Shipping Tips & FAQ

Shipping Tips

Guidelines for Successful Transport

  • Transit times may vary depending on the time of year, weather, road conditions, as well as the origination and destination of your particular move. You will receive an estimated delivery date when you place an order.
  • If your vehicle is not operable, an inoperable fee of $150 will be added to the transport cost.
  • You must advise us in advance of any modifications made to your vehicle such as 4×4, lift kit, roof racks, camper shell, vehicle lowered, off-set wheels, etc.
  • Your vehicle may not exceed 7′ in height. If it does, you must advise us in advance as additional fees may apply.
  • Your vehicle must have a minimum of 4″ ground clearance in order to safely load and unload your vehicle.
  • We must have a working phone number where you may be reached throughout the transportation of your vehicle. Additionally, a separate contact name at the origination and destination must be provided if applicable.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment

  • We recommend the gas tank be between 1/8 and 1/4 full.
  • Removable radios, CD players, DVD’s, garage door openers and all other personal belongings should be removed.
  • All alarm systems must be disconnected, disabled, or turned off.
  • All antennas must be fully retracted or removed.
  • Under NO circumstances can the car contain plants, firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, or contraband.
  • One set of ALL keys for the vehicle must be provided.
  • All non-permanent luggage racks, bike racks, or ski racks must be removed.
  • Your vehicle must be clean for inspection. A dirty vehicle decreases the ability to perform a quality inspection.
  • Your battery must be secure in the mounting bracket.
  • The vehicle must have no obvious fluid leaks.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements

  • You or your designated individual must be present for the inspection at the time of pick-up and delivery.
  • You or your designated individual must sign the bill of lading and condition report at both the pick-up and delivery location.
  • You or your designated individual is responsible for confirming your vehicle’s condition. This must be done before the driver leaves the pick-up and delivery location.
  • Damage will be noted by our carrier/driver on the bill of lading at origin. In the unlikely event there is additional damage upon delivery it will be noted by the carrier/driver on the bill of lading. It is your responsibility to make sure that all such damage is noted.

Service Map


Transit Times Estimates

Short Distance (100-600 miles): 1-3 Days

Medium Distance (600-1,300 miles): 3-6 Days

Long Distance (1,300-2,500 miles): 5-8 Days

Cross Country (2,500-3,500 miles): 7-10 Days

Frequently Asked Questions

How does car shipping work?

We ship your vehicle with a licensed and insured auto shipping trucking company. Once your order has been placed, your vehicle delivery will be scheduled for dispatch as close as possible to the date(s), which you requested on your order form. We will establish an auto transport tracking file on your car shipment. We will then choose the best auto trucking company that is available to transport your vehicle closest to the day you choose for dispatch. After we re-verify that the auto shipping company we chose is still properly licensed and insured, we will then assign your car shipment to them. You will get 8 to 24 hours advance notice from either the truck driver himself or from the auto transport trucking company in order to schedule both the pickup and delivery time and day. Please be readily contactable at anytime for pickup or delivery once your order is placed, and have your cash or cashiers’ check, payable to the trucking company, ready upon delivery or pickup if you choose. If you place an order for “ASAP”, you must be ready to release the vehicle at a moment’s notice.

How early should I schedule the shipping of the vehicle?

We would like to have as much notice as possible of your preferred auto transport dates. This will help us to schedule your vehicle pickup and delivery within the time frame which you requested. We will gladly accept your order for shipment with little notice, but the more notice, the better.

How long does it take to ship a car?

Normal transit time varies depending on where your vehicle is being shipped to and from, and how many vehicles are on the car carrier. It can also be affected by how many vehicle shipments are available in any given area to be transported. In general, an East Coast to West Coast move is usually delivered within 7 to 14 days. A move up or down the East Coast or West Coast is usually 3-5 days once on the truck. A move from the Midwest to either the East Coast or West Coast is approximately 4-8 days. The actual time for your delivery may vary due to the vehicle location, weather and/or road conditions, other customer’s delays and even driver illness. Please remember that no company can offer you a guaranteed pickup or delivery day or time for the above reasons. Also during some peak shipping times, for example, in the “snowbird season”, deliveries to and from the Northeast and the Midwest to Florida can be delayed due to the vast amount of vehicles leaving at one time, and the inability of the carrier to accommodate so many people with a limited amount of time and equipment.

What is door to door auto transport service?

All of the quotes provided by Towmax Auto Transport Online are for door-to-door car shipping. Door-to-door car shipping service does not always mean a truck will be able to pull up to your front door. Door-to-door means that the truck driver will get as close to your specified pick-up or delivery spot as is legally and safely possible. Large towns and cities often restrict large trucks and prohibit them from entering into some residential areas. Auto transport trailers can be up to 80 feet long, and drivers need lots of room to maneuver and turn around. When access to your residence 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 well lit parking lot nearby, such as a grocery store, school, or shopping mall.

What kind of truck will my vehicle be shipped on?

