Door-To-Door Auto Transport: What Is It?

Door-to-door auto transport could make your life a lot easier. But what is it, how does it work, and how much does it cost? Here’s everything you need to know:

What Is Door-to-Door Auto Transport?

Door-to-door car shipping is a car transportation service wherein your vehicle is picked up from and dropped off at specific locations of your choosing.

This is a very convenient service that requires little effort on your part and, as a result, is the most popular auto transport option.

How Does It Work?

With door-to-door transportation service, you choose your pickup and drop-off locations based on what’s convenient for you. For example, you could choose to have your automobile picked up from your office and dropped off at your new residence.

The driver comes directly to you to pick up your vehicle. From there, they will pick up any additional vehicles in the load before hitting the road.

Once they've arrived, they will drop off your car and continue to drop off the rest of the vehicles in the load.

Is Door-to-Door Transport the Cheapest Option?

Whether or not door-to-door auto transport service ends up being the cheapest option depends on your personal circumstances. Despite the fact that door-to-door auto transport may initially cost more, this option could also help you avoid additional costs.

For example, if you’re on a tight timeline and need to rent a car before your car arrives through other transport methods, door-to-door car transport would probably be the most cost-effective option.

Alternatively, if you’re in a more rural area where it would be difficult for you to get to and from auto transport terminals, door-to-door auto transport would likely save you money in additional transportation costs.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to calculate whether or not door-to-door auto transport would be the cheapest option for your shipping needs and timeline. Calculate your potential costs with Carvaygo’s Quick Quote!

What Other Auto Transport Options Are Available?

If door-to-door auto transportation service doesn’t sound like the right option for you, there are alternatives out there for you to consider, namely terminal-to-terminal auto transport.

Terminal-to-Terminal Auto Transport

Terminal-to-terminal auto transport involves dropping off and picking up your vehicle from auto transport terminals. Auto transport terminals are locations where drivers can pick up and drop off several vehicles at a time. These terminals are usually located close to large cities and airports.

So instead of having the driver come to you with door-to-door auto transport, you essentially go to the driver with terminal shipping. However, you’re not meeting with the driver directly. Instead, the driver will pick up your vehicle and begin their journey to the final destination once they have a full load.

As a result, terminal-to-terminal auto transport often comes with longer transit times than door-to-door auto shipping. At the same time, terminal-to-terminal auto transport provides you with more flexibility in terms of pick-up.

Simply head to the terminal of your choice whenever it’s convenient for you. Just be aware that auto terminals may charge storage fees for vehicles that are left there for an extended period of time.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

While the cost of shipping a car varies based on a whole host of factors, it’s still helpful to discuss average costs so that you can gain a better understanding of the process. Overall, the average cost to ship a car is approximately $1,290. However, your actual cost could be cheaper or more expensive based on factors like vehicle size, shipping distance, and method of transport.

What Is Taken into Consideration When Calculating Cost?

When calculating the cost of your door-to-door car transport service, you need to consider factors like the size of your vehicle, the shipping distance, and the transport method.

Size of Your Vehicle

The first factor that affects the cost of your auto transport is the size of your vehicle. Since larger vehicles like trucks, vans, and SUVs take up more room on the trailer, carriers will charge a higher price.

Smaller vehicles like sedans and compacts take up less room on the trailer and are cheaper to ship.

Shipping Distance

The second factor that affects the cost of your auto transport is the shipping distance. Most auto transporters charge per mile. However, the charge isn’t usually a flat rate. Instead, it’s based on the total mileage. Longer distances generally cost you less per mile. For example, it might cost you $1 per mile to ship a car less than 500 miles — which means that a 500-mile trip will cost you $500.

From there, it might cost you $0.75 per mile to ship a car between 500 and 1,000 miles — which means that a 1,000-mile trip will cost you $750.

Finally, it might cost you $0.50 per mile to ship a car over 2,000 miles — which means that a 2,000-mile trip will cost you $1,000.

Transport Method

The third and final factor that affects door-to-door transport cost is the transport method. In addition to different transport services, there are different transport methods, namely open transport and enclosed transport.

Open transport involves placing cars on an open trailer — usually a double-decker trailer. These multi-vehicle trailers can hold up to ten vehicles. As a result, open auto transport is the more affordable option since you’re able to split the cost with other vehicles. Enclosed transport involves placing cars in an enclosed trailer. These trailers can only hold a few cars, which translates into higher prices.

Most vehicles are well-suited for open transport. However, you may want to consider enclosed transport for particularly expensive vehicles or antique vehicles that require extra protection.

What Do I Need to Do to Prepare My Car for Shipping?

No matter which method of transport you choose, you need to adequately prepare your car for shipping to ensure that it arrives at its destination safely.

Here are five steps to ensure a smooth shipping process for your car:

1. Remove Personal Belongings and Accessories

Before your car gets loaded onto the trailer for transport, you need to ensure that all of your items and accessories are removed from the vehicle. For example, remove interior items like water bottles, dash cams, phone mounts, and air fresheners.

You also need to remove exterior accessories like spoilers, bike racks, luggage racks, and trailer hitches. This is to ensure that these items don’t get damaged, damage your vehicle, or damage other vehicles on the trailer.

2. Don’t Fill Your Gas Tank

While it might seem like a good idea to fill your gas tank before your car is shipped, this is actually something that you should avoid. A full gas tank adds weight to your car, which adds weight to the trailer, and increases shipping costs. Instead, try to have a nearly-empty gas tank before your car is shipped.

3. Get an Inspection

Another thing that you need to do before shipping your car is to get a comprehensive vehicle inspection. The inspection should check elements like your engine, brakes, and tires to make sure that they’re in proper working order.

It’s also important for you to conduct a personal inspection of the vehicle’s overall condition and take careful note of any existing damage like dents and scratches. Make sure to document the condition of your vehicle pre-shipment with photos and videos that you can use as evidence in case anything gets damaged on the road from debris or weather.

4. Read Insurance Policies

Damage on the road is always a possibility, which is why you should always read the insurance policies offered by your car shipping company before your car is actually shipped. Most car transport services provide insurance coverage, but it’s important to understand the extent of this coverage beforehand. If you have a high-end vehicle, for example, it’s especially important for you to make sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage that covers the entire value of your vehicle.

5. Carefully Read Paperwork Before You Sign

Last but certainly not least, you need to read the entirety of your shipping paperwork. Your transportation company should provide you with a clear contract along with a bill of lading when making a reservation. Be on the lookout for any hidden fees and required upfront payments so that you can be prepared.

The Bottom Line

A door-to-door car shipping service is a hassle-free process that saves you a lot of time, stress, and money. So if you’re looking for a quality door-to-door auto transport provider, reach out to the shipping experts at Carvaygo for a quick and easy quote using our smart online calculator.

Sources:
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car? (2022) | ConsumerAffairs
How to Ship a Car | Edmunds
How to Prepare Your Car for Shipment | Move.org

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