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Auto Transport FAQs

How much will it cost me to ship my car?

The price to ship your vehicle will depend on several factors including but not limited to: the origin; the destination; the vehicle make, model, year, size, condition & modifications; the time of year; diesel fuel prices; the demand (number of vehicles in the area needing to be moved) and supply (the number of carriers available in the area); and your time frame for pickup and delivery. Get a Free Car Shipping Estimate online.

When should I schedule my vehicle to be shipped?

Flip Calendar: day 23 You should schedule at least 5 days before your deadline, but you’re welcome to schedule weeks or even months in advance if you want. Carnections can get a vehicle picked up within most any 5 day window. You just need to tell us the first day your vehicle is ready to be picked up and we will have it picked up within 5 days. If you need your vehicle picked up sooner, consider our expedited car shipping option.

We schedule pickup times approximately 24 to 48 hours before they take place. Once we have a specific day in mind to pick up your car, we’ll call you (you’ll get at least 1 day notice). You’ll be given a chance to accept our proposed pickup time or to tell us to schedule a new date & time (it could take up to another 5 days if you need us to reschedule). If you cancel your transport BEORE you accept our proposed pickup date & time, there is NO penalty. But if you cancel after you’ve accepted our schedule, you forfeit the deposit you paid us.

Life is messy and sometimes things happen outside of anyone’s control, e.g., traffic, weather, the constraints of other customers, etc. For this reason, pickup and delivery dates and times are not guaranteed. Consider using our Hot Shot(expedited) service for guaranteed pickup and delivery times.

How do I pay for your car shipping service?

To book your vehicle for shipment, we only require a small deposit of $100 - $200. For this deposit, we accept payment by MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover, and check. If you want to pay by credit card, you can book over the phone or online. If you want to pay by check, you can start the process over the phone, but the booking will not be complete until the check clears.

The remaining balance is due at pickup or delivery or both; It’s your choice. You must pay the driver the balance directly via cash, certified check, or money order. We also accept business checks from established companies. We do not accept credit card, personal checks, or any other form of payment for the balance. If you plan on paying the balance with a cashier’s check, make it out to the company of the specific carrier transporting your vehicle. We will let you know who that is as soon as it’s determined, which is usually a few days prior to pickup.

How long will it be before I receive my vehicle? How soon can it be picked up?

Loaded Open Car Carrier To make a long story short, Carnections can usually get a vehicle picked up within any 5 days window. Factors such as major holidays and rural origins or destinations will affect this. Once your vehicle is picked up, the carrier will travel on average 400-500 miles / day. Sometimes carriers travel much faster than this, traveling up to 800 miles in a day, but sometimes they travel less than this due to factors like weather, road construction, unexpected mechanical problems, and delays due to other pickups and deliveries. A Carnections' dispatcher or the actual truck driver will keep in touch with you regarding pickup and delivery so you know what to expect. If you need your vehicle picked up and shipped faster than what’s described above, check out our Hot Shot Auto Transport service. It’s an expedited service for when you need your vehicle to arrive yesterday :)

Does the carrier need the keys to my vehicle?

Yes. The keys are needed to start your vehicle so it can be driven onto the auto transport carrier.

Is there anything I need to do to my car to prepare for transport?

Yes. Check out our Auto Transport Checklist. The first few items in the list detail the preparations you should perform prior to having your vehicle shipped.

What if my vehicle is damaged or inoperable prior to shipping?

An “inoperable” or “non-functioning” vehicle is one that doesn’t start or drive with its own power. If your vehicle is inoperable it can still be transported. It only needs to be able to roll, be steered, and having working brakes. There is an “inop” fee (usually $100-$200) for loading and unloading since non-functioning vehicles require a winch to load and unload them on and off the carrier. For more information requiring inoperable vehicles, see our services page.

Almost all cars have some minor damage, e.g. scuffs, dents, scratches, dings, etc. Minor damage to your vehicle is perfectly okay. It will be recorded on the BOL (see “What should I do if my vehicle is damaged?”) when your vehicle is being picked up. Your vehicle will still be covered by insurance for damage and loss.

Major damage is another story. If your vehicle is wrecked, salvaged, or otherwise majorly damaged, it will only be covered for loss. If you’re not sure if your vehicle’s condition permits it to be covered for damage, give us a call. We’ll probably need to see the car ourselves, so be prepared to email or fax us some pictures of it.

What happens after I place the order?

A Happy woman after booking a vehicle to be shipped with Carnections Your vehicle is made available to our network of licensed carriers. Once we have a carrier available to transport your vehicle on a specific timeline, we will let you know. If you give us the okay to assign it to the carrier, your deposit will no longer be refundable. Assignation to a particular carrier is usually done 1-2 days prior to the pickup date. At this time we will supply you with the carrier's name and phone number if you request it.

