How Does Car Shipping Work? 

How Does Car Shipping Work? 

Car carrier on the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. This bridge is bypass highway at Hoover Dam.

How Does Car Shipping Work? Transporting a vehicle across the country is an inevitable need that could arise. Maybe you just bought a car online from a dealer or private seller in one state, and need to ship it to your new destination, or maybe you’re relocating to start a new job. Whether you need one vehicle shipped or an entire fleet of vehicles shipped, RCG Logistics offers a friendly and affordable one-call car shipping service to destinations in the US, Canada, and worldwide! 

It helps to know what to expect ahead of time when you are shipping something as important as your vehicle. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about how car shipping works, and give you some advice and steps to take to prepare your vehicle for shipping if you need to have your car shipped to another destination to help ensure that everything goes smoothly for you. You can get your car quickly and safely to your new location. 

How Does Car Shipping Work? 

Auto relocation, sometimes called auto transportation or automobile hauling, is a service that enables vehicle owners to transport their vehicles using a special carrier that is specially designed for the task. Preparation, which includes picking up the vehicle from your location and/or having the auto shipper safely transfer the vehicle to your destination, is an essential part of the automobile shipping process. 

Shipping a car requires a lot of work, time, and organization. We like to recommend that you start the process about 2 months in advance so that you have time to get any maintenance, last-minute paperwork, cleaning, and other preparation done before your scheduled pickup date. Auto shipping companies generally offer two options for shipping nationally between states or between the U.S and Canada: open auto carrier and enclosed auto carrier.  

Are you in need of auto shipping services now? Our friendly agents are waiting to take your call, and are able to answer any questions you may have about the car shipping process! Call (800) 381-2068 today to get your free no-hassle price quote with a zero-down booking. 

How Do Car Shipping Companies Work? 

When compared to the cost of sending an automobile via air freight, the expense of delivering a car across long distances is quickly justified. You can avoid the hassle of driving your vehicle the lengthy distance needed in your move by hiring a car shipping company to do it for you.  

Car shipping companies provide an important service for people who need to transport their vehicles long distances. Whether you’re moving to a new city or going on a cross-country road trip, these companies can make sure that your car arrives at its destination safely and on time. But how do they actually operate? 

Most car shipping companies use large trailers that can accommodate multiple vehicles. The cars are loaded onto the trailer and secured in place so that they won’t move during transport. The trailer is then attached to a truck and transported to the desired location. Some companies also offer enclosed trailers for an additional fee, which provide extra protection for your vehicle from the elements. 

In most cases, you’ll need to drop off your car at the shipping company’s terminal a few days before it’s scheduled to be shipped. Once the car arrives at its destination, you can either pick it up from the terminal or have it delivered to your home or office. Depending on the company, you may be able to track your car’s progress throughout the shipping process so that you know exactly when it will arrive. 

RCG Logistics provides convenient auto transport quotes with zero-down bookings and low prices! With friendly agents here to answer your questions and on-time and affordable national and international shipping.  

What Paperwork is Involved? 

Car shipping is usually a straightforward process that doesn’t necessitate a lot of paperwork on your part. The bill of lading, a receipt for the goods carried aboard the carrier, is the most crucial piece of paper. This receipt serves as documentation that you received your car in the same condition in which it was moved. 

Information on the insurance coverage provided by your shipping provider will also be included in the paperwork you get. All shippers must have insurance, however, the minimum needed coverage varies widely depending on the shipper. In order to ensure that you have enough protection, please read the following information very carefully.  

Moreover, some transport companies may additionally supply a vehicle inspection report and an order confirmation form. The title and registration, along with evidence of insurance and a valid photo ID, may be requested seldom. 

What Happens if My Car Gets Damaged? 

If your vehicle is damaged as a result of the shipper’s negligence or equipment failure, the shipper’s insurance should cover the costs associated with fixing it. “Acts of God” such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes are sometimes excluded from coverage in auto transport policies. 

Always make sure you have a copy of their insurance policy and that you understand the coverage, deductible, and exclusions. Find out if your car insurance policy covers shipping by contacting your provider. 

After finding your automobile again, give it a thorough once-over. Take pictures of the damage and include them on the bill of lading on the off chance that it does arrive damaged. Verify that your driver is aware of and agrees with the damage before contacting the delivery firm and your own auto insurer. 

