Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Transport Carrier?

A transport “Carrier” operates trucks and actually delivers the vehicle in the car transport industry. A Carrier is often the owner and operator of a single transport truck (or sometimes a few trucks). Carriers prefer to focus on actually being on the road, safely picking up and delivering the actual cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles and more. They are expert at the physical, hands-on aspects of loading and unloading vehicles. However, most Carriers do not want to be involved on the “front-end” or “back-end” of the car transport process -- such as calculating quotes, optimizing routes, coordinating customer contact, or other important but office-specific aspects required to run a large-scale operation that serves thousands of customers daily. So Carriers work with Transport Brokers, like us. Carriers are required to have appropriate insurance coverage, and they are the primary responsible party in the event of any damage. As a Transport Broker, we ensure every Carrier we use has adequate coverage, and we coordinate a range of additional services.

What is a Transport Broker?

A “Broker” has an established network of routes and Carriers – along with a reliable infrastructure of systems, processes and procedures to ensure you get the best price, service and convenience. Thus, a Broker can typically offer a faster and lower rate than any single Carrier can. That’s because Brokers have access to a wide array of options that Carriers do not have the resources to provide -- and Brokers coordinate hundreds or even thousands of requests each day from customers like you who need competitively-priced vehicle shipping quotes.

Easy Car Shipping is a Transport Broker. Our customer claim rate is one of the lowest anywhere: less than 1 in 1,200 shipments. That’s a 99.92% rate of delivery without any claims related to the condition of the vehicle on arrival (vs. 95% by one of the other top Brokers who runs paid ads). The cost of shipping a vehicle includes a range of services that some Carriers do not provide: this includes (a) ensuring your cargo is sufficiently-well insured, (b) finding the best combination of rates and timing, and (c) providing 3rd party recourse in the event of any damage or dispute with any driver / Carrier. These services are provided in advance as well as during and after the transit process.

Cost & Quotes

How much does it cost to ship a car?

Car transport costs ~$1 per mile for 1-500 miles. So, a 350 mile trip would cost $350. The longer the distance, the lower the price: Auto shipping ~1000 miles drops it to $.75 cents a mile, or $750. Coast-to-coast auto transport can be as little as $.40 cents per mile.

Shipping quotes may vary based on a vehicle size and modifications, whether you choose enclosed transport or the express option, the proximity of the pick-up and drop-off address to major highways, whether the vehicle runs, and seasonal demand.

Optional extras: Enclosed auto transport typically costs 40-60% more than open-carrier, and express car shipping is usually about 30% more than standard delivery. Inoperable vehicle transport is ~$150 more. Our Quick Quote system optimizes all 7 factors for the best value to fit most budgets.

Why are the car shipping quotes I get online so varied?

Assuming you’re definitely comparing apples-to-apples, especially in terms of "Open vs. Enclosed trailer", the biggest reason for cost differences in best car shipping quote is what another company truly expects will happen behind the scenes about meeting your timeline -- and the quality of the Carriers (the actual drivers and trucks), they plan to dispatch for your pickup. Many companies offer a low quote without mentioning that you will actually be on a "standby" basis. And if you’ve ever flown standby, you know what that’s like.

In other words: to lock in your business, some transport companies provide you with transport quotes that are quite low – in fact, too low to actually succeed in getting your vehicle picked up on time by a fully-insured and well-qualified, highly-rated transport truck. Some companies hold out to pay the lowest price possible to the Carrier, and as a result get lower-quality trucks and drivers willing to go to your pickup location. Alternatively, they may come back to you after a week of not being able to lock in a driver, and tell you they were unable to secure a spot at the price previously quoted. You might then hear, "So if you still want a pickup on the date you selected, it will cost $xxx more".

