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Advice for Scheduling Your Car Shipment

What's in this article?
  1. Our Best Pieces Of Advice On Scheduling Your Car Shipment 
  2. Plan Your Car Shipment The Further, The Better 
  3. Understand The Shipping Options Available 
  4. The Pickup Window Vs First Available Date 
  5. Knowing The Exact Pickup Date And Why It Is Difficult To Pinpoint
  6. Getting A Guaranteed Pickup Date 
  7. Try To Be Flexible With Your Timeline 
  8. Location Also Matters 
  9. Gather All Your Necessary Documentation
  10. Prep Your Car For Shipment
  11. Conclusion
Advice for Scheduling Your Car Shipment

Looking for a bit of advice to schedule your car shipment?

Scheduling your car shipment can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you're a first-timer. So as a help, we gathered a few tips from those who have been in your shoes before. Hence, the advice we have assembled here can be super helpful when you're scheduling your car's shipment. 

This guide will walk you through some pieces of advice to help you get started in the car shipping world with confidence.

Ready? Let's roll. 

Our Best Pieces of Advice on Scheduling Your Car Shipment 

Since the shipping-your-car thing has been on your mind for quite some time, you might have researched a few auto transport companies that appear to be the best fit for your car's move.

By the way, you've already taken the plunge into the car shipping industry.

Now comes the real deal. It's the time when you have to rely on a third party to relocate your vehicle to the next destination. In this scenario, you can take a piece of advice or two from below and make the ship scheduling process seamless.


Plan Your Car Shipment: The Further, the Better 

When it comes to scheduling your car shipment, planning is the key. First, it would be best to plan your desired travel dates even before you book your car's shipment. Then, you can determine a window of specific dates for your car's relocation, as the auto transport companies might not be able to pick up your vehicle and drop it off on your desired dates. 

The reasons can be the changing shipment needs and travel time of your shipment.

Car shipping is also affected by the seasons. Some seasons are busier, and some have relaxed shipping timeframes. If you plan your shipping ahead of time and decide to relocate your car on a flexible timeline, you can save a significant amount of money in terms of shipping.

You can also consider your budget and other specific needs. 

Like, say, if you are shipping your luxury vintage car, you would like to opt for enclosed shipping with added safety features. On the other hand, if you are up for moving your standard vehicle, you can also go for the open-air shipping option and save some bucks. 

Typically, you should book your shipment one month before the exact date you would like your car to be picked up.

Pro tip: Whether you're moving or taking an extended trip, it would always be better to coordinate your car shipment with your move. By doing so, you can have your car delivered to the next destination soon after you arrive there!


Understand the Shipping Options Available 

Different auto transport companies offer other car shipping options. So, when you book your car shipping with an auto transport company, ask them about their shipping options. Then, take as much information as you need to clear your doubts and choose one chance.

Usually, the shipping options that often auto transport companies include are:

  • Economic Shipping 
  • Priority Shipping 
  • Guaranteed Shipping 

Other car shipping options can be open and enclosed trailer shipping.

Again, you can choose the shipping options per your car's requirements.

The Pickup Window vs First Available Date 

The pickup window is the timeframe in which your auto transport company comes to pick up your vehicle from the location. When you contact an auto transport company to reserve your car's shipment, you'll have to provide a date when your vehicle will be ready for pickup. That's your first available date.

Here arises a question. Will your car be picked up on the EXACT day?

Well, not really. Although auto transport service providers leave no stone unturned to serve you on their priority, that's not always possible because the auto transport shipping provider will have to figure out the availability of drivers.

Following are the general pickup windows as per the different shipping options:

  1. Economic Shipping: In economic shipping, the car pickup time usually is fourteen days. The delivery time, however, depends on the route.
  2. Priority Shipping: In priority shipping, the auto transport companies take 1-3 days for pickup of the vehicle and another six days for delivery.
  3. Guaranteed Shipping: Guaranteed shipping is the best option if your car relocation timeline isn't padded. In guaranteed shipping, instead of providing you with a pickup window, the auto transport companies give you an exact date within a few days. As a result, it's an expensive yet faster option to ship your car.

