The FAQs of Car and Auto Shipping
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Car Transport and Auto Shipping FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions when Shipping a Car

Want to know how to ship a car, what the car transport cost is, or what the benefits of transport are? We’ll do our best to provide you with the answers in our Auto Shipping FAQs.

How do I know I can trust EAS?

How do you ship my car?

How long will it take to ship my vehicle?

How and when do I pay for my auto transport?

Can I pay the entire amount with a credit card?

What can you pack in your car?

Is my car insured while in transport?

How far in advance should I book my auto transport?

What kind of auto transport company are you?

Why would I choose a broker instead of a carrier?

Can I track my vehicle?

When will the driver contact me about picking up my car?

Will the carrier come to my house?

How can I ensure my automobile arrives in the same condition?

How long should I plan in my schedule for the pick up and delivery process?

What should I do if I have a toll transponder?

What if I need to make a change to my shipping order?

What if my vehicle is late?

Can I reach someone after hours?

What do I do if there is damage to my vehicle?

What if my vehicle is inoperable?

What can I do if I can’t be available for pick-up or delivery?

 

How do I know I can trust EAS?

Executive Auto Shippers works on your behalf to facilitate your auto shipment. That’s why we offer our unique guarantees and hold the carriers we work with to a higher standard than the industry minimum. We don’t charge anything until the carrier has confirmed your car has been picked up, meaning you don’t pay anything until the shipment has even started. Our customer service representatives take the time to personalize your order by finding out why you’re shipping the car, what your schedule is, and other detailed information. Unlike many other car shipping companies, our job isn’t finished when your order has been placed. We follow the order all the way through, and if there are issues, we help facilitate the damage resolution process (see What do I do if there is damage to my vehicle? below). Most importantly, our past customers have told their stories of why they trusted us with their car shipment in numerous reviews.

 

How do you ship my car?

There are a few different shipping options depending on your specific needs:

Open carriers: For this process our auto movers load your vehicle onto an open transport carrier with 7 to 9 others. We use the same type of auto carriers that deliver new automobiles to the dealerships. Get more details on our Open Auto Transport page.

Enclosed carriers: Unlike open transportation, your vehicle is protected from the outside elements and road debris. This type of shipping is recommended for antique, classic or exotic cars for the added protection it offers. Learn more about the different types of enclosed carriers on our Enclosed Auto Transport page.

Overseas: Your vehicle is first transported to the coast in one of the carrier options mentioned above, where it is then loaded onto a auto carrier ship and shipped to your destination. Find out more details on our Overseas Auto Transport page. Overseas deliveries also have more specific requirements; see our Auto Shipping Tips for the best overseas shipping practices.

 

How long will it take to ship my vehicle?

The time period for a vehicle to be shipped depends on the miles it will travel. Here’s what we consider average transit time:

  • 0-500 miles = 1-3 days to transport
  • 501-999 miles = 2-4 days to transport
  • 1000-1499 miles = 3-5 days for transport
  • 1500-2100 miles = 5-7 days for transport
  • 2101+ miles = 7-10 days for transport

**transport times do not apply overseas car shipping**

 

How and when do I pay for my auto transport?

First off, there are no upfront car transport cost when you book with EAS. We don’t charge anything until your automobile is loaded and on its way. Your total cost gets split into two separate payments. The first payment, which we call the deposit, is charged to a credit card, only after the automobile has been picked up. For the deposit, we will accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover). The remaining balance is due to the driver when your vehicle is delivered. This payment will need to be in the form of certified funds (certified checks, money orders, or cash). Since we do not charge the credit card until after it is in transit, there are no upfront fees. Be very wary of companies that want to charge you something before they have done anything.

 

Can I pay the entire amount with a credit card?

Yes, you are able to charge the total amount of your car shipment on your credit card. There is an additional $100 fee that we pass along to the carriers for this payment process. There are actually a couple of reasons that carriers prefer the standard (certified funds) method of payment. The majority of the carriers we work with are owner-operators. This means they are a one-person operation and don’t have a formal office with a billing department or a way to easily handle receivables. This makes the additional paperwork that comes with a billing shipment difficult for them to process. The other reason that carriers prefer the COD payment method is to cover on the road expenses. Drivers tend to use the payments they collect to pay for their every day expenses like fuel. When they pay for fuel with cash they receive a discount, and this adds up to a very large amount over time. If you would like more information about this please check out our blog. Learn why cash is still king in the car shipping industry.

 

What can you pack in your car?

