Pricing is a big factor in decision-making for most potential car shippers, but it’s arguably the most confusing part. There are lots of companies eager to offer quotes, but it can seem like prices are all over the map. How can first time car shippers compare estimates when nothing seems set in stone in advance?
The truth is that every company offering a quote for shipping a car is a broker, who will then use that price to confirm an independent carrier. Your final price is dependent on a small hauler contracting your job through the broker, there is no standardized fleet for shipping a car door-to-door. While it may seem more direct to just hire a trucker without a “middle-man”, the carrier companies don’t have the resources to handle the customer service part themselves. It is only cost-effective for them to focus on the driving and the truck maintenance, so they rely on broker listings to find the best jobs compatible with their service area.
Carriers set their routes based on the customers available in a given area, and select the best paying jobs that logistically match their run that week. Because the customers are unique, routes may vary from week to week and seasonally. Gas prices vary as well, which affects the offers that carriers can accept (or not). There are some areas that are more affected by seasonal moves, so different rates will apply whether you are shipping in the summer or in the winter.
Another factor that affects final price is vehicle size. Different types of SUVs, for example, take up more space on a carrier, they require greater pay than a standard sedan. However, the final cost will vary depending on the other vehicles on the same load.
For all of these reasons, brokers provide potential car shippers with a quote to be confirmed when a trucking company accepts the job for the offered pay. Reputable brokers offer best estimates in good faith, but from time to time it can be necessary to increase the offer slightly to confirm a carrier for under-served areas, for vehicle size, or for seasonal changes affecting the market.
If you have any questions about your quote or factors that may affect your pricing, give us a call at 866-221-1664. We are always happy to explain the pricing process to first-time car shippers.
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.