Auto Transport TimesOne consideration when shipping a vehicle is the auto transport times. Most auto transport customers have jobs or school to schedule around. Many also have to coordinate moving trucks or air travel, so being able to cherry-pick the exact timing of the auto transport schedule would be ideal. But cross-country transport scheduling does not often allow for exact timing. In this industry, the standard is to provide estimates for carrier arrival.

Auto transport timing is different than a bus schedule because there’s a completely different process at work. In order for auto transporting to be cost effective, a carrier has to have a full truckload of cars going from the same general area in the same direction. But the carrier isn’t going from hub to hub, or even to the same city every time. Each truck scheduled serves unique customers, so timing will vary from the last run. Traffic and weather varies from season to season. And your driver is limited in the consecutive hours he can log in behind the wheel.

Drivers typically provide estimates for pick-up and delivery, rather than exact times and dates, and it is a prediction. Exact timing cannot be anticipated precisely or nor managed en route, so it is realistic to leave a little wiggle room for the estimates. The average transit time from coast to coast is 7 to 10 days, but a transport can be completed in less time or take longer than average. The timing estimated by your carrier at the time of booking is not a guarantee but a best guess.

We understand that it’s hard to plan around a “best guess”, but it is realistic to be prepared for a window of arrival rather than a guaranteed time. Many auto transport customers have to enlist a friend or a family member as a back-up contact. Or you may have to take a day off from work to meet your carrier, as drivers usually work regular business hours Monday through Friday. Your driver will give you an estimate for his arrival, of course. He doesn’t want to inconvenience you but every run is a new and untested route, so he handles what comes as it comes and then he’s got to keep rolling.

If you have any questions about auto transport timing, please give us a call at 866-221-1664.

Categories: Car Transport


Michael began working in the Car Shipping Industry back in 2002, starting as a Salesperson for AAA Discount Auto & Truck Transporters in Los Angeles, CA. In 2008, he opened his own office under the name "Honesty First Auto Transport" where he pioneered the movement within the Auto Transport industry of not charging the customer a deposit up front. Many car shipping companies followed his lead and no longer require a deposit up front. In 2011, in an effort to further improve the customer experience for anyone shipping a car to another state, he changed the name of his company to Safe-Direct Car Shipping and created the auto shipping industry's ONLY Damage Free Guarantee. His hope is that other Auto Transporters will, once again, follow his lead and create similar safeguards for their customers (and he'll be happy to re-emerge once again in a few years with the next great improvement). Simplify things even further, Safe-Direct Car Shipping now operates under the name Ship a Car Direct. He is also proud to announce that Ship a Car Direct has become the #1 company on Consumer Affairs, Transport Reviews and many other review sites. Ship a Car Direct has also been accredited by the BBB since 2008.