Pricing is always the biggest question when customers start to research auto transport. Many customers may expect to find simple pricing based on the mileage of their transport. But the reality is that pricing for auto-transports can vary depending on a number of factors including route/region, season, and even the direction of travel. Sometimes the very same mileage to the very same cities can price differently depending on the direction of travel and time of year the vehicle is shipped. Let’s take a look at shipping a car to or from California to see how that works.
Currently, it is cheaper to ship a car out of California than it is to ship a car in to California. Even if you are shipping between two cities where the mileage is the exactly same, there can be a price difference of $50 or even more depending on if you are going east or west. And there is a perfectly logical reason for that difference: supply and demand. Your vehicle is going on a truck with other vehicles, and your carrier has to have a full load. Unlike buses or planes that run on a regular schedule no matter what the capacity, auto carriers do not. There are no “mass transit” options for shipping a car to or from California by truck. Each transport is contracted individually and each scheduled route is unique because there are different customer addresses each run. And there are times when there are many more potential customers going one direction than the other. If there are more potential customer jobs on one end than there are spots on trucks, carriers will always take the best paying contracts first. So if there happen to be a bunch of customers moving out of Dallas to Los Angeles at a time when there really aren't many customers going from Los Angeles to Dallas, the carrier will be able to book the highest offers from the pool of customers heading west, and will be desperate for any jobs out of Los Angeles.
It’s simple supply-and-demand economics. Whether you are shipping a car to or from California, pricing depends in part on the popularity of your route. Sometimes you are on the better deal side of the shipping direction and sometimes you are in competition for limited spots. Either way, we’ll always suggest the best possible price for the season.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about pricing your transport: 866-221-1664.
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.