Door-to-door car transport: Is it always an option?

Door-to-door car transport

Door-to-door auto transport is a very convenient way to ship a vehicle, whether it’s across state lines, coast to coast, or across the country. It also happens to be the most common way to transport a car. 

There is another option, terminal to terminal auto transport, but there are many reasons door-to-door is a better choice. 

Not all auto transport companies offer door-to-door car transportation, so in this article we’ll explain how terminal to terminal shipping works. We’ll also look at the benefits of door-to-door car shipping and why you should strive to find a company that offers such a service. 

What is door-to-door auto transport?

Door-to-door auto transport is a service you can take advantage of if you ever need to ship a car. You might need such a service because you’re relocating, the military has handed you a PCS, you need to get your antique Ford Model TT to the garage for repairs, you’ve bought a new car online or many other reasons. 

When you book to ship a car right to your door the auto transport company will get as close as possible to your chosen pick-up and delivery locations. This doesn’t mean, however, that the truck and trailer will pull up in front of your home. There are several reasons this isn’t always possible.

  • In tight residential areas, trucks and trailers up to 80 feet long can find it very difficult to navigate.
  • It’s not always safe and legal to just pull over anywhere to load or unload a vehicle. 
  • Low-hanging branches or power lines can be a problem for an open trailer. 

Terminal to terminal is one alternative

With a terminal to terminal auto transport service, trucks pick up and deliver vehicles to either a trucking company lot or storage facility. These places are generally inconveniently located in densely populated areas. 

Terminal to terminal shipping is often cheaper than door-to-door auto transport, but any saving is cancelled out by the added cost of getting your car to and from the terminal. Additional storage fees may also be incurred if you’re unable to pick your car up within the agreed time frame. 

You could find yourself having to drive hundreds of miles before your car can be transported. Another downside of this type of service is that there are often limited operating hours, which means your vehicle could be left unattended for long periods of time. Most auto shipping terminals have security and 24-hour surveillance, but you should be aware of the added risk. 

The benefits of door-to-door auto transport

One of the biggest advantages of getting a car shipped right to your door is convenience. You get to choose where your vehicle is picked up and delivered to. There’s no need for you to drive several hours to the nearest terminal. Such convenience saves you time and money. 

There are, however, several other advantages.

Flexibility

Door-to-door auto transport is a very flexible service. You get to choose the pick-up and delivery locations. As long as it’s safe and legal to do so, the carrier will get as close to your chosen locations as possible. It could be your home, but it could also be your place of work, shopping mall, or parking area at the end of your street. 

Saves wear and tear

Having a car delivered right to your door saves unnecessary wear and tear of your vehicle. Fewer miles on the odometer means your car retains its value for longer.  

Personal service

You get to meet the driver who is transporting your car when you choose door-to-door vehicle transport. This is far more reassuring than leaving your car at a terminal. Another benefit is that you can oversee the loading and unloading of your vehicle and inspect it with the carrier before and after it’s transported.  

Multiple-shipping

Does your household have more than one vehicle? Shipping multiple vehicles at the same time is not an issue with door-to-door auto transport. Arrangements can be made for one, two, three, four, or more cars to be delivered to your door.

 

The cost of door-to-door car shipping depends on several factors

When it comes to choosing door-to-door auto transport, cost is one of the deciding factors. There are several things that affect the overall cost of auto transport. They include distance traveled, the type of vehicle and its condition. 

If you want to know how much it costs to ship a car with us, use our instant online quote calculator. You can also call or use Live Chat.

Let’s look at some of the factors in more detail.

In advance or last minute booking

It’s in your best interest to book auto transport as far in advance as you possibly can. This means you’ll get the most competitive rate and not be charged extra for last-minute or express auto transport. As soon as you know you need to ship a vehicle get in touch with an auto transport company. 

Distance traveled

One of the most significant components in calculating a vehicle shipping quote is the distance to be traveled. The longer the distance, the higher the quote. Although, the cost per mile tends to be lower. 

Location

If you need auto transport to and from a metropolitan area prices tend to be lower because there are more trucks available to carry out the shipment. Pick-ups and deliveries to rural locations can cost more. 

Vehicle make and model

When you request a quote for door-to-door auto transport, you’ll be asked for details of the vehicle. Provide exact specifications because this helps the carrier work out how much space is needed. Larger and heavier vehicles cost slightly more. If your car has been modified, this can also increase the cost of shipping. 

Type of transport

The most common way to transport a vehicle is with open car transport. It’s the industry standard and generally the cheapest and most budget-friendly way to move a vehicle. 

If your vehicle requires extra protection, covered auto transport is recommended. Enclosed auto transport is used when a vehicle is very valuable and precious, for example, a custom, classic, unique, antique, luxury, or high-end vehicle. Enclosed auto transport increases the cost of shipping, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.  

Condition of vehicle

You’ll get a better shipping rate if your vehicle is running. Inoperable vehicles need to be loaded and unloaded using a winch which increases the cost of shipping. Most carriers insist a vehicle can steer, brake, and roll. 

Seasonality

The time of year makes a big difference to the cost of shipping a car right to your door. During the snowbird season, for example, vehicle transport services from the north to the south can be higher. When snowbirds return to the north, prices increase in the opposite direction. Holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Christmas, and New Year, are also expensive times to ship a car.

If you want to know more about the cost of door-to-door auto transport, use our online instant quote calculator. Alternatively call (864) 546-5038 to speak with our shipping advisors. Live Chat is also available.

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