If you are trying to decide whether or not to ship your vehicle you might be concerned about hidden costs associated with car transport. This is a reasonable concern, and one of the reasons why it’s so important to choose a reputable car carrier. Some car transport companies draw customers in by advertising extremely low prices and then they add a load of additional costs onto the customer’s final bill. Oftentimes, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s important to do a little research to ensure you are working with a responsible auto shipping company that will provide you with upfront and honest pricing.
Reputable auto shipping companies try to deliver upfront pricing, but customers should keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost of shipping a vehicle. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” price when it comes to auto shipment. The average cost to ship a car varies depending on the specific vehicle, the distance it is being shipped, and any other specific needs of your vehicle. Though these fees aren’t intended to be hidden, it should be noted that there are several factors that can affect the price of shipping a car.
The size and dimensions of the vehicle can affect the shipping price. Some cars may be too wide to fit onto a truck, which means they will have to be transported using a different method. Another consideration is the weight of the car. As with any other cargo, the heavier the vehicle, the more expensive it will be to ship it. That said, if you provide the make, model, and year of your vehicle, the auto shipping company should be able to give you an estimate on cost.
Distance Being Shipped
This is pretty straightforward but obviously the further you ship a car, the more it is going to cost. Most car shipping companies should be able to provide you with their rate/ mile so you can get a pretty good idea of the total cost.
Pick-up and Drop-off Locations
In addition to the price per mile, there might be an additional surcharge if you request to pick up or drop off your vehicle in a remote location. For example, most auto shipping companies won’t deliver to a residential neighborhood because the carriers are too big to navigate residential streets. In this instance, you would have to arrange to meet at a different pickup location. However, this can be discussed ahead of time so there aren’t any surprises when you are billed.
If you need to store your vehicle in a terminal prior to pick-up or drop-off, there might be an additional charge for each day that your vehicle is stored in the terminal. Again, this can be determined on the front end.
Condition of the Vehicle
All vehicles should be operable with running brakes in order to be shipped. Most auto shipping companies will not haul inoperable or damaged vehicles. Furthermore, you must prep your vehicle for shipment by removing any non-factory luggage racks, bike racks, trailer hitches, ladder racks, light bars, antennas, etc.
By providing your auto shipping company with complete and accurate information prior to shipping, you should have no trouble receiving an all-inclusive estimate that would eliminate any hidden costs on your final bill.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.