Mar 18, 2020

If you have read our article dedicated to the transport of agricultural vehicles, you already know that transport with a car transporter is, in that case, one of the potentially adoptable solutions.

Unlike semi-trailers and flatbed trucks, the car transporter can accommodate a larger number of vehicles, even large ones. Consequently, the same constitutes an obligatory solution in the event of exceptional loads, since the other two alternatives are not suitable for group transport or for bulky vehicles.


Transport with car transporter of agricultural vehicles
The car transporter is one of the solutions for transporting agricultural vehicles.


However, large agricultural machines are not the only vehicles that it is possible, or advisable, to entrust to transport professionals with car transporters.

Today's goal is to start from words to explain facts. The analysis of the etymology of the term 'car transporter' will, in fact, first of all be an opportunity to retrace the history of this particular vehicle. Secondly, the topic will be dealt with in relation to the car transport service, which can be carried out either autonomously or, precisely, through a car transporter. The latter, as we shall see, remains the ideal solution.

But let's proceed in order. What is the car transporter and what is its history?



Bisarca, “twice the ark”. Why is it called that?

For those who don't know, the car transporter is an articulated lorry intended for the transport of vehicles, which is made up of:

  • a motor vehicle
  • a trailer (with one or two loading decks);
  • a mobile ramp (for car access).

Its name says it all, and it has to do with the Bible: the car transporter is a double (“bis”) ark, because it resembles the two-story version of the one built by Noah.

A certainly ironic reference, just as ironic is the attribution, to the same vehicle, of the name “stork”, often used as an alternative. More than the structure, the second term refers to the romantic essence of its function, which in this 'zoological' metaphor corresponds to a gesture of tender care and rescue of loaded vehicles.

If we exclude the 'divine' one, the original prototype dates back to the early twentieth century. At that time, a US pilot would have decided to modify a truck trolley, in order to make it capable of carrying vehicles. However, it was only in the 1950s that the capacity of the car transporter was such as to allow the transfer of a maximum of ten cars.


Car transporter in history
The original prototype of the car transporter dates back to the early twentieth century.


In the same chronological period, the big car manufacturers (such as Maserati, Porsche, Mercedes) began to use them to transport racing cars from one circuit to another. It is in this circumstance that the car transporter becomes, in some cases, a real design jewel.

Or, as evidenced by the story of the BMC 5-Ton Race Transporter, a training opportunity, a mobile workshop and… a holiday home!

To speak only of transport with a car transporter is, in short, decidedly simplistic. Let's find out why.


An anecdote about its past

In the web magazine “Motori Storici”, Renzo Raimondi tells the story of a historic English car transporter sold at auction in 2011. Built in 1959 and belonging to the British Motor Corporation, this special car transporter has responded, over the years, to the most diverse needs.

The original idea involved the creation of 20 specimens created for the purpose of training the car manufacturer's mechanics. Subsequently, only the Race Transporter in question was deployed to serve the BMC group sales network, for which it was used to transport advertising billboards.

Spacious, with all-aluminium bodywork and a high specification, the car transporter itself was, at one point, first used as a mobile workshop for UK rallies and then as a holiday home.

Let's explain better.

In the early Nineties, the vehicle ended up in an abandoned railway station. Those who had taken possession of it used to spend the weekend there, thus treating it as a real home. After a ten year restoration, the BMC 5-Ton Race Transporter was then offered for sale with the original engine and gearbox, to which some improvements were added.


First twenty specimens of car transporters
Since the first specimens, the car transporter has been built with an all-aluminum body and high specifications.


A certainly fascinating story, especially for fans of vintage means of transport.

Less charming but no less noteworthy, today transport with a car transporter is, on the other hand, the real ace up the sleeve of car transport professionals.




The disadvantages of autonomous organization

We have often discussed the benefits of professional vehicle transportation. Most of the time we did it starting from the numerous disadvantages of choosing not to resort to a transport company, the one made by those who prefer to organize themselves independently.

Transport by car transporter is no exception.

In this case, the alternative for those who decide to personally take care of car transport is the purchase or rental of an appendix trolley. This solution apparently offers advantages both from an organizational and an economic point of view. In practice, however, the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits.

From an organizational point of view, in fact:

  • the limits imposed by current legislation must be taken into account. The use of an appendix trolley is, in fact, regulated by very specific legislation. It is not obvious, perhaps even unlikely, that a simple motorist is aware of it. For this reason, organizing a car transport independently implies, in the first place, a preliminary study of precise articles of the highway code.
  • it is important to know the different types of trolleys. Like knowledge of the legislation, knowledge of the variety of forklifts available on the market does not normally fall within the baggage of holders of only a B driving license. However, it is important to find out about the different characteristics of the light trailers that can be purchased or rented to avoid penalties. There is, also in this case, the risk of not giving the matter the attention it deserves.
  • It is necessary to have some level of experience. Unlike professional hauliers, those who improvise car transport experts may not be familiar with the operations of loading and unloading of the vehicle. Or, again, in the trolley management itself. The lack of physical requirements and skills in the sector could put the driver's safety at serious risk. And, in the worst case, that of other road users.


Do-it-yourself transport or transport with a car transporter
Using an appendix trolley to transport your car is inconvenient and expensive.


From an economic point of view, however:

  • it is advisable to consider all the costs involved in the transport. Matching the trolley to the vehicle, stamp duty, refueling and tolls. These are just some of the items to note to get an idea of the budget to invest for a completely autonomous car transport. Few annotations, however sufficient to deny the idea of the absolute convenience of the solution.
  • it is not always convenient to buy or rent a trolley. In case of purchase, in fact, the cost varies between 3000 and 6000 euros. The alternative is to rely on portals dedicated to rental which, however, only partially contribute to reducing the cost of the equipment.

