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What are the available options for auto transport in Pittsburgh?

Published by Joe Webster.

What are the available options for auto transport in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh, PA, stands as a hub for a variety of auto transport service, catering to the diverse needs of vehicle owners looking to ship their cars either locally or across the country. Whether you're seeking open car transport for a cost-effective solution or enclosed auto transport for high-value vehicles, Pittsburgh offers it all. Local auto transport companies provide door-to-door delivery, ensuring your vehicle arrives safely and conveniently. Enclosed transport services are particularly recommended for classic cars, adding an extra layer of security against the elements and road debris. For those looking at long-distance auto transport, numerous Pittsburgh car shipping companies offer cross-country shipping services. This comprehensive range of services ensures that whether you're shipping a standard vehicle or a luxury car, you have access to tailored solutions that match your needs and budget, making the auto transport process straightforward and stress-free.

Types of Auto Transport Services in Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh, PA, offers a variety of auto transport services catering to diverse needs, whether it's for local moves within the city or for long-distance auto transport. Here’s a deeper look into the different types of services available for car shipping in Pittsburgh.

Open-Air Transport Services

Open-air transport services are one of the most common and economical options for car transport. In this method, vehicles are loaded onto an open auto transport truck, which usually carries several cars at once, exposed to the elements. This is a popular choice for standard vehicle transport where luxury or special protection is not a priority.

Pros of Open-Air Transport:

  • Cost-Effective: Generally, open car transport tends to be less expensive than enclosed transport options, making it a preferred choice for standard car shipping.
  • Flexibility: Open transport trucks are readily available, which can lead to faster shipping times.
  • Visibility: Since the vehicles are not covered, they can be monitored easily during transport, ensuring the vehicle arrives safely.

Cons of Open-Air Transport:

  • Exposure to Elements: Vehicles are exposed to weather and road debris, which may not be ideal for high-end or classic cars.
  • Less Secure: While still safe, open transport offers less protection from external risks compared to enclosed options.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport provides the highest level of protection and security for transporting vehicles. It is ideal for high-value, luxury, or classic cars that require extra protection from external elements.

Features of Enclosed Transport:

  • Protection from the Elements: Cars are shipped in a fully covered trailer, protecting them from dirt, dust, rain, and potential road debris.
  • Security: Enclosed trailers offer an added level of security, greatly reducing the risk of theft or vandalism during transport.

Benefits of Choosing Enclosed Auto Transport:

  • Ideal for Luxury and Classic Cars: Owners of high-value vehicles can rest assured knowing their investment is well-protected.
  • Maintains Vehicle Condition: By preventing exposure to the elements and potential hazards, the car maintains its pristine condition.

Door-to-Door Service

Door-to-door service in car transport is all about convenience. Rather than taking your vehicle to a transport terminal, the auto transport company picks up the vehicle right from your specified location and delivers it to your doorstep or as close as legally possible.

How Door-to-Door Service Works in Pittsburgh:

The auto transport company will coordinate a nearby location for pickup and delivery if direct access is not possible due to restrictions or the inability to navigate large carriers in residential areas.

This service simplifies the process, making it a preferred choice for many residents in Pittsburgh, especially for those dealing with busy schedules.

Terminal-to-Terminal Transport

Terminal-to-terminal service is a more cost-effective option compared to door-to-door transport. It involves dropping off your vehicle at a designated transport terminal in Pittsburgh and picking it up from a terminal near your final destination.

What is Terminal-to-Terminal Service?

This service often requires more involvement from the vehicle owner but can be less expensive as it cuts down on the logistical challenges for the transport company.

Locations of Terminals in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh has several terminals spread throughout the city, which facilitates the coordination and consolidation of vehicle shipments, thus potentially lowering the Pennsylvania car shipping cost.

Each of these services offers different benefits and can be tailored to meet specific car transport needs, whether you're looking to ship a car across the country or within Pennsylvania. When selecting a car shipping company in Pittsburgh, consider factors like the type of auto transport service you need, the auto transport cost, and the specific details of your car shipment to ensure your vehicle arrives safely and efficiently.

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Key Auto Transport Companies in Pittsburgh


Local vs National Transporters

When choosing between local and national auto transport companies, Pittsburgh residents have distinct options to consider, each with its advantages:

Local Transporters:

  • Local Knowledge: Local transporters are intimately familiar with the Pittsburgh area, from traffic patterns to best logistical routes, ensuring efficient vehicle transport.
  • Customer Service: Smaller local companies often provide more personalized customer service, building trust through direct communication and tailored services.

National Transporters:

  • Extensive Network: National car shipping companies have a broader service area, ideal for long-distance auto transport, including cross-country car shipping.
  • Resource Availability: With larger fleets and more extensive resources, national transporters can offer services like open car transport or enclosed car transport more readily across states.

Review of Top-Rated Pittsburgh Transport Companies

Here are some of the top-rated auto transport companies operating in Pittsburgh, PA, known for reliable car shipping services and competitive Pennsylvania car shipping costs:

A1 Auto Transport:

  • Services Offered: Enclosed auto transport, open auto transport truck services, and door-to-door delivery.
  • Specialties: Known for handling classic cars and offering secure, enclosed transport options.

Pittsburgh Auto Transport:

  • Services Offered: Standard open car transport and specialized enclosed transport for high-value vehicles.
  • Specialties: Focuses on both local and long-distance auto transport with an emphasis on maintaining vehicle safety and providing affordable auto transport costs.