You may pack up to 100 lbs of non-valuable personal items in the trunk of your vehicle. If you have an SUV or hatchback with no trunk the personal items must remain in the cargo area, behind the very rear seat and below the level of the windows. You may not fold down seats to extend the cargo area. The driver will not weigh your items, but rather will make a visual assessment of packing. If yours looks like it is over packed the driver will assume that it is. Typically 100 lbs is the equivalent of 3 carry on sized suitcases (9” x 14” x 22”) or 2 checked sized suitcases (12” x 20” x 30”). Any personal items shipped inside are done at your own risk. The driver will not inspect or inventory any of these items and they will not be covered by any insurance. Packing over the 100lbs may result in the driver refusing to pick up your vehicle or additional fees. If you have a pick up truck, you won’t be allowed to leave anything in the bed, strapped down or not. This is because it can be a danger to the other automobiles on the load as well as other drivers near the carrier. Even if it is strapped down, your item may become loose due to the jostling encountered with transport.
Items that cannot be shipped under any circumstance: prescription medicine or other drugs, firearms, alcohol, or items of value.

 

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Is my car insured while in transport?

Industry Standard
Yes, every shipment is covered by a Cargo Insurance policy. This policy has no deductible to the customer and is included in the quoted shipping price. This insurance is attached to the specific piece of equipment doing the hauling, in the same way that your personal auto insurance is attached to your specific vehicle. Since this policy is attached to the truck, the policy is owned by the carrier and not Executive Auto Shippers.

EAS Standard
Since this policy is not owned by EAS we perform multiple steps to ensure this policy is in effect for every single load, even if it is a carrier we work with weekly. First we require that Executive Auto Shippers is named on the policy as a certificate holder. This ensures that we are notified of any material change to the policy by the insurance provider. Secondly, every time we assign a carrier to a shipment we verbally verify their cargo policy, limit and check for any pending cancellation issues. This is just an extra precaution that we take to ensure there have been no changes to the Cargo Policy that we have on file.

Boring, but important fine print:
The cargo policy typically has a $250,000 limit per load, although it may be slightly less if we use a carrier that hauls fewer than 8 vehicles and possibly more for enclosed carriers, again depending on how many they can haul. We do suggest that you have your normal full coverage policy in effect during shipping to act as a secondary layer of coverage and protect you in the case of the cargo policy exceptions. Cargo insurance covers things that the driver should have been able to prevent such as damage due to driver’s negligence, equipment failure, or traffic collisions. There are exceptions to the cargo insurance especially if the automobile is being transported on an open carrier. Some examples of these open carrier exceptions are hail, wind, rock chips and dripping fluids. This type of incident is not covered by the cargo policy as the driver would have no way to avoid these situations, even while performing his duties properly. Incidents that are not covered by cargo insurance would revert back to your personal insurance policy. There is no special policy with stated values, or that will cover every possible peril which we can provide or sell, as we are not an insurance agent.

 

How far in advance should I book my auto transport?

We recommend booking your auto transport at least 1 week in advance, but we can accommodate last minute pick ups as well. We are unable to guarantee a rate or place an order more than 30 days in advance due to fluctuations in rates.

 

What kind of auto transport company are you?

We are a 3rd party non-asset based logistics provider, also known as a 3PL. This means we are a broker and do not have our own trucks or equipment (assets).

 

Why would I choose a broker instead of a carrier?

Although it might seem better to work directly with the carrier, you won’t receive dedicated service. As a broker EAS acts as your auto shipping concierge, similar to a travel agent helping you book your vacation. There are a lot of moving parts that go into planning a move and our job is to simplify the process of shipping your car.

  • Executive Auto Shippers screens every carrier, every time using tools and resources that are specific to the industry and not available to the public.
  • Since most carriers depend on brokers to fill their load, brokers have leverage over carriers through buying power to maintain level of service, pricing, and over the claim process.
  • We have access to multiple carriers’ schedules to find one to meet your scheduling needs, instead of you searching for the one specific carrier that will have a truck on your route, when you need them.
  • Most drivers don’t book their loads until a few days in advance because they don’t know their schedule further out than that.
  • Finally, most carriers are owner operators, or a one-man operation with one truck. This also means they don’t have any marketing to reach potential customers or physical office to handle customer orders.

 

Can I track my vehicle?

Yes! We’ve implemented a program to allow you to see where your vehicle is to help you plan for delivery. It’s a breadcrumb-type trail, updating every 6 hours with an email that provides a link to a map. This service is available for an additional fee.

 

When will the driver contact me about picking up my car?

