Yes and no. The strict interpretation is no, you can’t ship items inside your vehicle. The reality is that almost all auto transport carriers look the other way on items that weigh less than 100 pounds, roughly the equivalent of 2 suitcases. We recommend placing any additional items in the trunk and out of sight. The U.S. Transportation Law states that a carrier can be fined $10,000 for hauling household items in the vehicle, but it is rarely enforced. Please know that car delivery drivers estimate every vehicle’s weight that they carry and don’t want problems at weight scales. They must keep the personal items to a minimum to make it through the scales. Some drivers will accept a tip ($50-$250) for hauling extra stuff, and some won’t. Rule of thumb, don’t take advantage. The car transporter is there to ship a car, not move the owner’s personal belongings. Our car shipping calculator will not add a charge for extra items because it would be presumptuous to expect the driver to agree. If you want to include extra items in your vehicle, please discuss that first with the driver and come to a mutual agreement.
Car Shipping Services for Auto Dealerships
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Car Transport Services for Auto Dealerships
Why Do Auto Dealerships Need Car Shipping Services?
Auto dealerships regularly need to transport cars for various reasons:
- Inventory Management: In order to keep their inventory levels efficient, auto dealerships may have to relocate vehicles from one place to another. An example of this is when a particular model seems to be more popular in one location compared to another, prompting the need for transfer.
- Customer Delivery: For many customers, the purchase of a car does not end at the dealership. When customers buy cars from an online source or from another location, there is still the need to deliver it to them. Car shipping services like Direct Express Auto Transport are key.
- Inter-Dealership Transfers: At times, dealerships require an exchange of vehicles between different branches. The relocation of cars can be due to personalized customer requests or to even out the stock at different stores. Inter-dealership transfers are a necessary practice in order to meet customer needs and ensure all stores have the right selection of cars available.
How Much Does Car Shipping for Auto Dealerships Cost?
The cost of car shipping for auto dealerships varies based on several factors:
- Distance: The price of a car transport spot on a carrier is highly dependent on the gap between the pickup and drop-off locations. This is because the longer it takes to get from one place to another, the more you will need to pay for the journey. Fuel and time cost money.
- Type of Vehicle: The year, type, model and condition of the car can all have an impact on the cost.
- Shipping Method: The choice of car shipping carrier can also have an effect on the overall cost. Enclosed transport, which encases a car in a secure container, is typically more costly than open transport. Open transport offers less protection for the vehicle but generally has a lower cost.
Methods of Car Shipping for Auto Dealerships
One of the most popular and inexpensive options for car shipping is open transport. With this process, vehicles are placed on an open-air carrier, which is able to hold multiple autos simultaneously. This cost effective solution works perfectly for a variety of dealerships due to its dependability. You will most often see open-air transport of new vehicles on the highway, which should tell you it is safe.
Utilizing enclosed transport is a great way to ensure extra protection for the cars as they’re shipped. This approach is especially helpful for dealerships transporting luxury, classic, or exotic cars that require additional protection from the elements and any debris on the road. The closed carrier allows for vehicles to be shielded from harsh weather conditions and dirt during the transport.
In certain situations, rail transport can be an effective way of relocating a large number of vehicles over considerable distances. This method is not widely used by individual customers, but when it comes to transporting cars from manufacturer to dealership, it can offer cheaper rates than other methods.
Paying for Car Shipping Services
For those shipping cars, most companies offer several payment options. Credit cards, bank/certified checks, and electronic transfers are all accepted. Depending on the company, a deposit might be needed upfront or full payment once the car has arrived at its destination.
Preparing Cars for Shipping
Prior to being shipped, all cars should go through a preparation process for transport and delivery.
- Give the Car a Thorough Cleaning: It is important to give the car a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. Doing so will help make obvious any damage already present at pickup and at the destination.
- Remove Personal Stuff: Any personal items should be taken out of the vehicle before shipment. Some car shippers will not accept vehicles with possessions inside, so make sure they have been cleared out ahead of time. Or ask permission.
- Vehicle Inspection: Give the car a thorough examination before any transportation, making sure that all existing damage is noted and recorded. Doing this can be beneficial in case of any further accidents occurring in transit.
Types of Cars We Ship
We transport a wide range of vehicles, including:
- Sedans and coupes
- Pickup trucks
- Luxury and classic cars
- Non-running or inoperable cars
Working with Auto Auctions
To save time and hassle, many dealerships turn to a car shipping company for the transportation of vehicles they purchase from auto auctions.
Dealer Trades and Car Swaps
In order to provide their customers with the best selection of vehicles possible, auto dealerships may engage in dealer trades or car swaps.
