Help Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Information

Booking

The more advance notice we receive the better, so we can best meet your specific needs. If you are in an urgent situation, please call us as soon as possible, and your agent will discuss your options with you.

No, all that is required to book your vehicle transport is full pickup and delivery addresses and a credit card just to hold your spot in line for the next truck available in dispatch. Your card is only for the deposit which is charged once we have assigned a driver for your vehicle and we have supplied you with your driver’s name and phone number. Only then your credit card is charged a partial payment to secure the spot on the trailer.

We do not take any money upon placement of the order. We will keep a credit card on file and only run the deposit amount when the vehicle is dispatched, and the truck is on its way to pick up your vehicle. The balance is paid upon delivery of the vehicle either by Cash, Money order, Certified check, or also on the credit card. If it is impossible and the balance is paid with a credit card, we will need to know in advance. Please, arrange it with our reps to have the whole balance charged on a credit card prior to delivery (there will be a small surcharge added to your total).

Your price is determined by mileage, vehicle size, pickup and delivery locations, as well as any specific needs that you may have. We will provide you the best service at the best price possible on auto transport market.

For open transport, we transport vehicles on the car carriers you see on the highways (the stacked double-decker like trailers). On enclosed transport, vehicles are transported in fully-enclosed semi-trucks but with the interior designed to secure vehicles (from the outside they look like the typical cargo or moving truck).

In terms of damage, there is not a huge difference between the two options. However, on an open transport, the vehicle is exposed and would, therefore, be subject to weather conditions and wear-and-tear on the road (just as if you were driving it yourself) as opposed to the enclosed trucks, which protect the vehicle from the elements.

Yes, of course. Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the carrier we put you on is covered by the requisite amount of insurance and that it is up to date. There is never any additional cost to the customer for this coverage, and their insurance is primary. In any situation your vehicle is covered for all damages done while your car is in transit.

Pickup

Yes, it is required that you or a designated representative be present at pickup and delivery. The driver will perform an inspection and some paper work must be signed. If it’s not possible for you or a representative to be there at the time of pick up/delivery, please call our Customer service at: 888-435-9766.

The Department of Transportation does not allow any items to be shipped in a vehicle on an auto carrier. Drivers can be subject to random searches, and extra items can also put the carrier over their weight restrictions, resulting in expensive fines for the driver. Unlimited Auto Trans, and/or the assigned Carrier, is not responsible for any personal items left in the vehicle. Also, items placed in the car are not insured.

We request that you have a minimum of 1/8 tank of gas (but no more than ½ tank) due to DOT weight restrictions. We also ask that if your vehicle is dirty to have a car wash prior pick up so the vehicle will have visibility for proper inspection. For more details, please visit our Prepare your car section.

We try to go Door-to-door on both ends, if there is a truck access. Vehicles are transported on large, semi-trucks so if you live on a narrow street, we may have to coordinate a pickup/delivery at a nearby parking lot or shopping center where there is enough space for the truck to maneuver to load/unload the vehicle.

Your vehicle will be driven only as it’s being loaded and unloaded by our Carrier. Occasionally, the driver may have to unload and reload your vehicle while in transit, to deliver other vehicles that may be positioned in a slot in front of yours. However, our drivers work hard to optimize loads, to minimize the need for repositioning prior to final delivery.

  1. Please have your vehicle accessible, so our driver can get it onto the truck as quickly as possible.
  2. Please have the car cleaned, so that the Inspection Report our driver will complete can help you document there are no scratches or dings present.
  3. Kindly empty your vehicle of any personal items.
  4. remove any toll tags or parking passes that could incur charges as your vehicle crosses under a toll signal.
  5. If there are any modifications to your vehicle (raised, lowered, roof rack, camper, lowered etc.) please alert your Transport Coordinator when booking your order.
  6. If possible, fix any known leaks – or at least alert your Transport Coordinator.

Delivery

Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out (parking lot of a nearby shopping center, mall, etc.)

Communication is one of the most important parts of auto transport. You will be provided with both the driver and dispatcher’s number to call at any point to get an update. We kindly ask not to call the driver an overly amount, since we want them focusing on the road.

