There are several reasons why you may need to have a vehicle shipped. Perhaps you are moving a long distance and you need to transport more than one vehicle. Or it might be that you are purchasing a vehicle from another state. Whatever the reason, if you have found yourself in need of auto shipment, the first thing you have probably considered is the cost. It’s understandable that you want to save as much money as possible on auto shipment, but it is also important to understand that many factors go into determining the cost of shipping a car. Although some of those factors are out of your control, there are many others that you can control and can help you reduce your expenses. Consider the following tips for shipping your car affordably.
Avoid Peak Season
You might be surprised to find that auto shipping has a peak season, but it certainly does. Vehicle transportation is most popular during May-September while the winter months are usually slower. If you aren’t in a hurry to ship your car, you can save some money by avoiding those peak times.
Choose Terminal-toTerminal Transport
Although many shipping companies will offer door-to-services, you can also expect to pay more for this added convenience. You can save some money by choosing terminal-to-terminal shipment which means you will need to drive your car to a designated terminal before and after transport. Keep in mind, however, that some terminals will charge a daily storage fee so you don’t want to keep your car at a terminal for a long period of time.
Choose Open Transport
Most shipping companies will also offer the choice between shipping your car on an open or enclosed carrier. Unless you have a luxury or antique vehicle that requires additional protection, you can save yourself some money by choosing open transport. This is the most common method for auto shipment and can save you as much as 50% on shipping costs.
Be Flexible With Delivery Dates
Most auto shipping companies will allow you to select pick-up and drop-off dates that work best with your schedule, but unless you are in a time crunch, you might be able to reduce your cost by being more flexible. Some carriers will offer you a discounted rate if you are willing to work around their schedule and allow the carrier to choose a time that is more logistically convenient for them.
Make Sure Your Car is in Running Condition
Shipping a non-running car is more difficult for the auto transporters because it requires special equipment to get your car on and off the carrier. As a result, most carriers will charge a few hundred dollars more to ship a vehicle that is not in running condition. If you can get your vehicle in operable condition, this could save you hundreds of dollars on shipment.
Shop Around for Quotes
Finally, it is advisable that you shop around for the best price. Any reputable auto shipping company should be able to provide you with a free quote. That said, you should always be wary of accepting the lowest bid unless you have done adequate research. It is important to check customer reviews and confirm proper licensing and registration prior to choosing a company. You also want to ask about any additional fees associated with shipment so you aren’t hit with surprise charges at the end. In addition to looking for a good price, it is always important to choose a company with a strong 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.