It typically takes between one and ten days to ship a car, but the length of time depends on a few things. To figure out how long it could take to ship your car, you should first be familiar with the car shipping process. We’ve broken it down step by step below.
Get Free Quotes
First, you’ll get car shipping quotes online. Most car shipping companies’ websites have instant quote tools or car shipping calculators, but some require you to provide your information over the phone. When getting a quote, you’ll need to give the auto transport company the following information:
- Your car’s make, model, age, and operability
- Preferred pickup and delivery times
- Preferred pickup location and drop-off location
- Preferred transport type (open vs. enclosed transport)
- Your name and contact information
The company will either assign one of its carriers or, if it’s a broker, present this information to independent car carriers that will bid on your job. If the company offers an instant quote tool online, you’ll get a quoted price back within a few moments.
Most of the time, a vehicle shipping company will email you the details of your quote. Keep in mind that unless the company provides locked-in pricing, the quote is often an estimate that doesn’t take insurance costs or service fees into account.
When you choose Sherpa Auto Transport for the car shipping services you need, our Price Lock Promise ensures that the price you’re quoted is the final price you’ll pay.
Choose a Car Shipping Company
After you receive a few quotes, you’ll need to decide which car shipping company best suits your needs. Choose a company that is fully insured and licensed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Most auto shipping companies, like Sherpa, vet car carriers, making sure that each one is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Book Your Car Shipment
Once you’ve chosen your provider, you can book your auto transport. Some companies will require an up-front payment or deposit to secure your shipment. Depending on the company, you may get a discount if you pay in full when you book.
With Sherpa Auto Transport, you’ll make an initial payment once we secure a carrier for your transport. Once your shipment is complete, you’ll pay the remaining balance in full.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Once your pickup date is confirmed, you’ll prepare your car for shipment. Here are the steps you need to take to make sure your vehicle is ready:
- Wash your car.
- Inspect your vehicle for dings, scratches, and dents.
- Remove all personal items and valuables.
- Top off all fluids and make sure your car battery has charge.
- Reduce your gas tank (tank should be no more than a quarter full).
- Remove any loose parts (antenna, spoiler, hood ornament).
- Make an extra set of keys.
Track Your Shipment
After the truck driver picks your car up, most auto transport companies provide a way to track the status of your shipment. Some car shippers provide an app with GPS tracking, while others offer 24/7 customer service. This way, you’ll know of any shipping delays immediately.
Pick Your Car Up
Depending on the auto transport service you choose, your car will be delivered either right to your door or to a terminal in a central location. When you choose Sherpa, you’ll have the convenience of door-to-door shipping.
Either way, you and the trucker will need to inspect the vehicle again for any damage that may have happened during transit. You’ll then sign a bill of lading and pay the carrier the remaining balance.