When shipping a vehicle, you’ll have to decide where you want your car picked up and delivered. One of the transport options most car shipping companies offer is door-to-door transport. We’ll go over what door-to-door transport means, how it works, and the pros and cons of choosing this delivery method.
Overview of Door-to-Door Transport
Door-to-door transport is a car shipping service that allows pick up and delivery of your vehicle from as close to an address as possible. This means that as long as the trucker can safely access your preferred location, like a driveway or the street near your house, your car can be loaded or dropped off.
For ease of access, some shipping customers use a more prominent location like a popular street or a nearby parking lot, but many customers will have their car shipped to and from their home.
Depending on your location, door-to-door transport can be costlier than shipping to and from a terminal. Delivery to and from a rural address, rather than one in a major city, can take more time and fuel, thereby driving the price of the shipment up a bit. But if convenience is important to you when shipping a car, you may want to opt for door-to-door transport.
At Sherpa, we only offer door-to-door shipping, as we believe it’s the most convenient method for customers.
Pros and Cons of Door-to-Door Transport
When choosing any auto transport service, it’s good to keep in mind its advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision.
The biggest advantage of choosing door-to-door transport is convenience. Because your vehicle is picked up and delivered from the location of your choosing, you won’t have to travel to a nearby terminal. This is especially convenient for customers in rural areas, as terminals in the nearest major city may be hundreds of miles away.
Traveling to a car shipping terminal also takes a lot of time. Picking up your car from a terminal requires time out of your schedule, which is not always easy to do. These advantages are why Sherpa only offers door-to-door shipping for customers.
However, door-to-door auto transport is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping. Car carriers spend more money for labor and fuel for door-to-door delivery, so those costs get passed on to the customer. Shipping to and from a terminal allows the carrier to pick up and deliver cargo much quicker, allowing both the car shipper and the customer to save money.
In cities with tight alleys or narrow streets, door-to-door car transport services may not be available.
How Door-To-Door Transport Works
Here are the basic steps to expect when you choose Sherpa for your auto transport, or you choose door-to-door shipping from another car shipping company:
- Get quotes. Get car shipping quotes online, or use the car shipping calculator on auto transport companies’ websites. You’ll be asked to input information like the type of car you drive, open or enclosed shipping, and there you’ll choose door-to-door auto transport service.
- Give locations. You’ll list specific addresses for the pick up and delivery locations. If the car transport company offers door-to-door transport to your desired locations, you’re in business.
- Choose pickup and delivery dates. It’s best to book at least two weeks in advance so your preferred pickup and delivery dates are available.
- Inspect your vehicle. On the pick up date, the truck driver will arrive at the specified location, where you’ll both inspect the car for existing damage. After the inspection, the car hauler will load your car onto the vehicle transport truck and drive it to the final destination.
- Delivery. Once the car carrier arrives at your delivery location, the driver will unload your vehicle. If the delivery point is your driveway or in front of your house, make sure the trucker has a clear path to park the truck and drop off your car.
- Final inspection. You and the driver will inspect the car once more after for any damage that occurs during the shipping process and sign a bill of lading to complete the transaction.
In essence, the car carrier comes directly to you at both ends of the vehicle shipment.
Average Auto Transport Costs
So how much does door-to-door transport cost? Vehicle shipping companies don’t provide exact costs for shipping services, but there are a few ways to estimate what you might pay. You can use the tool on a shipping provider’s website to receive a free quote for the shipping services you need.
But to get a more baseline estimate of what you may pay, we’ve provided tables that give the range of price you might pay per mile for an auto transport with Sherpa. It’s important to note prices are based on shipment details and market conditions, so your actual cost could vary.
|Shipment Mileage||Price Per Mile Range|
|0 to 500 miles||$1.32 to $2.75|
|501 to 1,000 miles||$0.88 to $1.55|
|1,001 to 1,500 miles||$0.70 to $1.23|
|1,501 to 2,000 miles||$0.60 to $1.00|
|2,001 to 2,500 miles||$0.53 to $0.84|
|2,500+ miles||$0.48 to $0.74|
Keep in mind that choosing enclosed shipping or expedited delivery will likely skew your price per mile higher, as these ranges are for open transport for an operable vehicle.
Popular Auto Transport Routes
If you’re shipping to and from a major city, here’s what you may pay per mile. Again, your actual cost could change depending on shipment details and market conditions.
|Routes||Price Per Mile Range|
|New York City to Los Angeles||$0.56 to $0.72|
|New York City to Miami||$0.98 to $1.20|
|Los Angeles to Miami||$.048 to $0.66|
|Los Angeles to New York City||$0.48 to $0.71|
|Miami to New York City||$0.65 to $1.20|
|Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles||$0.49 to $0.69|
|Chicago to Los Angeles||$0.61 to $0.88|
|New York City to Houston||$0.80 to $1.00|
|Los Angeles to Atlanta||$0.48 to $0.74|
|Chicago to Phoenix||$0.68 to $0.92|
Factors that Affect Car Shipping Costs
There are many factors that affect car shipping costs, mainly the details of your specific shipment and the current conditions of the auto shipping market. Other factors include:
- Delivery method. Door-to-door shipping is more convenient than terminal-to-terminal shipping, but it will cost more.
- Shipping distance. Long-distance shipments will cost less per mile, but more overall.
- Transport type. Enclosed transport can oftentimes cost 50% more than open carrier transport.
- Time of year. Demand for car shipping services increases during January and the summer months, so shipping your vehicle during those seasons will be more expensive.
- Vehicle size. Larger and heavier vehicles, like trucks or SUVs, will be costlier to ship than standard sedans.
- Vehicle type. Alternative vehicles like RVs, ATVs, and motorcycles cost more to ship.
- Gas prices. As fuel costs increase, the cost of shipping a car also increases.
Why You Should Choose Sherpa Auto Transport
In the five years we’ve been in the auto shipping industry, we’ve built a solid reputation. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates us with an A+. Customer reviews on the BBB’s website tell a similar story, as our average star rating is a 4.9 out of 5. We also specialize in door-to-door transport as most customers prefer the convenience it brings to the car shipping process.
Price Lock Promise
With our exclusive Price Lock Promise, you’ll pay the price you’re quoted. If a quoted price isn’t enough to secure a car hauler for your transport, we’ll figure out the difference and pay up to $300 to cover it. With our locked in prices, you can be sure both your wallet and your peace of mind are protected.
Clean Car Guarantee
Should your car arrive at your door dirty from the open road, we’ll reimburse you up to $20 for a car wash. Just send us a copy of the car wash receipt and the bill of lading from your transport and we’ll issue the refund.