What is Car Shipping?

If we say that a car is a man/woman’s best friend, we wouldn’t be exaggerating. When you’re moving from one place to another, preferably another city, you’d want your ride to be taken there with sheer expertise, love, care, and safety. Regarding relocating or transporting a vehicle over long distances, car shipping is a popular and convenient option. Whether moving to a new city, buying a vehicle from another state, or sending a car to a family member, car shipping can make the process easy and stress-free. But what exactly is car shipping, and how does it work? In this comprehensive blog, we will explore the ins and outs of car shipping, including how to choose a reliable car shipping service and what factors to consider when shipping your vehicle. 

As the name suggests, car shipping is the process of physically transporting the car from one location to another through specialized trucks or carriers. Primarily it can involve shipping a vehicle across state lines, across the country, or even internationally. Individuals, businesses, car dealerships, and military personnel frequently use car shipping services. 

Car shipping is useful for both personal vehicle transport and businesses that need to ship commercial vehicles in bulk. When you use door-to-door car transport, your vehicle is picked up and delivered directly to your home or place of business. Additionally, car shipping from terminal to terminal means that your car is picked up and delivered to a terminal near you, also known as car storage facilities. 

How Does Car Shipping Work? 

Car shipping is a highly professional and sensitive process like any other delivery process. Before you want your car to be touched, you must understand how this works. You must look for the best car shipping company so that all you must worry about is the money. Rest should be taken care of by the company. 

Now looking for the best car shipping service is another hassle. We will get to that part later on. We need to understand how this car shipping process goes about. What are the steps you must go through? Let’s go ahead and discuss all these steps one by one. 

Request a Quote:  

The first step in car shipping is to request a quote from a car shipping company. This quote will provide you with an estimate of the cost to ship your vehicle based on factors such as the distance, type of service, vehicle size and weight, and the desired pick-up and delivery dates. 

Book the Service:  

Once you have received a quote and decided to proceed, you will book the car shipping service with the chosen company. This involves providing details about your vehicle, pick-up and delivery locations, and any special requirements you may have. 

Vehicle Preparation:  

Before the pick-up date, you should prepare your vehicle for shipping. This includes cleaning the car, conducting a thorough inspection to document its condition, removing personal items and valuables, disabling alarms, and checking fluid levels and tire pressure. 

Vehicle Pick-Up:  

The car shipping company will send a carrier to collect your vehicle on the scheduled pick-up date. The carrier will perform a pre-shipping inspection to note any existing damage and confirm the vehicle’s condition. You or your designated representative will need to be present during the inspection, and you will both sign a Bill of Lading (BOL) to confirm the details. 


After the pick-up, your vehicle will be loaded onto the carrier and transported to the designated delivery location. Depending on your chosen service type (open or enclosed), your car may be shipped on an open-air or fully enclosed trailer. During transportation, your vehicle will be securely fastened to prevent movement. 

Vehicle Delivery:  

Upon arrival at the delivery location, the carrier will perform a post-shipping inspection to ensure that the vehicle’s condition matches the pre-shipping inspection. Any discrepancies or damage should be noted in the Bill of Lading. You or your designated representative will need to be present during the inspection and sign the BOL to confirm receipt of the vehicle. 


Depending on the terms agreed upon with the car shipping company, you may be required to pay for the service in full before shipping, at the time of pick-up, or upon delivery. Payment can typically be made by cash, credit card, or certified check. 

Remember. Choosing a reputable and best car shipping company that is licensed, registered, and insured is important to ensure a smooth and safe shipping experience. Additionally, it’s recommended to review the terms and conditions of the service agreement and ask about insurance coverage, tracking options, and any potential additional fees. 

How are Cars Transported by Ship? 

Ferries, cruise ferries, cargo ships, barges, and RoRo service for air deliveries are all examples of RORO vessels. New cars are frequently transported by ship on a large type of RORO known as a pure car carrier (PCC) or pure car/truck carrier (PCTC). 

Cargo is normally measured by the tonne in the shipping industry, but RORO cargo is typically measured in lanes in metres (LIMs). This is determined by multiplying the cargo length in meters by the number of decks and the width in lanes. Cargo capacity on PCCs is frequently measured in RT or RT43 units. Container shipping also involves placing vehicles inside large metal containers that are then loaded onto container ships. 

Again, regardless of the method chosen, it’s essential to work with a reputable and experienced shipping company to ensure the safe and efficient transportation of vehicles by sea. 

What To Look for When Choosing a Car Shipping Company? 

Choosing the best car shipping company ensures a smooth and stress-free vehicle transport experience. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting a car shipping company: 

Reputation and Experience:  

Look for a car shipping company with a solid reputation and a track record of successfully transporting vehicles. Read customer reviews, testimonials, and ratings on trusted platforms like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about others’ experiences with the company. 

Licensing and Registration:  

Verify that the car shipping company is properly licensed and registered with the appropriate authorities. In the United States, car shipping companies should have a valid USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) number and be registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). 

Insurance Coverage:  

Make sure the car shipping company provides adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. Ask about the extent of the coverage, any applicable deductible, and the process for filing a claim in case of damage. 

Services Offered:  

Consider the types of services the company offers, such as open or enclosed transport, door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal delivery, and expedited shipping. Choose a company that provides the services that best meet your needs and preferences. 

Transparent Pricing:  

Obtain quotes from multiple car shipping companies and compare prices. A reputable company should provide transparent pricing with a detailed breakdown of costs, including any additional fees or charges. Be cautious of extremely low quotes that may be too good to be true. 

Written Agreement:  

Ensure that the car shipping company provides a written agreement or contract outlining the terms and conditions of the service. Review the agreement carefully and ensure you understand your responsibilities and the company’s obligations. 

Communication and Customer Service:  

Assess the company’s level of communication and customer service. A good car shipping company should be responsive, provide clear and timely information, and be available to answer your questions throughout the shipping process. 

Vehicle Inspection:  

Confirm that the company conducts a pre-shipping inspection to document the condition of your vehicle before it is loaded onto the carrier. An inspection report or Bill of Lading (BOL) should be provided for your records. 

Red Flags:  

Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, requests for payment in cash or wire transfers, or lack of proper documentation. These could be signs of a fraudulent or unreliable shipping company. 


Choose a company that offers flexibility in terms of pick-up and delivery dates and can accommodate any special requests or requirements. 


Car shipping is a practical and efficient solution for transporting vehicles over long distances. By understanding the different types of car shipping services and how to choose a reputable company, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Whether you’re relocating, buying a new car, or travelling, car shipping offers the convenience and peace of mind you need to get your vehicle safely to its destination. 

We hope this comprehensive guide has answered your questions about car shipping and provided you with valuable insights into the process. If you’re considering car shipping, we encourage you to explore options and find a service that best fits your needs and budget. Happy car shipping!