That depends on how many miles the vehicle is traveling. A driver is only allowed to drive a certain number of miles or hours each day. They also have other cars to unload and load which will add additional time, but we will be able to provide you with the drop off date as soon as the vehicle is dispatched.

The driver or dispatcher should be calling you a day in advance to give you a 2-hour window. If there is any delay or change in the schedule, we will try to inform you right away, so you can plan your schedule accordingly.

The driver will have the Inspection Report that was filled out at the time of pickup. Please walk around the vehicle and make sure there are no new issues, other than what was noted at the time of pickup. Take your time inspecting your vehicle, because once you sign the Inspection Report and take possession of your vehicle, the Carrier will no longer be held liable for any damages discovered after the document is signed. Feel free to take pictures or a short video before you sign anything. But in the unlikely event you do find any issues, it’s important to remain calm and trust that you are protected — so the driver can accept his responsibility without feeling overly defensive.

Auto Transportation Guide

Cost and Payment

We accept all major credit cards, electronic transfer, postal money order, and bank/certified check for the deposit or full pre-payment of your shipment.

If a balance is due upon delivery, it can be paid directly to the driver and can be paid in either cash, bank/certified check, or postal money order.

Yes, you can pay the full transport cost via credit card. If you want to pay in full online, you can do so at the time of booking either online or by phone with a shipping agent.

With this option, you can make a convenient, one-time payment with a credit or debit card. You also have the option of paying a deposit with your credit card and then paying the rest of your remaining balance with cash upon delivery.

No, all that is required to book your vehicle transport is full pickup and delivery addresses and a credit card just to hold your spot in line for the next truck available in dispatch.

Your card is only for the deposit which is charged once we have assigned a driver for your vehicle and we have supplied you with your driver’s name and phone number. Only then your credit card is charged a $200 deposit which is included in your Quote price.

We do not take any money upon the placement of the order. We will keep a credit card on file and only run the deposit amount when the vehicle is dispatched, and the truck is on its way to pick up your vehicle.

The balance is paid upon delivery of the vehicle either by Cash, Money order, Certified check, or also on the credit card. If it is impossible and the balance is paid with a credit card, we will need to know in advance. Please, arrange it with our reps to have the whole balance charged on a credit card prior to delivery (there will be a small surcharge added to your total).

Your price is determined by mileage, vehicle size, pickup and delivery locations, as well as any specific needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best service at the best price possible in the auto transport market.

For more detailed information, please read the following article:

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car in 2022? Car Shipping Cost Explained

The cost of shipping your car or truck is determined by a wide variety of factors such as the type and size of the vehicle you want to transport, the pickup and delivery locations and the overall distance covered by the shipment. 

Often these will fluctuate with the markets impacting nationwide auto transport. You will also need to take into consideration your vehicle’s mileage, overall condition, and any other modifications or special instructions when pricing a shipment.

For more detailed information, please read the following article:

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car in 2022? Car Shipping Cost Explained

Yes!  We are more than happy to offer discounts for active duty military members as well as veterans. Please call us and take advantage or learn more at Military auto transports

Cash Discounted Price is usually less expensive, because it saves the processing fees related to every credit card transaction. Also, truck drivers prefer COD, because it makes their job easier in terms of paperwork.

Cash can be in the form of a Cashier’s Check or Money Order, any form of certified funds. It cannot be a credit card or personal check. If you choose to pay with a Cashier’s Check or Money Order, we’ll tell you whom it should be made out to.

If you choose the “Regular Rate” you can pay in full with a credit card, so  you won’t owe anything to the truck driver at delivery. If instead you chose the “Cash Discounted  Price” option you must pay the trucker in Cash or Certified Funds.

Certified funds can include a Cashiers Check or Money Order (but not a Personal Check nor Credit Card.)

No! If you choose our “Cash Discounted Price” option and decide to pay the majority of transport costs at delivery in exchange for a lower rate, you must pay the driver in either cash or certified funds.

Certified funds would include Cashiers Check and Money Order. Unfortunately, most truck drivers do not have the capability to take credit card payments at delivery.

