Customer Reviews

Car Hauling in 2024: A Complete Guide

Posted on 12/18/2023

Table of contents:

  1. Car hauling 101
  2. How to find cheap car hauling
  3. Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ


2024-car-hauling

Car hauling 101

Car hauling is the process of towing or shipping your car using some kind of trailer. Some people choose to do this themselves and others hire car hauling companies. Car hauling has several synonymous phrases, including “auto transport,” “vehicle transportation,” and “car shipping.”

The two primary types of car hauler trucks or trailers are open and enclosed.

car-hauling

Open car haulers

Open car hauling trucks/trailers transport cars on a trailer that has two decks without walls or a roof. Open car hauler trucks offer customers the most readily available and cheapest option when shipping with a car hauler company.

Enclosed car haulers

Enclosed car haulers transport vehicles in a truck/trailer that has walls and a roof. This offers maximum protection from outside elements such as inclement weather and road debris. Hiring a company to haul your car on an enclosed trailer or renting/buying an enclosed car trailer to haul the car yourself will always cost more than if you chose to haul the car or have it hauled on an open trailer.

How to find cheap car hauling

Finding cheap car hauling will primarily be dependent on how flexible you can be about your vehicle hauling details. If you are transporting your car with a car hauling company, you can plan to have your car hauled during a less busy time of the year, such as October or February. During these months, car hauling prices tend to be at their lowest because car hauler companies’ demand is at a low for the year.

You can also schedule your car shipment at least four weeks before the pickup date you prefer. If possible, schedule up to eight weeks in advance to get the cheapest car hauling price. Additionally, do not ask to ship anything in your car as it is hauled, and always choose open car shipping. Shipping things in your car as it is hauled is possible, but it typically involves a “step-up” fee. Open-air car shipping is the most common type of car hauling; thus, it is the least expensive way to haul a vehicle.

Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental

When it comes to car hauler companies versus car hauler rental, you will have distinct advantages when it comes to each.

Car hauler companies

Car hauler companies can ship vehicles for individuals and businesses at a much more affordable price than a towing company because they can haul 8 to 12 vehicles at a time rather than just one. Car hauling companies also offer the convenience of shipping 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Most reputable car hauling services can service shipments anywhere within the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, so there is no need to seek out a local car hauler by googling “car haulers near me.”

The different types of situations where car hauling companies are needed

Car hauling companies are used for various situations both by individuals and businesses. Here are the primary ways car hauling companies are used:

  • Dealerships – Car dealerships need just about all their vehicles delivered via a car hauling company with a few exceptions, such as trade-ins. Most frequently out on the highway you will see a car hauler truck shipping a trailer full of the same vehicles with an exterior wrap on each, and no license plates. These shipments are headed to a dealer.

  • Fleet managementFleet management is when a company with dozens or hundreds of vehicles frequently need them moved to another location in bulk or if they need additional vehicles delivered in bulk. An example is Amazon. The Amazon vans you see out on the street every day get delivered to Amazon in bulk by car hauler trucks, which is much cheaper for Amazon than having every van shipped individually.

  • Auctions – Either private individuals or car dealerships will buy cars from online and in-person auctions. When this happens, there is frequently a need for these vehicles to be shipped to the address of the person or entity who bought them. Sometimes, this includes salvage vehicle auctions in which most cars purchased do not have a running engine.

  • Rental cars – Ever wonder what happens when one car dealership has nearly all of their vehicles rented and driven to and returned at far away locations? They get additional vehicles shipped to their location to have stock on hand.

  • Private vehicles – If you are reading this, you are likely a private individual considering shipping one or two personal vehicles. This is an extremely frequent occurrence for a multitude of reasons including someone moving long distance and not wanting to drive the car all the way to their new home, a child needing a car at college, taking an extended vacation to a winter home and more.

different reasons for car hauling

Car hauler rental

Renting a car hauling trailer can likely help you save a bit of money compared to hiring a car hauling company. However, it will be a lot more work and stress. When you choose to haul your own car, you must do all of the driving yourself. In addition to that, you will also be responsible for loading and unloading the car as well as for securing it to the trailer. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, this can easily result in damage to the vehicle that is being hauled and possibly even the vehicle that you are using to haul it. Finally, this will take at least an extra day, if not several days. This means you might have to miss a few days of work to haul a car yourself.

Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental

Conclusion

For several reasons, someone might choose to haul a car or have a car hauled for them. This includes a long-distance move, a relative needing a vehicle at college, a move for the military, seasonal relocation, and much more. The big question is, will you haul the car yourself or hire a car hauling company to do the job? Each has its unique upsides. If you haul a car yourself via the rental of a vehicle trailer, you might save some money. You can directly control the speed of the car hauling, and you will be in possession of the car being hauled for the entire trip. If you hire a car shipping company to haul a vehicle, your effort and involvement will be extremely minimal, and you will save a ton of time.

