The Differences Between Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies

Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies

When moving yourself or your vehicle across long distances, you will need to determine whether to use an auto transport service or general moving company. Both options offer vehicle relocation but come with important distinctions in their services, costs, and specializations Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies.

This article provides an in-depth look at the key differences between these transportation providers to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Specialized Services vs General Services

Auto transporters focus exclusively on vehicle shipping, offering door-to-door transport of cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and other motor vehicles. They handle all aspects of auto delivery, using enclosed car carriers to safely secure vehicles for transport. General moving companies can also haul automobiles as part of larger household moves, but vehicle shipping is not their primary business. Their trucks are not as well-equipped for careful auto transport compared to carriers designed specifically for automotive relocation.

Enclosed Transport vs Open Transport

Auto carriers use enclosed trailers that fully protect vehicles during transit. Cars are driven onto carriers and secured for the entire trip. In contrast, general moving companies may haul vehicles in open trucks or trailers exposed to weather elements like rain, debris, or falling objects from other vehicles. While tarps can cover open vehicles, enclosed transport provides better protection during long distance moves.

Specialized Equipment and Training

Auto transport services have car ramps, winches, and tie-down professionals specially trained to securely bind vehicles to carriers. Their equipment and expertise make transporting different vehicle types safer and minimizes risk of scratches, dents, or accidents. General movers lack specialized ramps, straps, protective wrap, and experience focused solely on automobile relocation.

Cost Comparison – Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies

Auto Transport Fees

Dedicated auto transporters typically charge flat fees based on distance and vehicle size. Rates for a sedan moving across state lines usually range between $1000-2000 depending on origin and destination cities. Additional charges may apply for large SUVs, luxury/exotic cars, or long distance moves across multiple states or nationally. Most companies provide free online auto transport quotes to compare prices.

Moving Package Rates

General movers assess costs differently as auto shipping is part of complete household relocation services. Fees vary depending on estimated weight and volume of belongings. Vehicle transport is usually priced separately based on make/model and factored into total moving estimates alongside packing, loading, and other costs. For budget-conscious customers, packages including home contents and vehicle(s) may offer modest overall savings versus separate auto/household moves.

Additional Services – Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies

Delivery Options

Dedicated carriers provide door-to-door auto delivery to driveways, homes, offices, dealerships, or other destinations. Some general movers limit vehicle drop-offs to commercial addresses like storage facilities or transshipment points, requiring customers to personally drive redelivered cars shorter distances. Auto transport specialists offer more delivery flexibility.

Expertise With Specific Vehicle Types

Specialty services have experience transporting luxury/exotic automobiles with extra precautions to prevent cosmetic/mechanical issues. General movers lack specialized handling of high-value collectors’ cars or other niche vehicles like classic/antique, kit/repurposed, commercial/agricultural machinery, or heavy equipment which require highly customized securement.

Automobile Transporters and General Moving Companies – Parting Words:

Auto transporters provide enclosed, door-to-door relocation of any vehicle type as their primary business function. General moving companies can transport automobiles as well, but lack enclosed hauling, specialized equipment/training, and focus primarily on household goods. For safest, most customized vehicle transport, auto carriers are preferable – while full-service movers offer bundled transportation of belongings and cars together at potentially lower combined costs. Consider your transport needs, budget, and preferences to determine the best transportation partner for your specific move.