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Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
Dave loved the fast delivery
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Jeff enjoyed the fair price
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Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
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“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

How do I prepare my vehicle for door to door auto transport?

Published by Joe Webster.

How do I prepare my vehicle for door to door auto transport?

To prepare your vehicle for door-to-door auto transport, start by cleaning it inside and out and documenting its condition with photos. Remove all personal belongings and disable any alarms. Ensure the tires are properly inflated and the gas tank is about a quarter full to reduce weight. Check and top off all fluid levels, and secure or remove any loose parts or specialty items like antennas. Lastly, make sure to have an extra set of keys ready for the transport team.

Initial Preparation Steps

Embarking on the journey of transporting your vehicle can be stress-free with the right preparation. Whether you're moving across the state or the country, choosing a reliable car shipping company for door to door auto transport is crucial. Here's how to ensure a smooth car transport process:

Begin by researching car shipping companies with a reputation for reliable door to door delivery. A trustworthy car transport service will have positive reviews, proper licensing, and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. Prioritize auto transporters that offer comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against any existing damage during the shipping process.

Door to Door Transport vs. Terminal Based Services:Opting for door to door shipping offers the convenience of having your vehicle picked up and delivered right to your doorstep. Unlike terminal-to-terminal services, which may require you to travel to a major city, door to door transport saves you time and reduces the risk of extra mileage on your car.

  1. Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport: Vehicle preparation is key to a successful car shipping experience. Here are some steps to ensure your vehicle is ready for the journey:
  2. Personal Belongings: Remove all personal items from your vehicle. Auto transporters are not responsible for personal belongings left inside the car, and these can cause damage during transit.
  3. Properly Inflated Tires: Ensure your car's tires are properly inflated. This helps in loading and unloading your vehicle from the car carrier and prevents damage.
  4. Gas Tank: Keep your gas tank no more than a quarter full. A full gas tank adds unnecessary weight to the auto transport, and a minimal amount is sufficient for loading and unloading the vehicle.
  5. Documenting Existing Damage: Before handing over your car for door to door shipping, document any existing damage with photos. This will be essential if you need to file an insurance claim.
  6. Finalizing Pickup and Delivery Locations: Coordinate the pickup and delivery locations with your car transport service. While door to door delivery offers convenience, it's important to ensure that the locations are accessible for the car carrier. Discuss with your auto transporters any concerns about narrow streets or regulations that might affect door auto delivery to ensure a seamless transport.
  7. Ensuring Coverage with Insurance: Insurance coverage during transport is a must. Check with the car shipping services to understand the extent of their insurance policy and consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary. This step is not just a precaution but a cornerstone of trust between you and the car shipping company.

Final Considerations Before Choosing a Door to Door Shipping Service

Checking for Additional Certifications

Beyond the BBB and DOT registrations, some car transport companies may hold additional certifications or memberships in professional auto transport organizations. These can be signs of a company's commitment to upholding industry standards.

Evaluating Communication and Customer Service

Throughout the shipping process, communication is key. From the moment you request a quote to the final delivery of your vehicle, responsive customer service can make all the difference in the door to door shipping experience.

Choosing the Right Service for Your Needs

Door to Door vs. Terminal to Terminal Transport

  • Door to Door: Offers direct delivery from your current location to the desired destination, providing convenience and saving time.
  • Reduces Risk: Minimizes potential damage by avoiding multiple loadings and unloading at terminals.
  • Terminal to Terminal: More cost-effective if you are close to the terminals and can manage vehicle pickup.
  • Considerations: Weigh convenience against your proximity to terminal locations and flexibility in picking up the vehicle.

Open Air vs. Enclosed Transport Options

  • Open Air Transport: More economical, suitable for standard vehicles. Vehicles are exposed to weather and road debris.
  • Enclosed Transport: Provides enhanced protection from environmental elements, ideal for luxury, classic, or high-value vehicles.
  • Vehicle Preparation: Enclosed transport includes extra precautions to ensure vehicles remain pristine.

Considering Timeframes and Flexibility

  • Scheduling: Door to door transport requires advance booking due to popularity and limited availability.
  • Flexibility: Discuss your schedule openly with transport providers to find a service that aligns with your timeframe.
  • Service Selection: Choose based on how well the service timing aligns with your availability and urgency

Ensuring a Match with Your Needs

Verifying Credentials and Reputation

A reputable car shipping company will be recognized by the Better Business Bureau and will have all the necessary licensing and insurance coverage in place. This due diligence ensures that your vehicle is in good hands throughout the shipping process.

Assessing the Level of Service and Support

The level of service and support you receive can make a significant difference. Evaluate how the company communicates, their transparency in the shipping process, and their ability to provide updates about your vehicle's journey.

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Scheduling Your Transport

When planning to move a vehicle from one location to another, choosing the right car shipping company is crucial. This guide will walk you through the best practices for booking auto transport in advance, coordinating the shipping process with your personal schedule, and preparing for the pickup and delivery windows. Our goal is to ensure your car transport experience is smooth, predictable, and aligned with your needs.


Best Practices for Booking in Advance

  • Start Early: To secure the best rates and availability, start your search for car shipping services well in advance. Car shipping companies often have busy schedules, especially during peak seasons, and last-minute bookings can lead to higher prices or limited options.
  • Research and Compare: Look for reputable car shipping companies with positive reviews and ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Compare different services, including door-to-door transport and terminal-to-terminal options, and choose one that best fits your needs.
  • Verify Credentials: Ensure that the auto transporters you consider are licensed and insured. This verification will protect you against any unforeseen incidents related to car transport.
  • Discuss Specific Needs: If you have special requirements, such as shipping personal items inside the vehicle or needing a specific delivery location, discuss these with the car transport service provider in advance. Some companies may accommodate personal belongings, while others might have strict policies against it.

Coordinating with Your Schedule

  • Flexibility is Key: When booking car shipping services, try to be flexible with your schedule. Most car transport companies provide a delivery window rather than a specific date. Being flexible can reduce stress and allow the company to manage the logistics more efficiently.
  • Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with the car shipping company. Ensure they can contact you or a designated person when necessary, especially close to the pickup and delivery dates.
  • Plan for Delays: While most auto transporters strive to maintain their schedules, delays can happen due to weather, traffic, or logistical reasons. Plan accordingly and keep some buffer time in your schedule.

Preparing for Pickup and Delivery Windows

  • Vehicle Preparation: Before handing your car over to the carrier, ensure it is in good condition for transport. Check that the gas tank is no more than a quarter full and that tires are properly inflated. This preparation will help prevent any issues during loading and unloading.
  • Inspect for Existing Damage: Document the condition of your vehicle before transport. Take photos of any existing damage and discuss this with the car carrier. This step will be important if you need to file an insurance claim for any damage incurred during transport.
  • Personal Belongings: If the car shipping service allows personal items in the vehicle, pack them securely and ensure they are not visible from outside to prevent theft. Keep in mind that not all items may be covered under the carrier’s insurance policy.
  • Receiving Your Vehicle: At the delivery location, inspect your vehicle thoroughly. Compare its condition against the pre-shipment inspection report. If there is any discrepancy or new damage, note it on the delivery receipt before signing it.


Choosing the right car transport service involves evaluating door-to-door and terminal options, considering open-air versus enclosed transport, and aligning service choices with your scheduling needs. Early booking, thorough research, and clear communication with the transport company are essential for a smooth auto transport experience.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

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!

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... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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.

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

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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