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Auto Transport Glossary

A definition of terms used in the auto transport industry.

Auto Accessories Delivery:

The delivery of add-ons and after-market parts such as speakers and sound-system components, spoilers, rims, grilles, trim, and mud flaps. These may be attached to the car during transport or transported separately. Company policies on coverage of accessories during transport may vary. Be sure to check with your auto transport provider about any accessories you may have.

Auto Shipper:

A company that specializes in the transportation of vehicles from one location to another. Also known as an auto transporter, car shipper, vehicle shipper, or auto mover.

Automobile Transport Vehicle Insurance:

Insurance carried by an auto shipper to cover any damage that occurs to a vehicle during transport.

Car Alarm:

An electronic theft-deterrence system that sounds when a car is accessed without a key. Car alarms should generally be turned off during transport.

Covering:

A sheet or material used to protect the car during transport.

Delivery Time:

The calculated duration of the transport period from pick-up to drop-off. May also be calculated from time automobile is delivered to and picked up from transport terminal.

Enclosed Carrier:

A closed-in transport vehicle used to transport vehicles when protection from the elements is required. Usually more expensive than traditional, open carriers.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

A sub-organization of the Department of Transportation (DOT) responsible for reducing the risk of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving transport trucks and other large road vehicles.

Gear Shifter:

A stick used to change the gears in a vehicle. Most vehicles are in park or neutral during transport.

Hauler:

A vehicle used to transport other vehicles from one location to another.

Lift:

A device used to raise automobiles onto or off of a hauler.

Odometer:

Also sometimes called a milometer, this is the device that counts the miles a vehicle has travelled. When a vehicle is shipped, the odometer is not affected (although there may be a slight difference if the vehicle is driven short distances to get it on and off the transport, into another position on the transport, or to a storage area in a terminal).

Open Carrier:

A traditional transport vehicle in which the car is exposed during transport.

Rim Delivery:

The transport of car wheel rims, either attached to the vehicle or separately.

Seat Cover:

A protective sheet used inside the vehicle to keep the seats from damage during transport. Often an additional cost, these are generally only used on luxury or vintage automobiles, at the owner’s request.

Shipping Mileage:

The distance between the vehicle’s pick-up and drop-off locations.

Zip Cover:

A protective sheet with a zipper closure that completely covers car to protect it from damage during transport.

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