How To Ship a Vehicle: Full Transport Process Explained

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Who needs to transport vehicles?

Auto transport companies specialize in shipping vehicles quickly and safely across the United States and elsewhere. Anyone who needs a safe, reliable and affordable method of transporting their automobile can benefit from a car transport company.This can include individuals who are moving, military personnel, private corporations, moving and relocation companies, as well as numerous car dealerships nationwide.

  1. Planning ahead and scheduling in advance - To ensure delivery in your desired time frame, schedule the shipping as far in advance as possible.
  2. Cleaning out the car - You vehicle needs to be free of any personal items during transport. Transport trucks must meet strict weight requirements and insurance will not cover personal items in the vehicle. Failure to remove all your belongings could result in an extra charge or cause a delay in the transport of your vehicle or both.
  3. Inspecting your vehicle and making a checklist - An important step in the automobile transportation process is to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and present it to the auto transit company for acknowledgment before they take possession of the vehicle.
  4. Ensuring low fuel and removing antennae - Make sure that you have no more than a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle for the transport.More fuel than this can provide an unnecessary safety hazard. Remove any loose parts from the vehicle such as bed liners that are not bolted down, so that they do not get blown off during transport. Any non-retractable antennas must also be removed so that they do not get damaged while in transport.
  5. Delivering the vehicle or having it picked up - The door-to-door delivery which allows for your vehicle to be picked up from its current location and delivered directly to the location of your choosing. If you live in an area that is not safely accessible to our transport trucks, you may be required to meet the transport driver at a nearby location that can accommodate the truck. You can drop off or pick-up your vehicle at a terminal in most major U.S cities. This is a great option for anyone looking for immediate delivery of their vehicle. You’ll save around $50 off the standard car shipping price when you drop it off or pick it up yourself. This request must be prearranged when placing your order. Either yourself or another designated party must be present upon pick-up of your vehicle. A contract is known as the “bill of loading” will need to be signed by you once the vehicle has been loaded for shipment.
  6. Securing the vehicle - Your vehicle is carefully loaded and secured on the transport truck for transport across the country.
  7. Transporting the vehicle - To any of the 50 states or internationally as well! The Department of Transportation limits drivers to 500 miles a day for important safety reasons.
  8. Picking up the vehicle or letting it be delivered - You can pick up your vehicle from a transport station or have it delivered right to your home, usually for an additional fee. Rural areas can sometimes present hazardous road conditions for the large transport trucks, which are typically 80 ft. long, weigh 80,000 lbs. and are built low to the ground. This can limit their ability to maneuver in tight places.Transport trucks must also avoid any roads that might have overhanging trees because the tree branches could damage the vehicles being transported. For the safety of your vehicle, the truck driver may choose a parking lot or interstate turnout that is as close as possible to the vehicle’s destination. This allows the driver to safely load or unload your vehicle. We leave this decision up to the discretion of our drivers since the driver is responsible for both the safety of the transport truck and the transported vehicles. Occasionally the delivery process can be held up for various reasons. The Department of Transportation regulates drivers and limits them to a total of 500 miles in a day, which has the potential to affect delivery time. Uncontrollable factors such as mechanical breakdowns, bad weather conditions, and unexpected traffic scenarios can also cause a delay. Planning in advance is the best way to ensure prompt delivery of your vehicle.
A-1 Auto Transport ships worldwide.

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Below Are Approximate prices for shipping to and from various cities in the United States:

The data in the table assumes the following: 
From: San Francisco, CA 
Type of Vehicle: Acura CL 
Operating Condition: Running (Rolls, Steers, and Brakes) 
Type of Trailer: Open 
Type of Service: Door-to-Door Service* 
Cargo Insurance:  Included*

Shipping From:           San Francisco, CA Shipping To:               Little Rock, AR Distance:               1,963 mi The total price is:        $ 1,139Shipping From:          San Francisco, CA Shipping To:               Detroit, MI Distance:                     2,087 mi The total price is:        $ 1,019
Shipping From:            San Francisco, CA Shipping To:                 Portland, OR Distance:                 636 mi The total price is:          $ 539Shipping From:             San Francisco, CA Shipping To:                 Charleston, WV Distance:                 2,558 mi The total price is:          $ 1,139
Shipping From:             San Francisco, CA Shipping To:                 Miami, FL Distance:                 3,110 mi The total price is:          $ 1,099Shipping From:            San Francisco, CA Shipping To:                Los Angeles, CA Distance:                382 mi The total price is:          $ 379

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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.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com


Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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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