Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about shipping your car? We've compiled a number of frequently asked questions and answers to help you and your vehicle along the journey!

How do I prepare my car for shipping?

Before sending off your vehicle, make sure of the following:

  • Your vehicle must be properly insured.
  • Place photocopies of your insurance & registration papers in the glove box.
  • Do not leave your keys in the vehicle—keep an extra set of keys on-hand.
  • Finally, ensure your car's gas tank is at least half-full.

What is terminal-to-terminal car shipping service?

Terminal-to-terminal service is the most popular shipping method, and for good reason: it's the most efficient and affordable way to ship your car.

You just drop off your vehicle at one of our terminals located all across Canada. Typically this will be a car dealership or another commercial location near a city or town.

After dropping off your car, it will be loaded on to a rail car, a container ship, or an open car carrier like the ones that deliver new cars to dealerships, and then shipped to its final destination. The exact modes of transport used to move your car will depend on the route and your particular preferences.

Once your vehicle has reached its destination, we'll let you know that your car is ready to be picked up at the terminal and provide instructions on how to do so.

What is door-to-door car shipping service?

Door-to-door shipping service stands in contrast to terminal-to-terminal service. As the name suggests, your vehicle will be picked up and dropped off at your residence. Door-to-door service is a convenient option that can save you time.

With door-to-door service, your automobile will be picked up by a driving service or tow truck at a place of your choosing, where it will be transported to the terminal for shipping. Once your vehicle has reached the destination terminal, your car will be delivered to your new residence or another location of your choice.

The convenience comes at a cost, however: door-to-door shipping service is more expensive and isn't always an available option. We recommend contacting us, and an expert representative will advise you of your options.

How to Choose an Auto Transport Company to Ship Your Vehicle:

As logistics specialists, SVP cares about you, and takes pride in providing safe, honest, and reliable service to all its clients, corporate and private. Unfortunately, scams abound in the auto transport industry. We take you through how to choose an auto transport company, and more importantly, how to avoid the scams that prey on those shipping their vehicles long distances.

  • If a company asks for a down payment, be careful as this practice is not normal in the Auto Shipping Industry in Canada.
  • Always check and compare shipping rates. The initial quote that an auto transport company gives you is usually a “ballpark estimate” of the entire service cost, but some companies do stick to their estimate. If you really need to know the final cost of delivery, then get a quote, and call companies that you received quote(s) from. Some companies will tell you up front how much the entire deal will cost, with minimal extra charges. These rates will be higher than other initial quotes, but additional charges can severely affect the price you end up paying.
  • Research a company very well, and make sure they are Bonded, Licensed, and Insured.
  • Read the contract completely before signing. Be wary of hidden fees that are listed in the small print.
  • Be honest with the company you are contacting regarding any personal items you have in your vehicle. Trucks are weight limited and are weighed in each province. They can be charged large fines in every province for being overweight. Also, most companies will not insure any items inside the vehicle. It is usually best to send your car empty on a truck.
  • Make sure you do not go with the lowest priced companies. Companies priced in the middle are the most reliable in our experience.
  • Check customer services: good customer service determines how well the company communicates with its customers, and if there is good communication between customers and the company, then it is less likely that problems will occur during shipping.
  • All companies should do inspection reports of the vehicle at pick up and delivery. Be sure to document the mileage on the car before and after transport. In case of damage, it is your responsibility to make sure these reports are correctly updated to prove and ensure reimbursement for the damages.


  • This is NOT a guaranteed industry. There are many factors that may create delays such as waiting for earlier customers at pick up or delivery, weather, mechanical problems, and road constrictions for multi car carriers.
  • All brokers use the same carriers. Be careful not to go with a low-priced company!! Companies might give you a low price, but will not be able to find transport for your vehicle, or may only be able to arrange transport part-way, and your vehicle may sit at a location for days if not weeks until another carrier is found to continue the shipment.
  • When you make a reservation, do not book with more than one company as this will hinder your transport. When two companies are trying to move the same vehicle, most drivers will 'pass' on that vehicle and go to another due to shipping conflict.

Reference: How to Choose an Auto Transport Company