Vehicle Shipping Services – Door-to-Door vs. Terminal-to-Terminal

People looking to transport their vehicles through vehicle shipping services may choose between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping. Having an idea on the pros and cons of each vehicle shipping service as well can go a long way towards making the right decision.


In this kind of shipping, the vehicle is dropped off and picked up at the terminal. The terminal is usually a lot or warehouse where the vehicle will be parked until the auto transporting company is able to gather enough vehicles to be transported to the same destination. A truck is used to carry the transported vehicles, keeping the car out of its driver’s hand until it reaches its destination. The auto transporting company will then ship all the assembled vehicles at a designated terminal where clients have to go to pick up their transported vehicles.

Pros and Cons

Terminal-to-terminal auto shipping is considered cheaper because the cost of shipping vehicles is split according to the number of vehicles being transported. Most shippers offering terminal-to-terminal vehicle transport give discounts for people who reside in densely populated metropolitan areas, where door-to-door vehicle transport is impractical.

The problem with terminal-to-terminal vehicle shipping services is that it can take some time before the car is transported to its destination because the auto transporter will have to wait for a sufficient number of vehicles before it proceeds with the transfer. This is why terminal-to-terminal auto transporting is not recommended to clients who need their vehicles at a certain place in the soonest possible time.

Terminal-to-terminal vehicle transfer can also put the car at risk of petty crimes like vandalism to more serious ones like theft. While most vehicle shipping companies provide round-the-clock security to parked cars in their terminals, it is no guarantee that cars are safe against criminal elements. Likewise, the cars are also exposed to various elements like weather changes that could potentially lead to damage. It does not help that most auto shipping companies are not compelled to pay for any weather-related damages for cars that they ship.


On the other hand, door-to-door vehicle shipping services is the more popular and more convenient way of transporting vehicles. As the name suggests, this kind of vehicle shipping has the company picking up and dropping off the vehicle at the address provided by the client. There is no need for drivers or car owners to get their car from the terminal when they avail of door-to-door auto transporting. It is fast, too. It typically only takes 2-3 days for the auto transporting company to complete the vehicle shipping.

Pros and Cons

The most obvious advantage of door-to-door auto transporting is that it is fast. Unlike in terminal-to-terminal method, the door-to-door auto transportation method does not require the driver to bring his car to a terminal or warehouse. All he has to do is to wait for the auto transport company to drop by his home. The truck then picks up the car and is then delivered to the address specified by the driver. With this method, there is no need for drivers to wait several days before their vehicle is moved from one terminal to another terminal. Not only is it faster and more convenient, it also lessens the risk of damage when parked in the terminal. The downside with door-to-door vehicle shipping is that it is more expensive.