In most cases, your vehicle(s) will be transported on an open 8 or 10 vehicle hauler, the same type of trucks used to deliver new vehicles from factories to your local dealerships. If requested, enclosed carriers are also available at an additional cost and are usually limited on space.

Can I put personal items in the vehicle?

Auto transporters are not licensed to transport personal belongings, as they do not have a household goods transportation license issued by the Federal Government. In addition, if you were to place things in the vehicle during car shipment, they would not be covered by insurance, unless you have a floater on your own home insurance. Many auto transporting companies we use will however, allow some personal belongings discreetly placed in trunk. It’s their call.

How does the insurance coverage work?

ONLY the trucking company (the actual car carrier) provides the insurance while your vehicle is in transit and on the carriers’ trailer; prior to pickup and at the time of delivery you must have current auto insurance for your vehicle. During the pickup and drop-off of the vehicle, the trucking company will complete a detailed physical inspection of the vehicle, on a bill of lading/condition report, which you or your agent and the driver must sign and acknowledge. Make sure you or your agent gets a copy of the bill of lading/condition report at the time of pickup and delivery. This same bill of lading/condition report will be presented again upon delivery, so that you or your agent can re-inspect the vehicle for any discrepancies.

In the highly unlikely event any damage did occur during the auto transporting, please be sure to note it on the bill of lading at the time of delivery and have the driver sign in agreement immediately while he is there. No claims will be honored if the damage is not noted at the time of delivery and acknowledged by the auto delivery driver. You still must pay the balance due COD for the transportation charges. It will not jeopardize any claim you may have for damage. The auto transporting company usually will not take the vehicle off the truck until you pay for the move. You cannot withhold or deduct moneys from the COD amount to cover any damage that may have occurred while in auto shipping transit. All claims are handled separately once the actual auto transporter has received the signed bill of lading noting the damages.

What forms of payment are acceptable?

The deposit is paid to Towmax Transport Corp. We accept cashier’s checks, money orders, cash, and most major credit cards for the reservation fee down payment only. A reservation fee is required to initiate the transport process. The balance is paid directly to the trucking company driver. The trucker must be paid on delivery of your vehicle in cash, cashier’s check or money order only. The trucker will not accept credit cards or personal checks. If you want to, you can pay the truck driver the balance due at the pickup point, if it is easier for you.

What about terminals?

This may depend on your pickup/delivery locations and/or your scheduled dates for the pickup/delivery. Should your area not allow transport carriers or have restricted access, and there are no areas locally which can accommodate the loading/unloading of your vehicle(s), then our local service will be used to pickup/deliver your vehicle(s). A terminal service is also used when the carrier cannot pickup/deliver your vehicle(s) due to scheduling conflicts, inaccessible areas or both. All terminals used are secured, licensed, and fully insured. If we are in need of a terminal there may be additional fees incurred which must be paid to the terminal office representative or the terminals driver at the time of your pickup and/or delivery from the terminal.

What is the difference between open and enclosed carriers?

Open trailers are either partially or fully exposed to the elements. There are many different types of open car carrier trailers, ranging from small three car carriers to the large 10 car carriers that you often see on the Interstate. Enclosed trailers are protected from the elements, and your vehicle shipment is basically shipped in a mobile garage. Having your vehicle shipped enclosed is typically double the standard open trailer transport pricing. Most cars can be shipped either on an open car carrier trailer or in an enclosed car carrier trailer. It all depends on what you want to spend. Some trailers are also designed to transport antique cars and/or motorcycles.

Do I have to be present at the pick up or delivery of my vehicle?

Yes, we request that you or a designated person be present upon pick up and/or delivery of your vehicle. An inspection is performed and a contract bill of lading must be signed. If you are not able to be there, please call our Customer Service at (239) 772-5949 and they will be happy to help you.

What if my vehicle is oversized or inoperable?

If your vehicle is oversized, customized or non-standard there may be additional charges to transport. You must inform us prior to pickup of your vehicle if your vehicle is modified so that we may find a carrier with the appropriate trailer for your transport. We do move inoperable vehicles but must be made aware of that fact prior to the pickup. Some transporters charge additional fees to transport inoperable vehicles because once the vehicle is on the transport trailer it cannot be moved around to accommodate the rest of the drivers’ load thus making it a little more tedious for the driver.

The main purpose of the above questions is so that you, the customer, can understand how a vehicle transport works. We ask that each customer be patient and understanding throughout the process!

The most important issue for people to understand about the process of car shipping is that this industry is not like UPS, Fed-Ex or even the Postal Service. Pick-up and delivery dates are estimates, typically not guarantees of pick-up or delivery dates. Unforeseen problems from mechanical break downs, traffic, and weather all contribute to delays in auto transport. Ironically, the biggest delays for vehicle shipping companies are typically caused by their own customers. Customers fail to show up on time, try to change pick-up or drop off locations at the last minute, etc. Patience is essential when transporting your vehicle; we want to you to receive your vehicle shipment as quickly and efficiently as you do. Make sure you have realistic expectations about when your auto transport will be picked up and delivered.