Frequently Asked Questions
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHIPPING YOUR CAR
Booking your Shipment
To submit your order, we will need to know your VIN number of your vehicle. A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is not the license plate number but it is a series of letters and numbers that can be found on your insurance papers, vehicle registration, and even on your vehicle. Newer vehicles have a 17 digit VIN but older models may have a shorter VIN.
Here is an example VIN: 1C3ADEBZXEV177882
We recommend that you book about a week or two before you want to ship your vehicle. We have seen an increase in shipments over the past few years and by booking early it will allow us to reserve a spot on the truck/train for around the time you want to drop it. You can certainly book and drop your vehicle off today but keep in mind that it may not be shipped right away. Chances are the next few shipments are already booked up and it could wait at the terminal for more than a week.
Storage fees for the time your vehicle sits at one of our main terminals usually don’t apply, but make sure you check with us before you drop off. Some of the terminals we use in smaller cities are actually owned by towing companies and they may charge a small daily fee.
Enclosed Car Shipping
Enclosed car shipping is recommend for various types of shipments such as:
- High Valued Vehicles
- Sports Cars
- Race Cars
- Vehicles with ground clearance under 6 inches
- Expensive vehicles
The benefits of enclosed transport
- More insurance coverage – Click here for details
- Door to Door Transport
- Weather Protection
- Secure while inside the trailer
General Shipping Questions
Depending on your origin and destination, your vehicle can be transported by truck, rail or both modes.
Rail Shipping is between Toronto and Vancouver. If your vehicle is going to another city, it would first be shipped by train then trucked to its final destination.
If shipped by rail, your vehicle will be loaded into a car carrier rail-car. These rail-cars have either 2 or 3 levels and hold upwards of 15 vehicles.
If your vehicle is moved by transport truck it will be a similar truck to the ones that you see at your local auto dealership. Keep in mind that these trucks are very large and sometimes will not be able to drop your vehicle off at your home address so an alternative drop off location may be arranged by MVS Canada. Both methods are used extensively for transporting vehicles and each method has its own pros and cons.
We only ship passenger vehicles such as Cars, SUV’s, Crossovers, Minivans, Light Duty Trucks (eg. F150’s, Tacomas), Heavy Duty Trucks (eg. F350, 3500) and Cargo Vans
We may not be able to ship vehicles over 7 feet tall. Please let us know if your vehicle is lifted or over-sized.
Ground clearance is the minimum distance between the ground and the bottom of a vehicle. Ground clearance is important when shipping your vehicle as it can have an effect on the mode of transport. If your vehicle is very low to the ground, we may only be able to ship it by the enclosed trailer. These trailers have specialized lift gates that lift your vehicle up and into the trailer.
A car with very low ground clearance can’t be driven onto certain trailers and trains as the bottom of the car would scrape while driving up and down the loading ramps.
If your car has less than 6 inches of ground clearance, please let us know when you submit a quote/order.
You can leave any documents and papers inside the glove-box of your vehicle if you wish. It’s entirely up to you.
The rail cars that ship vehicles are covered over the top and partially covered on the sides. These rail cars protect the vehicles from most debris and weather, but your vehicle can still get dusty or dirty.
You will be sent an automatic tracking message to your email every time your tracking is updated.
If you need to track your vehicle manually you can go to https://www.mvscanada.ca/tracking/
Type in your order number and the last 4 digits of your phone number that you used on your booking. Your order number will be emailed to you once you place your booking.
- Make sure the vehicle is clean, both inside and outside.
- Gas tank must be at least 1/3 full.
- Both e-brake and foot brake must be in working condition.
- Make sure the tires have enough air and are in good condition.
- Vehicle must contain no personal items unless authorized. Spare tire and jack are allowed.
- Let us know if your car has any modifications, alcohol locks, special codes to start it, fobs to start the car, etc
- Insurance is recommended for your vehicle but not required as transport insurance is included when you ship.
- Remove any racks from the outside of the vehicle
Generally these are the rules as it will depend on the mode of transportation:
Shipped by Train/Rail – You can’t have any personal items inside your vehicle other then tires and baby seats
Shipped by Truck – You may be allowed to have up to 150 lbs of items inside of your vehicle. No personal items in the front passenger seat. Items in the back seat and in any open trunks (SUV’s and Station Wagons) items must not be packed above the bottom of the windows. Personal items shipped at your own risk and are not insured.
