There are times when you need to get your vehicle from one place to another and driving is just not possible. Perhaps you are moving across the country or you have just purchased a car online in another state. In these situations, you may find yourself in need of auto transport services. A car transporter can safely and efficiently ship your car anywhere in the country, saving you a great deal of time and hassle.
When it comes to using a car transporter, the first thing on most people’s minds is how much it will cost. The truth is, there are a number of factors that can affect transport costs such as the distance of shipment, the type of vehicle, current fuel costs, and even time of year. While many of these factors are out of your control, there are things you can do to reduce costs. Consider the following tips for getting the best price on your car transport service.
Ship During the Off-Season
If you aren’t in a hurry to have your car transported, waiting for an off-peak time can save you money. Car transporters that are shipping cars coast-to-coast are usually busiest between May-September, while transporting north to south is busiest during the fall and spring. Since prices will be higher during these months, you can save yourself some money by transporting your car during a different time.
Be Flexible with Shipping Dates
Most car transporters will allow you to choose pick-up and drop-off dates that work best for your schedule, but if you can be flexible with those dates, you might be able to save money. Inquire about less expensive options, because transporters might be able to deliver your car with another shipment that will be near your location at another time. The transporter may be able to give you a better price if the dates work better for them logistically.
Choose Open Transport
If you aren’t worried about your car getting rained on or getting dirty from the road, you can reduce your costs by choosing open transport as opposed to enclosed transport. Enclosed transport can cost you significantly more, and is generally best for luxury, antique, or exotic cars.
Use Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping
Many car transporters have terminal yards in big cities where they can load and unload their haul. Using a terminal-to-terminal car transporter is usually a cheaper option than door-to-door transport.
Shop Around for Quotes
Finally, do some research and shop around for the best price. If you are willing to be flexible, you may find that one transporter can work a better deal for you than another. Be careful, however, and don’t accept the lowest bid without doing your homework. You want to be sure you are working with a reputable transporter that has a solid reputation.
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.