How Long Will It Take to Ship Your Car?

Shipping a car is not as simple as you might think. Many factors go into the process, and each one can affect how quickly your vehicle gets from point A to point B. If you’re curious about what goes on behind the scenes, read on.

How Quickly Can a Car Be Shipped?

Shipping your vehicle can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks. Most reputable car shipping companies can deliver a vehicle within five days of the pickup date. Even long-distance shipping typically only takes 10 to 14 days, which is a lot quicker than you might expect.

Distance is the primary factor in how long it takes to ship a car. The table below breaks down estimated shipping dates depending on the distance of the shipment.

  • Within the Same State 1 – 3 days
  • Neighboring States 1 – 3 days
  • 1/2 Cross Country 3 – 5 days
  • 3/4 Cross Country 5 – 7 days
  • Coast to Coast 7 – 10 days

Table 1: Estimates shipping time based on distance.

For a more accurate estimate, you can Google how long it takes to ship from your city to the destination city. That will give you a more precise estimate of how long it might take to ship your car.

7 Factors That Influence Vehicle Shipping Times

It’s important to know that vehicle shipping times vary depending on the distance to the destination, the shipping company, and the season. Here are seven things to consider when you need your vehicle transported.


The distance to the destination is a major factor in how long it takes to ship your vehicle. If you’re located on the West Coast and need your car shipped to the East Coast, that’s a long journey. So, you can expect it to take longer compared to an individual who lives in the same city.

Time of Year

The time of year will determine how busy a shipping company is. For example, if you need your car shipped in the summer, there’s a good chance that it will be more difficult to find an open slot compared to shipping your car in the winter when fewer people are shipping their cars.

Weather Conditions

If the weather is bad in your area, that could also cause a delay. An example is heavy rain or stormy weather. If the storm has made driving too dangerous, a shipping company may not want to send a driver out or may instruct their drivers to pull over until the weather subsides.

Shipping Company

Not all companies are created equal when it comes to vehicle shipping. Some companies, like Montway Auto Transport, have a better reputation than others and faster turnaround times. Others may need more time because the process is more complicated or they have more customers.

Your Vehicle

If your car is old or an uncommon model, it might take longer to find a good match for your car. Picking the right one is extremely important for your vehicle’s safety, but that can take time, depending on how many drivers there are.

Carrier Type

Open carriers tend to ship up to 10 cars at once. Usually, they’re on a schedule and can be more efficient compared to having one car at a time. It also depends on if the carrier makes multiple stops along the way.

Driver Hours

The number of hours that a driver can drive is regulated by law. Drivers are not allowed to work for more than 11 hours at a time without taking at least a 30-minute break after the eighth hour. This means that it may take longer to ship your car if you’re shipping long distances.

Preparing Your Car for Shipment

Before you book your car shipping, make sure that your vehicle is in good condition. If you’re aware of any problems with the engine, transmission, or any other part of your car, inform the shipping company so they can be on the lookout for potential problems. It’s also a good idea to wash your car and remove any belongings before shipment.


With logistics being so critical to the success of a car dealership, it’s important for every dealer to get an accurate estimate on how long it takes their vehicles to ship. As soon as your dealership ships a car, you can update your transport schedule to ensure that it is always accurate.




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When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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