Inconvenient and expensive. These are the adjectives which, therefore, best describe the choice of using an appendix trolley for car transport.

Therefore, all that remains is to deepen the advantages associated with the transport option with a car transporter, which is currently the most valid alternative.


Car transporter is convenient

In recent years, the denomination has also been extended to a specific railway wagon for the transport of motor vehicles. Due to its capacity and thanks to its flexibility of movement, the car transporter is, however, today the most used means - both by companies and by individuals - above all for the transport of vehicles by road.

Currently on the market there are both uncovered and closed walls, all around 20 meters long and regulated by the European directive 96/53. Whether they are running or not, the number of transportable cars usually ranges between 8 and 10, for a maximum weight of 40 tons.

To facilitate loading and unloading operations, the platforms of the two floors of the car transporter must be inclined up to the level of the road surface. It is also important to firmly secure the vehicles to the floor, leaving first gear engaged and the handbrake engaged.


The ideal solution for road vehicle transport
Due to its capacity and thanks to its flexibility of movement, the car transporter is, today, the most used means.


At first glance, the operation of this road giant is likely to arouse fear in the most sensitive motorists. We therefore propose three good reasons to try to gain their trust.

Transportat with a car transporter is convenient because:

  • it is carried out exclusively by specialized firms. However complicated the operation of the car transporter may seem, it is always a professional who takes care of it in practice. Its winning weapons are attention to detail and scrupulous respect for deadlines, qualities that simplify even the most complex operations
  • it is not particularly expensive, especially if you opt for group transport. The possibility of merging the transfer of up to ten vehicles is, in fact, usually the main prerequisite for saving. Furthermore, the choice of collection and delivery locations, as well as the route, also influences: in order for the price to remain advantageous, in fact, it is necessary that the departure and arrival take place near the main communication routes (such as motorways). If the destination is in a non-EU country, any customs clearance costs must of course also be considered
  • it is always carried out with the aid of innovative equipment. Transport companies are, by law, obliged to have new vehicles, as well as subject to periodic maintenance. This implies a drastic reduction of the risks related to malfunctions during the transfer of vehicles, a condition not taken for granted in the case of autonomous transport.

From an economic point of view, the convenience of transport with a car transporter is, as anticipated, actually such if the choice of the place of loading and unloading is adequate. In addition to its position, a space can be considered suitable if it allows the car transporter to move without particular dangers. The large dimensions of the vehicle require, in fact, ample room for manoeuvring.

Where it is not possible to guarantee them, it will be advisable to opt rather for entrusting the vehicle to a professional driver. Unless a group transport is required, this alternative allows, in fact, to make use of professional skills even in the impossibility of using a car transporter (such as in restricted traffic areas).

Finally, the convenience of transport with a car transporter also depends on the size and condition of the vehicle to be transported. If the latter is not running, it is important to report it and evaluate together with the company if the agreed solution is still the best. In this specific case, in fact, the loading and unloading operations become more complex, with a consequent increase in costs.


Vehicle transport with car transporter
Low costs but the large dimensions of the vehicle require ample room for maneuver.


In conclusion, it is a good idea to opt for flexible dates. In fact, without particular constraints, the haulier is free to optimize the assigned transport as best as possible.

And if the choice falls on Trasauto Logistica, convenience is definitely guaranteed.



Professionals of the transport with car transporter since 1984

It ensures fast and cheap transport and is suitable for more or less large vehicles: the car transporter is also one of our best allies.

Faithful companions of our professionals, all trained to use them in total safety, in recent years our car transporters have transported:

  • City cars
  • Vintage cars
  • Sport cars
  • Convertible cars
  • Coupées
  • Station Wagons
  • Utility cars
  • Sedans
  • Off road vehicles
  • Jeeps

In addition to expert drivers, our team consists of a group of administrators who are always at the complete disposal of the customer. Specifically, Trasauto Logistica provides assistance:

  • during the request for a quote
  • upon taking charge of the vehicle
  • in the delivery phase
  • whenever the customer needs it

We do not have designer jewels or historic car transporters. But on the other hand, our work draws as much from the past as from the future.


Experience and innovation: a winning combination

The experience gained in fourty years of activity has made us proactive.

We continue to cultivate, both in the office and on the street, the ability to manage the unexpected, to anticipate any problems and to solve them in the best possible way.

We have the same attitude towards the new trends and changes that lie ahead for the future of trucking.

The latter certainly includes a greater diffusion of intermodal transport, which provides for the combination of different means (by road, by sea, by air) for longer and more complex routes.


Car transporter transport and multimodal combinations
Often the car transporter leaves the load to a ship or an aircraft for an efficient and safe intercontinental transfer.


Intermodal transport is also a form of sustainable mobility. For this reason, our car transporters often pass the load to a ship or an aircraft: in addition to ensuring efficient and safe transfer of the goods, this combination is an integral part of our response to the environmental crisis.

A response which, moreover, is also partly guaranteed by the use of the car transporter alone. In addition to reducing costs, ensuring that the vehicle travels fully loaded implies, in fact, a lower environmental impact. This is certainly a big benefit, considering that CO2 emissions from transport increasing.

In our vocabulary, experience and innovation are therefore synonymous with proactivity and sustainability.

If you need to transport vehicles, just fill in our contact form. The staff in charge will quickly draw up a detailed estimate suitable for determining the amount you will have to spend in order for the transport to be completed safely and with maximum efficiency.


Or for personalized assistance, you can call the offices in Italy at: +39 (0)828 1818161

or request more information also by e-mail:





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