We don’t play that game. Instead we simply offer the most current, best car shipping quote that a good, reliable driver will accept to get your vehicle delivered quickly and safely -- and with clear expectations about timing. We will never come back to you to increase the price, and we guarantee our quotes for 14 days − even if our costs increase during that timeframe. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for" … so it’s good to be wary of vehicle transport rates that appear too good to be true. If you get multiple quotes, try to avoid both the highest and lowest.

How do I get vehicle transport quotes?

Click Get Quote or call 855-980-4100 for expert help from an efficient Transport Coordinator. To get an instant, customized, online car shipping cost, all you need to say is:

  • Pickup and Delivery City (or Zip)
  • Make / Model / Year
  • Running or Not,
  • Email (so we can send a copy of the on-screen quote for reference if you choose to book later).

Later, to actually book the order we’ll need a few additional details such as street address and payment method. And we’re totally mobile-friendly.

How long are my auto shipping quotes good for?

All car shipping rates we quote are honored for a full 14 Days from the date is issued. This guarantee is 2x as long as the industry norm, which is one of the many factors that rank us among the best auto transport companies.

Can I get a car transport quote if I don’t know the exact address?

Absolutely. City or Zip code is enough to get you started with our car shipping calculator.

Is there a car transport discount for shipping multiple vehicles?

Yes. The car transport discounts can vary from $25 per vehicle to over $100 per vehicle, depending on the quantity of vehicles being shipped.

Do you offer a Military discount for auto transport?

Yes, we are able to offer a discount to active-duty service members, to and from certain military bases, upon retirement or separation. Ask about eligibility for government coverage of when shipping a POV in the CONUS.

Open vs. Enclosed

What’s the difference between open and enclosed auto transport?

Open Transport is what most people think of when they see the long transport Carriers on interstate highways, sometimes double-deckers with 7-10 cars. But Open Transport may also be done with smaller trucks, capable of carrying just 3-4 vehicles. This means that the vehicle is open to the elements, and a car may arrive at its destination dirtier than when it started out. Think of “open transport” as flying coach-class. It is the most economical way to go, and 75% of customers choose open transport

Enclosed car transport is more akin to flying 1st class or business-class: and in the cases of transporting a Bentley or Lamborghini, it’s a “white-glove-level” service. Not only is your vehicle protected on all sides, it’s typically shipped on a smaller transporter -- usually a 6-car lift-gate trailer, or occasionally a 1 or 2 car carrier. Enclosed auto shipping costs 40-60% more than an open carrier and is recommended for a vehicle >$70,000.

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See our comparison options and benefits.

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What type of transporter truck will my vehicle be on?

Depending on the distance your vehicle will be moving across the country, it could be moved by a 3- or 4-car transporter, or a large 18-wheeler double-decker transporter. It’s our job to send the right equipment to get your car picked up and dropped off, given your scheduling needs and the best available match with our skillful Carriers in your area.

Does the price include door to door car shipping?

Yes, in most cases (94% to be exact) your vehicle will be picked up at the precise address you specify, and dropped off door-to-door at the address you desire. That’s true whether you choose Open or Enclosed vehicle transport, and whether you choose standard or Express. Exceptions to the door-to-door policy include cases where an 80-foot trailer is not able to safely navigate streets, local ordinances restrict access, or the driver cannot safely unload in front of your desired location due to traffic or other issues. In such rare situations, you and the driver will agree on some other mutually-agreeable nearby alternative for car delivery.

What is top load in the auto transport industry? How are vehicles positioned on a trailer?

Most auto transport trailers have 2 decks. Top-load means your vehicle will be loaded on the top deck of the trailer. Depending on your vehicle, this could help to protect the vehicle during transport, as gravel and other potential debris is less likely to impact vehicles on the top bunk. Because we know cars well, we automatically optimize the position of certain cars in the top bunk (such as new cars and convertibles, to ensure there is no risk of any leak from any vehicle above it).

What & How

What is a Bill of Lading/ Inspection Report?