We ask the carriers to contact their customers either the evening before or the morning of the day they are able to pick up your vehicle. We recommend you don’t contact the driver any earlier because most drivers won’t know their schedule until at least the evening before. This is due to the fact that their schedule will all depend on how their current day’s pick up and delivery schedule falls into place.
Most open car carriers can hold 8 to 10 automobiles in a full load. When coordinating their schedule, they have to work with each of these 8 to 10 customers’ schedules. Factors such as weather conditions, timeliness of customers, traffic issues, and other unforeseen circumstances will affect their schedule. It can take up to 2 days for the loading process within a single metro area. This is why it’s difficult for a driver to pinpoint a specific schedule for your pick up or delivery, and why we have 3-5 day pick up windows.

 

Will the carrier come to my house?

Most car carriers have large trailers that make it difficult to get to residential addresses. These trailers usually exceed the weight restrictions for residential streets or don’t have enough room to make wide turns due to their length (up to 75 ft long). Since car carriers have a height of 14 ft, the low hanging branches and/or power lines on residential streets can become hazards that can cause damage to other vehicles on the load. They also don’t have the ability to safely turn around in tight areas like a dead end or cul-de-sac. They will not travel down gravel or level B/dirt roads because it’s not safe for them or their cargo. An average car carrier can be the size of about 2 large fire trucks.

This is why most drivers will ask you to meet them at a nearby shopping center or big box store so that both your vehicle and the others on their trailer are safe. “Door to Door” doesn’t necessarily mean pulling into your driveway for pick up and delivery. This term means that it will be picked up from and delivered to the customer directly. Carriers will get as close as possible to your home.

 

How can I ensure my automobile arrives in the same condition?

Approximately 99% of our shipments are delivered damage-free. However, we believe it is important that you know what to do if the unforeseen does happen. Following these simple steps can be crucial to the process in the unlikely event that a claim does need to be filed with the carrier and/or their insurance provider.

  • When the driver arrives to pick up your vehicle, the driver will perform a walk-around visual inspection of the exterior of your car before loading it onto the carrier. This condition report will note any dings, dents, scratches or other pre-existing damage to the exterior.
  • Make sure that you receive and keep a copy of this condition report. We strongly recommend keeping this in a safe place until your car is delivered to be used as a comparison tool at delivery.
  • At delivery it is your responsibility to perform your own walk-around exterior inspection.
  • In the rare instance that there is damage to the vehicle that is not noted on the initial inspection as pre-existing, it must be noted at delivery. It is your responsibility to note any vehicle condition discrepancies on the carrier’s paperwork at the time of delivery. Claims not noted on the carriers’ delivery receipt will not be honored. See our Auto Shipping Tips for guidelines on best shipping practices.

 

How long should I plan in my schedule for the pick up and delivery process?

We know your time is valuable. We suggest you plan for about 30 minutes for the driver to perform a proper inspection and fill out the necessary paperwork. This would be the same for both pick up and delivery. You don’t need to be present while they load or unload the vehicle.

 

What should I do if I have a toll transponder?

You’ll need to remove your toll transponder or E-Z Pass from your vehicle. If you don’t want to remove it, you can wrap it in tin foil and place it in your glove compartment or center console. If you do not remove it or put it away, your transponder WILL charge your account every time the carrier passes through a toll charge point. Neither EAS nor the carrier will reimburse for tolls charged to a transponder left in your vehicle.

 

What if I need to make a change to my shipping order?

Similar to booking a flight or reservation, making a change to your quote or order may require requoting your shipment or even starting the order process over from the beginning. Here are some examples of how a change may alter your quote or order.

  • Change of Pick Up or Delivery Address
    • If the change is the street address but within the same original zip code, your order is still valid
    • If the change is to a different zip code (even in the same metro), this could cause your rate to change and start the order process from the beginning
  • Change of Shipment Dates
    • If you’re making a change to the date you’ll need shipment, this could cause your rate to change and start the order process from the beginning.
  • Type of Automobile
    • Example: You decide to ship your SUV instead of your sedan. That can change the rate of shipment and start the order process from the beginning
  • Change of Payment
    • If you change from cash/certified funds at delivery to charging the whole amount on your credit card, this will add an additional fee of $100, which is passed on to the carrier. (see Can I pay the entire amount with a credit card?)
  • Change of Type of Carrier
    • If you are wanting to switch the type of carrier between open and enclosed, your rate will change and you’ll have to start the order process from the beginning
  • Change Contact Persons
    • If you need to change the contact person for either pick up or delivery, your order is still valid but we ask that you let us know as soon as possible

Material changes to your order may void our One Price Guarantee. Learn more about our guarantees.