We instruct our drivers to call you (or the point of contact at the pickup location) approximately 24 hours before pickup to let you know the approximate time he will arrive. He can usually give you a window of a few hours for pickup. Even though the carrier will call you, it is your responsibility to keep in contact with him and to make yourself available during the window the two of you work out.

The carrier will also usually give you a call about an hour before he arrives. At this time you can work out with him the exact meeting location. The carrier will try to get as close to your desired address as possible, but auto transport carriers are big and can’t fit into small streets and most residential areas. Once the carrier arrives you and he will inspect the exterior of the vehicle and sign the Bill of Lading (see “What should I do if my vehicle is damaged?” for more information on the BOL). This same basic scenario applies for delivery. The balance is usually paid at delivery, but can also be paid at pickup.

Where will my vehicle be picked up? Where will it be delivered?

Carnections exclusively offers door-to-door service. We pick up your vehicle and drop it off as close to the addresses you specify as is physically possible. Our auto transport rigs are large, so they won’t fit into residential zones or onto other small streets, but we can usually get within 1 mile of wherever you specify. Common meeting locations are shopping malls, grocery stores, vacant lots, and large streets. For more information on door to door car shipping, see our services page.

What if I am not available when the carrier arrives?

The pickup/delivery will be rescheduled, and you may be subject to a $200 rescheduling fee. It’s easier on everyone involved if we don’t need to reschedule, so try to have somebody available at both pickup and delivery during the time estimates given to you by your Carnections’ dispatcher or driver. If you can’t be available yourself, have a family member, friend, or somebody else whom you trust, be available. The person(s) whom you designate to consign or receive your vehicle needs to be an adult and should be somebody who you trust. They will be responsible for doing the vehicle inspection, signing the BOL, and paying the driver.

Also, don’t take off work or sit at home waiting for the driver until you get a firm time estimate from him. Sometimes drivers get delayed and we don’t want you to have to miss work or waste your time for nothing.

What should I do if my vehicle is damaged?

The first thing to remember is that all of our carriers are licensed and insured. This means that when you ship with Carnections, your vehicle is covered for loss and damage.

Sample Bill of Lading (BOL) As is standard in the industry, the Carnections’ carriers use a document called a Bill of Lading(BOL) to keep a record of your vehicle’s condition. For each transport there are two BOLs, one for pickup and one for delivery. On these documents there will be an outline of a vehicle shown at various angles. This is used to record your vehicle’s condition both at pickup and at delivery. It is important that you thoroughly inspect the exterior of your vehicle along with the driver and record its condition on the BOLs. There are also sections on the BOLs specifically for exceptions. If you notice damage to your vehicle at delivery that was not marked at pickup, be sure to indicate this in the “exceptions” area of the delivery BOL. You or an adult you designate must sign the BOLs at pickup and delivery. Also be sure to get copies of both BOLs from the driver. In the unlikely case of damage to your vehicle, these documents serve as proof.

What’s an Open Carrier? What’s an Enclosed Carrier?

Both are semi trucks that transport vehicles. An open carrier is the most common and the most economical. They vary in size; some can only fit 3 cars while some can fit up to 10 cars. The vehicles on the truck are exposed to the elements because they are not covered or enclosed. It’s nothing to worry about, though, because damage is rare.

Enclosed carriers are rarer and more expensive, but they are a good choice for classic, restored, and high-performance vehicles. Enclosed carriers completely enclose the vehicles they transport. They vary in size, from 1 to 3 cars.

For more information on both types of carriers, see our services page.

Can I pack items inside my vehicle during the transportation?

This is a situation in which the law says “no”, but since it’s such a common request and there’s no harm to it, we are mostly okay with it. The license given to carriers by the FMSCA does not permit the transportation of items inside the vehicles besides the items commonly found in vehicles, e.g., a car seat, radio, spare tire, registration papers, etc. For this reason, neither Carnections nor the carrier we assign to ship your vehicle can nor will be held responsible for loss, theft or damage of anything inside your vehicle. So you put items inside your vehicle at your own risk. The vehicle itself is covered for loss and damage, but goods inside it are not.

Because carriers aren’t legally allowed to carry items inside your vehicle during its transport, they risk a hefty fine for doing so. Carriers also try to keep the total cargo weight to a minimum to save on gas. For these two reasons, we leave it to the individual driver’s discretion as to whether they will allow items inside your vehicle and any fee for doing so. In our experience, drivers are usually okay with less than 150 lbs kept to the rear or trunk of your vehicle and they will usually not charge you any additional fee. If they do charge anything it will be around $50- $100. However, if you pack your vehicle full of goods and if it weighs much more than $150lbs, the fee can go higher. We’ve seen charges as high as $250. The carrier is also more likely to refuse to transport your vehicle.

If items are inside your vehicle, please inform the driver and work out the exact fee (if any) before he loads it onto his truck. Also keep in mind that the fees are usually negotiable. If you fail to inform the driver of goods inside your vehicle, you may be faced with a large unexpected charge at delivery.

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