Car Shipping Discounts for Dealerships
Auto dealerships may be eligible for discounted car shipping services through some companies, especially if the dealership relies upon the service on a regular basis. This can result in considerable savings when it comes to transporting vehicles.
Direct Express Auto Transport & Auto Dealerships
Our car shipping services play a vital role in the auto dealership industry, helping dealerships manage their inventory, deliver cars to customers, and conduct inter-dealership transfers.
Not as much as you would suppose. If only one thing goes wrong, a tire blowout or overheated radiator for instance, then it would be actually cheaper to ship a car across country. About 97% of all auto transport shipments are delivered in an Open-Air trailer. It’s proven to be a very safe method with statistically few problems. You may notice multiple vehicles being delivered to car dealerships near you in an Open-Air trailer, and that’s because it’s reliable. It is also cheap car shipping. If you have a collector car or really expensive automobile, however, then we recommend car shipping services with an Enclosed carrier. Expect to pay about 50% more for Enclosed transport. Our car shipping cost calculator automatically adds the extra amount to your auto transport quote
Making a nominal partial credit card payment to the auto transport broker is preferred by car shipping carriers but not essential. Carriers like getting paid with Cash or Money Order upon delivery, and who doesn’t? Services paid immediately for services rendered. But a full credit card payment upfront also works if the car shipping carrier trusts the auto transport broker. Carriers have known Direct Express Auto Transport for nearly twenty years and the trust is there. So either method works with us
The auto transport delivery is the final step in the process, and also the simplest part. Once your vehicle has been assigned to a car shipping carrier and picked up, not too much can go wrong. It generally takes one day of transit time for every 500 miles of distance. The auto transport driver will call ahead from the road to announce his estimated time of arrival.
Car Delivery Time Estimate
- 100-500 miles takes 1 or 2 days
- 500-1000 miles takes 2 or 3 days
- 1000-1500 miles takes 3 or 4 days
- 1500-2000 miles takes 4 or 5 days
- 2000-2500 miles takes 5 or 6 days
- 2500-3000 miles takes 6 or 7 day
Depending on the distance, weather conditions and population centers it could be a few days or weeks until a vehicle reaches its destination. The car shipping carriers usually estimate about 10 days on coast to coast trips, but they frequently arrive earlier.
We recommend scheduling your auto transport service anywhere from two days to two weeks in advance. We are often able to assign your vehicle on the very same day, but providing us with longer lead times allows us to schedule your auto transportation easier. You want the most current car shipping cost, and you get that by staying within two weeks of your first available date to ship. Believe it or not, the auto transport service market can change quickly. It is seasonal. If the car shipping quote is too low, that can delay your order getting on the road. To avoid that, try not to book more than a month in advance and preferably within two weeks, because seasonal changes can impact the current pricing. Conversely, you should enjoy the savings if the rates were to go down, so having the most current pricing is always best. Our auto transport rate calculator on this page was the first one in the industry in 2004.
Over 90% of our car shipping orders are assigned and picked up within one week. Mostly because the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population lives nearby a major metropolitan area.
Reviews From Our Customers
My Auto Transport Experience
I am so pleased with my decision to use Direct Express Auto Transport! Ashley was a knowledgeable and confidence inspiring representative and my driver was on time and my car was in perfect shape!
Great Auto Transport Service To Texas
Talked to Jessica on Wednesday to have 65 El Camino shipped from Calif to Texas. Was picked up on Thursday the 16th and delivered on Monday the 20th. Beautiful truck and great driver. Sebastian was the driver’s name. Also it was awesome to see all the other great cars.
Enclosed Auto Transport
Fantastic experience all around, from the office people calling me back on a Sunday when a question popped up, to getting the car delivered very quickly, the whole process went perfectly. Will use them again for sure.
My Car Arrived Sooner Than Expected!
Driver was very efficient and accommodating! Once he picked up the vehicle he stayed in contact with us all the way to delivery. Thank you very much for hauling this vehicle for us because we have no way of doing it ourselves.
Auto Transport From Florida
My car was picked up on a Friday morning and arrived at my destination two days later. The driver made sure that I was on time delivering my car and he made sure my car was delivered to me in a timely manner also. Great customer service from beginning to end. No complaints at all and will definitely use this company again. Great job!
Auto Transport Service To Arizona
Another excellent job by Direct Express Auto Transport! This is the 3rd time we’ve shipped with this Direct Express Auto Transport. They’re courteous, professional, and on time. I highly recommend this company and their services!
Car Transported California to Texas
I used the expedited shipping option and they told me it will be picked up within 3-4days. Luckily my car was picked up on the very first day. It was assigned to one of their transport companies and I received my car within 10days. They are very professional.