How Does Auto Transport Work?

How Does Auto Transport Work?
Published on March 29, 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, auto transport services have become more than a luxury, but a time and money-saving option when traveling long distances. However, despite their benefits, many car owners possess limited knowledge about these services.

In this article, we’ll talk about the different services of auto transport companies by explaining the steps car owners must follow when shipping their cars. We’ll cover the following:

  • Research Available Auto Shipping Options
  • Request an Auto Shipping Quote
  • Review The Insurance Policy
  • Prepare the Car for Shipping
  • Sign the Bill of Lading

Research Available Auto Shipping Options

Car owners have many options for shipping their vehicles across the United States, including choosing the auto transport company, the carrier’s type, and the pickup and delivery service. However, to be able to select meticulously, one has to be introduced to the different options.

Auto transport company

When it comes to the auto transport company, a car owner must be extremely careful, as this decision will influence the whole auto transport experience. The best auto transport company to hire has the following features:

  1. Registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  2. Has USDOT and MC numbers publically available online
  3. Experienced in auto shipping with several years in the industry
  4. Offers reasonable quotes close to the average market price
  5. Reviewed by many clients online positively

Tempus Logix is among the industry’s top-rated auto transport companies; it meets all the above standards and is ready to meet clients’ needs year-round in the United States. The company has over 1000 online reviews from satisfied clients and has already shipped over 45,000 vehicles of all types across the country.

Carrier type

An enclosed trailer is a fully enclosed transport vehicle used to haul vehicles, protecting them from weather and theft. Those who want a higher level of safety for their car and don’t want to expose it to the minimum harm go for the enclosed carrier; however, this carrier comes for a higher fee.

An open trailer is a transport trailer with no sides or roof, allowing for easy loading and unloading of vehicles but offering no protection from weather or theft. It is a good, affordable option for those seeking a reasonable safety level.

Pickup and delivery services

Clients have two options for transporting their vehicles: terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door:

  • Terminal-to-terminal: it involves driving the vehicle to a designated terminal for pickup and receiving it at a terminal in the destination. This option is more affordable but less convenient.
  • Door-to-door: it involves the carrier picking up and delivering the vehicle directly from the client’s pre-agreed address, providing a more convenient and secure option. However, this option is more costly.

Request an Auto Shipping Quote

Once car owners decide on the auto shipping carrier and the pickup and delivery services, it’s time to contact auto shipping companies and request quotes. It’s recommended to reach out to several service providers and compare their price offers before deciding. However, car owners shouldn’t be after the cheapest service and overlook its quality.

It’s worth mentioning that many auto transport companies implement auto shipping cost calculators on their websites. These online tools are free to use and instant in providing auto shipping cost estimates.

What sets Tempus Logix apart is the advanced AI-based auto shipping cost calculator on the company’s website. It offers accurate and instant quotes based on real-time online data processing for auto shipping conditions.

Review The Insurance Policy

Before signing an agreement with an auto shipping company, car owners should carefully review the insurance policy provided by the chosen service provider. The insurance policy should offer sufficient coverage to protect the vehicle during transit.

Clients should pay attention to the types of damages covered, coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions or conditions stated in the policy. Negotiating the insurance terms is fine when something doesn’t seem right.

Prepare the Car for Shipping

Car owners play an important role in ensuring the success of the auto transport process. Follow these instructions to prepare the car the right way:

  1. Thoroughly wash the exterior and clean the interior of the car. It helps document the vehicle’s condition before shipping
  2. Remove all personal items from the car, including loose objects, electronic devices, and valuables
  3. Carefully inspect your car for any damages, such as scratches, dents, or dings
  4. Document damages by taking clear photos or videos from different angles. It provides evidence of the car’s pre-shipping condition
  5. Check for leaks and mechanical issues
  6. Keep the fuel tank at approximately a quarter full to minimize the vehicle’s weight during transport
  7. Ensure that all tires are properly inflated
  8. Disable the alarm system to prevent unnecessary activation during transport

Sign the Bill of Lading 

When the car is delivered, the carrier driver and the client must observe the car’s exterior looking for any new damage. If any dent, scratch, or ding caused by the driver or carrier’s inefficiency is found, the auto transport company takes full responsibility and compensates the car owner financially.

However, the car owner must be attentive and not get triggered away to sign the Bill of Lading until they carry out a full inspection; as soon as the bill is signed, the client is abandoning any right to claim insurance.


Placing an auto transport order for the first time might be challenging, especially with the increased number of service providers in the US. That’s why getting to know the process in detail and who to place the trust in will ease things.

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