How Long Does Car Shipping Take? 

Distance, time, traffic, road conditions, weather, and carrier availability are all factors in car shipment. Moving services website estimates that shipping a car within the continental United States can take anything from six days to four weeks.  

Transporting a vehicle across international borders can take more time. Instead of firm delivery dates, most shippers offer pickup and delivery windows, with narrower windows for densely populated areas and wider windows for rural ones. You may be able to follow the whereabouts of your vehicle by GPS or another system with certain transport companies. 

Open Transport or Open Carrier 

If you choose open transport, your vehicle will be transported onto an open trailer and will be vulnerable to the elements throughout the trip. Open transport vehicle transportation alternatives can be provided by a variety of vehicles, including single-car trailers and trucks capable of towing 10 or more vehicles. Depending on the weight and size of the vehicles, open-air vehicle carriers also exist, with a capacity of around twelve cars. 


• Since open transit is the most common choice, you can count on a reasonable charge. 

• Having direct contact with your driver ensures that you are kept in the loop from the time the shipment is processed to the time it is delivered. 

• One of the best options for installation is the most secure part of the open automobile trailer. 

• The least expensive mode of transport is open-car shipment. 

• The cost to ship a car is reduced by using an open carrier. 


• Unfortunately, your vehicle would be exposed to the weather throughout transport. 

• Road grime is inevitable, but a quick car wash may make things look as good as new again. 

• You should expect your car to be transported onto a transport vessel alongside a large number of other vehicles for both pickup and delivery. 

• The most you may expect to wait for delivery is 10-14 days, depending on the distance and the required route.  

Enclosed Trailer or Enclosed Auto Transport 

The autos are kept safe during enclosed vehicle shipment since more expensive vehicles are used for the service. Exotic, historic, and premium vehicles can all be sent with this service with ease. Most enclosed car carriers have a maximum capacity of 7 automobiles. 

As opposed to open auto shipment, which is by far the most common method, enclosed car carriers are scarce. There will be an increase in price and availability if you opt for an enclosed shipment. 

The cost is affected by the law of supply and demand, which is exacerbated by the scarcity of enclosed carriers. Due to lower availability, you might have to select a later time window for pickup. 


• When moving, or transporting an automobile, the enclosed option is the safest bet. 

• Lift Gate Tech incorporates a hydraulic lift, making it easy to load and unload your priceless vehicle. 

• Your luxury automobile will be transported by experts who are trained to manage such cargo. 

• Complete safety and security within a trailer with insurance protection 

• Shorter transit times because conventional open automobile transport can only hold half as many vehicles. 


• The price of an all-inclusive service is greater. Prices average $600, which is $200 more than what unrestricted shipping would cost. 

• Pickup will require two-five days’ notice due to low stock. 

Door-to-Door Delivery 

When a car transportation company picks up and drops off a vehicle at a designated address, they are said to be providing door-to-door services. Even if the driver prefers to drop off vehicles at customers’ front doors, there’s still a chance they won’t. They merely show up, load or unload, and leave the site. 


• There’s no denying the convenience of having a car sent right to your front door. 

• When the automobile is brought to your house, you and the driver can take your time inspecting it. 


• It may be illegal, difficult, or impossible to deliver a trailer to a specific address due to local regulations, poor road access, or low-hanging trees.


Request evidence that the auto shipping firm maintains adequate coverage. Look at the company’s response time and the types of coverage they offer for various types of car damage. Find out if your car shipment is insured and if you have to pay a deductible. 

Guaranteed rates 

Will the price I quoted you be the price you pay? Is it possible for the price you were quoted to alter, and if so, what factors can affect this, and what can you do to avoid this happening? Give the shipping company all the information they need, including a detailed description of your car’s current condition. If you want to feel secure, you should ask the shipping business you’re thinking of using if they provide a fixed price. 

How to choose the right car shipping company, what do you have to do  

Choosing the right car shipping company is important to ensure that your vehicle arrives safely and on time. Here are a few steps to help you choose the right company:  

1. Determine your shipping needs. Will you be shipping a car, truck, or motorcycle? Do you need door-to-door service or terminal-to-terminal service? 