In the car transport industry, a Bill of Lading / Inspection Report is a 1-page document that serves 2 purposes: (a) It documents the condition in which the vehicle was picked up and then later dropped off, and can be used as a source of comparison between the two dates. (b) It is a legal document used in the transport industry which specifies WHAT is being transported (Year, Make Model), FROM where, TO where, FOR WHO (Customer Name), and BY WHO (the name of the transport Carrier company).

The Bill of Lading must be signed by an adult. When you delegate the responsibility for signing this report, you are authorizing that person to accept the condition of the vehicle on your behalf. So it’s important to note any issues or concerns at the time of pickup and/or drop-off, before signing the form. We also recommend taking pictures or a brief video of the vehicle both before pickup and after drop-off. While incidents are rare – our customer claims rate is less than 1 in 1,200 shipments (0.08% issues, or 99.92% rate of excellence) – it’s good to be secure.

What should I do to prepare my vehicle for transport?

  1. Please have your vehicle accessible, so our driver can get it onto the truck as quickly as possible.
  2. Consider having the car cleaned, so that the Inspection Report our driver will complete can help you document there are no scratches or dings present.
  3. Kindly empty your vehicle of any personal items.
  4. remove any toll tags or parking passes that could incur charges as your vehicle crosses under a toll signal.
  5. If possible, fix any known leaks – or at least alert your Transport Coordinator so you can be kind to your fellow car shippers whose vehicle might otherwise be stacked below yours.
  6. If there are any modifications to your vehicle (raised, lowered, roof rack, camper, lowered etc.) please alert your Transport Coordinator when booking your order.

Can I pack personal items in my car during shipping?

The short, official answer is no. National transportation regulations issued by the FMCSA state that no non-vehicle related items are to be transported with the vehicle. Car transporters must enter weigh stations and are subject to other inspections along highways, and it is important for them to remain in compliance with regulations. See our handy guide for what you can include when shipping a vehicle.

Do I need to drop off or pickup my vehicle anywhere?

Typically, no. We pick up and drop off at your door, at the exact address you specify to maximize your convenience. However, if you’re in a gated community, or in a location that would be hard for an 80’ transport truck to access, we may need to make alternative provisions such as having you meet the driver at a local shopping center or on a main street where the transport truck can safely park and unload.

Do I have to be at pickup or delivery for my car shipment?

No, you do not need to be personally present, but you do need to appoint a responsible adult who can give the keys to the driver and sign the Bill of Lading / Inspection Report on your behalf, which the driver will provide at the time of pick-up, and again at the time of drop-off. Remember, that’s a legally binding document, and if there are any issues these MUST be noted on the Bill of Lading / Inspection Report before you sign. We are unable to file a claim on your behalf without that evidence, and a driver cannot be held accountable after you sign and he’s left the vehicle. So even if it’s at night, ensure your agent inspects and compares to your satisfaction.

How can I track my vehicle shipment while it’s in transit?

Your Carrier driver will provide you with his contact information, which will be on the Bill of Lading receipt that they will leave with you once the vehicle is picked up. Throughout the journey, you’re welcome to contact the driver directly if/as needed. Our Transport Coordinators are also available to assist with any questions or updates during transit, or to intervene with a driver if any issues arise. Though that’s extremely rare, we help resolve any disagreements.

Will my vehicle be driven at all while it’s in transit?

Your vehicle will be driven only as it’s being loaded and unloaded by our Carrier. Occasionally, the driver may have to unload and reload your vehicle while in transit, to deliver other vehicles that may be positioned in a slot in front of yours. However, our drivers work hard to optimize loads, to minimize the need for repositioning prior to final delivery.

What kinds of vehicles can I transport?

We ship vehicles of all shapes and sizes -- you can transport just about everything with us, except a boat or a large RV. We mostly move cars, trucks, vans, SUVs – but we are also experts in transporting exotic cars, golf carts and more. So whether you’re ready to ship a motorcycle, classic car, antique, or sports car, we always make transporting your vehicle fast, safe and dependable.

