Flatbed Auto Transport: How It Works & How Much It Costs! 

Flatbed Auto Transport: How It Works & How Much It Costs! 
Flatbed Auto Transport: How It Works & How Much It Costs! 

 Flatbed auto transport services are becoming increasingly popular in the automotive shipping industry due to their versatility and safety features. This method of transportation is renowned for its ability to handle a wide variety of vehicles, including luxury and oversized cars. Whether you are considering shipping your car cross country or seeking door-to-door auto transport, flatbed services might just be your best option. In this blog, we will delve into the nitty-gritty of flatbed auto transport, discussing how it works and exploring the associated costs. 

What is Flatbed Auto Transport? 

Before we venture further, it is essential to understand what flatbed auto transport exactly entails. This type of service utilizes a truck with a flat, open trailer without sides or a roof, offering an expansive space to accommodate vehicles of various sizes and shapes. Its structure facilitates easy loading and unloading of vehicles, making it a preferred choice for luxury car transportation and vehicles with unusual dimensions. 

How Does it Work? 

Flatbed auto transport services work in a relatively straightforward manner. Here is a step-by-step guide on how the process typically unfolds: 

Booking the Service: 

The first step involves researching and contacting a reliable flatbed transportation company. While booking, you would need to provide details about your vehicle and the pickup and delivery locations. 

Preparing Your Vehicle: 

Before the scheduled pickup, make sure to prepare your vehicle adequately. This preparation involves removing personal belongings, securing loose parts, and ensuring the car is clean for inspection. 

Loading onto the Flatbed Truck: 

On the day of pickup, the transporter will load your vehicle onto the flatbed truck using a winch or hydraulic lift, minimizing the risk of damage. 


During transit, your vehicle remains securely fastened on the flatbed auto truck. The open structure allows for regular checks and easy monitoring of the vehicle. 


Upon reaching the destination, the vehicle is carefully unloaded. Inspecting your car for any potential damages before signing off on the delivery is advised. 

Flatbed Transportation Services: What Vehicles are Ideal? 

Flatbed transport is particularly ideal for: 

Luxury Cars:  

Due to the enhanced safety features, many opt for flatbed services for luxury car transportation. 

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Oversized Vehicles:  

The spacious design of the flatbed trailer can easily accommodate oversized vehicles which cannot be transported through traditional carriers. 

Non-Operational Vehicles:  

Flatbeds are excellent for transporting non-operational vehicles as they can be winched onto the trailer. 

Can you put a car on a Flatbed? 

Putting a car on a flatbed trailer is a common practice in the auto transport industry. It is often chosen for several reasons, including safety, security, and convenience. Here’s how the process usually happens: 

Step 1: Booking and Scheduling: 

You begin by booking a service with a reputable flatbed auto transportation company. During this stage, you will schedule a pickup time and specify the pickup and drop-off locations. 

Step 2: Preparing the Car: 

Before the scheduled pickup, preparing your car for the transportation process is advisable. This preparation involves cleaning the car, removing personal items, and documenting the car’s current state with photos and notes, which will be useful for inspection purposes at the time of delivery. 

Step 3: Loading the Car onto the Flatbed: 

The driver will carefully load your car onto the flatbed trailer when the flatbed truck arrives. This process typically involves using ramps or hydraulic lifts to position the car on the flatbed safely. Once the car is flatbed, it will be secured firmly with straps to prevent movement during transit. 

Step 4: Transporting the Car: 

During transit, the car is safely transported to the specified destination. The open nature of the flatbed auto trailer allows for easy monitoring and regular checks on the vehicle. 

Step 5: Unloading and Inspection: 

Upon arrival at the destination, the car is carefully unloaded from the flatbed. At this stage, conducting a thorough inspection of the car is advisable to ensure it hasn’t incurred any damage during the transportation process. 

Benefits of Using a Flatbed for Car Transportation 


Flatbed trailers are designed to transport vehicles securely, minimizing the risk of damage. 


Flatbeds can accommodate a variety of vehicles, including luxury cars, SUVs, and even non-operational vehicles. 


The door-to-door service option that often comes with flatbed auto transportation services adds an extra layer of convenience to the entire process. 

By using flatbed auto transport services, you can ensure your vehicle’s safe and secure transportation, especially when you are shipping a luxury car or an oversized vehicle cross country. 

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How many cars can fit on a flatbed? 

