A Quick Dictionary of Auto Transport Services

Every field has its own language, decipherable, it seems, only to those “in the know.”  The auto transport industry is no different, and sometimes we forget that we may be using terms you’re not familiar with.

But there’s no need to feel lost in this sea of confusing auto transport words and phrases. Here, we break down some of the most common industry terms so you can spend more time planning your vehicle transport and less time worrying about confusing jargon.

DIY Transport’s “Quick Dictionary”

Auto Hauler: Carrier trucks that are designed to ship a vehicle from state to state. Some trucks can haul up to 10 vehicles at a time, and others carry freight of only 2 or 3 cars.

Auto Transport: The actual process of shipping a car from one point to another

Auto Transport Company: The company that ships your car from one point to another (e.g. DIY Transport)

Bill of Lading: A document that overviews all of the details on your auto transport and also includes details about damage inspection before and after delivery

Bonded: Your auto transport company’s performance bond, ensuring that the broker pays the hauler on behalf of the customer.

Broker: The main person of contact who streamlines the auto transport process. Your broker is your contact who you can check in with during the process if you have any questions or concerns

COD (Cash on Delivery): Payment for services on delivery, which is typically in cash, money order, or cashier’s check.

COP (Cash on Pickup): Payment for services on pickup, which is typically in cash, money order, or cashier’s check.

Door-to-Door Shipping: The service wherein your vehicle is picked up for shipping at your home and dropped off at a specified destination – for example, your new home. Find this.

Drop-off Window: The time period within which you can drop off your car for shipping

Enclosed Carrier: A car carrier that is entirely enclosed; it’s typically used for luxury and antique cars

Insured: This means that the auto transport company is insured to cover any damages that might happen to your vehicle during transport

Licensed: Auto transport companies must be licensed by the U.S. Department of transportation in order to transport vehicles

MC Number: An identifying Motor Carrier number, issued when an auto transport company becomes insured

Oversized Vehicle: A vehicle that is larger than most standard-size vehicles

Pickup Window: The time period within which you can pick up your car after delivery

Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: The process of having your car dropped off at a specific location (a terminal) before shipping; it is then dropped off at another terminal for delivery.


Still Confused by Auto Transport Jargon?

Give us a call at 800-266-2202. We’re happy to help you with any auto transport questions, and get you moving in the right direction.