Terminal-to-Terminal Auto Transport Guide

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Let’s say you need to ship a car from one point to another. You asked your friends, relatives, neighbors for references – got a few names for reputable car shipping companies. You called for a quote, and that’s when you realized that not all services are created equal.

You were presented with an array of choices, and every option either added to the overall cost of shipping or on the contrary, promised to take it easy on your wallet.

One of your very first dilemmas will be choosing between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal car shipping.

The door-to-door shipping is quite self-explanatory: the transport company will pick up your car and drop it off as close to your door as possible. This option usually, but not always, turns out to be the pricier one. An alternative to door-to-door car transport is terminal-to-terminal. Let’s see how it works.


What is an auto transport terminal?

A terminal is a regional storage facility, a yard or a hub, often a towing company secured lot, where vehicles are stored until a carrier picks them up.

Terminals are usually located outside a large metropolitan areas, often near your local airport or off major highways running through big cities. If you decide to opt for terminal-to-terminal shipping, you will be responsible for delivering your vehicle to a designated storage facility where it will be picked up by a carrier.

A trucker then will deliver it to a terminal closest to your destination location where you will be able to pick it up.

Carriers transporting vehicles to and from regional terminals are often able to combine shipments traveling to the same region. In this case, the carrier saves time, and you in return, pay less for car transport.However, you still have to travel to the terminal and often pay storage fees.

Sometimes, if you’re moving to a hard to get location like, for example, a village “trapped” in the mountains, terminal-to-terminal shipping might be your only option. In this case, some carriers may also make arrangements for you to pick up/drop off a vehicle at a parking lot or other location, easily accessible for both you and the car hauler.

Speak with a car shipping company representative to learn your options. Call our team at (818) 850 5258 to discuss your shipment.

If you are one of those people who need to drop off or pick up your vehicle on the date and time that’s convenient for you and at the same time don’t mind going a few extra miles (literally) to hand your car over to the carrier and then pick it up, then terminal-to-terminal shipping is for you!


Perks of terminal-to-terminal car transport

We all know that moving is a stressful process, there are hundreds of things you need to attend to and, well, waiting around for a vehicle transporter to get scheduled on your route to pick up your car is often not part of the plan. And maybe due to some unforeseen circumstances you also won’t be able to be present for the delivery (or the pick-up).

What if your car is in a non-running condition and you need time to make towing arrangements? Terminal-to-terminal sounds like a great option in this case because it allows you to drop off a vehicle at a time convenient for you. And when your car arrives in the terminal closest to your destination location the terminal operator will call to let you know that the car has been delivered and is ready for you to be picked up.

Most terminals would usually allow customers to store their vehicles for 2-3 days before or after pick up, but some terminals charge for this type of service. You would need to verify this with your regional terminal.

We also know that moving is not going to take it easy on your wallet, but cost efficient terminal-to-terminal shipping option is often a good choice if you are looking to save money. Of course, if you deliver or pick up your vehicle to a designated terminal, you are saving the car hauler a trip to your house. Therefore, the shipper saves time, effort and expenses to get to your place, and in return, you get to pay less for your car shipping service.


Disadvantages of terminal-to-terminal car shipping.

Although often terminal-to-terminal could be a more affordable option, it’s not for everyone.

To take advantage of the low-cost shipping, you will need to arrange transportation back when you are dropping your vehicle off, as well as to the terminal when your vehicle is ready to be picked up at the new destination.

If you have a friend or a relative willing to give you a ride – you are all set. Otherwise, you may find that the cost of getting to and from the designated terminal cancels out any saving you’ve earned. In case you are not able to pick your vehicle up within a certain time frame, you may incur storage charges.

Moreover, in general, it takes longer than door-to-door service. To avoid unpleasant surprises, check with your terminal beforehand.

Another disadvantage of terminals is that they are not always that secure. You’ll be leaving your vehicle in an open air parking lot where it will be exposed to the elements while waiting for the next leg of the trip, as well as vandalism and accidental damage.

Although terminals have security and 24/7 surveillance, there are risks you should be aware of. Another downside to terminal-to-terminal shipping is that your vehicle will be handled by several individuals while in the custody of the terminal. So if you are comfortable with all of the above, don’t have a problem arranging transportation to and from the terminals, and the price looks fair, then terminal-to-terminal may just be the right option for you.

There are a few things to remember if you opt for this service. When dropping your vehicle off at a terminal make sure to leave your car keys with an attendant and not in some random drop box and carefully follow all the instructions provided to you by your car shipping company. To learn about how to get your vehicle ready for shipping, read here. To educate yourself on how car shipping works feel free to browse through our frequently asked questions page as well as our car shipping tips section.

To get a car shipping quote from us call (818) 850-5258 to speak with Corsia Logistics agent, or fill out the online quote request form. Thank you!



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About the Author:

Not in any particular order, Elena is a traveler with an unquenchable taste for adventure, writer, translator, dictionary aficionado,truth seeker, multitasker, problem solver, chocolate lover, yogi.
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