What is an operable or inoperable vehicle?

An “operable” vehicle means it runs and has enough power to be driven on and off the transport trailer. No additional manual labor is required on the part of the truck driver.

We also safely transport most “inoperable” vehicles − which is anything that doesn’t start or keep running − and which the driver will therefore need to push, pull, winch or otherwise maneuver with additional effort. We transport inoperable vehicles to and from auctions regularly at hundreds of auto auctions nationwide, and occasionally in cases where a vehicle stopped running while it was far from home.

Can I ship a car that doesn’t run?

Yes, we can transport a vehicle in any condition. Our Carriers have the necessary equipment to handle all your needs, whether your vehicle is running or not. An additional fee of $150 is charged for vehicles that do not run, to compensate the driver for the extra time and effort in loading, unloading and maneuvering it.

Can I ship a modified or oversized vehicle?

Yes, we transport cars of all shapes and sizes including oversized trucks, SUVs and raised or otherwise modified vehicles. Base rates may be adjusted higher for vehicles that are not factory-stock, as these often require special equipment, take up additional space, or involve additional effort to load and unload. Please call one of our expert Transport Coordinators at 855-980-4100 with specifics, so we can be sure to dispatch precisely the right kind of transport Carrier.

Can I transport my electric vehicle or alternative fuel vehicle?

Yes. While we do not usually need any special equipment, it is helpful to know your vehicle is electric or alternative, just in case there is special skill required to start or operate it as it is loaded and unloaded

Can I transport my mobility van or wheelchair van?

Yes, we ship mobility vans and hundreds of handicap- or wheelchair-ramp equipped vans annually.

Can I transport my commercial truck or van?

Yes. No matter how small or large your van transport is, we have the appropriate trailers to deliver your commercial vehicle.

Can I ship a vehicle with a lift kit and oversize tires?

Yes. Depending on the amount of lift kit or oversize tires, there may be a surcharge because the vehicle may require additional space on the transport trailer.

Can I ship a vehicle with a camper shell, large roof rack or ladder rack?

Yes. Please call advise your Transport Coordinators at 855-980-4100 with specifics, so we can be sure to dispatch precisely the right kind of transport Carrier for your camper or small RV.

How do I place an order for my vehicle transport?

When you see your car transport online quote, just select which option you’d like and click “Next / Ready to Book It ”. Then provide the exact street addresses, contact names and phones, and payment information. If you get your quote by phone, your Transport Coordinator can quickly complete your order whenever you’re ready.

You will not be charged a credit card deposit until your vehicle is actually picked up. This is another way in which our service is better than the industry standard.

When & How Fast

How far in advance should I book my vehicle transport?

Most customers place their order 3-10 business days before the desired pickup date. However, if you have less time, one of our Transport Coordinators will find a way to accommodate your needs, in as little as 24-72 hours with Express Vehicle Shipping if ultimately required.

How long does it take to ship a car, once it’s on the truck?

Shipping times vary depending on the route and the distance. While the “rule of thumb” below can be helpful, actual times may vary depending on season, traffic, demand … and occasionally even Acts of God. Typically you might think of it as this many days from pickup to drop-off:

0 – 200 Miles: 1 to 2 days
200 – 600 Miles: 2 to 4
600 – 1000 Miles: 3 to 5
1000 – 1500 Miles: 4 to 6
1500 – 2000 Miles: 5 to 7
2000 – 2400 Miles: 6 to 8
2400 and up: 7 to 9

Can you guarantee a pick up or delivery date for car delivery?

With express auto transport, also called Expedited Shipping, the answer is YES -- you get to choose a guaranteed pickup or delivery date – whichever you value more. With standard car shipping, you get a lower rate in exchange for a confirmed “window” of dates. Then, your driver will call you the day before, and again on the date of pickup, to provide you with a narrower window that you will mutually agree on directly with him.

