Can I Choose a Pick Up Date for My Auto Transport?

by | Jun 3, 2021 | Transport Tips

A common question we get from customers is if they can choose a specific pick up date for their auto transport. The short answer is “sort of.” You’ll understand that answer by the time you finish reading this article!

You’ll notice when you get an instant quote on our website, we provide a pick up forecast. This is an estimate of when we will get your vehicle picked up. We don’t provide a specific pick up date because it’s impossible for us to meet specific pick up dates in most cases.

Instead, what we ask for is the earliest date your vehicle can be picked up. Then we provide a range of days from the earliest available pick up date that we estimate we will have a driver at your pick up location. We call this estimate a forecast.

Why do we only provide an estimated, or forecast, range of days instead of a specific date?

We are both a car carrier and a broker. Whether we pick up your vehicle on our own truck (acting as a carrier), or on another carrier’s truck (acting as a broker), we don’t know the precise date the driver will be able to get to your pick up location when your auto transport order is placed.

Pick Up Dates Explained When We Are a Carrier
You might think as a carrier with our own fleet of trucks we would be able to direct our drivers to specific pick up locations on specific dates, but we can’t. While we certainly have more control over our drivers than we do drivers for other carriers, we have to schedule our drivers so they run routes in the most efficient manner.

If we get an auto transport order that is on a driver’s route, we are going to schedule the pick up of your vehicle so it falls in line with other vehicles that are being picked up and delivered along the route. You may want your vehicle picked up on a Tuesday, but the schedule we have the driver on may not put him at your pick up location until Friday.

Pick Up Dates Explained When We Are a Broker
When we have to act as a broker on a transport order, there are additional variables we need to account for. We need time to account for these variables. Those specific variables are:

1. Does a carrier even have a driver on your route during your time frame?
2. If yes, when will the carrier’s driver be available to pick up your vehicle?
3. Does the carrier pass our stringent standards?

Let’s take a look at each variable more closely…

The first thing we have to do as a broker is find a carrier that has a driver on your route during your time frame. You may want your vehicle picked up tomorrow, but it might take us a day or two to find a carrier that even has a driver on your route.

Once we find a carrier that has a driver on your route, we have to find out what their schedule looks like. We have zero control over drivers’ schedules for other carriers. A carrier’s driver may be on your route but won’t be at your pick up location for another four days, for example.

Finally, we may find a carrier’s driver that is on your route that can pick up your vehicle in a couple days, but they might not pass our stringent standards when we vet them. They may not have enough insurance coverage for your vehicle. They might have recent complaints or an overall carrier rating that concerns us. In short, we might have to reject the carrier and start the process all over!

All of this takes additional time when we’re a broker because so many variables are out of our control.

The good news is since we’ve been in business for over 20 years, we have a lot of experience doing what we do, and we have a vast network of carriers we can rely on so we can get transports done quicker than most brokers. However, we still need time and we can’t promise specific pick up dates.

A Final Summary on Pick Up Dates
I started this article by saying you can “sort of” choose a specific pick up date. Our goal is to have a driver at your pick up location on a specific date that works best for you, but as I’ve explained in this article, that’s impossible to do in most cases. I said, “in most cases,” because there are times when everything just happens to work out and we can get a driver at your pick up location on a specific date.

When you place an auto transport order, however, you should never assume that you’ll be able to choose a specific pick up date. The best we can promise is that we’ll have a driver at your pick up location within a certain number of days from your earliest available pick up date.

The good news is that is usually within a week. There are some challenging routes that may take a little longer but even on those routes we can usually have a driver at the pick up location within 7-10 days. We always review our pick up forecast with you when we begin to work on your order so you know what to expect and so there are no surprises!

If you are in a situation where you need a driver to pick up your vehicle on a specific date because you won’t be at the pick up location after that date, we encourage you to have a backup plan. For example, you might have a friend, family member, or neighbor that can help you with your transport and meet a driver at the time of pick up. Another good option is to leave your vehicle with a local mechanic or dealership. Anyone can be at the pick up location to meet a driver as long as they are 18 or older.

We understand there are rare situations where you absolutely must have a driver at the pick up location on a specific date because you don’t have a backup. It never hurts to contact us to see if by chance we can accommodate you, but in most cases we won’t be available to. The only thing we promise is that we’ll have a driver at your pick up location within the forecast we give you when you book your order with us – which is usually within a week!