One of the most common questions that we get asked by our customers has to do with timing. Aside from the shipping price and insurance, customers are especially concerned with the time frame it will take to pick up and deliver their cars. Although a simple question it is often the hardest to answer, the best we can do is give you an estimated window or a range.

Lead Time

When shipping a vehicle four factors go into determining when you car will be picked up. Lead time, or how long it will take for a driver to be assigned to your order is also greatly dependent on the resources of the transportation company that you are working with.

  • Location – most commonly traveled routes are those between major cities and hubs. Small towns or remote locations will take longer to pick up.
  • Season – usually in the spring prices adjust upward to meet the increased demand due to snowbirds and vacationers.
  • Price – it is important to have realistic expectation and be ready to pay the market rate. See our car shipping infographic for more info.
  • Vehicle Size – most car haulers can only fit 4 large SUV/Trucks thus large vehicles will have a longer lead time than a small car.

We offer door-to-door service, this means that a truck will come to your house or place of business to pick up the vehicles. Most auto transport companies also reserve the right to use a local tow truck to make their pick up before loading vehicle on a large car hauler. If the pick up location is inaccessible by a truck it may be necessary to meet at a commercial location near by.

Transit Time

For shorter distances smaller car haulers tend to be used; this means that cars get picked up and delivered faster. More complicated logistics are required for long distance shipping. A large car hauler may spend up to 3 days in one city picking up vehicles. Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations impose an 11-hour driving limit on all commercial vehicles, restricting drivers to a daily distance of about 650 miles. On occasion it is possible to get “team drivers” who can deliver a vehicle much faster but will generally charge more. Transit time will also depend on how your car is being shipped, open vs enclosed transportation.

 

Distance (miles)Duration (days)
0-2001
200-5002
500-10002 – 3
1000-17504 – 6
1750 – 25006 – 8
2500 +7 – 11

The transit time is hard to guarantee due to the unpredictable nature of the trucking business. It is not uncommon to have delays due to weather, mechanical breakdowns, driver health emergencies, scheduling conflicts, amongst many other potential problems. Good communication between you and your auto transport company will ensure a smooth transaction, so always ask questions and mention any special circumstances that you may have.

Delivery Scheduling

It is always in the best interest of the auto transport company to deliver all vehicles asap.  To make the delivery as smooth as possible make proper arrangement on the receiving end. This may mean taking time of work to meet the driver and asking a friend to receive your. If delivering to a business location please be sure to notify the shipping company between what hours the delivery can be made. It is normal for a driver to give a 4-hour window. At times a driver may reschedule a delivery to the next business day if there are delays unloading other vehicles.

If you are not able to accept your vehicle at the time of delivery for variety of circumstances, a vehicle can be placed in temporary storage for $20/day.

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