Knowing the Exact Pickup Date and Why It Is Difficult to Pinpoint

When you book your car shipping appointment with the auto transport service, whether in-person or online, they ask you to provide your email address and phone number. They ask for these credentials for a reason.

When the auto shipping company assigns shipping your car to a trailer, they let you know your estimated pickup date through a confirmation email. 

These emails also contain the trucker's phone number. Your trucker will also usually drop you a line 12-24 hours before the exact pickup time.

But, here's the thing: Truck drivers are constantly picking up and dropping off different vehicles. Hence their situation is unpredictable. So any unexpected happening can slide them outside of their schedule frames. 

Getting a Guaranteed Pickup Date 

You can get a guaranteed pick update is also possible. 

But, for a guaranteed pick-up date, be ready to pay more. Then, later on, you can arrange other things by speaking with your auto transport company. When you pay the premium price and plan something with your auto transport company, the carrier will put your vehicle's shipment on the priority list.


Try to Be Flexible With Your Timeline 

When scheduling your car for shipment, try to be as flexible as possible with your timeline. The duration of the car shipping depends on:

  • Distance 
  • Traffic Volumes
  • Prevailing Weather Conditions

So, you must be flexible with your timeline as your transporter will not be transiting only one car at a time. By being flexible with the timeline, you keep yourself away from the waiting havoc.

Here are the general shipping timelines with regards to distance:

  • 500 miles: 1-3 days 
  • 500-1000 miles: 2-4 days 
  • 1000-1500 miles: 3-5 days 
  • 1500-2000 miles: 4-7 days 
  • 2500 miles and above: 6-14 days 

Location Also Matters 

Besides other factors, location also plays a significant part in deciding your car shipping rate.

Say, shipping your car to an urban area takes less time than sending your car from a remote location. The reason is apparent. Transporting trucks pass through urban areas more frequently. Conversely, remote locations require drivers to go out of their way.

Gather All Your Necessary Documentation

So, now you've understood all the ins and outs of scheduling your car and have decided on a car shipping company, you need to gather all the required documents. Then, store them in a safe place. 

Your required documents include your photo ID, booking confirmation, proof of your car's insurance, and car's insurance.

The auto shipping companies also provide insurance during transit. For more information about whether your insurance policy covers shipping distresses or not, you should contact your insurance provider or call their representative. Some car insurance companies cover the damages you incur while shipping your vehicle, while others don't. 

Talking to your car insurance company's representative will assure you what to expect if any mishap happens while your car is on its way. 

Moreover, You must also ask the auto transport company you are working with for your car's relocation if they provide any car damage coverage or not.

After all, you'd like to ensure that your vehicle is safe and protected when on the go. Right?

Prep Your Car for Shipment

Your car will require a little preparation before you part ways with your vehicle and hand it over to the car shipping companies. However, prepping your car can also save you some money and keep you away from any delays in the shipment. 

Because if your car isn't in an operable condition, you might have to pay some additional fee.

  • First, wash it and note any damages or dents. You can also stock your car's condition in the form of photos or videos to know if any damage happens in the transportation.
  • Insurance coverage doesn't apply to the items inside the car. So, it's better to remove all the valuables from your car.
  • Disable your car alarm and remove trackers and toll beepers to avoid extra charges.
  • Ensure that your car's tank has sufficient gas for driving it on or off the transport and your car's battery is fully charged.
  • Check the fluid levels of your car.

You are all set to hand your car to the auto transport company.

Pro Tip: If you wouldn't be there to receive your car at the delivery destination, have someone else wait and inspect your car there. Don't forget to sign a permit for your representative who'll receive your car. Your receiver must be eighteen years old and have a valid ID to receive your vehicle.


The only critical part is deciding when you want to move your car. Once you have done the hard part, the rest will follow. If you need an urgent car transportation service, you should call and talk to the representative of the auto transport company.

The tips mentioned above must be sufficient for you to schedule your car seamlessly. 

Auto transportation takes time and effort. Therefore, you must be prepared, patient, and communicative to have a stress-free car shipping experience. 

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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