Yes! To qualify for a multiple vehicles discount all vehicles must be going on the same truck from and to the same locations. Give us a call and we will let you know exactly how much of a discount you can expect.

No. Shipping a vehicle is a tax-exempt service. Your quoted price is all-inclusive and is the only fee you will be asked to pay.

Yes, it is required that you or a designated representative be present at pickup and delivery. The driver will perform an inspection and some paperwork must be signed. If it’s not possible for you or a representative to be there at the time of pick up/delivery, please call our Customer service at: 888-278-9855

You should have about a quarter of a tank of gas in your car at the time of shipment. This leaves enough for the car to be loaded and unloaded but doesn’t add much additional weight.

This is a critically important document during the car shipping process which documents the condition of the vehicle at the time of the pickup. It is also a record of your contact information (address, phone number etc.) as well as the official agreement for transport. You also must have this document in order to file any insurance claim regarding your shipment

       The bill of lading is a legal document that will specify exactly what vehicle is to be transported from location A to location B and by whom.  It serves as the contract between the trucker and the vehicle owner and includes the terms of that agreement.

The final function of the Bill of Lading is as a receipt for the transaction. While the customer booking the transaction or the owner of the vehicle does not need to be at pickup or delivery to sign the Bill of Lading personally, it is highly recommended that a representative who is at least 18 years of age is there to sign it because it is an important legal document for the transaction.

 Yes, we can!  All you need to do is decide whether you need the car picked up by a specific date or on a specific date, which will determine the extra cost involved to guarantee your time frame. Please call for a customized quote and specify that  you need guaranteed pick up date(s).  However, because anything can happen on the road, the auto-hauling industry does not guarantee delivery dates. 

This service is not available in all states.

Please see the following link –> Guaranteed Pick-up

Yes, the city or the zip code will be enough to get a quote and book.  You can provide the exact pickup or delivery location before the vehicle is picked up or delivered.

No, all you need are the keys and the vehicle.  The truck driver will only load and unload the vehicle from the trailer. They are not supposed to drive your vehicle elsewhere. 

As soon as a truck has been assigned/dispatched, we will email you a “dispatch notification” with the estimated pick up/loading date along with the trucker driver’s phone number.  Also our shipping expert will give you call to inform you about the dates.

The truck driver usually calls a few hours ahead of delivery to notify you of his approximate arrival at your address. Special arrangements can be made upon request.

At Pickup:

  1. Before loading your vehicle, you and the truck driver carefully inspect your vehicle for pre-existing scratches, dents and other damage. 
  2. On the bill of lading form there is an image of the vehicle. The truck driver marks all pre-existing damages in the correct area of the image.
  3. It is highly recommended to tell the truck driver to record the current mileage of your vehicle’s odometer. It’s also highly recommended to take several pictures of the vehicle at pickup and again at delivery.
  4.  Both the truck driver and you sign the document and each must keep a copy of it.

At Delivery:

  1. At the time of delivery, the truck driver must allow you to carefully inspect your vehicle again.
  2. If there are any NEW scratches, dents or other damages to your vehicle you MUST mark them on the bill of lading in the proper area of the image and write down in the field for exceptions/comments an exact description of the NEW damage. Just as at pickup, taking pictures at delivery, especially if there is new damage, is highly recommended.
  3. Sign the for only after inspecting the vehicle.  Both  should sign the document and each must keep a copy of it.
  4. After the inspection, if there is a balance due for your shipment, legally you still must pay the trucker even if there is an issue with the vehicle. An insurance claim and payment of freight charges are two entirely different transactions.

No! Unlimited Auto Trans  offers Door-to-Door auto transport which means no dropping off or picking up vehicles from a terminal. Sometimes customers must meet the truck driver  nearby the pickup or delivery location if the roads are narrow or there are low-hanging trees. In these cases, the truck driver  will try to get as close as legally and safely possible.

     If you live in a rural location that is accessible but out of the way you have the option to meet the truck driver near an interstate or major city which will reduce the cost of transport. This is by no means required for rural locations, just an option.