Once I’ve booked the order, how quickly can you pick up my car?

Standard pickup time-frame is between 3-7 business days. But if you need your vehicle picked up sooner, we can accommodate you in most cities, at most times of the year, within as little as 24-72 hours if you select the Express shipping option. Express shipping is 30% more than the base rate, but in some cases it may be worth the investment.

What’s the first available shipping date for transporting my car?

This depends on the route and the season. Just as there are many nonstop flights each day from Los Angeles to New York on most airlines, but only a couple a day from Los Angeles to Buffalo -- much less on something like Greensboro to Detroit – so too with car transporters. And as with the airline industry, there are peak seasons where demand may outstrip available seats.

But whichever city you’re shipping to or from, whatever time of year, our Quick Quote logistics system and our experienced Transport Coordinators are able to route your vehicle to meet your needs. Let us know if you’re flexible -- or if you must have a certain pickup and/or drop-off date. Some customers have a deadline on one end or the other, but not both: that’s very helpful to share, so we can optimize the cost of shipping your car to another state.

How will I know my car transport pick up date?

We accommodate YOUR schedule. If you’re flexible, please tell us. However, if you need a pickup (or drop-off) on a specific date, we will work hard to be there exactly then. Once you’ve booked your order and told us your first available date for pickup, we will call and email you to confirm the date when your vehicle is actually assigned to a driver. Look for our “Dispatch Assignment Update” email. The driver will further contact you with a pickup time-window.

Are my vehicle delivery dates guaranteed?

If you select the express auto transport option when you book your order, then YES – you get to select a guaranteed pickup date or a guaranteed drop-off dates – whichever is more important to you ( subject to any Acts of God, or on rare occasion some other factor beyond our reasonable control.) Guaranteed dates have a 30% premium price because a driver must bend over backwards to be sure he gets there when promised (or we refund the difference in your premium PLUS add $100 out of our pocket as an apology to you).

For Standard shipping, we still bend over backwards to be there when you request – and if anything stands in the way, our drivers are in touch to keep you informed and so you have the opportunity to adjust accordingly. We all know “stuff happens”: traffic jams, severe weather conditions, delays resulting from other customers … and occasionally even a mechanical problem on one of the trucks. But overall, our record of on-time-delivery speaks for itself, with 83% on-time arrival record even with standard-shipping. That’s better than most airlines can boast!

What’s the difference between standard vs. expedited (or express) transport?

Express auto transport means we absolutely commit to pick up your vehicle in 1-3 business days. Express or expedited auto transport may not be available on all routes, or during all 4 seasons of the year. Some routes experience seasonal delays due to high demand -- and even truck drivers need an occasional holiday. Still, our expert Transport Coordinators work overtime to make sure your vehicle can be moved as quickly as possible, whatever the season or other factors may be.

Standard delivery, also known as door-to-door auto transport, typically means pickup will be scheduled in 3-7 business days from the time you book or accept the order. Occasionally, if spots are available on a specific route, we may be able to pick up your vehicle sooner than 3 business days.

Insurance & Protection

Is my vehicle insured during car transport?

YES, absolutely. All vehicles are fully insured from pickup to drop-off by the Carrier’s cargo insurance, with a ZERO DEDUCTIBLE for you as the vehicle owner. We personally ensure the Carrier has the full amount of appropriate coverage for your vehicle, as part of our service to you. The only limitation on insurance relates to “Acts of God” -- such as hail, tornado or earthquake, in which case coverage would revert to the owner’s vehicle insurance. By the way, our customer claims rate is less than 1 in 1,200 shipments. (That’s dramatically better than some big-name shippers who advertise their “claims rate of <5%” and who think 95% success is good enough.) Our record is that 99.92% of shipments arrive with no issues, in the same condition as they were picked up.

How is my vehicle condition inspected at pick up, before car shipping?