In some cases we may not be able to accommodate personal items due to restrictions with our trucking agents. Please check with us to confirm if items will be allowed for your shipment.
If your vehicle is being shipped by the open transport trailer, a car cover can’t be placed over your vehicle. The cover would scuff the paint and would probably rip off due to the wind.
The only way to protect your vehicle from the elements is to ship it by the enclosed car transport method.
Your vehicle will be driven only minimally in certain cases. Please make sure you leave at least 1/3rd a tank of gas in your vehicle before shipping.
- Driven on/off of the transport trucks
- Driven in/out of the rail cars
- Moved around at the terminals while waiting to be loaded.
- Driven to or from the terminal to your residence. We use a driving service for door pickups and deliveries in certain cities such as Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. This service is much cheaper then door pickup/delivery with a transport truck/tow truck.
Glossary of Car Shipping Terms
Car Hauler – Tucks and trailers that are specifically designed to move automobiles.
Car Shipping – Moving a motor vehicle by one or more mode of transportation (truck,train, ship or driving service) between two locations.
Car Transport Company – A company that specialized in transportation of vehicles from one location to another by truck, train, boat or driving service.
Bonded – Bonded highway carriers are permitted to transport in-bond goods beyond the first point of arrival in Canada and between points in Canada. They must post financial security with the CBSA.
Broker – A car shipping broker moves vehicles with independent car haulers, regional carriers, and other car transport companies that have available space on their trailers. The main goal of a broker is to to move their customers vehicles as quickly as possible to their destination.
Unfortunately damages can happen when your vehicle is being shipped. We do everything possible to keep your vehicle safe and to ship it damage free, but when damages do happen we have a quick and easy process for you to follow to submit a claim.
- Understand the insurance coverage that is included when shipping your vehicle.
- If you need more comprehensive coverage, the best option is enclosed transport but unfortunately this is the most expensive way to ship and it may not be practical based on the type of vehicle you own. You can find the damage coverage in our terms and conditions on the booking form: https://booking.mvscanada.ca/
- Make sure you take photos of the exterior of your vehicle when you are dropping off your vehicle to the terminal (or at the time of door pickup)
- Send the photos to our email.
- When you are picking up your vehicle at the terminal, if you notice any damages tell the person at the terminal right away so they can note it on the condition report.
- Take photos of it and email us immediately.
- We will investigate the damage and send you a claims form to complete.
- If your claim is approved, you will have to provide us with at least 3 repair estimates and then we will follow up with the location to take your vehicle to get repaired.
When you ship your vehicle, there will be car carrier insurance covering your vehicle. Restrictions do apply and not every type of damage is covered and the type of coverage can vary between the different modes of transport (Open Truck/Enclosed Truck/ Train). The age of your vehicle can also have an affect on your insurance coverage.
It is always recommended to have your own insurance on the vehicle you are shipping, but it is not required.
For open trailer and train shipping, please see our terms and conditions on the booking page: https://booking.mvscanada.ca/
For enclosed shipping, the insurance coverage is outlined here: https://www.mvscanada.ca/enclosed-car-shipping-terms-conditions/
More information on insurance: https://www.mvscanada.ca/insurance-licensing/
You don’t need to keep your own insurance on the vehicle while its being shipped but it’s recommended. Depending on how your vehicle is being shipped, its age, and condition, restrictions may apply for what is covered by transport insurance while its being shipped. Having your own insurance will cover any damages that transport insurance might not cover.
Misc Shipping Questions
No sorry we don’t. We only ship vehicles within Canada.
No sorry we don’t ship those types of vehicles. Try checking with a dealer in your area as they may know of a company who can move that type of freight.
You will need to give us at least one key. We will need it to start your vehicle so it can be driven on and off the transport trailers or trains.
For insurance and safety reasons, you can’t travel inside your vehicle or with the truck driver while your vehicle is being moved.
Sadly, we’ve been asked this more than a few times. No pets or animals can be left inside your vehicle when its being shipped.
Payment and Pricing
The cost for shipping can depend on many factors including the distance traveled, vehicle size, terminal or door pickups, truck or rail shipping, enclosed or open shipping.
Generally the least expensive way to ship your vehicle is if you drop it off and pickup at our terminals in a major city. For example, if you want to ship from Kitchener ON to Canmore AB, your best option would be to drop off the vehicle to our terminal in the Greater Toronto Area and pickup your vehicle at the Calgary terminal.
