When you are shipping your vehicle, one of the first questions many people ask is “How much will it cost?” This is understandable, given that most people aren’t familiar with how the auto transport industry works. When looking for a reliable and trustworthy auto shipping company, it is important to find out about their rates. While some fees are standard, there are also a variety of ways to save money when shipping your vehicle. Here are a few tips for getting the best price on auto shipment.
Choose and Open Trailer
Customers have the option to choose between open and enclosed shipping carriers. Although enclosed carriers offer a safer option and protect your vehicle from outdoor elements, this is usually a more expensive option as well. Unless you are shipping an antique, exotic, or luxury vehicle that requires additional protection, you can save money by choosing an open trailer.
Choose Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery
There are a number of auto shipping companies that offer the convenience of door-to-door delivery. While there are obvious advantages to this service, it also comes at an additional cost. If you have the time to drive to the carrier terminal, you can save money with terminal-to-terminal transport.
Just as you would compare prices before having a home repair, you should also compare prices when choosing a car shipping company. You can get quotes from various companies and compare rates to find one that meets your needs. You also want to inquire about additional fees so you aren’t surprised with hidden costs.
Select a Reasonable Insurance
It’s understandable that you want to make sure your car is protected in the event that damage occurs, but be on the lookout for overpriced insurance packages. Some people make the mistake of choosing an inflated insurance plan that covers more than the car is even worth. You can save a significant amount of money by choosing a more reasonable plan.
Consider the Season
Just like the moving industry, auto shipping is most popular during the spring and summer months. If time allows, it's cheaper to ship your car during the winter months, as this can save you anywhere from $200-$300.
Have a Flexible Ship Date
You are going to pay a premium price to have your shipping date expedited. If you aren’t in a rush, you can save money by having a flexible shipping date. This allows the carrier to deliver your vehicle when it's most convenient for them, which can mean more money in your pocket.
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.