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General Guide to the World of Auto Transport

What's in this article?
  1. Know The Different Types Of Auto Transport Companies
  2. The Two Main Types Of Shipping Services
Different Types Of Auto Transport Companies

If you have a sudden need for or are deciding whether or not to ship your vehicle through an auto transport company, it may seem quite intimidating, as the sheer amount of options and different services can drive you into a frenzy. Don't worry though. At A-1 Auto Transport, we make it as easy and affordable as possible, as well as guide you through every single step. Nonetheless, it's important to know how everything works, especially with the litany of auto transport websites on the internet.

Know the Different Types Of Auto Transport Companies

Many people are surprised to find out that you may be dealing with a few different companies, in which one acts as a sort of middleman when you chose to have your vehicle shipped. This isn't a bad thing, however, as various rules and regulations make it easy to tell which company is legitimate and which one isn't. Here are the three types of companies:

  • Brokers

The brokers are the aforementioned middlemen and comprise the vast majority of the auto transport companies that you'll most likely deal with. What's important to know about them is that they do not actually transport the vehicles themselves. Instead, they contact an actual auto carrier to transport the vehicle, in which they accept a deposit and then send your payment directly to the carrier when the delivery is made.

They make their money off of the difference between the price that they charge you and the actual price that the carrier charges them. Brokers usually have a list of carriers that they work with regularly, but in addition, they post the shipping information on transportation boards in some cases. The best brokers will make sure to chose carriers that are reliable and can get your shipment delivered as safely and as fast as possible.

Carriers Auto Transport Companies
  • Carriers

The carriers are the ones who actually do the physical transportation of the vehicle. You will most likely not be contacting them directly, but instead, it is the auto transport broker that will deal with them. Most of the carriers are small companies, sometimes even run by a husband and a wife, that work as freelancers. They operate through the use of either open trailers, enclosed trailers, multiple car haulers, or single trailers, amongst others. They're regulated by the DOT and FMCSA, whose websites are located and respectfully.

  • Lead Aggregators

These are websites who take down your information and send it to a broker.

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The Two Main Types of Shipping Services

There are two predominant types of shipping services offered for auto transport. Which one you decide to go with should depend on your pick-up location and the delivery point. This will have a major impact on the cost of shipping, the estimated shipping time, and other related issues. You will be able to choose from the following two:

  • Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery

With this option, your vehicle will be picked up from an arranged drop off location and will be delivered to an agreed upon pick up location. It's the cheaper of the two options and is perfect for those who live near a major city, as that's where the terminals are often located.

  • Door-to-Door Delivery

Not surprisingly, this is the more expensive option. But the extra cost that you will have to incur means that your vehicle will be picked up from your own location and be delivered to the specified delivery point. If you live in the mountains, a rural area, or an area that is extremely hard to reach, the price will change accordingly, not to mention the shipping time as well.

It's important to consider your schedule, budget, and your location when deciding between the two.

Always chose a trusted company when deciding to transport your vehicle. Of course, A-1 Auto Transport can handle all of your transportation needs with affordable prices and reliable service!

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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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State to State Auto Shipping

Alabama (AL)

🇺🇸 Alabama (AL)

Mississippi (MS)

🇺🇸 Mississippi (MS)

Nebraska (NE)

🇺🇸 Nebraska (NE)

Nevada (NV)

🇺🇸 Nevada (NV)

New Hampshire (NH)

🇺🇸 New Hampshire (NH)

Oklahoma (OK)

🇺🇸 Oklahoma (OK)

Rhode Island (RI)

🇺🇸 Rhode Island (RI)

Washington (WA)

🇺🇸 Washington (WA)

West Virginia (WV)

🇺🇸 West Virginia (WV)

Wisconsin (WI)

🇺🇸 Wisconsin (WI)

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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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