FAQ

Is car hauling hard?

Car hauling can be very hard. The reason car hauling can be so difficult is that you need to be able to ensure that your vehicle is completely, properly, and safely secured to the car hauling trailer. This can be very stressful for a first-timer. It is much easier to have your car shipped for you with a car hauling company such as RoadRunner Auto Transport.

What size enclosed trailer for the car?

If you are looking at renting or buying an enclosed car trailer to haul a vehicle yourself, you must find out the width, length, and height of the vehicle you will be hauling. Usually, an 8.5-foot-wide trailer will fit most vehicles, but the lengths and heights of these enclosed car hauling trailers will vary.

How wide is a car trailer?

Car trailers’ widths can vary. Generally, they are between 7 and 10 feet wide, with 8.5 feet as the most common width. When hauling a car, size specifications can be tricky for an inexperienced individual. Thus, we recommend having your vehicle transported by a car hauling company.

How much does it cost to ship a car?

Generally, the cost of shipping a car will fall somewhere between $0.40 and $1.50 per mile. However, the cost to ship a car will depend on several constantly changing factors, such as the cost of gas at the time of your shipment, demand for car shipping services at the time of your shipment, and more.

Instant Car Shipping Quote

Calculate your car shipping rate in 3 easy steps!

1Shipment Details

Car Hauling in 2024: A Complete Guide

Posted on 12/18/2023

Table of contents:

  1. Car hauling 101
  2. How to find cheap car hauling
  3. Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ


2024-car-hauling

Car hauling 101

Car hauling is the process of towing or shipping your car using some kind of trailer. Some people choose to do this themselves and others hire car hauling companies. Car hauling has several synonymous phrases, including “auto transport,” “vehicle transportation,” and “car shipping.”

The two primary types of car hauler trucks or trailers are open and enclosed.

car-hauling

Open car haulers

Open car hauling trucks/trailers transport cars on a trailer that has two decks without walls or a roof. Open car hauler trucks offer customers the most readily available and cheapest option when shipping with a car hauler company.

Enclosed car haulers

Enclosed car haulers transport vehicles in a truck/trailer that has walls and a roof. This offers maximum protection from outside elements such as inclement weather and road debris. Hiring a company to haul your car on an enclosed trailer or renting/buying an enclosed car trailer to haul the car yourself will always cost more than if you chose to haul the car or have it hauled on an open trailer.

How to find cheap car hauling

Finding cheap car hauling will primarily be dependent on how flexible you can be about your vehicle hauling details. If you are transporting your car with a car hauling company, you can plan to have your car hauled during a less busy time of the year, such as October or February. During these months, car hauling prices tend to be at their lowest because car hauler companies’ demand is at a low for the year.

You can also schedule your car shipment at least four weeks before the pickup date you prefer. If possible, schedule up to eight weeks in advance to get the cheapest car hauling price. Additionally, do not ask to ship anything in your car as it is hauled, and always choose open car shipping. Shipping things in your car as it is hauled is possible, but it typically involves a “step-up” fee. Open-air car shipping is the most common type of car hauling; thus, it is the least expensive way to haul a vehicle.

Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental

When it comes to car hauler companies versus car hauler rental, you will have distinct advantages when it comes to each.

Car hauler companies

Car hauler companies can ship vehicles for individuals and businesses at a much more affordable price than a towing company because they can haul 8 to 12 vehicles at a time rather than just one. Car hauling companies also offer the convenience of shipping 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Most reputable car hauling services can service shipments anywhere within the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, so there is no need to seek out a local car hauler by googling “car haulers near me.”

The different types of situations where car hauling companies are needed

Car hauling companies are used for various situations both by individuals and businesses. Here are the primary ways car hauling companies are used:

  • Dealerships – Car dealerships need just about all their vehicles delivered via a car hauling company with a few exceptions, such as trade-ins. Most frequently out on the highway you will see a car hauler truck shipping a trailer full of the same vehicles with an exterior wrap on each, and no license plates. These shipments are headed to a dealer.

  • Fleet managementFleet management is when a company with dozens or hundreds of vehicles frequently need them moved to another location in bulk or if they need additional vehicles delivered in bulk. An example is Amazon. The Amazon vans you see out on the street every day get delivered to Amazon in bulk by car hauler trucks, which is much cheaper for Amazon than having every van shipped individually.

  • Auctions – Either private individuals or car dealerships will buy cars from online and in-person auctions. When this happens, there is frequently a need for these vehicles to be shipped to the address of the person or entity who bought them. Sometimes, this includes salvage vehicle auctions in which most cars purchased do not have a running engine.