Types of Auto Transportation

  • Open transport is the most common car shipping method. Almost 97% of all vehicles delivered in USA are on this type of trailers. Keep in mind that the car is exposed to outside elements such as rain, sun, dust, etc. However, it is considered a safe and secure way of transporting your vehicle. Most new cars are delivered to dealers by open trailer. 
  • Enclosed transport is often desired for owners of collector cars and used for classic, luxury, vintage, custom and sports cars. The vehicle is not exposed to weather elements and flying objects and prevents possible rock chips.

Door – to – door service means that the truck driver will pick the vehicle up and drop it off as close to your home as he can legally and safely get.  Many cities have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into some residential areas.

Transport trucks are enormous and need a lot of room to maneuver and turn around, so if access to your home is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees, speed bumps or tight turns the driver may ask that you meet the truck at a large parking lot nearby such as a grocery store. 

Terminal to terminal is precisely what the name implies. You drive your car to a specified drop-off terminal where your vehicle remains until your carrier collects it.

Once picked up, the carrier transports your vehicle to the destination terminal location, where you will pick up your car.

Yes, you can! Unlimited Auto Trans can arrange to ship of inoperable vehicles. Inoperable vehicles will typically take longer to be picked up and cost more because not all truck drivers are willing to take them. We will arrange for a truck with a winch to load your vehicle.

Yes, however low clearance vehicles simply cannot be driven onto an open trailer because the car would bottom out on the un-even ramps.

To be considered low clearance the vehicle is usually lower than 4 inches from the ground. We strongly recommend an enclosed trailer with a lift-gate.

Yes, but make sure you proved that information at the time of booking. Our online rates are based on vehicles with no external modifications from the standard factory condition and will need to have an additional premium added to the online price.

If a vehicle is modified from the factory condition in any way it’s best to place an order over the phone and we’ll get all the necessary details from you and give you the most accurate price.

  Yes. Keep in mind that depending on the total height of the vehicle with the roof rack the cost may be higher because it will mean that the car will end up taking more space on the transport truck where any additional space is at a premium.

    If the roof rack can be removed and put inside the trunk or back seat of the vehicle (possibly with the back seats down) there is no additional cost. Just remove the rack before pickup. If it cannot be easily removed let us know and we’ll tell you how much more it will cost. 

 Yes, that’s actually very common. We ship many vehicles each week from  auctions. Each auction will have different requirements to release a vehicle and we’ll get all the necessary details from you at the time of booking. Please make sure the vehicle is fully paid and ready for release from the auction.

Also, be aware that if a vehicle is booked as operable but it turns out the vehicle is inoperable there will be an additional cost and the original truck driver may not be able to accommodate an inoperable vehicle.

Yes. Please make sure your storage bill is paid off completely prior to pickup. This is usually the biggest problem in those type of shipments. Be aware that if the vehicle turns out not to run and it was booked as an operable vehicle the cost to complete the transport will be higher and the original truck may not be able to accommodate the shipment. 

Yes, it may cost $50 – $100 more than the standard rate to cover the cost of permits to pickup or drop-off a vehicle from a port.

Insurance

Damage is rare, but unfortunately, it does happen. The single most important thing for you to do if your vehicle is damaged is to note the damage on your final Bill of lading report when you receive the vehicle.

The Bill of Lading is the report that the driver will fill out on pickup, denoting if there is any pre-existing damage.

Any damage that occurs in transit must be entered on this report on delivery. Failure to do so could seriously hinder your damage claim, so we cannot stress this enough.

Look your vehicle over thoroughly when you receive it. The Bill of Lading is a document that releases the carrier of liability once signed at delivery.

Damage that is not documented on the Bill of Lading will not be honored by the insurance company.

Your vehicle is under the carrier’s liability and cargo insurance, which meets all state and federal requirements.

As a broker, we continually vet our carrier partners to ensure their insurance policy is active and meets all federal and state requirements. 

Unlimited Auto Trans requires small haulers (1 – 3 cars) to have at least $100,000 in coverage to pass our vetting process.

Giant haulers (4 – 9 cars) will need more coverage – in the $200,000 to $500,000 range to start.

Enclosed trailer carriers must have at least $250 000 in coverage. 

What does the insurance policy cover?

