Do You Guarantee Dates?
Some auto transport companies say they can. Most will avoid pinning down a date. Why is that? Here's the answer:
Unfortunately, no auto shipping company is able to absoutlutely guarantee a delivery or pickup date for several reasons.
Each transporter truck is subject to possible delays. Traffic conditions, weather conditions, roadway conditions, rare mechanical problems cause delays. Federal and state Department of Transportation regulations can also move the dates.
Complicated Routes Can See Delays
Harder routes can take longer. This is simply due to the lack of transport from one area to another. If a vehicle is available and there are only 1 or two others (or even zero) you may have to wait. There are exceptions, however. For example, if your route is coming or going somewhere where we see a lot of volume, you may not wait longer becuase it's quick stop off while in transit. Carriers will do that to get that last car. Otherwise, even for transport going to the next state you could wait longer to be picked up than a heavy route that goes cross country. Auto shipping is a volume business and carriers will wait to travel to an area if they cannot fill their truck.
A common example would be northern Michigan going west (Lake Michigan creates a "U" and drivers prefer to go North/south). Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, can have their delays. Upstate New York will have some but if varies from season and is harder to predict.
This can actually happen anywhere. Though very rare, a popular route can have a slow day or week. Just nobody moving a vehicle.
What About Expedited Transport?
There are expedited services that can get you picked up within a 24 hour window on average. Keep in mind that these services work best in popular metro to metro areas. Even if working with an expedited rate, there's a chance that the date could come and go without pick up. But why?
The reason for this falls under the same criteria. Auto shipping is a volume business. If there are not enough vehicles for a carrier, as a result they may choose to ignore the route. That means you can be left waiting even if the route is paying well.
This is exactly why any ethical auto shipping company will usually say that it’s “typical“ or “average“ because truthfully nobody out there should be promising an exact date no matter what and can only go by historical data for the area. Otherwise by guaranteeing dates, an auto transport company is trying to predict the future and control a third-party that is initially unknown as to who it will be or when they will arrive.