those fees with your vendor before you begin. 

    It’s also worth learning where the carrier will store your car while waiting for you to pick it up and how the company operates

    • Will it be inside? 
    • Is there security? 
    • Is it safe?
    • What are the hours of operation?

    You’ll want to ask all these questions before agreeing to terminal-to-terminal shipping because the answers will determine your overall experience.

    Finding the right auto transport carrier

    Locating an auto shipping vendor that provides you with the service you require is challenging. There are many different options available, so you’ll have to vet the carriers carefully while considering the cost and convenience of each. 

    You could also use an auto shipping broker to weed out unreliable vendors and present you with offers from carriers that provide the exact services you’re seeking. These brokers eliminate much of the guesswork, giving you peace of mind as you ship your car. 

    Mercury Auto Transport is a car shipping broker that can put you in touch with high-end carriers throughout the country. We’ll only show you offers from FMCSA licensed and insured carriers, and we guarantee you’ll receive the price and service level presented in your quote. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today for more information regarding your door-to-door car shipping needs.

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    OUR TRUSTED VEHICLE SHIPPING PARTNERS

    HOW AUTO SHIPPING WORKS

    REQUEST A QUOTE

    First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.

    BOOK YOUR ORDER

    We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service and 100% bumper to bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.

    VEHICLE IS PICKED UP

    Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.

    VEHICLE IS DELIVERED

    Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.

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