Vehicle Transport FAQs
Shipping open or enclosed is ultimately your decision based on your specific needs. We outline some information on both methods of transport, as well as some pros and cons for each to help you make an informed decision.
Open-air auto transport:
About 90% of all vehicles are shipped on open-air trailers. They have no sides or roof on the trailer so vehicles are exposed to the elements at all times, the same if you were to drive your vehicle cross-country.
Pros: The most inexpensive way to ship vehicles as the open-air trailers can carry more vehicles than their enclosed counterpart on a single trip. More vehicles shipped at a time means less fuel overall, so this is also the “greenest” way to ship a vehicle.
Cons: The vehicles are less secure than an enclosed trailer and are not protected against the elements or road debris.
Enclosed auto transport:
Mainly, owners of exotic or otherwise valuable cars will use this service and pay the fees associated with enclosed vehicle shipping. This is not a free upgrade, of course, but it will ensure that your cars enjoy another layer of protection in shipment.
Pros: Using this service will protect your vehicles from the elements as well as stray rocks potentially chipping the windshield or the paint, which may or may not happen under normal conditions.
Cons: With an enclosed carrier fewer cars can be shipped at once, which can make enclosed transport significantly more expensive than its open-air counterpart.
All American does not take any deposits prior to transport, and payment is due before your vehicle delivers. If paying by credit card, it is usually charged after the vehicle is picked-up. If paying by cash or cashier’s check on delivery, payment must be prepared prior to the time the driver arrives. For cashier’s check method, your customer service representative will email you cashier’s check information once your order is scheduled.
While we do recommend you wash your vehicle prior to shipment so the driver can complete a thorough inspection, your vehicle will be fully exposed to the elements and road debris if moving on an open-air carrier, and may arrive dirty after shipment. Getting a good coat of wax at the car wash prior to shipping for added protection against the elements is a great idea. When it comes to a full detail, however, after delivery is best so you can enjoy your sparkling vehicle in your new hometown.
The drivers typically allow up to 50lbs of personal items to be shipped in the trunk area of the vehicle. Keep in mind that personal items are not covered by transport insurance, so when choosing items to ship in your vehicle please understand that it is “at your own risk.” We certainly don’t recommend shipping anything valuable or breakable, and if the items packed in your vehicle might weigh over 50 lbs, the driver may ask for an overweight fee or ask you to remove them. Plants, liquids, and firearms are illegal to ship in vehicles across state lines and if discovered by the DoT will be confiscated or discarded.
Our carrier direct “door-to-door” service is the fastest method of transport, and our drivers deliver to you as soon as they possibly can when they arrive it into your area. This means that you must be available to either release your vehicle on or accept your vehicle when the driver arrives to your area and on the driver’s schedule to avoid delaying the other pick-ups and deliveries the driver must complete.
The drivers deliver anytime between 7am and 9pm, 7 days a week, and will call you to coordinate a two to four-hour delivery window either the night before or morning of pick-up or delivery. Within that window, they will give you a call about 30-60 minutes prior to let you know they are on their way – no need to sit at home or wait around all day, they will give you plenty of notice.
Someone must be present at the time of delivery. For your convenience, you can name anyone you like to accept or release your vehicle. Just make sure they understand they will be acting on your behalf as your representative during the inspection process.
If for any reason you cannot accept delivery when the driver approaches your area, please let us know beforehand, and we can set-up a delivery terminal if available in your area that includes three days of storage at an additional service cost of $100. You can pick-up your vehicle locally at your convenience during their business hours.
Many times, the driver is able to make it to your front door and as the driver approaches both your origin and destination, you will receive a call to confirm your address and discuss accessibility. If access to your address is limited for large trucks, an alternative meeting location will be recommended. In these instances, usually the driver will recommend a nearby larger street or even a parking lot nearest your address that is accessible. For the safety of you, your car, and our equipment, it is important that we have ample room to load and unload your vehicle.
If necessary, please feel free to use an Uber/Lyft/Taxi, and we will reimburse the cost of your ride from your original pick-up address to the driver’s requested pick-up location up to $15 – just send us the receipt. Please contact your Customer Service Representative if you anticipate the ride being over $15, or if you need any help scheduling a ride.
The driver will complete an inspection at pick-up and you or your alternate contact will inspect the vehicle on delivery. In the unlikely event that your vehicle is damaged, it must be notated on the bill of lading at the time of delivery, or if you cannot complete an inspection then an exception must be notated. Please take photos while you are still with the driver and let us know right away.
All American Trucking and Transport takes pride in having a very low occurrence of transit damage, but just like driving on the road, accidents can happen. All American Trucking and Transport is a licensed transport broker that arranges and coordinates your vehicle transport on your behalf with quality carriers. Each carrier/driver carries their own insurance. All American requires carriers to provide at least $100,000 of coverage and to be certificate holders on all policies. The carrier is ultimately responsible for damage claims, subject to certain limitations. Although All American itself along with any other brokers are prohibited by law to accept liability for insurance claims, we will certainly work to help you seek recovery against a carrier’s insurance, swiftly and with zero deductible as we have done since 1994.
All American Trucking and Transport, or any other auto broker, cannot legally hold the carrier liable for any damage not marked on the bill of lading at delivery. In the event that damage or an exception was not notated at delivery and you still wish to file a claim, it must be done through your own comprehensive insurance policy and your insurance company can subrogate against the carrier on your behalf. Luckily in most states, insurance companies cannot raise your rates if you are found not-at-fault as should be the case for any damage incurred while the vehicle was not actually being driven. We will continue to be a resource on your behalf and provide your insurance company with any information they may need.
Contact us and our friendly staff will be here for you to answer any questions you may have.
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