Counting the Minutes: How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

A Crash Course To How Long Shipping Your Car Takes

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Twice as many people are starting their search for their next car online. Your dream car might be sitting in a car lot on the other side of the country. Car transport services offer affordable and accessible ways to shop online. 

Shipping a car is a pretty straight-forward process, as long as you use reputable transporters. It doesn’t take very long to transport vehicles, as long as the weather and road conditions permit. Outside of the actual driving, you have processing and inspection that can also affect times.

In order to understand how long does it take to ship a car, let’s learn the process. We’ll start by analyzing each major category of shipping times.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

How far the car needs to travel, the type of service you purchase, the size of the vehicle, and climate all have an impact on speed. There’s more than one way to transport a vehicle, which will determine the delivery time.

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Distance

Obviously, the farther away from the destination, the longer it will take to get there. Some distances aren’t so straight-forward, though. Roads aren’t made up of straight lines across the country. 

Mountain ranges, rivers, and rural areas all impact the travel time. 

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Service 

You can pay for expedited shipments to speed up delivery times. Some transport services offer multiple packages for priority shipments. Go with vehicle shipping services that don’t try to nickel-and-dime you for fuel costs. 

Always try to get multiple quotes from multiple companies to make sure you’re not paying a premium for standard rates.

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Vehicle Size

A standard trailer is able to fit around four trucks or SUVs. Bigger vehicles normally take more time to deliver than a standard car. For RVs or exotic vehicles, expect your prep times to be longer for custom transportation.

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Season

Auto shipping will in general slow down during seasons where older people head south in the winter, or during holidays. At the point when volume spikes, shipment times can jump up.

Normal Transit Time by Distance

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The level of transport utilized for your auto shipment will rely upon what sort of vehicle you are shipping. Compact vehicle haulers are utilized for single vehicle shipments. Multi-level trailer haulers are utilized for economy-level shipments.

Your vehicle may put in a batch of shipments going to major city hubs. This is due to a number of reasons, primarily the safety of the driver. By law, a driver can’t drive for over 11-hours in a day as ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours-of-Service guidelines.

Breaks of this guideline can prompt real fines and even deferrals in your shipment. Travel time is going to rely on the kind of transport company you are utilizing. 

How You Can Improve Shipping Times

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The first thing you want to do is make sure your vehicle is already prepared for shipment. If you’re buying from a car dealership, you’re good. You’ll also need to choose if you want outside and encased transportation.

Choose open-air transport whenever possible. This is the fastest means of transportation and the cheapest. If you’re moving a standard-size car, SUV, or compact truck, you don’t need closed transports.

Try to pick a delivery date that works with the transport company’s schedule. They will know how to navigate potential delays or inefficient routes. Even with priority shipping services, delays are possible.

You can pay for insurance or delivery guarantees if you are under a tight schedule. Expect to pay into the $1,000s for premium rates that place your delivery on a dedicated truck.

Get Your Vehicle Ready for Shipment

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Your vehicle must pass a few different guidelines to be considered ready for shipment. Beyond cleaning the car out and officially changing ownership, there are a few rules you have to follow.

If you’re importing your vehicle from a different country, you need to clear import and export laws. You will need to prove that your vehicle has passed inspections and is legally cleared for release.

Title and Certificate of Origin are required upon pick-up. You will also need to provide a valid copy of your proof of insurance. Remember, vehicle shipment services all provide additional insurance to cover what your insurance doesn’t.

Inspect and Protect

Before transporting, every vehicle should begin the trip clean and protected. A clean exterior makes documenting the condition easier. Any items of value left inside aren’t covered in the event of theft.

Leave enough fuel for driving the car on and off the truck. Raise or remove spoilers, fairings, antennas, and low hanging features. The transport truck will need this clearance for on-ramps and highway exits. 

Check all fluids, tire pressure, and that the battery is charged. Anti-freeze is a must if your car is going to cross through below-freezing climates. Disconnect the car alarm and remove any aftermarket stereo systems. 

During the pick-up and delivery of your vehicle, updated inspections are performed by the shipping company. Upon arrival, you or a person you designate as a representative must be present. The final vehicle inspection is performed and the Bill of lading is signed. 

Safe and Sound Delivery

Before you start calling around and asking “how long does it take to ship a car?” check the government requirements. Make sure everything is legal for transporting the vehicle if it’s out of state or country. Document everything about the car and have all your paperwork in order before pickup.

If you follow these steps, your shipping time estimate will be more accurate. Start your journey here with a free quote and consultation about your vehicle delivery. You can contact us today to get advice on when and how to ship your car.

Let us show you the way to fast, convenient, and secure vehicle transportation.

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