2. Get quotes from several companies. Be sure to compare prices, services offered, and reviews before making your decision.  

3. Ask about insurance coverage. Make sure that your vehicle will be covered in case of damage during shipping. 

4. Choose a company with experience. Shipping a car is not a simple process, so you’ll want to choose a company that has plenty of experience and a good track record. 

Following these steps will help you choose the right car shipping company for your needs. 

Benefits of Choosing RCG As Your Car  Shipping Company 

Car shipping companies are not hard to find; but when you are entrusting them with your vehicle, it’s important to find one you can trust. RCG Logistics ships over 1000 vehicles every day to locations worldwide. We are connected with over 5,000 auto carriers and are able to transport any sized vehicle or fleet of vehicles professionally and safely to your destination.  

Time in Business 

As a leading provider of car shipping services since 2005, our network has expanded into over 5,000 carriers to serve you better. 

Shipping Technology 

We employ cutting-edge apps, eBOLs, and GPS to make our data as accurate and reliable as possible. Use our instant quote calculator to help you see the cost to ship your car quickly and accurately. 

Transport Ratings 

Our reputation is something that we take very seriously. Our high ratings reflect the level of care that we give our customers, and we strive hard to keep it that way. 

Claims Management 

Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating when your personal belongings are involved. In case of accidental damage, our agents are here to make certain that you get a fair settlement. 

Order Tracking 

Our real-time truck tracking makes the scheduling process easier. Follow your vehicle as it is shipped cross-country and stay informed throughout the shipping process. 

Insured Transport 

We use only the best insurance in the business when it comes to keeping your assets safe. When you ship with us, your vehicle is protected from pickup to drop off. 

Auto Enthusiasts 

RCG Auto was founded by people who love cars. We understand the importance of keeping your car in good condition, and we use a set of safety processes throughout the shipping process to ensure that your vehicles get delivered to you in the same condition they were in at pickup. 

Gold Star Service 

Our ratings reflect our dedication and commitment to customer satisfaction. RCG Auto strives hard to build strong relationships with our customers and our partners so they will come back to us in the future for all of their auto transport needs. 


We hope this post has helped you better understand how car shipping works. If you have a trip planned and you will be shipping your car to another destination, call us at (800) 381-2068 or fill out this form to get a callback and a price quote for your trip. 


Am I permitted to contact the driver? 

Businesses facilitate communication between you and your chosen career by providing you with the latter’s contact details. Even though you have the option of speaking directly with the driver, we recommend going through the dispatcher first. The dispatch center serves as the hub for all operations. 

When can we expect a vehicle to be shipped? 

The shipping time for a car depends on the route taken. Keep in mind that most car transporters have a capacity of between five and nine automobiles. This could result in as many as nine distinct stops between pickup and delivery. Time spent driving must be balanced with the time spent loading and unloading at each stop. Delivery timings vary depending on the route taken, and these times are determined once the booking has been placed on the schedule. 

Is my vehicle covered by insurance during transport? 

In accordance with USDOT regulations, your car does in fact have the necessary shipment protection coverage. Before the scheduled pickup date, the vehicle transporter should provide you with proof of insurance coverage. Before setting out, double-check the car’s condition with the driver. 

How can I ship my car at the lowest possible cost? 

Open-air shipping, when carriers pick up and transport your vehicle in an open trailer, is the most cost-effective method. It’s common practice for U-Ship auto transporters to offer this service. 

Is it a good idea to hire someone to ship your car? 

If you need to send a high-value automobile, auto-shipping is money well spent. The cost of shipping will be well worth it if the car has any sentimental value at all. Be aware that car shipping companies can arrange for either open or enclosed trailer shipping, depending on your needs and finances. 

Just how much should I expect to pay to have my car shipped? 

The national average for shipping a car is $950. Typically, you may expect to pay between $700 and $1,200. If you need to travel more than 1,000 miles, plan on spending an average of $0.60 per mile for auto transport. 

About the Author: Olga Pruglo

Olga is an experienced Business Development Manager with a history of creating successful partnerships with businesses to promote mutual growth and revenue generation. For the last couple of years, she has been one of the leaders of RCG Logistics business development team, helping the company find new opportunities and solutions to meet our customers needs.


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