Cost of Shipping Your Car

Is It Cheaper To Use A Terminal?

Is it cheaper if I drop off or pick up my car from a local terminal?

Most customers ask this question in hopes of saving some money, while others are looking for a convenience factor. Using a local auto shipping terminal near you can add some convenience, especially for those with overly complicated schedules. But like most things in life, you end up paying for that added convenience.

Local terminals are various types of businesses that work with our company to provide additional services. By far the most common service available is assisting with the pickup or drop off of your vehicle.

If You Go To The Facility

The cheapest of these options is for the customer to either drop-off or pick up directly to or from the local terminal facility. In this situation, the local terminal will perform the vehicle inspection on behalf of the customer, store the vehicle in their secured facility, and deal directly with the auto shipping carrier that is performing the actual shipment.

If The Local Comes To You

If going to the local facility is not convenient enough, it may also be possible for the local terminal to actually perform the pickup and/or delivery using a 1-car carrier. This option will definitely cost more, but in some cases can be useful. This service is especially practical if your schedule does not work with the anticipated pickup window or if you are attempting to have a vehicle delivered prior to your arrival at the destination.

Either option will add additional fees to the auto shipment, as this is an entirely separate company and will naturally want to be paid for their services.

Some companies will give you a discount if you drop off or pick up from a local facility. In those cases, the company includes the cost for the terminal to pick up and drop off your vehicle. It is important to know that, as it will likely make your shipment take longer. While using a local terminal has benefits when it comes to the scheduling, the main detraction is that the vehicle will just be sitting at the facility on one end or the other. This is where the added shipping time gets added in. So if you are getting a discount to use a local facility make sure to ask how long the entire shipping process will take.

White Glove Auto Shipping Services

Some local terminals will provide even more services, which we typically refer to as “White Glove Services.”

Some of the possible extras are

  • Washing the vehicle before delivery
  • Indoor vehicle storage (all storage is gated and secured)
  • Guaranteed pick up or delivery scheduling
  • Reaching addresses that the large carrier is unable to


So although it might not make your auto shipment cheaper, the benefits may still outweigh the costs. Choosing to use a local terminal for your shipment is something you should discuss with one of our auto shipping experts and then decide what is best for you specific situation.