  • Rental cars – Ever wonder what happens when one car dealership has nearly all of their vehicles rented and driven to and returned at far away locations? They get additional vehicles shipped to their location to have stock on hand.

  • Private vehicles – If you are reading this, you are likely a private individual considering shipping one or two personal vehicles. This is an extremely frequent occurrence for a multitude of reasons including someone moving long distance and not wanting to drive the car all the way to their new home, a child needing a car at college, taking an extended vacation to a winter home and more.

different reasons for car hauling

Car hauler rental

Renting a car hauling trailer can likely help you save a bit of money compared to hiring a car hauling company. However, it will be a lot more work and stress. When you choose to haul your own car, you must do all of the driving yourself. In addition to that, you will also be responsible for loading and unloading the car as well as for securing it to the trailer. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, this can easily result in damage to the vehicle that is being hauled and possibly even the vehicle that you are using to haul it. Finally, this will take at least an extra day, if not several days. This means you might have to miss a few days of work to haul a car yourself.

Car hauler companies versus car hauler rental

Conclusion

For several reasons, someone might choose to haul a car or have a car hauled for them. This includes a long-distance move, a relative needing a vehicle at college, a move for the military, seasonal relocation, and much more. The big question is, will you haul the car yourself or hire a car hauling company to do the job? Each has its unique upsides. If you haul a car yourself via the rental of a vehicle trailer, you might save some money. You can directly control the speed of the car hauling, and you will be in possession of the car being hauled for the entire trip. If you hire a car shipping company to haul a vehicle, your effort and involvement will be extremely minimal, and you will save a ton of time.

FAQ

Is car hauling hard?

Car hauling can be very hard. The reason car hauling can be so difficult is that you need to be able to ensure that your vehicle is completely, properly, and safely secured to the car hauling trailer. This can be very stressful for a first-timer. It is much easier to have your car shipped for you with a car hauling company such as RoadRunner Auto Transport.

What size enclosed trailer for the car?

If you are looking at renting or buying an enclosed car trailer to haul a vehicle yourself, you must find out the width, length, and height of the vehicle you will be hauling. Usually, an 8.5-foot-wide trailer will fit most vehicles, but the lengths and heights of these enclosed car hauling trailers will vary.

How wide is a car trailer?

Car trailers’ widths can vary. Generally, they are between 7 and 10 feet wide, with 8.5 feet as the most common width. When hauling a car, size specifications can be tricky for an inexperienced individual. Thus, we recommend having your vehicle transported by a car hauling company.

How much does it cost to ship a car?

Generally, the cost of shipping a car will fall somewhere between $0.40 and $1.50 per mile. However, the cost to ship a car will depend on several constantly changing factors, such as the cost of gas at the time of your shipment, demand for car shipping services at the time of your shipment, and more.

ready to ship

Ready to Get Started?

Calculate your instant car shipping cost and view carrier availability in your area.

"The driver was professional and courteous. Very pleased with my entire experience with RoadRunner Auto Transport."

Sally D.

Atlanta, GA

5 stars
google reviews

"Very easy to book and great with answering my questions. The shipping agent I spoke with was very friendly and helpful."

Susan K.

Dallas, TX

5 stars
shopper approved reviews

"The RoadRunner agent we spoke with answered all of our questions and kept us in the loop throughout the shipment."

Christopher G.

Cincinnati, OH

5 stars
transport reviews

"We have used RoadRunner Auto Transport two times. Both times, the experience was nothing less than stellar."

Kate K.

San Diego, CA

5 stars
better business bureau reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the vehicle shipping process.


When determining your car shipping cost, there are a few factors that we take into account in order to provide you with an accurate price quote. The mileage between the origin and destination is the biggest factor that contributes to your total rate. In addition to the distance of your relocation, another factor is the type and condition of the vehicle being shipped. The final factor is the date that your vehicle will be ready for transport. Read more about how much it costs to ship a car.

To get a quote for shipping your vehicle, you can either use our instant online car shipping quote calculator above or you can call (888) 422-7584 to receive a quote from one of our car transport pricing specialists. In order for us to calculate your quote we will need to know the location you are shipping from and to, the type of vehicle you would like to ship, and the date your vehicle will be ready.

The transit time for your shipment is based mostly on the mileage between the pickup and delivery location. Generally, every five hundred miles will add one day to the transit time - so for a 1,000 mile transport, the transit time would be 2-3 days. Check out our estimated transit times for a detailed view of approximate delivery times.

Yes, online tracking is available to you 24 hours a day and is updated in real time. Upon scheduling your shipment, you will receive a unique booking number that will allow you to track the status of your shipment online. Your tracking portal will also give you the ability to live chat with a shipping agent that can answer any questions you may have regarding the status of your shipment.

