General Shipping Information

How Long It Takes to Ship a Vehicle


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If you are a planner that thrives when things are organized, we will get along just fine! ShipLux prides itself on its customer communication, updates, timelines and getting your vehicle to you within a very reasonable timeline. 

Several factors go into how long it will take for your vehicle to be shipped from one place to another, which we will discuss throughout this blog. We will also discuss shipping options, expedited shipping and other elements that go into getting your vehicle to you.

Let’s get into how long it takes to ship your vehicle. 

The Method of Transportation Matters 

Regardless of where you’re shipping your vehicle, you will need to decide what shipping method will work best for you, your timeline and what vehicle you have. When it comes to long-distance trips, we offer both open-car carriers and enclosed transport.

To help you make an informed decision, let’s explain both methods: 

Open Car Carrier 

An Open Car Carrier shipping places your precious vehicle carefully into a trailer that is open on all sides. At ShipLux, we can ship anything (we can’t ship space crafts or planes yet, but stay tuned 😉 So to accommodate this,  we offer a variety of open trailers in a ton of different sizes and styles. If you are shipping something with unique dimensions, such as an RV or golf cart, that is no problem for us. Our well-equipped and trained team will load it, and your vehicle will be secure for the duration of the shipping. 

Many people opt for open transport due to its affordability and the regularity of shipping. We tend to put many cars in one shipment to make it worthwhile, so shipments can take place every single day, meaning you most likely won’t have extended waiting times. 

Enclosed Transportation 

Should open-car carriers not appeal to you, we also offer enclosed transportation. This is considered our more lavish service as your vehicle is loaded into a 360-degree trailer for ultimate protection. It will depend on the specific shipping but your vehicle will be transported with 1-3 other cars, or 6-7 or rarely, 8-9 cars, depending on the liftgate or soft side trailer. Regardless of the other cars loaded, we guarantee that it will be spacious and comfortable. 

We will likely suggest enclosed shipping if you are moving an expensive vehicle such as a classic car, antique car or exotic car, or if you just want that added sense of protection for your vehicle. 

As mentioned, both open and enclosed trailers ship more than one vehicle at a time. This means that clients will share a delivery window, and cars will be dropped off one at a time. Naturally, this impacts the timing and how long it takes for your vehicle to reach you. 

If you are in a rush, enclosed shipping does tend to be a bit speedier when compared to open car carriers as there are typically fewer vehicles loaded on the trailer and therefore, fewer stops and starts. It won’t be super dramatic, however, so if you can be flexible it will be worth it for the one-to-two-day difference. 

Where is The Vehicle Being Shipped?

dubai car shipping


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Naturally, the further your vehicle is being shipped, the longer it will take for it to arrive.  We offer all our clients a customized car-shipping estimate that takes into consideration the baseline road trip time between pickup and drop-off locations and the appropriate margin for possible delays in road conditions or pick-up and drop-off logistics.

If your car is being shipped across the country, from, say, Boston to San Francisco, this is around 3,100 miles and will take anywhere between 7 – 10 days with an open -carrier and 5-7 days for enclosed! 

Of course, we work in line with all the transportation laws, meaning that, on average, a commercial truck driver can drive roughly 500 miles per day domestically. 

Where your vehicle is heading matters, too. If you are shipping your vehicle to or from a major metropolitan area, this can work for you, as this has the advantage of more available equipment and more drivers since it is often a more habitable place. However, shipping is complex into and out of congested areas, with traffic and the sheer volume of people on the road. This can really slow things down. Oppositely,  while rural areas are going to be less congested with cars, it can pose a different challenge: it’s further away from shipping routes, which means extra distance for the trailer to travel. Typically this is fine, but these extra miles can tack on extra time, especially if it is super rural with difficult road quality. Don’t worry, however, as we can make anything work! 

The time frame calculator begins, however, once the vehicle is fully loaded and secured into the trailer. This means the days mentioned above do not include the time it takes to schedule a pickup window after you place your order and the time it takes to pick up the vehicle. It also doesn’t account for stops on the way to your final delivery destination. 

