Car shipping is an excellent way to get your vehicle to where it needs to be without having to drive it there yourself. Whether you’re moving across the country or taking an extended vacation in another state, shipping your car is an easy way to transport your vehicle. If driving your car hundreds of miles isn’t an option, then hiring a professional car transporting company is the way to go.
If you’ve already started shopping for car shippers, then you may have noticed the prices can be vastly different. The variance in prices may even be a difference of hundreds of dollars. You might wonder why some auto transport quotes are so high, while others are dirt cheap. What you should know is that there’s a lot of competition in the car shipping industry. You should also be aware of what car shippers are charging you for, so you can make an informed decision about which service to choose.
Auto shipping companies take into account the following information when providing a quote:
- Type of carrier
- Your vehicle type
- Your vehicle’s operational condition
- The route
- Time of year
- Date of delivery
Let’s take a look at how each of those factors can affect the price of shipping your car:
The distance is a factor when it comes to shipping your car, but the charge for the mileage may not be your biggest expense. No matter where your car is being shipped, the carrier still needs to procure a trailer and driver to do the work. You may notice that the charges for the trailer type account for a large part of your car shipping bill and not the distance.
Type of Car Carrier
There are two types of carriers that are used in the car shipping industry: open or closed. The open trailers are less expensive and used more often by customers who need their vehicle transported. Open trailers have the benefit of being easier on the pocketbook, but the downside is that the trailers are open to the environment and dirt on the highway. Closed carriers provide a secure space for your vehicle, but at a higher price.
Vehicle Type and Size
Another major factor in the price of your car transport quote is based on the style of the car that you have. Large SUVs, trucks and modified vehicles are heavier, thus accounting for more of the weight on the carrier. Essentially, the more your car weighs the more you’re going to pay. If your car is customized and longer than a regular vehicle, then you may be charged more since it takes up two spaces.
If you plan on using a car shipping company to move your car that no longer runs, you’re going to be charged more than for a car that is drive-able. Cars that don’t work need to be handled differently, so you’ll be charged for the extra labor required to get it on the carrier. Based on this you may want to reconsider moving your car.
The location of your car is another factor in what you’re being charged for. If you live in a well-traveled area near an urban center, it’s likely the car transport company has a regular pick up and drop off route near you. However, if you live out in the desert or rural area, there may be a higher fee. One way to handle this is to meet the driver at a location with easy access. The auto shipper may discount the pick-up fee for you.
Time of Year
Timing is everything in the auto shipping business. If you want to save money, then don’t book your car transport near any major holidays. The weather also affects certain parts of the country due to seasonal flooding, snow, ice and hurricanes. Try to arrange your car shipping date with those factors in mind for a better price.
Date of Delivery
The final factor in the cost of car shipping depends on how fast you want your vehicle delivered. There are express shipping guarantees, but if you choose this option, expect to pay at least 30 percent on top of the basic fees. For less expensive delivery dates, you can opt to have your car picked up on exact dates or over a certain time span.
The Bottom Line
You can generally expect your car shipping cost to be between 0.35 cents to a dollar per mile depending on the distance. Longer delivery distances are cheaper per mile because it’s more cost-effective for the auto transport company. Use our helpful calculator to get an estimate for shipping your vehicle.
When you use an experienced car shipper, they can save you time and money when it comes to getting your vehicle where it needs to be. Use Ship a Car Direct to get instant car shipping quotes you can use to get the best, safest car shipping services. Best of all, you don’t have to enter your personal information just to get a quote. Try it today!
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.