Payments must be made once you submit your order. If you are booking well in advance of your drop off date, you can make payment closer to your door pickup/terminal drop-off date. For payment information please send us an email.
- Credit Card – MVS Canada accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express by Phone and Fax. These services are provided by our partner Elavon. 3% Service Fee Applies Elavon Merchant Services provides thousands of businesses in Canada, convenient and secure payment options.
- Direct Deposit – At any Bank of Montreal, you can make a direct payment.
- Email/Wire Transfer – Please contact our office for more information.
- Certified Cheque – Please contact our office for more information.
Terminal to Terminal shipping is an option, as well as shipping your vehicle from one of the major cities in your Province. For example, if you live in Hamilton, Ontario and you want to ship your car to Vancouver, you can choose to drop off your vehicle at our Terminal in Toronto. This will save you the cost of moving the vehicle from Hamilton to Toronto with one of our trucks.
Also if you are shipping large quantities of vehicles, 5 or more at one time, we may be able to give you a discount. Please contact us for further information on volume discounts.
Sorry we don’t price match. If you received a lower price from a reputable and established shipper, please send it to us and we can let you know if we can lower our price. Not all car shipping companies provide the same level of service.
No sorry we don’t. Prices are generally fixed but can change at anytime throughout the year. If you are shipping multiple vehicles at once, we may be able to offer a discount.
Pickup and Delivery
Terminal to Terminal is the least expensive method of car shipping. You will have to drop off and pickup your vehicle at a Terminal in the origin and destination cities. In smaller cities and towns where we don’t have a main terminal you will have to meet the truck at a location that can easily be accessible, such as a truck stop or a dealership.
For Door to Door, we can arrange pickup of your vehicle at your door by one of our smaller transport trucks, such as a flatbed tow truck. Your vehicle will then be transported directly to a Terminal or to a Towing Yard so that it can be loaded onto a Rail-car or a larger transport truck. We will need at least 3-5 days notice to arrange door pickups.
Your vehicle could also be picked up by a driving service and driven to the terminal.
Door to door is not available for all locations. Please check with a representative for more details.
If you require this service please let us know at time of quoting or booking your shipment so we can include this service in the price.
If you want to have someone else pickup your vehicle on arrival to the terminal, just provide us with their first and last name. Give them the VIN Number of your vehicle, your order number and the pickup location and we can release the vehicle to them when they arrive to the terminal. In most cases they must provide photo id with the same name as on the release.
We have many terminals located across Canada and in most major cities we can have multiple terminals that we use. The exact location can depend on when you ship your vehicle, the mode used and your final destination. Normally we can give you an approx terminal location that we will need you to take your vehicle to but we won’t be able to confirm until your booking is placed and confirm with the dispatchers. Click here for the approximate locations of the Terminals across Canada.
You can have anyone deliver or drop off your vehicle to the terminal to be shipped. Have them provide the VIN Number, Year/Make/Model, and our MVS Canada Booking Number when they go to the terminal.
As long as you’re dropping off your vehicle to the terminal within business hours, you can drop off as soon as you submit your booking form, and we confirm your order.
The length of time that your vehicle takes to arrive at its destination can depend on the distance of the move, how early you book your shipment in advance, and the time of year your shipping. For example, shipping from Toronto to Calgary takes approx 4-6 days for arrival once your vehicle is loaded on the truck but we recommend booking at least 1-2 weeks in advance as there could be a waiting period before we have an available spot for your vehicle.
MVS Canada strives to provide superior customer service and in doing so these “Times to Delivery” are based on our knowledge of the industry and previous deliveries. Please be aware that the time to delivery that we quote is only an approximate and MVS Canada does not guarantee these shipping times. Please check with us before shipping as shipping times can vary week to week.
For more information please check out our page on transit times and shipping schedules.
Our standard shipping service is based on first come-first served, and vehicles can be routed through multiple terminals before arriving to the destination. We do offer “Hot-shot Direct” services in most areas. A dedicated truck and trailer would be used to move your vehicle, but this service is very expensive (Approximately 5x times the cost of the standard shipping price), so it may not be practical depending on the type of vehicle you’re shipping and your time constraints.
With over 30 years of combined experience in the auto transport industry. MVS Canada is a company who you can trust and depend on. We are a member of BBB and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.