This is where our stellar customer service comes in. We love supporting all of our customers and keep our customer service top-notch, humanistic and accessible. This means that someone is available 24/7 to offer you updates on your delivery time, inform you of any potential issues, and answer any questions. We don’t offer just one method of getting in touch but instead, offer a wide range, with our dedicated customer support team available to call, text, email, or chat with us live on FB Messenger or WhatsApp. The choice is yours! Our agents are here for you every single step of the way from booking to drop off and anything in between. 

Curious about international shipping? If you didn’t know, we are proud to offer international shipping to the following destinations: 

  • Europe: Germany, Italy, England and France. 
  • Puerto Rico
  • New Zealand and Australia 
  • Africa: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Senegal, Côte D Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Congo, Ghana, Angola, Liberia and Tunisia.
  • Dominican Republic 
  • Jamaica
  • Philippines
  • Japan
  • Middle East: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and UAE

Maybe you’re heading internationally for college, work, a world-class vacation, to sell your vehicle or you are moving abroad. Regardless of where and why we will support you so that you can continue to play with your vehicle the world over. Time frames when shipping internationally will depend on many factors, including which method of shipping you opt for. International shipping can be done with roll-on-roll-off shipping, closed container shipping or air freight. 

In general, shipping from the U.S. to most destinations in Europe can take between 12-20 days, but we can provide a comprehensive estimate once your shipping is confirmed based on your destination. 

ShipLux Offers Expedited Shipping 

ShipLux is proud to offer expedited shipping for our beloved customers. It does come with an additional price, but it will help your vehicle arrive safely and quickly. 

Expedited shipping is when that car is prioritized for pickup and its placement in the delivery lineup. This means that, if you wish to opt for expedited shipping, you will receive a guaranteed pickup schedule and your car should arrive at the final destination a little bit quicker. When you opt for expedited shipping with us, our team will arrange to have your vehicle picked up either the same day, or the next day, depending upon driver availability compared to the 24-72 hours offered by standard shipping. 

Now, as much as we wish we could get your car to you with a click of the finger, we abide by every safety rule established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety. This dictates to us what is safe and realistic for commercial drivers, including that they must not exceed 11 hours per day (with breaks) and only drive between 500 and 650 miles. However, this arrangement is only able to purchase more efficient delivery and cannot account for things like baseline transport time and uncontrolled delays.

Depending on the scenario, sometimes expedited trips will include two drivers so that they can be completed quicker, but this will depend on the circumstances.  We recommend speaking to our team for a specific quote on pricing and timing when it comes to expedited shipping. 

Additional Factors That Impact Shipping Times 

snowstorm shipping delays


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We are all about transparency at ShipLux. This means that as hard as we try, there are often logistical variables that are completely out of our control that can end up impacting the shipping time. 

This includes the following: 

  • Driving breaks for drivers to eat, sleep, use the restroom, and other necessities.  
  • Dense, bottle-necked traffic.  
  • Truck and trailer breakdown or mechanical issues. 
  • Road construction causes significant delays. 
  • Adverse, poor weather such as heavy snowfall or flooding.   
  • Multiple deliveries and pickups along the way. 

We only work with a network of efficient, professional drivers. However, as much as we strive to keep our network professional and particular, these are factors that no one controls. Large tractor-trailers are also particularly prone to poor road conditions, from icy weather to rush-hour slowdowns. 

Delays are more common during the car shipping industry’s busy season which is from May to September, so we recommend booking the shipment six to eight weeks in advance during this high, peak season.  Oh yeah, there is definitely peak season when it comes to shipping, which can impact timing seriously.

 Let’s talk about the most ideal time to ship:

  • February-March

The winter months before February – March are busy. It’s the holiday season, which means an increase in travel, gas prices tend to be sore and drivers take time off to be with their families. All these factors create a backlog. However, come February, and the backlog is cleared up, there is somewhat of a lull in auto shipping. This can result in slightly discounted prices, but there are still other elements to consider, namely the weather. These months it can still snow, hail, rain and even flood.  If you choose to ship your car during these months, you might consider investing a little more in an enclosed carrier. 

