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9 Things You Might Not Know About US Auto Transport
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Many think there’s not much to learn about US auto transport. After all, it’s just a bunch of truck drivers delivering cars nationwide. However, a lot goes on behind the scenes that you never hear about. To pay tribute to auto transporters in the US and all the hard work they do, we thought we’d write a dedicated post.
Over the years, the auto transport industry has grown rapidly. The need for trustworthy auto transport services in the US has increased and customers want an easily accessible service that’s available to book online.
If you want to learn a little more about what goes on with auto transport companies like SGT Auto Transport, keep reading this post. We’re going to reveal some facts that you might find interesting.
1. Your car doesn’t need to be running if you want to ship it
Check out any number of auto transport websites and you’ll notice that it’s recommended you leave a quarter tank of gas in your car. This is typical because the car needs to be driven on and off the auto transport trailer.
This might lead you to believe that only operable cars can be shipped but this is not strictly true. If you have an inoperable car, you can ship it with an auto transport company in the US.
When it comes to shipping vehicles that aren’t running, special equipment has to be used. A winch, for example, pulls your vehicle safely onto the trailer and then slowly releases it at the delivery location.
Such specialist equipment means you’ll pay a bit more than shipping a car that’s running, but it’ll be cheaper and safer than getting it towed a long distance.
2. To get a quote you only need to provide a few basic details
People can be hesitant about getting a car shipping quote because they think they’ll need to disclose lots of personal information. This is not true.
If you want to get a quote, you only need to provide the following information:
- Make and model of your car
- Pick-up city and zip code
- Delivery city and zip code
You don’t need to provide an exact address to get your auto transport quote from SGT Auto Transport.
3. You could save money by shipping your car
You might be hesitant about shipping your car because you think it’s going to be ridiculously expensive. This couldn’t be further from the truth and you could save money compared to driving your car long distance.
The exact cost depends on several factors, but the following table gives you some average auto transport costs.
Average price per mile
Sample distance (km)
These average prices are correct as of April 2022. If you want a more accurate price, use our instant quote calculator or speak with our shipping advisors at (864) 546-5038 or use Live Chat.
4. An auto transport company can ship almost any type of vehicle
While there are auto transport companies that specialize in particular types of vehicles, many, including SGT Auto Transport, can ship almost any vehicle you can think of, not just typical passenger cars.
If you own one of the following vehicles, shipping it shouldn’t be a problem:
- Recreational vehicles
- Construction equipment
Some of these vehicles might need to be shipped using an oversized trailer, but that’s not a problem for us. We can organize large flatbed trailers if necessary. However, specialized vehicle shipping might cost more because there are fewer carriers available to offer such a service.
5. Transport times are estimated
In the auto transport industry, dates you’re given for pick-ups and deliveries are usually estimates. Whether you’re communicating with a carrier or auto transport management company like us, time frames are what we talk about rather than exact times.
Car shipping tends to be a service that’s requested for long distances. This means a shipping company can predict all possible situations that might occur on the road. Things that can affect the timing of any shipping service include the weather, traffic, and possible mechanical failures.
You’ll get an estimated time frame forecast, however, the specifics of what might happen on the road will always be unknown.
For example, shipping a car from Chicago to Los Angeles means a carrier has to pass through Colorado and the Colorado Mountains. This is a hard journey that involves using lower gears and driving slower. During the winter, carriers have to face slippery roads and dangerous storms. All of these factors can affect shipping times.
Shipping delays can also be the result of truck failures. Trucks are regularly maintained and checked for roadworthiness, but breakdowns can occur. They don’t break down regularly, but it’s something a carrier needs to keep in mind.
6. Insurance during shipping
It is a legal requirement for all auto transportation companies in the US to have liability insurance. The type of vehicle you want to ship determines what level of courage is needed. Almost all companies will tell you that your car is insured, however, the coverage may vary, and your car might not be protected.
When you’re looking for an auto transport company, always ask about insurance coverage and request documentation with the details. If you can’t find the information or a company is not willing to provide it, it could be that the company is not a legal operator.
If you want to ship a classic vehicle, make sure the insurance covers this type of valuable car. Similarly, if you’re transporting a luxury or sports car, request insurance that covers it.
Open car carriers usually have insurance liability of up to $250,000. Enclosed carriers typically carry insurance of $500,000 and more, even up to $2 million.
Insurance coverage generally includes damage during loading, unloading, and transit. It will also include theft, dents, scratches, loss of a vehicle, and more.
7. Truck driver requirements
Do you think that driving a truck is an easy job and that people become drivers because they can’t do anything else? The truth is quite the opposite. Truck driving is a demanding job and the requirements for drivers are very strict. Such strict requirements may be one of the reasons the US is facing a shortage of drivers.
Driving demands a certain level of alertness because it’s a multitasking job. To be alert, a driver has to be in good physical condition.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that all drivers pass a DOT medical exam before they get a commercial driver’s license. The physical examination will include checks on a driver’s overall health, and tests on their urine, blood pressure, hearing, and eyes.
Periodic follow-ups are an additional requirement.
Truck drivers are required to have a basic understanding of a truck’s engine and mechanics, just in case they need to fix a minor problem such as changing a light bulb.
Prospective drivers have to pass regular psychological tests of their mental suitability for the job. A truck driver must be flexible and patient. They also need to show adaptability and mental strength because they’re on the road for up to ten hours a day, and numerous days in a row.
They might not see their family for several months at a time so they also need to be comfortable with being alone and not let the solitude of the job affect them.
8. You can ship personal belongings in your car
Generally, you’re permitted to ship up to 100 pounds of personal items in the cargo area or trunk of your vehicle while it’s being shipped. However, those items must be contained in a suitcase or single box.
If you want to ship more than the standard weight of 100 pounds, you’ll have to pay extra, depending on your car and the size of the items you want to ship. All additional items must be loaded in your vehicle below the window line. The driver’s seat must be clear of any items.
You should also bear in mind that the risk of theft is high if you’re shipping your car filled with personal items. If your car is packed with personal items everyone will be able to see when the carrier is parked at a rest area. This increases the risk of someone breaking into your car to steal them.
9. The trucking industry has gone digital
First, we’re going to talk about ELD which stands for “Electronic Logging Device”. It’s something that’s been introduced as an easy way to track truck drivers and the hours they work. It was deemed necessary in order to help drivers keep track of how long they’ve been on the road and when they need to take a break.
Aside from ELD’s, there have been a number of other digital innovations adopted by the auto transport industry and the trucking industry in general.
Tesla has been working on an autonomous semi-truck that was actually spotted on California highways just last year. Tesla is not the only manufacturer exploring autonomous trucks. Volvo and Waymp are also following suit.
Apps have filtered into many aspects of our daily lives and the auto transport industry is no different. Various mobile apps target trucking companies, and their focus is on-demand freight. One of the pioneers of this type of app is Uber.
Let’s finish with some transport related facts you might be interested in:
- The United States has the biggest road network, including 47k miles of interstate highways
- The most traveled bridge in the US is the George Washington Bridge
- The first speeding ticket was issued in 1902
- A modern car driving at an average speed of 60 miles per hour would take a month to reach the moon
- One out of every seven jobs in the US is transportation related
- In the US, the trucking industry is responsible for more than 70% of all freight