Auto shipping was largely a commercial activity conducted by dealers, manufacturers and brokers until the internet rolled into town. You can now purchase a car anywhere in the world and have it shipped right to your home. If you are considering shipping a car anywhere in the world, here’s a guide to give you a hand.

Prep Your Car for Shipping 

If you are shipping a car, you are responsible for getting it ready for transport. You will find that preparing your car for transport will ensure that the shipping goes smoothly. Don’t sweat it, though, your car transporter should be able to assist you with information and the required forms involved.

Choose a Transport Carrier

There are many companies that ship cars and trucks.  Just type “car transport” into Google and lots of them will pop up.  Be careful of jumping at the lowest price quote, there is often a reason that they are the lowest cost.  For example, they may not have insurance or they use older trucks for transport.  Get several quotes and make sure you are getting a good buy for your money.


You definitely want insurance on your vehicle when you ship it.  If it’s your car being shipped, check with your personal auto insurance company to verify whether your car insurance applies.  If you are buying a car and having it shipped to you, consult your shipper and check to see whose insurance is covering the vehicle.

Terminal to Terminal vs Door to Door 

Automotive shipping companies typically offer several levels of service. The most common service types are door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal service. Door-to-door service will be the most convenient and generally is the most expensive.  Terminal-to-terminal means that the car must be dropped off at a shipper’s terminal and, after transport, picked up at the terminal.

Open vs Closed Transport

Open carriers are the type of car transporters you commonly see. These trailers leave the vehicle visible and open to weather and other conditions.  As you might expect, this sort of carrier is generally the cheapest method of transportation. Some customers do not like how dirty their vehicles appear after using open carrier transporters. If that issue concerns you, then shop for a carrier offering enclosed transport.

When your Car or Truck Arrives

Vehicle transport companies are rarely able to provide accurate pick-up and delivery times. Things like traffic and problems with deliveries before yours can cause delays.  Plan on taking the day off if you are having it delivered to your house. When the vehicle does arrive:

  • Make sure you get a complete set of keys
  • Scan for dents or any other damages that might have occurred on during shipping
  • Make sure you get all the shipping documentation

The internet has made vehicle extremely easy today but exercise common sense when dealing with shippers. There are good ones and some that aren’t so good.  Accidents and unforeseen events can occur and you need to make sure you covered for any potential problems.

Article Courtesy of: Napa Valley Chrysler Jeep

About Thomas Young:

A former car mechanic, engineer and audio specialist. Thomas has transformed his wealth of automotive knowledge into becoming one of the premier sources for anything automotive news related. A fan of story-telling, and the history of the automotive industry, as well as the engineering aspects.

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