How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car?

Road Panorama through the desert

Prior to shipping a car, you will likely have many questions. One of which may be about the timeframe of pickup and delivery. How long does it take to ship a car, anyway?

Well, this differs from situation to situation and from company to company. Auto transport companies operate differently, varying in how efficient they are in getting the job done. At National Dispatch, we believe in getting your car to you in the safest and fastest manner, while making it as simple and stress-free for you, as possible.

This post will help you gain a more general understanding of the factors involved.

What Affects Auto Transport?

Once you have placed your order, you will be given a timeframe of when you can expect the driver to pick up the vehicle. The typical timeframe will range from a few days to a week or more, depending on the car shipping option you chose.

The auto transport company will calculate how long it will take the driver to travel from the pickup location to the destination point, providing you with a window of time for delivery. As the delivery location grows closer, a more specific date will be provided to you. Do not worry. You will never be left in the dark. At National Dispatch, we provide our customers with updates along the way.

There are some factors that can affect how long it takes to receive your car. Here are some examples:


When looking at a map, how far is it from point to point? Simply put, the longer the distance, the longer it takes. Unfortunately transporting a car from Florida to California cannot happen overnight. Once your car is loaded onto the carrier, delivery could take just a few days, if shipping only states away, or over a week, if shipping nationwide.


If the car is being transported to or near a large metropolitan area, shipping could go more quickly. This is due to the use of main highways and interstates. On the contrary, transporting a car to a remote area could add time, slowing the process down. If you are shipping to one of these areas, this does not mean that car shipping is out of the question. However, you should contact the auto shipper to find out what shipping options, such as door-to-door auto transport, are available in the area.


The weather can be unpredictable. Traveling in harsh weather conditions, especially hail, snow, and rain, can cause delays in auto transport. To ensure the safety of your car and all the other cars being transported, it may be necessary to drive at slower speeds or not at all.

Road Conditions

Driving comes with many frustrations, such as construction, traffic, detours, and accidents. These are all the things that you may have ran into if you were driving, so you can expect the same during auto transport.


The auto transport industry experiences its “rush” during the warmer months. This is when people love to travel. It also tends to be the most popular time to move. For some companies, the busy season may play a factor in supply and demand.

Number of Stops

It is likely that the carrier is hauling other vehicles in addition to yours. How many other stops does the driver have to make along the way? This will have an effect on when you will receive your car.


In addition to following general traffic laws, auto transporters are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Truck drivers can only travel a certain number of hours or miles per day. This law is put in place for the safety of the driver as well as the property they are transporting.

How Can You Help Speed Up The Process?

The best advice to follow, when shipping a car, is not to wait until the last second. Car shipping takes time. Thus, booking a couple weeks out is essential for an on-time delivery. The more time you give the auto transport company to make arrangements, the better off you will be.

Remember, do your research, read reviews, and go with your gut when choosing a car shipping company. After all, you are trusting this company with a very important possession, your car. You want to ensure that it will be well taken care of.

At National Dispatch, we always put the needs of our customers first. This is why we have many return customers. Our level of service and devotion to our customers speak for itself. Give us a call at 800-321-2051 to find out more information about the auto transport services we offer. Use our online car shipping quote calculator to get a free, instant car shipping quote. No personal information is required, just four general fields.