The number of cars that can fit on a flatbed truck largely depends on the specific size and configuration of the flatbed. Here’s a general breakdown based on different types of flatbeds: 

Standard Flatbed Trucks:  

These typically have a length ranging from 48 to 53 feet. On such trucks, you can generally fit 1 to 4 average-sized cars, but it’s more common to transport one or two vehicles along with other types of cargo or larger vehicles like SUVs or trucks. 

Step Deck Flatbed Trucks:  

These are designed to carry taller cargo and can also transport vehicles. The number of cars they can carry would be comparable to standard flatbed trucks, perhaps slightly fewer due to the reduced floor space caused by the dual-level design. 

Hotshot Flatbed Trucks:  

These are smaller trucks, often used for quicker, shorter deliveries. Generally, they can transport one to two smaller or larger vehicles. 

Specialty or Extended Flatbed Trucks:  

These are larger trucks specially designed to carry more cargo. They can sometimes accommodate more than four vehicles, especially if the cars are smaller models. 

Car Hauler Trucks:  

While not flatbeds in the traditional sense, car hauler trucks are specifically designed to transport multiple vehicles, commonly accommodating 6 to 9 cars, depending on the vehicle size and the specific configuration of the truck. 

In any case, the key determining factors are the size of the flatbed and the size of the vehicles being transported. When arranging flatbed auto transport, the service provider will consider these factors to determine the best type of truck for the job. Always consult with your service provider for accurate information on vehicle capacity. 

How Should You Prepare Your Car for Flatbed Auto Transport? 

Preparing your car for flatbed auto transport is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful shipping process. Here’s a detailed guide on how you should go about it: 

Step 1: Cleaning Your Car 

  • Exterior Cleaning 

Start with a thorough exterior cleaning. This helps identify any existing damage and ensures your car is transported in good condition. 

  • Interior Cleaning 

Clean the interior of your car to remove personal items and valuables. A neat interior will prevent any loose items from causing damage during transport. 

Step 2: Inspection and Documentation 

  • Pre-Transport Inspection 

Conduct a detailed pre-transport inspection to document the current state of your car. Make note of any existing dents, scratches, or damage. 

  • Photographic Evidence 
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Take clear photographs from different angles as evidence of your car’s pre-transport condition. These photos can be a reference point in case of any disputes regarding damage. 

Step 3: Maintenance Checks 

  • Fluid Levels 

Check the levels of various fluids in your car. Maintaining a quarter tank of fuel for the transportation process is recommended. 

  • Battery Charge 

Ensure your car battery is fully charged and securely mounted to avoid complications during loading and unloading. 

  • Tire Pressure 

Verify that the tires are properly inflated to prevent any issues during transport. 

Step 4: Securing Loose Parts 

  • Exterior Parts 

Secure any loose exterior parts, such as mirrors and antennas, to prevent them from being damaged or causing damage during transport. 

  • Interior Items 

If any loose items are inside the car, secure them properly to avoid potential damage. 

Step 5: Alarm Systems 

  • Deactivating Alarms 

Deactivate any alarm systems to prevent them from going off during transport, causing unnecessary delays and complications. 

  • Providing Instructions 

If you cannot deactivate the alarm system, provide detailed instructions to the transport driver on how to disable it in case it triggers. 

Step 6: Personal Documents and Items 

  • Removing Personal Items 

Remove all personal items and documents from the car. The carrier’s insurance does not cover personal belongings. 

  • Empty the Trunk 

Ensure that the trunk is emptied to prevent any damage from loose items during transport. 

Step 7: Spare Keys 

  • Preparing Spare Keys 

Prepare a set of spare keys for the transport driver. Do not hand over your only set of keys. 

  • Handover and Documentation 

Hand over the spare keys to the driver during the pickup and ensure all necessary paperwork is completed. 

Door-to-Door Auto Transport 

Flatbed auto transport can also be combined with door-to-door auto transport services for added convenience. This service means that your vehicle will be picked up from and delivered to locations of your choosing, reducing the hassle involved in the transportation process. 

Cost Factors and Estimates 

The cost of flatbed auto transport can vary based on several factors, including distance, vehicle type, and the current demand for shipping services. Typically, shipping a car cross country using flatbed transport can range from $600 to $1,300, or even more depending on the specifics of the service required. 


Flatbed auto transport emerges as a top choice When considering your vehicle’s transportation, especially for high-value or oversized cars. With its safety features, versatility, and the option for door-to-door service, it provides a convenient and secure option for vehicle transportation. Ensure to consult with reliable flatbed transportation services like Optimance Transport to get a precise quote and guarantee the safe transit of your prized possession. 

Jesper Arthur

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