The transport company’s insurance policy typically covers damage that occurs when loading your car, while the car is in transit, and when unloading the car. 

Everything else, including any damage caused because your car was in poor shape when you shipped it (e.g., leaking oil, loose parts, etc.), is your responsibility.

Not necessarily. It is recommended but not required.

Your vehicle will be insured by the carrier’s cargo and liability policies as well as Unlimited Auto Trans’ “Contingent Cargo Insurance” which protects you for up to $250,000 should the motor carrier and/or their insurance provider fail to fully cover a valid claim.

Yes, of course. Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the carrier we put you on is covered by the requisite amount of insurance and that it is up to date.

There is never any additional cost to the customer for this coverage, and their insurance is primary.

In any situation, your vehicle is covered for all damages done while your car is in transit.

Dates & Transit Time

First Available Date is not necessarily a Pickup Date.  FAD indicates when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Depending on truck availability at that particular time, we may be able to assign a truck to load your vehicle on your First Available  Date but it may also be a few days after.

If we cannot pick it up that day, it should be within our usual pick-up window of 1 to 5 business days starting from the FAD

If a balance is due upon delivery, it can be paid directly to the driver and can be paid in either cash, bank/certified check, or postal money order.

First available date is the date your vehicle is ready to be picked up. However, this is not necessarily the exact pick up date, depending on truck availability at that time, we may be able to assign a truck to load your vehicle on your first available shipping date but it may also be a few days after.

If we cannot pick up your car that day, it should be within pick up window of 1 to 4 business days from that date.

It depends on your pickup and delivery location as well as weather conditions and restrictions. Check out the chart with the estimated Transit Time based on mileage.

MilesTransit Time
0 – 200 mi.1 – 2 days
200 – 500 mi.2 – 4 days
500 – 1000 mi.4 – 6 days
1000 – 1500 mi.5 – 7 days
1500 – 2000 mi.6 – 9 days
2000 – 2500 mi.8 – 10 days
2500 and more9 + days

 

First Available Date…

…is very important when you are trying to determine how long it will take to transport a vehicle.  FAD indicates when your vehicle is ready to be picked up, however it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be picked up on that particular date. It may take 1 to a few days, depending on the route, carrier availability and weather conditions.

Route and Restrictions…

When transporting a vehicle, not only are we concerned with the distance between destinations, but also which roads will be traveled to get there.

The route chosen can give insight into other factors that could impact how long it takes and what it costs to transport a car.

Yes! A Guarantee Pickup Date service is available in certain areas.

All you need to do is decide whether you need the car picked up by a specific date or on a specific date, which will determine the extra cost involved to guarantee your time frame. Please call for a customized quote if you need a guaranteed pick up date(s).

However, nobody can guarantee a delivery date, because anything can happen on the road.

Learn more at Guaranteed Pick-up

Communication is one of the most important parts of auto transport. You will be provided with both the driver and dispatcher’s number to call at any point to get an update.

We kindly ask not to call the driver an overly amount, since we want them focusing on the road.

Personal Items

The Department of Transportation does not allow any items to be shipped in a vehicle on an auto carrier. Drivers can be subject to random searches, and extra items can also put the carrier over their weight restrictions, resulting in expensive fines for the driver.

Unlimited Auto Trans, and/or the assigned Carrier, is not responsible for any personal items left in the vehicle. Also, items placed in the car are not insured.

No! Personal items inside the car are not covered by the carrier’s cargo insurance.

Personal items can damage the interior of your car due to possible shifting caused by vibrations on the road. Any damages to the interior caused by personal items are NOT covered by the carrier’s cargo insurance policy.

Cancellation Policy

The best way to cancel an order with Unlimited Auto Trans is to send as an email. We do require a written confirmation. Please include your name and order number. 

We understand that things come up and plans change! You can cancel your order before your vehicle is loaded on a trailer.

  • If your vehicle has not yet been assigned to a truck to be picked up, you will receive a full refund.
  • If your vehicle has been assigned to a truck and a driver is already en route to your vehicle, you will receive a refund of your full deposit minus any fee charged by the carrier for a “dry run”.

