Consumer Vehicle Shipping Services

There are a number of reasons why you might need to send a car across the country, and a lot of times you need to do that without physically driving it yourself. Maybe you're gifting a car you previously owned to a relative who lives states away. Perhaps you've purchased a car from an online seller or dealer but don't have a way to go retrieve it yourself. Regardless of why you need to do it, consumer vehicle shipping services are typically a great option for getting the car where you need it to go.

A consumer vehicle shipping service is quite similar to what you would expect from a commercial vehicle shipping service. It's simply a company that loads a car carrier with cars in need of shipping (typically quite a few at a time) and has designated drivers to drive the carriers across the country to their designated destinations. You've probably even passed one of these car carriers while driving on the freeway at one time or another. These services are really quite common. While they may be common, there are still quite a few things to consider when choosing a service to utilize to ensure your car arrives in the condition you'd like it to.

What are my choices?

There are a lot of things you want to make sure you know before booking transportation for your vehicle. These options can include:

  • Covered vs. uncovered carriers
  • Scheduled pickup or open transport
  • Door-to-door or Terminal-to-terminal service

The first is whether you want your chosen service to use a covered or uncovered carrier when driving your car. Uncovered carriers are, as you'd probably expect, going to be cheaper options. But this also means that your car has the possibility to be exposed to the outer elements, like rain and storms, and even any debris that the carrier might come across while out on the open road. Depending on the current condition of your car, and the year of production and estimated value, you might want to consider giving it a little more protection by choosing a covered carrier. It will definitely cost you a significant amount more, but the price might be worth it if it keeps the value and condition of your car intact. Especially if you're given it as a gift or if you've just purchased it like-new from a dealer out of state.

The second thing to keep in mind is whether you want schedule pickup or open transport. Schedule pickup is also quite self-explanatory, meaning that you choose a day and time for your vehicle to be picked up by the carrier. Open transport on the contrary means that you wait for an opening to become available. It's the difference between running on your schedule versus the carriers. Your schedule, as it almost always does.

Door to door transport versus terminal to terminal also means choosing convenience or cost. Door to door will bring your car right to you, while terminal to terminal will leave it at a predetermined hub for you to retrieve when you can.

What else can I expect?

While vehicle shipping is very convenient in today's world, it can also be quite slow. Your car can't usually be put on a plane and flown to the destination like an online order typically could, which means you or the recipient will be waiting quite a while, especially if you choose to go with an open transport option. Don't expect to get a new car overnight. It's a helpful service, but by no means is it an instant one.