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4 Auto Transport Rules and Regulations to Be Aware Of

Cars snug on an auto transport carrier trailer, shipping a vehicle.

4 Auto Transport Rules and Regulations to Be Aware Of

The auto transport industry has made it so that shipping a vehicle from one place to another is a simple and straightforward process. This simplicity has only made it more and more popular to take advantage of these services, with people finding that shipping their vehicle is often a preferred alternative to driving their vehicle long distances (regardless of the reason for travel).

However, if you have never worked with a carrier or broker to ship your car to a new place before, then you are likely unaware of some auto transport rules and regulations that come with the shipping process. Some of these are auto transport industry standards that might be unique to certain areas or terrain types, while others are Department of Transportation regulations that are applicable across the country.

First and foremost, it is important to note that your auto transport provider will assist you through the process of making sure all of your stipulations have been met, but here is a quick look at some of the common car transport regulations to be aware of.


1. Weight and Height Restrictions

Federal laws limit the amount of weight and height a vehicle can be when it comes to standard hauling trucks. This doesn’t mean that you are out of options if you are wanting to transport an oversized vehicle, but it does indicate that when it comes to auto carriers, there are standards in place. For instance, standard carriers can haul vehicles that are up to 7 feet high. Again, if your vehicle is taller than this, it comes down to looking into a special type of carrier.

Similarly, weight is a consideration for standard carriers as well, and there are established DOT regulations for car haulers in place that pertain to this. For example, auto transport carriers are only allowed to haul a specified amount of weight per trip, and this number is dependent on the number of axles that the transporting vehicle has.

Pro tip: Your car will be weighed when you are considering having it shipped, and this weight will be based (initially) on the make and model of the car, but then will be weighed during the process. For this reason (among others), it is important that you remove personal items from the car, especially anything that could add significant weight to the vehicle.

2. Driving Hours and Time

Let’s face it, we all want our vehicle to be at our desired location as soon as possible, but in many instances this is not the reality. Even an efficient carrier operation and a non-treacherous path to the destination are subject to standard driving hours, and this is for the safety and well being of the driver, which makes sense. This is another DOT regulation for car haulers, and one that plays a role in deciphering the precise length of time it will take to shipping a vehicle from one spot to another.

3. How Many Cars Fit on a Hauler?

Certainly, if you have a classic car or perhaps a luxury convertible, then you are going to consider more specific methods of auto transport, such as a closed container or other more protective method. But for standard auto transport industry shipping services, a hauling truck can typically fit 5 to 9 cars. Naturally, this may fluctuate based on the size of the automobiles, as well as the weight of each car.

DOT regulations for car haulers note that overall weight capacity is limited to 80,000 pounds, so even if there is room for another vehicle on the hauler, it is going to have to catch another ride. Typically, when dealing with an auto carrier service, these types of considerations are accounted for, and cars are booked with haulers appropriately so that all vehicles get to where they are going in the specified amount of time, but it is worth being aware of these limits in general.

4. Do I Need Insurance?

The carrier that is shipping a vehicle is responsible for having auto transport insurance to shipping a vehicle. This does not fall on you. However, there are still protections you can consider to make sure you are covered. For instance, it is smart to not leave anything of personal value in your vehicle. This is not only for weight, as mentioned previously, but also for theft and damage. Yes, damage could occur if loose objects in your vehicle are bumping around while in transit, so make sure everything is taken out before shipping a vehicle.

Additionally, it is a good idea to take photos of your vehicle, both outside and inside. You can compare these photos with your car when it is back in your possession. Again, haulers are designed to keep vehicles safe and snug while in transit, so nothing should happen to damage your vehicle, but sometimes peace of mind is worth the effort.

Get a Free Car Shipping Quote!

If you are considering shipping a vehicle, but don’t know where to start, then get a free shipping quote to see where you stand. Tell us the make, model, distance, and other details pertaining to your trip, and we will provide you with an estimate cost today.


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