Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Domestic Car Shipping Near Me Cost?
Domestic car shipping cost will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. When A-1 Auto Transport calculates your shipping costs, we will assess the following factors:
Distance – The most important factor involved in calculating the best car shipping cost is distance. Virtually every carrier charges by the mile. They set the per-mile rate based on demand, fuel costs, and other criteria. Most carriers adjust the per-mile rate as distance increases. For instance, a carrier may charge $2 per mile for trips under 500 miles and reduce that rate to $1.50 per mile if your vehicle is being transported more than 500 miles.
Weight – In the U.S., the standard gross vehicle weight limit for semi-trucks and trailers is 80,000 pounds. This includes the vehicle, trailer, and all cargo loaded on the truck. If your vehicle is abnormally heavy, then the carrier will not be able to load as many cars on their trailer. As a result, your auto shipment services may be a bit more costly than a sedan with an average weight.
Shipping Method – There are two primary transportation methods available when it comes to domestic cross country car shipping services. These options are open car transport and enclosed trailer vehicle shipping. The open-air method is cheaper because the carrier can haul more vehicles. If you opt for enclosed trailer vehicle transport, then you will have to pay a premium because the carrier can only accommodate a few vehicles.
Season And Carrier Availability – Generally, the demand for long distance auto shipping services is highest in the summer. As a result, car shipping cost tends to peak during this time of year. If you have the ability to wait until fall or winter, then you can usually acquire cheaper rates. However, auto shipments during the winter months are also at an increased risk of experiencing a delay. This is especially likely if your vehicle is being transported to or from a particularly frigid climate.
Delivery Method – A car transporter typically facilitates two primary delivery methods. These are known as terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door car shipping. The door-to-door option offers maximum convenience but is a bit more expensive. Terminal-to-terminal car transport reduces car shipping cost but requires you to retrieve your vehicle from a nearby receiving facility when it arrives in the city of your choice. You can quickly compare both by getting a car shipping quote.
Why Does Car Shipping Rates Vary by Season?
The primary reason that shipping rates vary by season is due to demand on car shipping companies. The majority of clients want to have their vehicles shipped during the summer months. This increased demand for carriers’ resources drives up the final price of your car shipping quote.
Many clients are concerned about potential weather-related delays, which is likely why so many people schedule their auto shipping services in the summer.
Can A-1 Auto Transport Facilitate International Car Transport?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport works with a vast network of partner carriers. We can arrange fast, efficient domestic car transport. We also facilitate international car shipping to virtually every part of the globe.
However, international shipping is an incredibly complex process. If you need international shipping services, we recommend handling the booking process as soon as possible to avoid any potential delays.
In general, you should contact a car transport company about a month before you want to have your car picked up for international transport.
What Can A-1 Auto Transport Help Me Ship?
While we are best known for arranging world-class auto shipping solutions, we can also help you ship a variety of other vehicles and shipments. A-1 Auto Transport can facilitate the shipping of:
- Exotic cars
- Pickup trucks
- Heavy equipment
- Non-mobile machinery
- Household goods
- Golf carts
- And more….
If it has an engine and you need it transported, we can help! We can even arrange the shipping of inoperable cars and equipment.
How Can I Qualify for Car Shipping Services Discounts?
The easiest way to find out whether you qualify for a discount is to contact our excellent customer service team. We offer discounts to a variety of clients, including:
- Military Personnel
- College students shipping
- Government employees
- Seasonal discounts
- Multiple vehicles shipping
Not all discounts are available at all delivery times and not available via the car shipping cost calculator. When you’re speaking with transport specialists, make sure to ask about current discount opportunities before you start the booking process. We will ensure that you get the services you need at the best car shipping quotes possible.
Do Gas Prices Affect Shipping Car Shipping Cost?
Yes, unfortunately, gas prices do impact car movers car shipping costs. Fuel prices are one of the many expenses that our carriers must account for when they are providing car transport services. When fuel costs rise, so do shipping rates and so will your accurate car shipping quotes via the car shipping cost calculator on the website. However, these price fluctuations are usually minimal unless fuel costs soar unexpectedly, which is why we recommend getting multiple quotes from different companies.
How Does Distance Impact Pricing?
Distance is the factor that is most directly related to the cost of your auto shipping services. As mileage increases, so do your shipping costs. Typically, best auto transport companies offer discounts on longer shipping requests. For example, the per-mile rate may be $1.50 for shipments of less than 1,000 miles. The per-mile rate may drop to $1.25 if the shipment is in excess of 1,000 miles. These are only generalizations and may not reflect current prices you get from your car shipping company.
Does the Weight of My Shipment Matter?
Yes, the weight of your shipment will impact rates because carriers can only haul a limited amount of cargo. The total weight of the carrier including cargo and the trailer cannot exceed 80,000lbs GVW. Let’s say that a truck and car hauler weigh a cumulative 35,000 lbs. This means that the carrier can accommodate 45,000 lbs of cargo. A pick-up truck that weighs 7,000 lbs will consume more of the available cargo capacity than a sedan that weighs only 3,000 lbs. As a result, the owner of the pick-up will be charged more from the car shipping company for shipping.
What is the Cheapest Way to Ship My Car?
The absolute cheapest way to ship your car domestically involves an open-air trailer. To maximize cost effective savings and get the most reasonable price, you will also need to opt for terminal-to-terminal shipping when using the car shipping cost calculator. Upgrading to enclosed carrier transport, selecting door-to-door shipping, or scheduling the transport of a vehicle that does not run will each drive up the average cost.
Why Is It More Costly to Ship Cars in an Enclosed Carrier Transport Trailer?