Liberty Auto Transport:

  • Services Offered: Comprehensive transport solutions including open transport, enclosed transport, and cross-country shipping.
  • Specialties: Offers detailed car transport processes designed to ensure the vehicle arrives safely, leveraging advanced logistics technology.

Riverfront Auto Transport Services:

  • Services Offered: Door-to-door shipping, terminal-to-terminal services, and luxury car shipping.
  • Specialties: Expertise in transporting personal belongings alongside vehicles, ensuring both are handled with care.

Each company is equipped to handle various needs from basic car shipping to more detailed enclosed auto transport services, accommodating everything from daily drivers to rare classic cars. Whether shipping within Pennsylvania or to distant locations, these companies provide reliable solutions tailored to the unique requirements of Pittsburgh residents.

Cost Factors for Auto Transport in Pittsburgh


1. Factors Influencing Auto Transport Costs

Several elements determine the overall auto transport cost when shipping a vehicle in or out of Pittsburgh, PA:

  • Distance: The distance between the pickup and delivery points significantly impacts the cost. Longer distances generally increase the car shipping cost due to higher fuel consumption, driver hours, and wear on transport vehicles.
  • Vehicle Type: Larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks take up more space and add weight on the carrier, which may cost more compared to shipping a compact car.

Transport Type:

  • Open Car Transport: Typically less expensive; the vehicle is exposed to the elements but is cost-effective for most standard vehicles.
  • Enclosed Auto Transport: Offers protection from the elements and is recommended for luxury or classic cars, hence it's pricier.
  • Seasonal Fluctuations: The demand for car transport services varies with the seasons. Prices may spike during the busy summer months or in winter when road conditions worsen.

2. Average Cost Estimates

Providing ballpark figures for different types of transport services from and to Pittsburgh, PA:

Local Auto Transport (within Pennsylvania):

  • Open Auto Transport Truck: Approximately $150 - $300.
  • Enclosed Auto Transport: Around $200 - $500.

Long Distance Auto Transport (e.g., to/from California):

  • Open Car Transport: Typically ranges from $900 to $1,400.
  • Enclosed Car Transport: Generally costs between $1,200 and $2,000, depending on specific needs like transporting personal belongings or classic cars.

Cross Country Car Shipping:

  • Standard Open Transport: Estimated between $1,100 to $1,700.
  • Premium Enclosed Transport: Could go as high as $1,800 to $2,400, particularly when special handling and safety measures are required.

These estimates are intended to give a general idea of what Pittsburgh residents might expect to pay. Actual prices can vary based on specific details of the car shipment and the services provided by the auto transport company. Always consider obtaining a direct car shipping estimate from reputable Pittsburgh car shipping services to ensure accurate pricing.

Planning Your Auto Transport in Pittsburgh

1. Best Time to Arrange Auto Transport

The optimal timing for arranging auto transport services can vary based on several factors:

  • Seasonal Considerations: Avoiding winter months is advisable due to harsh weather conditions which can delay transport times and affect vehicle safety. Late spring through early fall is generally the best period for car shipping in Pittsburgh.
  • Booking Advice: To secure the best rates and ensure availability, book your vehicle transport at least a few weeks in advance, especially if planning a long distance or cross country car shipping.

2. Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

Ensuring your vehicle is ready for the journey is crucial for a smooth transport process:

  • Cleaning: Wash your vehicle to help the driver conduct a thorough inspection for any existing damage before transport.
  • Maintenance Check: Ensure fluids are at adequate levels, tires are properly inflated, and the battery is in good condition.
  • Remove Personal Belongings: Personal items should be removed from the vehicle as they are not covered by carrier insurance and could pose a risk during transport.
  • Disable Alarms: If applicable, make sure to disable any alarm systems to prevent them from going off during the transport.
  • Document the Vehicle's Condition: Take photos and document your car's condition prior to shipping for your records.

3. Understanding Insurance and Safety Regulations

Navigating the insurance and safety regulations is essential for protecting your vehicle during transport:

  • Insurance Coverage: Verify that the auto transport company offers comprehensive insurance that covers any potential damages during transport.
  • Safety Regulations: Ensure the auto transport service complies with all federal and Pennsylvania-specific safety regulations to guarantee that your vehicle arrives safely at its destination.

Proper planning and understanding the nuances of auto transport can significantly enhance your experience and ensure your vehicle reaches its destination without issues.


Pittsburgh, PA, offers a wide range of auto transport services tailored to meet diverse needs, from local moves to cross-country shipping. Whether you require economical open-air transport or secure enclosed shipping for luxury vehicles, there are numerous reputable companies to choose from. Understanding the various transport options, cost factors, and preparation steps is crucial for a smooth experience. By selecting a reliable auto transport provider and following proper preparation guidelines, Pittsburgh residents can ensure their vehicles are transported safely and efficiently, making the process straightforward and stress-free. Whether shipping a standard vehicle or a classic car, tailored solutions are available to fit every budget and requirement. Ready to ship your vehicle with confidence? Contact A1 Auto Transport today for a customized quote that meets your specific needs and budget. Trust us to deliver your car safely and efficiently, whether locally in Pennsylvania or across the country. Call now or visit our website to get started!

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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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★★★★★ 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.

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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!

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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.

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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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