 

What if my vehicle is late?

Although we strive to keep within your schedule, sometimes delays can happen, whether it be weather, traffic, or other means out of our control. One way we help take the stress out of a late delivery comes in the form of our unique Car Rental Guarantee. If your car shipment would exceed our guaranteed transport time listed below, we will reimburse you for a standard rental car from Enterprise until it arrives. Here is what we consider to be the guaranteed transport time:

  • 7 days for shipments of 0-1250 miles
  • 10 days for shipments 1251-2150 miles
  • 14 days for shipments over 2150 miles

Guaranteed transport times are calculated in 24-hour increments and begin when the vehicle is picked up by carrier. For more details, check out our Auto Shipping Guarantees.

 

Can I reach someone after hours?

Yes! We provide an after hours extension for emergencies and other after hours issues. You would call our main number (847-557-0200), and enter the extension 103.

 

What do I do if there is damage to my vehicle?

Although there is no way to guarantee 100% damage free shipments, condition issues only happen approximately 1% of the time. If this does happen, we are happy to help you find a resolution. You’ll first need to make sure you do a thorough inspection at delivery and note the damage on the paperwork the driver gives you to release your vehicle.
Using our services is similar to using a travel agent or travel website. If you had an issue, you would talk with the airline or hotel to get it resolved. Executive Auto Shippers is a broker so we do not take possession of the vehicle being transported, only facilitate the shipment. The carrier is the company that actually transports the automobile and thus they are the responsible party. One of the differences of using our services over other brokers or carriers directly is we will help facilitate the damage resolution process.With our position in the shipping marketplace, we can often get claims resolved faster or better than if you were to try and handle it directly with the carrier. Carriers know that we help provide many of their shipments and want to keep a good working relationship with us. We also help influence other car shipping brokers through an industry rating system, and when they aren’t willing to cooperate with us on damage issues, we rate them according.
Our Resolution Specialist will assist you with the process of filing and resolving this claim. This person does not make the determinations or issue settlements, but rather acts as a facilitator to assist you with this process. This is just one more step that Executive Auto Shippers takes to go above and beyond our competition. The Resolution Specialist is available during business hours at extension 102 or after hours at extension 103.

 

What if my vehicle is inoperable?

We can still ship your vehicle if it’s inoperable, even wrecked. Our definition of inoperable can be different than an auction house or other business you’re buying the automobile from. We consider it inoperable if it doesn’t do all of these things:

  • Roll- does it move at all or is it locked up?
  • Drive/Brake- would you be willing to drive it 30 miles or more?
  • Steer- is it able to be navigated more than straight?

There is an additional $200 fee for those that are inoperable. This is to cover the extra service done by the driver. Make sure to explain what makes the car inoperable so the carrier can properly prepare. There are times they will need the assistance of a tow truck if the vehicle is not accessible by a large carrier.
If you are purchasing an inoperable automobile from an auto auction, there may be additional information and paperwork you’ll need to provide us for the carrier. For instance, if you use a Manheim auto auction, they require the carrier to have the buyer’s name and the full VIN number. Copart auctions require the buyer number and lot number of your purchase. Make sure you are aware of what will be required of the carrier to pick yours up when scheduling a shipment.
If it is wrecked, we do require pictures to show all 4 corners of the vehicle and the wheels. You will also need to find assistance to load and unload the wrecked vehicle because a carrier will not have the means to do this.
Carriers will not travel down gravel or dirt roads to pick up or deliver vehicles. You will need to meet the carrier in a large parking lot. If it has been sitting in the elements for a long period of time, it is your responsibility to get it out, have it cleaned off including underneath, and make sure the tires are able to hold air and are aired up before the driver arrives.
All inoperable vehicles need to be completely ready to transport before the carrier can be assigned.

 

What can I do if I can’t be available for pick-up or delivery?

If you can’t be available for either pick-up or delivery, we always recommend asking someone you trust to help out and be present for the pre-trip or post-trip inspection. Moving? Many realtors offer this as part of their service. Work schedule crazy? Have us pick-up or deliver to or close to your place of work. Need it picked up from your home? Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to see if they can help. If none of these options work, we can still help. Working with our local affiliates in most major metros, we’ll gladly set up pick up to be brought to their location, but there are additional fees for this service, both to your total cost and possible term fees from the terminal itself. You can check our Local Car Shipping Affiliates page to see where our affiliates are located and their service area.