Auto Transport FAQ
Our auto carriers are generally booked out 2 to 3 weeks in advance therefore we request at least 2 to 3 weeks prior notice for the car shipment, however, we understand that that is not always feasible and there may still be a way to get it shipped sooner. If you need to ship your car immediately, talk to a representative to see what can be offered.
Our drivers will get as close to your door as legally and safely as possible. It is illegal for the trucks to go into most residential areas due to low hanging trees, power lines, narrow streets, and city & state ordinances. The truck will be transporting your car is 80' feet long and 14' high. It is also very low to the ground. When these trucks go into neighborhoods with trees, the cars on the top can very easily be scratched. Also, because the cars are so close together, making tight turns can possibly damage your vehicle or someone else's. The gross weight of this truck is 75,000 to 80,000 pounds and most residential areas do not allow vehicles over 5000 pounds. Violations of city ordinances can cost the driver $1500.00 to $2500.00. These trucks require an area of approx. 150 feet in diameter in order to turn around (this is equivalent to 1/2 the size of a football field). It may be necessary for the driver to unload several cars in order to load you vehicle in the proper location on the truck. There needs to be a safe and large enough area to park these cars while the driver is loading yours. Due to all of the above, it will more than likely be necessary for you to meet the driver. Common meeting places such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Rest Areas, Service Plazas, some Malls and some industrial areas are good and SAFE places to meet with the drivers to load and unload the cars. If it is not possible for you to meet the driver, we can arrange for a flatbed tow truck to pick up or deliver. However, additional charges will apply.
Please note: There are some major cities that are very difficult for us to get around or find safe areas that the trucks can stop and park. Therefore we will generally use a local flatbed to pick up or deliver (tow yard charges will apply). We do not go out on Long Island and will always use a flatbed to pick up and deliver cars.
Coast to coast deliveries generally take any where from 10 to 14 days for delivery (northeast cars up to 16 days), depending on the destination. Due to unforeseen circumstances that can arise with weather, road conditions, possible mechanical failures, coordination with other customers’ schedules and illness/death, we cannot guarantee a particular date for pick up or delivery, therefore our arrival dates are usually a 4-5 day window (this is narrowed down as we get closer).
Transit time is usually 7-10 days from the day we pick the car up, but can take up to 14 days depending on the load (North East cars could possibly take up to 16 days) each load is different and will vary in transit time. Please remember the driver is working with 20 different customers, constantly loading and unloading and doing his best to accommodate everyone, so your estimated delivery time can vary slightly. If you require a certain date for pick up or delivery, please let us know so we can discuss your options. However, if an occurrence does arise that the delivery takes longer than 14-16 days, we will make every effort to ease the inconvenience for you.
You can ALWAYS call to find out where your car is. We have contact with the drivers daily and we also provide you with the drivers’ cell phone number so that you can talk to them direct.
Golden Key Express maintains $1,000,000 liability and $350,000 cargo insurance. There is no deductible to the customer. Occurrences not covered are clearly listed on your Terms of Service and the Bill of Lading upon which your car is shipped. A vehicle inspection report is done when the car is picked up. The person turning the car over and the truck driver both sign this report and a copy is given to the party delivering the car. This same report is presented upon delivery of the vehicle at its destination and you should compare the car to the report thoroughly at that time. If, for some reason, you feel that some damage has occurred, you must note it on the report before you sign it and before the driver leaves. Any claims made after this time will not be honored.
Personal items include boxes, furniture, plants, clothing etc. These items should be shipped with your household moving company. It's against the law for a licensed motor carrier to transport anything that isn't covered under their USDOT operating authority. Items not included on the driver's bill of lading can be confiscated and the carrier fined, placed under a FMCSA compliance review or have their authority suspended by the DOT. They have been known to take vehicles off of the truck, unload for inspection, and simply leave personal items sitting on the side of the road or at a scale. ALL trucks are subject to these inspections. Also, personal belongings are not covered by the carrier's insurance; therefore any damage caused to the items or by the items is not covered by the insurance. Drivers will not inventory any items and will not assume responsibility for them. Also additional weight in the vehicle may cause the driver to be over legal maximum weight of 80,000 lbs, therefore putting him at risk of a fine of up to $5000.00. The driver is ultimately responsible for any and all fines therefore, items left in the vehicle are allowed only at the drivers’ discretion. If the driver is not comfortable with the type of items or feels the weight of items will cause him to be over the legal weight limit, he will ask you to remove the items prior to shipment.
If you or your agent is not available to receive the vehicle, it will be kept in a locked storage facility. Storage / Delivery fees may be added to your transportation cost.
ALL auto shipments are COD (cash on delivery). Payment is due in cash or cashiers check only, made payable to Golden Key Express. We apologize, but we do not accept credit cards or personal checks.
- There must be no obvious fluid leaks.
- Your battery must be secure in the mounting bracket.
- The vehicle must be clean for inspection. A dirty vehicle decreases the ability to perform a quality inspection.
- The gas tank must have a minimum of (1/8) tank of fuel, but no more than (1/4) tank of fuel.
- Radios, cassette decks or CD players not built in, car phones, garage door openers and "Toll Detection Devices" should be removed from your vehicle.
- All antennas must be fully retracted or removed.
- All personal belongings must be removed. (except standard vehicle items such as the jack and spare tire)
- All exterior spare tire covers, grill covers, or car covers must be removed.
- Plants and hazardous materials are forbidden by law to be transported.
- One set of ALL keys for the vehicle MUST be provided.
- Non-permanent luggage racks, bike racks, or ski racks must be removed.
You or your designated representative must be present for the inspection at the time of pick-up and delivery. You or your designated representative must sign the bill of lading and condition report at both origin and destination. You and/or your designated representative are responsible for confirming your vehicle's condition. In the unlikely event there is damage on delivery, it must be noted on the bill of lading at the time the car is delivered.
Please try to make sure the car is as clean as possible so that the driver can do a good vehicle inspection.
PLEASE MAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Your vehicle must be operable.
- We are not equipped to haul non operational vehicles.
- You must advise us of any modifications made to your vehicle such as 4x4 lift kit, camper shell, vehicle lowered, etc. Modifications of this sort could add to the cost of transportation of your vehicle.
- Your vehicle may not exceed 7' in height.
That is why our dates are limited to when we have trucks in the area.
If you have a question that was not answered, please feel free to call us.
Thank you for your interest in Golden Key Express Auto Transport.