The driver who is responsible for getting your vehicle safely picked up and dropped off will perform the Inspection Report, which is part of the Bill of Lading, and you will receive a copy before he leaves. He will walk around your vehicle in a methodical manner and note any existing dings, scratches or issues. You will be asked to sign this inspection report: be sure you agree with it before you sign it. We also encourage you to take a short video or snap photos before your car is loaded. While it’s extremely rare to have an issue, you’ll feel better knowing you have the evidence.

What do I need to do to inspect my car at the point of delivery?

The driver will have the Inspection Report that was filled out at the time of pickup. Please walk around the vehicle and make sure there are no new issues, other than what was noted at the time of pickup. Take your time inspecting your vehicle, because once you sign the Inspection Report and take possession of your vehicle, the Carrier will no longer be held liable for any damages discovered after the document is signed. Feel free to take pictures or a short video before you sign anything. But in the unlikely event you do find any issues, it’s important to remain calm and trust that you are protected -- so the driver can accept his responsibility without feeling overly defensive.

What do I do if my car is damaged during shipping transport?

While this rarely happens – just 1 in 1,200 shipments − please be assured there is a reliable process for handling such unexpected situations. (1) Point out the issue to the driver and have the driver acknowledge that it is new damage. (2) Mark the damage on the Vehicle Transport Inspection Report, and keep a copy of it. (3) Contact us at 855-980-4100 ASAP so we can open a damage claim with the Carrier (transporter). The insurance company will handle the transaction from there, and we will be available throughout the process to coordinate with you if/as needed.

Payment & Cancellation

How do I pay for my car shipping?

You have 2 options: (1) Credit Card Payment in Full, or (2) a Discounted Cash Price, with a small deposit on a credit card. (Dealer customers can be set up for invoicing.) Most customers choose Option 2 – CASH – because of the discount.

In either case, you will not be charged a credit card deposit until your vehicle is picked up. This is one of the elements of our service excellence that sets us apart from the rest.

Can I pay a trucker with a credit card or personal check for my car shipping costs?

No. Never. Drivers can only accept cash. If you didn’t choose the “Pay In Full by Credit Card” option at the time you originally booked the order, you do not have the option to change your mind, as the driver accepted the load with the proviso that he would receive cash. If you promised to pay Cash-on-Delivery, the driver must be paid by cash or certified cashiers’ check. They are not able to leave your vehicle until funds are received.

Can I pay the full vehicle transport cost with my credit card?

Yes – but only when you first book the order. (So, if your order was dispatched at a discounted cash rate and marked “C.O.D.” -- Cash on Delivery -- the only form of payment the driver can accept is Cash or Certified Check.) Meanwhile, if you choose to pay with a card from the outset, you can rest assured that we at Easy Car Shipping do not charge your credit card until your vehicle is actually picked up. There is a credit card processing charge of 5%, which is why most customers opt for the Cash Payment method.

What if I need to cancel my order?

You may cancel the order to ship a vehicle at any time, with no cancellation fee -- until the point we issue your “Dispatch Update” by phone and email. If you cancel after we have notified you of your dispatch and carrier assignment you will be charged a Cancellation Fee equal to the deposit amount that was due. It will be charged to the credit card on file to offset administrative costs, logistics and lost fees. If your entire payment was scheduled to be charged on your credit card, the Cancellation Fee will be exactly $250.

Do I have to pay the trucker if I am not fully satisfied with the car transport services?

Unfortunately, yes. Although the driver cannot release any vehicle unless he is paid according to the terms of the contract -- and he must be paid at that time -- you do have recourse through us. Please note any transport issues on the Bill of Lading / Inspection Report before signing that document, and you may also take pictures or a video (of course we encourage you to remain steady and avoid exchanging any words with the driver that could make negotiations more challenging for us.) Then call one of our Transport Coordinators ASAP to discuss the issue. We will do our very best to resolve the situation to your satisfaction.

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