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What Are the Different Types of Vehicles That Auto Transport Companies Will Take?

Published by Joe Webster.

What Are the Different Types of Vehicles That Auto Transport Companies Will Take?

Are you wondering how to move your car, or maybe another type of vehicle, from one place to another?

When you need auto transport services, there are several types of vehicles that auto transport companies offer. Some companies only take cars, while others accept trucks, vans, RVs, motorcycles, and larger vehicles.

Whether you need auto transport services for yourself or someone else, you should understand what type of vehicle they will accept before booking them.

This guide will help you learn about the different types of vehicles that auto transport providers will accept and the shipping methods they implement for your vehicle.

List of Vehicles Auto Transport Companies Will Take

Auto transport companies offer various services to transport your vehicles, ranging from small passenger cars to bigger vehicles.

Here is a general list of vehicles an auto transport company will take.

  1. Small to medium-sized cars
  2. Luxury cars
  3. RVs
  4. Trucks
  5. Motorcycles
  6. Farm and industrial equipment, such as tractors
  7. Boats and yachts
  8. ATV and UTV
  9. Military vehicles
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Methods of Shipping Different Types of Vehicles

Auto shippers use four main transport methods: roll-on/roll-off, door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, and open or enclosed car shipment.

Each method offers advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of shipment.


Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-ro)

A roll-on/roll-off ship is used for larger shipments that require a lot of cargo space. These ships typically carry containers loaded onto the ship's deck and unloaded into the hold of another vessel.

A roll-on/roll-off ship is best suited for transporting cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and heavy machinery.

The advantage of a roll-on/roll-off ship is that it provides ample room for loading and unloading vehicles.

However, there are some drawbacks. For example, the cost of a roll-on/roll-off ship is often higher than those that use other types of transport.

Also, because the cargo area is exposed to the elements, the carrier must protect any vehicles in the area during transit.

When selecting a carrier, consider how many vehicles you plan to move, where you want to ship the vehicles, and whether you'll require insurance coverage.


Door-to-door auto transport is used for smaller shipments that don't require a lot of cargo capacity. This type of ship carries individual vehicles that are loaded one by one onto the deck of the vessel.

A door-to-door shipment is best suited for transporting passenger cars, SUVs, vans, light commercial vehicles, and small tractors.

Advantages include lower costs and less exposure to weather conditions. Disadvantages include limited cargo space and the fact that each vehicle needs to be individually loaded and unloaded.


A terminal-to-terminal ship is used for smaller shipments of vehicles that aren't too big. This type of ship transports vehicles directly from one location to another without loading and unloading them.

A terminal-to-terminal shipment is best suited for transporting medium-sized vehicles such as minivans, pick-up trucks, and sport utility vehicles.

The advantages of a terminal-to-terminal ship include low costs and minimal exposure to weather conditions.

However, several disadvantages include limited cargo space and the inability to load multiple vehicles simultaneously.

Open vs. enclosed car shipping

Open-car shipping is the cheapest way to go, but it does expose the vehicle to the elements during transit.

This might work well for you if you live somewhere cold, like Alaska. However, if you live in a warm climate, such as Florida, this could cause problems.

Enclosed car shipping is best if you are okay with sending your car over bumpy roads and through tight spaces.

You'll never know what conditions your vehicle will experience during transit, but it will be protected from the elements.


Specialized Types of Shipping

Besides the three main categories of cars that auto shipping companies ship (passenger cars, commercial trucks, and motorcycles), there are special shipments for other types.

Each of these vehicles requires specific documentation and insurance coverage.

But there are also special auto transport services, such as multi-car shipments for dealerships and specialized shipping for military vehicles.

Classic and luxury vehicle transport

Fully enclosed trailers with expertly trained drivers will protect your valuable vehicle from the elements while you wait for it to arrive at its destination.

Some transport businesses have a range of packages for luxury vehicles, including door-to-door delivery, collection from local dealerships, nationwide deliveries, and even international shipping.

Military car shipping PCS

The United States Army Transportation Corps provides military personnel with vehicle shipping PCS.

This shipment includes moving vehicles from one location to another. Car shipping PCS is essential to the military's overall transportation system.

Numerous auto transport carriers offer military discounts. They can provide discounted rates because they know how much work it takes to move a vehicle. Moving these cars is a big deal.

For example, there is specialized equipment needed to handle heavy cargo. The people who do this type of work must have specific training.

Multiple car transports for dealerships

Moving cars is an important part of running a dealership. Many companies specialize in shipping services for moving several cars at once via truck.


A large boat, such as a yacht, can be transported as deck cargo on a ship.

Meanwhile, smaller boats can be loaded onto a trailer attached to a truck that drives it to its destination.

Farm and industrial equipment

Heavy farm equipment, such as tractors, is placed upon trailers linked to a truck. This truck drives the equipment to where it needs to go.

Shipping a tractor differs from shipping a car, so many auto shipping businesses may prefer not to move a tractor across long distances.

In addition, shipping this type of equipment requires specialized towing tools and the best quality carriers and haulers.


Car Transport Companies Often Charge Based on the Market Trends

Unfortunately, auto carriers may charge exorbitant shipping costs because they know that most people don't shop around for rates.

So why not take advantage of the fact that auto transport industry consumers aren't shopping around?

Knowing what you want before making decisions can be helpful if you want to save money on car shipping.

So ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What type of vehicle am I transporting?
  2. How long does my shipment need to travel?
  3. Where will I ship my vehicle?

You need to know the answers to these questions to avoid paying too much for auto transport.


There are different types of vehicles that auto transport companies can carry. These include cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs, boats, etc.

Some of these vehicles, namely bigger boats and heavy industrial and farm equipment like tractors, require special equipment to load and unload. Others can be loaded without much difficulty.

An auto transporter company can handle transport for all types of vehicles.

At A-1 Auto Transport, we take pride in knowing we are the top carrier network of transport services in the United States.

We are an experienced company offering affordable shipping prices and promotions on domestic and international shipments.

Get an accurate quote through email today by completing our free instant quotes form online or call us and speak with a transport expert right away on options that best suit your needs.

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