Auto Transport Process Explained

Auto Transport Process Explained
Published on October 6, 2022

At some point or another in our life, we might encounter a situation requiring shipping a car to a new destination; it could be for a vacation, a relocation, or even participating in an auto show outside the state.

Although auto shipping services have become popular, many car owners are still hesitant about transporting their vehicles and have second thoughts. This indecision is mainly attributed to the lack of knowledge about the industry. People don’t know how auto shipping companies implement the transport process, which keeps them away from ordering such services. 

So, if you’re planning to ship your car with the help of an auto transport company and have no idea about the process, we’re here for you. Here’s everything about the auto transport process from A to Z. 

Car Shipping Cost

Many people wonder, “how do auto transport companies calculate the car shipping cost?” First, you will have to answer the company’s questions about your car’s year, model, operability, and other factors; do that online via an online car shipping cost calculator, or call the sales agents directly.

Read also How Does Car Shipping Cost Calculator Work.

Once you submit all the details, the company decides whether shipping your car will require extra attention or special equipment or not; based on that, you’ll receive an auto shipping quote.

For example, the auto shipping company might use special equipment when loading and unloading the vehicle if you’re driving a sports car or a valuable collectible. In addition, if your car is inoperable for any reason, a driver will need the help of special tools to haul the inoperable vehicle.

All these extra considerations add to the shipping quote. Furthermore, the company increases your shipping quote if you want them to transport your car in an enclosed trailer.

Car Shipping Schedule

Waiting for the last moment before requesting car transportation is not recommended; auto shipping companies might be unable to fulfill a client’s request on short notice. However, a price increase usually accompanies requesting an earlier date for car transportation.

You have to remember that at specific times of the year when the demand for the transport service increases, the company might be unable to fit your order in the over-crowded schedule; for example, during the holiday season.

Pick-up Location

The pick-up location is something for you to decide; you either go for the door-to-door shipping service, where the carrier picks up your vehicle from the nearest location to your house. Or you go for the terminal-to-terminal shipping service, where you must drive your car to a prearranged location where the company collects vehicles for shipping.

Depending on your vehicle’s state, the carrier driver decides how to haul it. The driver simply rolls it into the carrier if it’s operable and in a good state or might use a forklift if it’s inoperable.

Read more about Non Running Car Shipping.

Transportation Journey

After your car is safely secured on the carrier, your car’s trip to its end location starts. The experienced driver takes the routes and highways allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.) Moreover, the carrier driver usually takes regular breaks at specific stops to check on the shipped cars and recharge. 

Throughout the trip, you will receive updates about your car’s journey, including the carrier location and the expected delivery time. If the carrier supports a GPS, you can simply track it with your phone. However, if the company doesn’t support GPS tracking, you can call customer service to fill you up with all details. 


Before your car arrives at the final destination, the carrier driver or someone from customer service will reach out to confirm the delivery location and set a specific delivery time.

If you go for the door-to-door shipping service, the driver will contact you to check whether the location is reachable by the carrier, or you will need to arrange another drop-off location.

However, the process is easier if it’s a terminal-to-terminal shipping service. You will have to arrive at the terminal or another prearranged location, pick your car up and drive it back to your accommodation. 


When you pick up your car, the carrier driver will ask you to sign “the bill of lading,” a legal document confirming they have delivered your vehicle safely and soundly. Before signing the document, experts recommend that you inspect the car fully and ensure no recent damages or scratches have occurred.

If everything is okay, you can sign the bill of lading confidently. If you spotted new issues on the car’s body after signing the bill of lading, you would have difficulty claiming the insurance coverage. So, take your time, inspect your vehicle completely, and ask the driver for help.

The Bottom Line

The auto transport service is a safe and efficient way to transport your car. However, you must hire a reputable, reliable, and experienced auto shipping company. Tempus Logix can transport all types of vehicles across the United States

No matter where you are and where you want your car to be delivered, rest assured the company can handle it. The sales agents are welcoming and ready to provide affordable and competitive quotes, in addition to the online shipping cost calculator.

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