Starting a non-CDL car hauling business might seem daunting, but you’re not alone. Many aspiring entrepreneurs face similar challenges and uncertainties. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or expand your current business, the road ahead can feel overwhelming. But with the right guidance, you can navigate this journey smoothly and confidently.

How to Start a Non CDL Car Hauling Business and Thrive in the Industry

Imagine John, a mechanic who dreamed of starting his own car hauling business. He had the skills, the passion, and a small budget. However, John was unsure about the legal requirements, the equipment he needed, and how to get started without a CDL. He spent countless hours researching, feeling frustrated and lost. If you’ve ever felt like John, know that this article is here to help you find clarity and direction.

Picture a thriving car hauling business where you’re your own boss, scheduling jobs on your terms, and seeing steady income flow. You’ve mastered the initial hurdles, complied with all regulations, and built a reputation for reliability. The freedom and satisfaction that come with running your own successful business are within reach.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Non-CDL Car Hauling Business

Research and Plan

Understand the market demand in your area.

Identify your target customers – are you focusing on individuals, dealerships, or auctions?

Legal Requirements

Obtain a DOT Number: Even without a CDL, you’ll need a DOT number for interstate transport. Learn how long it takes to get a DOT number and ensure you have all necessary paperwork.

Register Your Business: Choose a business name and register it with your state.

Get Auto Hauling Insurance: Protect your business with the right insurance to cover potential damages and liabilities.

Equipment Needed

Purchase a Suitable Vehicle: A non-CDL car hauler can handle loads within the legal weight limits. Ensure your vehicle meets these requirements.

Invest in Secure Straps and Ramps: Safety is paramount. Make sure your equipment is reliable and durable.

Understand the Short Haul Exemption

If you’re operating within a short radius, you might qualify for the short haul exemption, simplifying some of your compliance requirements.

Pass the New Entrant Safety Audit

Be prepared for the new entrant safety audit, a crucial step to ensure your business meets all safety regulations.

Build Your Network

Connect with local dealerships, auctions, and individual car owners.

Utilize social media and online platforms to promote your services.

Start Small and Scale Up

Begin with a few clients and gradually expand as you gain experience and confidence.


  1. Do I need a CDL to start a car hauling business? No, you can start a non-CDL car hauling business as long as your vehicle and load do not exceed the legal weight limits.
  2. What is the short haul exemption? It’s a regulation that eases some compliance requirements for operators who stay within a certain distance from their base.
  3. What is involved in the new entrant safety audit? This audit reviews your safety management practices to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

Reflecting on Your Journey

Starting a non-CDL car hauling business is a significant step, but you’re not alone in this journey. Have you considered how overcoming these challenges could change your life? What steps will you take next to turn your dream into reality?

If you’re ready to take the next step or need more personalized guidance, TruckingHQ is here to help. Reach out to us for comprehensive support and solutions tailored to your unique needs. Let’s turn your car hauling dream into a thriving reality.