  • September-November

The fall brings another round of changes: the weather begins to cool (but still generally sunny and even-tempered), school and college are back in full swing and holidays dwindle. This all means that there is less demand for car shipping, which can help you to snag a sweet deal, but also there can be faster service in getting your vehicle from point a to point b. 

Of course, it’s not always possible to have this much flexibility, and that’s okay! No matter when or where you have to ship, we will work closely with you to make it work for your schedule. As mentioned, we will always offer a custom, car-shipping estimate that takes into consideration the baseline trip time between pickup and drop-off locations and the appropriate margin for possible delays in road conditions or pick-up and drop-off logistics. This will also be updated accordingly depending on any issues that may incur.

Did you know that the vehicle type you have can absolutely play a role in the shipping time frames?

For example, if you have an extra-large vehicle, such as a commercial cargo van or a large recreational vehicle, it can take additional time for us to source a truck with a trailer (and a spot available on their trailer) that can accommodate the oversized vehicle. Weight is also an important factor. We base our shipping and travel time on how many vehicles are in one trailer and if it’s an overweight car, we will have to make specific accommodations to ensure we can fit the correct amount of vehicles into the shipment. 

Moreover, if you are shipping a precious vehicle that is expensive, antique or rare, you will want to take additional precautions to care for its safety and security. In this instance, we will likely be looking not only for an enclosed trailer but a qualified driver in our network that specifically has knowledge and experience in hauling these types of precious vehicles. This can take a bit longer to source. 

Finally, if you have a car that does not run, we will need to know as it will take additional considerations. We will need to know the specifics such as if it rolls if the steering wheel works or not if the brakes are operable or not and the status of the battery and engine. This is important because we need to be as prepared as possible. If the shipping will require specific equipment to get loaded into the trailer, such as a crane, this is not something we do for every shipment and can tack on additional time for the shipment arrangement. 

How Far in Advance Should I Book Vehicle Shipping? 

When it comes to booking, we always say the sooner you can book, the better. We recommend you book an order with us 3-10 days before your car can be picked up. When you book with us, we ask you to provide all the details about the vehicle you are shipping, what method of shipping you wish to use and all details about the make, model and type of vehicle being shipped. 

When you work with ShipLux, you can expect your vehicle will be whisked away from your pickup location within 24-72 hours after you place your order. As mentioned above, however, if you have an expedited need, contact us so we can arrange specifics to have your car picked up the same day or next! Start with your free quote today! 

What Happens After I Book My Shipment? 

 car washing


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After you have been provided with a personalized quote, that will include your incredibly transparent fee, you will be given your pick-up slot. You will then want to get your vehicle prepared for its trip. We always encourage our clients to check the specifics of their vehicle when preparing for shipping for best practice. However, there are some general advice to follow: 

  • Wash your vehicle. 
  • Inspect your vehicle for any dings, scratches, and dents. Be sure to take comprehensive photographs of the vehicle’s state pre-shipping. 
  • Remove all personal items and valuables from inside the vehicle. 
  • Top up all fluids, and confirm that your car battery is fully charged. 
  • Check your gas tank. Reduce the gas tank if necessary as the tank should be no more than a quarter full. 
  • Take off any loose parts on the external of the car such as the antenna, spoiler, and hood ornaments. 
  • Have an extra set of keys made up. 

You can arrange for someone to do the vehicle handoff for you if you are unable to be there yourself on the day of your pick-up. You or the designated person will hand over the keys (be sure to get a second copy made) to your beloved vehicle and you can wave it goodbye in the trusted hands of our carrier. This person will be with your vehicle for the duration of your trip and be there when you reunite with it on the other side. 

Then, you can track the progress with the information we provide you! As mentioned, we will always keep you updated on any changes to your scheduled delivery time. 

Allow ShipLux to take the guesswork and all stress out of shipping your vehicle. Our logistics agents are ready and waiting to support you on shipping,  timeline, and everything else that goes into shipping according to your personalized needs. We look forward to chatting with you! 


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