Every customer that we’ve ever encountered has asked questions about car transport; whether it was the process, or the industry in general, or something pertaining to their specific shipment, chances are if you’re shipping a car you’re going to have some questions. And many customers have the same questions, so rather than answering some of the more easily explained ones over and over, we’ve compiled this helpful FAQ to help our customers answer some of the more basic questions for themselves.

Can I pack things in my car?

Absolutely no items are allowed in your vehicle if you are shipping overseas, or to Alaska and Hawaii. The shipping ports will not accept your vehicle because the Customs Agents will not inspect your vehicle if there are any items not attached to the vehicle from the factory. There is no tolerance for exceptions to this policy.

Several common sense reasons also suggest why packing items in your vehicle is not a good idea. Personal goods may shift around (forcefully at times) in the trunk or interior of the transported vehicle and become damaged or damage the vehicle. It is also possible that the stored items may cause a weight problem with your vehicle and add unnecessary difficulties with loading and unloading, and possible undercarriage damage to your vehicle. Any items left in the vehicle are left at the owner’s personal risk.

We prefer not to ship personal belongings inside a vehicle. Personal belongings that are inside the car at the time of transport are not insured. If you need to put personal items (Not Household Items) you must limit your items to less than100lbs. These items should be confined to the trunk area. We do not recommend packing electronics, breakable items or items of great monetary or sentimental value. If you do decide to place objects inside the vehicle, please keep them “light and out of sight.” Remember, since these items are not insured, we ask that they be securely positioned in an area that is not visible. Under no circumstances can the car contain firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, or contraband.

What is the difference between an open and an enclosed car transport carrier?

An open carrier is a type of car transport truck that leaves the vehicles it is transporting open to the elements. These are the most common type of car transport carrier in the industry today, as they are the easiest and cheapest to operate and maintain, and the cheapest form of transport for customers to book with. Enclosed carriers provide more protection for vehicles that are being hauled, but they are generally more expensive than open transporters and typically will take longer to find and schedule pickup. Enclosed carriers are generally recommended for customers shipping high-end or expensive vehicles, as opposed to daily drivers.

How long does it take to transport a vehicle? 

This depends entirely on where you’re shipping your vehicle from and to. Longer routes will typically take longer, on the whole, though some routes that are shorter can actually take longer depending on the geographical locations of the pickup and delivery cities. This is what’s known as “in-transit time,” and the longest routes will generally take at most two weeks transit time. You should speak to your car transport representative about the transit time for your specific route, as all routes are different and subject to change.

How far in advance should I schedule the transport of my vehicle?

You should try to book your car transport at least a week out, but no longer than two weeks. This is because car transport quotes typically only are good for two weeks at most, as prices tend to change and fluctuate rapidly within the industry. Booking your shipment a week to ten days ahead of time is what we recommend, as that allows us plenty of time to actually find a carrier in your area and dispatch your shipment to a licensed carrier.

Can I ship a non-running vehicle?

You can, but know that there will be a non-operational surcharge added to your shipment. A special winch is required to load and unload non-operating vehicles, and not all car transport carriers have said winch on their trucks, so it’s up to our dispatchers to find a carrier that does if your vehicle is not running. We do ask that it roll, brake and steer just fine, as it cannot be loaded onto a carrier if there are no wheels or no way to turn the vehicle – and it has to be able to stop. Typical non-running vehicle fees run about $150, and you can always call our office if you’re concerned about your vehicle’s ability to be loaded or unloaded.

Do I need to have the title of the vehicle on hand to ship it?

No. The only thing you need, really, are the keys. Because many customers are shipping vehicles for their relatives, or because they bought a vehicle online and don’t have the paperwork, most car transport carriers will only require the keys to the vehicle. But do know that even if you don’t have the title, you do need the VIN number, as that’s the best way to track which vehicle belongs to which customer and who is liable for which vehicle.