Gift Icon Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
4.7 Star Rating4.7 (67,926 reviews)
How much does shipping your Vehicle cost?
Free Instant Online Calculator based on quotes from Trusted Auto Shipping Companies
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

No risk, no contracts. Just calculate your quote first and choose your contractor later.

Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
Dave loved the fast delivery
My relocation to Chicago was fast, smooth and without any delay thanks to A1 Auto.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidanceCourtney J.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidance
Just what you need when trusting someone with your wheels! Kudos to this company!
Jeff enjoyed the fair priceJeff D.
Jeff enjoyed the fair price
Moved my ride hassle-free with these folks.Fair pricing, no surprises. Definitely recommend them!
Maria enjoyed the special care and safetyMaria L.
Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
Huge thanks to the movers – they were meticulous with my car. Love these guys.
Recently featured on USA Today

“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

How long does car transportation take?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Delivery and Unloading
  2. Expedited Shipping Options
  3. International vs Domestic Transportation
  4. Tips for Reducing Transportation Time
  5. Conclusion
How long does car transportation take?

When it comes to transporting a vehicle, one of the most pressing questions on every car owner's mind is, "How long does car transportation take?" The answer, while seemingly straightforward, varies based on several factors. Generally, the transportation time for a car can range from a couple of days to a few weeks. This timeframe is influenced by the distance between the pickup and delivery locations, the type of transport chosen, and other logistical elements.

Understanding the time it takes to transport a vehicle is crucial for planning, whether you're moving across the country, buying a car from a distant location, or sending a vehicle to a buyer. In this article, we'll delve into the specifics of what affects transportation time and provide insights to help you estimate how long it might take to transport your vehicle. We aim to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions when arranging for car transportation, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.


Delivery and Unloading

Once your vehicle is en route, the next critical phase in the car shipping process is the delivery and unloading at the destination. The car transport company ensures that the journey from the pickup to the delivery locations is as smooth as possible. Here's what happens during this phase:

  • Approaching the Destination: As the auto transport carrier nears the delivery location, you will typically be notified about the expected arrival time. Most auto transport companies maintain communication to ensure you are informed.
  • Delivery Location: The accessibility of the delivery location can impact the final phase. If the location is in a remote area or has restrictions for large car carriers, alternative arrangements might be needed, such as meeting at a nearby accessible location.
  • Unloading the Vehicle: Once at the delivery site, the vehicle is carefully unloaded. This process requires skill, especially if your vehicle was transported via enclosed auto transport, which often houses high-value vehicles requiring extra care.
  • Inspection and Handover: Upon unloading, a final inspection is conducted to ensure the vehicle is in the same condition as at the time of pickup. It's important for either you or a representative to be present during this inspection to confirm the condition of the vehicle and complete the handover process

Expedited Shipping Options

For those needing faster delivery, most car shipping companies offer expedited shipping options. This service is designed for situations where you need to ship a car within a tight timeframe. Here's what to expect with expedited shipping:

  • Faster Pickup and Delivery: Expedited services prioritize your vehicle on more car transport trucks that are readily available, ensuring quicker pickup and shorter delivery times.
  • Direct Routes: Instead of the usual car shipping route which may involve multiple stops, expedited shipping often uses a more direct route to the destination.
  • Higher Cost: It's important to note that this service typically comes at a higher cost. You can obtain car shipping quotes online for both standard and expedited services to compare the prices.

Expedited shipping is ideal for urgent car transport needs, ensuring that your vehicle gets to its destination as quickly as possible.

Expedited Shipping Options

International vs. Domestic Transportation

The time it takes to ship a car can vary significantly between international and domestic transport. Understanding these differences is crucial when planning your car shipment:

  • International Transport: International shipping involves longer transit times, often several weeks, due to the distances covered and the complexities of international shipping routes and customs processes. Enclosed auto transport is commonly used for overseas shipments to protect vehicles from the elements.
  • Domestic Transport: For domestic shipments, especially if it's just a few hundred miles, the car shipping delivery time is considerably shorter, often taking just a few days. Domestic transport is typically more straightforward, with a direct car shipping route and fewer logistical hurdles.

Whether you choose international or domestic shipping, working with a reputable car transport company ensures that your vehicle is handled professionally throughout the journey. Most auto transport companies provide detailed information and support for both types of shipments.

Tips for Reducing Transportation Time

To minimize the car shipping time frame, consider these practical tips:

  • Flexible Drop Off and Delivery Locations: Sometimes, choosing more accessible drop-off and delivery locations can speed up the process. Locations that are easy for the truck driver to reach can reduce delays.
  • Choose the Right Shipping Method: Open transport is generally faster than enclosed car shipping. If time is a priority, select the quicker option.
  • Prepare Your Vehicle: Ensure your car is ready for transport to avoid delays during pickup. This includes checking for any mechanical issues and securing or removing loose items.
  • Book in Advance: Most car shipments can be expedited by booking early, as this allows the auto shipping company to plan more efficiently.
The Process of Door to Door Car Shipping


In conclusion, the time it takes for auto transport companies to ship a car varies based on several factors, including the distance, shipping method, and the efficiency of the auto shipping company. Whether you opt for container shipping, open transport, or enclosed car shipping, understanding these variables helps set realistic expectations for your car's shipping process.

Remember, most car shipments arrive safely and within the expected time frame. Choosing a reputable auto transport service is crucial for a smooth experience. They not only provide accurate car shipping time frames but also ensure your vehicle is handled with care throughout its journey.

Finally, always communicate your needs clearly with the auto transport company, whether it's about the delivery location, specific time constraints, or any other preferences. This collaboration is key to a successful and timely car shipment.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
Copy link

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.

Email Me

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.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us:

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Get an instant free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak Directly to Our Sales Team:

Call Us 1-888-230-9116

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

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
Copyright © 1988-2024, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.