Useful Information

  • Online

The easiest way to place an order is to use our online quote calculator. By providing basic information you will be able to get a quote and choose between couple of options. Then you just need to finish the process and your order will be completed. Our shipping specialists will verify the information and send you an email confirmation.

  • By phone

Even thought our online booking system is user-friendly and easy to use some people prefer to place their order over the phone. Our professional shipping specialists are always ready to answer all questions and provide you with the best possible rate to transport your vehicle.

The information needed could be divided in 4 categories

  1. Vehicle details – year, make and model;
  2. Locations – pickup and delivery addresses;
  3. Personal Information – name and phone of the contact person at the pickup and delivery if different from yours;
  4. Payment method – A credit cart on file. We authorize the card at the time you give it to us to make sure it was entered correctly but there is no charge and no hold until we schedule a trucker for pickup and provide you with his name and number.

We do recommend to place your order 3 to 7 days prior your vehicle is first available for pickup. The auto transportation industry is very dynamic and the rates are fluctuating all the time.

They are affected by many factors such as carrier availability in the area, weather conditions, government restrictions and etc. 

  • Clean your vehicle. That helps the inspections process. Scratches, dents  and other pre-existing damages are more visible when the vehicle is clean.
  •  Remove any personal itemsespecially anything of value.
  • Remove any external modifications to the vehicle such as a roof rack. It could be stored inside the vehicle if it fits.
  • As a precaution, it might be a good idea to cover or wrap your driver seat and driver-side floor mat just in case the truck driver gets any dirt in the vehicle while loading or unloading.
  • Remove any automatic toll devices and disable any kind of security devices which could give the truck driver trouble when loading or unloading the vehicle.
  • Finally, try to leave a quarter tank of gas in the vehicle to be sure there is enough for loading and unloading but not so much to start adding extra weight.

For more info check Car Shipping Guide – How to prepare your car for transport.

A carrier operates trucks and often times is an owner-operator who only schedules shipments through a broker and serves only a few routes.  Most carrier companies have a limited amount of trucks and do not cover all 50 states in USA. 

A broker usually works with a huge network of car carriers serving the whole country. In most cases, a broker can give you a lower rate since they have multiple carriers competing to transport a vehicle. Brokers also verify the USDOT authority, federal licenses and cargo insurance of the carrier company transporting your vehicle.  It can be difficult to verify these things on your own.

 

 

  • Brokers t have access to a large network of carriers. They don’t actually have their own fleet of trucks and as a result they don’t handle the direct shipping of any vehicles. They are the “middleman” between the customer and the carrier.
  • The brokers primary function is to find and vet the best carriers for each customer given their vehicle type and shipping time frame.
  • Another important role of the broker  is to manage and coordinate, all car shipments on behalf of their customers.
  •  Most carriers don’t have advanced call centers and those that do aren’t usually great at providing customer support.  
  • reliable auto transportation broker has Claims Department, which is very helpful in case your vehicle is damaged during transportation.

     It is important to understand that auto transportation industry is very dynamic and delays occur often. Many times the truck drivers and their dispatchers are busy and DO NOT provide timely updates. That’s why as a customer you need a partner, who will keep you updated and make sure your precious vehicle arrives at the destination. Someone who will go above and beyond to provide you with the best possible service. That’s what all shipping specialists at Unlimited Auto Trans are trained to do on a daily basis.

Unlimited Auto Trans offers open and enclosed all different kinds of vehicles such as:

We do not ship boats!

Depends on the car shipping service you choose. It will be either an open or enclosed trailer hauling multiple vehicles.

To be considered running a vehicle must be able to drive in forward and reverse under its own power and steer. If any of these conditions are not met it is considered non-running.

Basically, if a car can be driven on and off a transport truck with no additional work on the part of the truck driver then it’s an operable vehicle. If the truck driver must push or winch the vehicle onto the trailer it’s non-running and the truck driver requires more money for transportation.

Keep in mind that not all transport trucks can accommodate non-running vehicles so pickup may take longer.

Is your question not listed here? Please feel free to call one our agents at (888) 278-9855 (Toll Free) and they will be glad to assist you and answer any questions you may have.

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Guarantee Rates

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No bait and switch!