All shipments include basic liability coverage during transit. Comprehensive insurance options are available for an elevated level of shipment coverage during transit. You will be able to select a level of coverage during the booking process. If you have further questions regarding insurance options give us a call.

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, there must be someone present to release and accept the vehicle, provide keys to the driver and sign the initial and final inspection reports. This person can be anyone over the age of 18 that you trust with releasing or accepting your vehicle.

You may transport personal belongings in your car, as long as their total weight does not exceed 100 pounds and they are stored in the trunk or back seat (below the window line). Please keep in mind that personal belongings are not covered by insurance if they are reported as damaged or missing.

To get a quote for shipping your vehicle, you can either use our instant online car shipping quote calculator above or you can call (888) 422-7584 to receive a quote from one of our car transport pricing specialists. In order for us to calculate your quote we will need to know the location you are shipping from and to, the type of vehicle you would like to ship, and the date your vehicle will be ready.

The further in advance you schedule your shipment, the more likely we will be able to meet the time requirements you desire. For best results, we suggest scheduling your transport at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Expedited shipping options are available in order to accomodate shipments that require . You can always give us a call and ask one of our car shipping experts what your options are in terms of the schedule for your car transport.

The driver will get the car transporter as close to your door as he can legally and safely get. In most cases, the driver will be able to pickup and deliver directly at your door. Some cities may have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into residential areas. Auto transport trucks are large and need lots of room to maneuver and turn around, so if access to the pickup or delivery location is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees or tight turns, the driver may ask that you meet at a location nearby with a large parking lot, such as a grocery store.

Open transport is the most common car shipping method. There are two types of open-air transporters. Majority of shipments are be made with 8-10 car carriers. Smaller carriers which hold 2-3 cars are used for shorter more local moves. There is broader network of carrier availability for open-air carriers since they are used more often. We suggest choosing enclosed shipping methods when shipping classic, luxury or exotic vehicles. Enclosed transporters guarantee maximum protection from exposure to any open-air elements on the road. We suggest booking your enclosed transport in advance since there is limited carrier availability.

RoadRunner Auto Transport specializes in shipping all types of vehicles such as sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans, oversized vehicles, antiques, classic cars, motorcycles, construction vehicles, inoperable cars and boats. If you are not sure whether or not we can ship your vehicle, you can give us a call to find out what we can do for you.

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.

The Bill of Lading is a very important document used by car shipping companies that documents any pre-existing damage on the vehicle during the time of pickup. It also serves as a record of your contact info and the official agreement for transport. If you want to file any insurance claim regarding your shipment you will need the Bill of Lading.

Top load service is when your car is placed on the higher deck or level of an open auto transport trailer. This is considered to be preferable to the bottom load because the cars on the lower deck are at risk of possibly having fluid from the cars above leak on them.

Make sure your car has been completely cleaned, both inside and outside. This is particularly important because this will help the driver conduct their inspection in order to assess any pre-existing damage on your vehicle. You will also want to make there are no additional personal items in the vehicle unless you intend to ship those with the vehicle (remember those items must total less than 100 pounds combined and be kept below the window-line of the vehicle). Be sure to inform the driver of any special circumstances concerning the vehicle. Finally, make sure there is a quarter tank of gas in the car at the time it is picked up for shipment.

Yes, we can ship vehicles that are in non-running/inoperable condition. When inoperable cars are shipped, a special auto carrier is required that makes use of a winch which is connected to your car and slowly and safely pulls your vehicle onto the carrier. There is an additional fee for inpoerable vehicles because of the special equipment and extra work involved with securing the vehicle onto the transporter. You can select the inoperable option on the online booking form or inform your shipping agent if you make your reservation by phone so that the proper arrangements can be made to accomodate a non-running vehicle.

We offer open car shipping and enclosed car shipping services. Open car shipping is used much more frequently and is the type of auto transport that you see on the highway where carriers are hauling vehicles on two decks that are exposed. Enclosed car shipping is when your vehicle is shipped in a trailer which has walls and a roof, they look like a larger version of a regular eighteen-wheeler. This method is recommended for luxury, exotic or classic cars.

Door-to-door car transport is the full service delivery of your vehicle directly from the door at the pickup location to the door at the delivery location. Our drivers do their best to get as close as physically and legally possible to the pickup and delivery locations, but in certain instances there may be restrictions preventing them from being able to safely reach your door. Our transporters need ample space to maneuver and load/unload your vehicle. If your street is too narrow, or if there are hazards such as low lining trees or power lines, drivers may ask that you meet them at a location nearby where they can safely load or unload your vehicle, such as a large parking lot or shopping center nearby.