An enclosed car shipping trailer offers your car maximum protection from the elements and reduces the risk of damage. However, enclosed car shipping trailers weigh more and cannot haul as many cars. This means that the auto shipping companies must charge more per vehicle in order to make a profit on a shipment.
What is RoRo Shipping?
RoRo means roll-on/roll-off. It primarily refers to international car shipping services. This method involves driving your vehicle directly onto the cargo ship during the loading process. It is removed from the ship in the same manner when it arrives at the final destination.
However, vehicles that are being shipped domestically are loaded onto ground car transporter carriers via the RoRo method, as well. The only exceptions are if a single car does not run, is a bigger vehicle size or for heavier vehicles. In this scenario, the carrier will need to load the car using additional equipment.
Does A-1 Auto Transport Provide Shipping Insurance Coverage?
Yes, shipping services arranged through auto shipping companies include cargo insurance coverage for every vehicle make and vehicle year. All carriers are required to carry liability insurance in order to accept and complete shipping assignments. However, the carrier's insurance insurance coverage may not be enough to cover the full value of your vehicle and could require additional insurance. We recommend obtaining supplemental coverage from your auto insurance coverage provider or a third-party vendor. This is especially important if you are shipping exotic or classic cars.
How Do I Prepare My Car for Shipping?
It is important that your car is prepared for shipping when auto transporter arrives to load the vehicle. Otherwise, you could delay the shipping process and incur additional charges. Before your scheduled pickup and delivery date, we suggest that you:
Disable the Alarm – Your vehicle is about to be transported hundreds or thousands of miles. While the auto transporter will be extremely cautious during the shipping process, they are sure to encounter a few bumps in the road. These bumps could activate your car’s alarm, which will require the carrier to stop and address the issue. Deactivating your alarm will save them a lot of time and frustration while transporting your vehicle.
Wash the Interior – Washing the interior of your vehicle serves two purposes. First, you will have one last chance to make sure that all of your personal belongings and personal items have been removed from the car. Secondly, your car will be nice and clean when it arrives at your new home.
Wash the Exterior – We also suggest giving the exterior of your car a thorough cleaning. Get rid of any dirt and debris that may present a hazard for other vehicles on the road. It will also make it easier for you to inspect your car when it is delivered.
Check for Leaks – Oil and transmission fluid leaks can present a hazard to others. All of that excess fluid can get blown around, especially if your car is being transported via an open-air trailer. The fluids may also run down and make a mess of other vehicles on the trailer. If possible, fix any leaks before arranging transport. If you cannot, make sure to notify our team so that we can pass this information on to the carrier. They will likely put your car on the bottom level of the hauler to minimize the issue.
Run the Fuel Down – Remember that you are being charged by the auto transporter for shipping services based on the distance traveled and the weight of your car. Why pay more money by filling up the tank right before transport? Before the carrier arrives, run your fuel down to about a quarter of a tank. Your vehicle will be driven onto the trailer, hauled to the destination, and unloaded. You will have plenty of opportunities to fuel up when your vehicle is delivered to your new home.
Document the Condition of the Vehicle – Thoroughly document the vehicle condition of your vehicle before the carrier loads it onto the trailer for cross country car shipping. Take photographs from multiple angles after you have washed your car. When your vehicle is delivered, compare the current vehicle condition to the photographs you took. If you notice any discrepancies and your car does not come back in perfect condition, report them to your car movers immediately.
Remove Personal Property – Unfortunately, you cannot fill your passenger compartment and trunk up with luggage. Not only will this make your average cost more due to the added weight, but it can be dangerous. The luggage could also damage the interior of your car if it gets bounced around. To make matters even worse, the carrier could be subject to fines from the Department of Transportation. If this occurs, you may be held responsible for the violation.
Remove Toll Transponder – Having a transponder in your car to quickly pass through toll checkpoints is incredibly convenient. However, it is vital that you remove it before the auto transporter arrives for your car. If you leave it on, your account will be billed for every toll that the carrier traverses. Since your car is about to travel hundreds or thousands of miles, those tolls are going to add up quickly.
Can I Store Luggage in My Car When It is Being Shipped?
No, in the car shipping industry you cannot store luggage or spare car parts in your vehicle when it is being shipped. This can subject the auto carrier to fines, cause damage to your car, and endanger other drivers. Remove everything that is not a standard part of the vehicle. Your spare tire and jack can remain in place as long as they are secured as intended by the vehicle manufacturer.
What is Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping?
Terminal-to-terminal vehicle shipping is an incredibly affordable cheap auto transport solution. Instead of arranging for the carrier to come to your door, you drop the vehicle off at the nearest loading facility for cross country car shipping. When you arrive, the carrier will take possession of your car and load it onto the truck. Your vehicle will be hauled to the shipping terminal nearest your new home. When it arrives, you will be tasked with retrieving it from that location. Terminal-to-terminal shipping is a great choice if you are moving from one major city to another. However, it is not ideal if you are relocating to a rural area that is far from delivery locations.
What is Door-to-Door Shipping?
Door-to-door shipping is our most convenient shipping method to fit customers specific needs, the best way to ship when it comes to convenience and usually results in a great experience for first time shippers. The carrier will arrive at your residence and take possession of your car. They will haul the vehicle directly to your new home and unload it. However, door-to-door shipping costs a bit more than the terminal method.
Does A-1 Auto Transport Provide Free Estimates For Car Delivery Service?
Yes, of course. A-1 Auto Transport believes in conducting business with honesty and integrity. We are upfront about pricing when shipping a car, helping our clients to find the perfect shipping solutions for their needs. With that being said, our quotes are based on the information provided to us. If you provide inaccurate information about the vehicle, pickup and delivery location, or destination, then the estimate is subject to change. Please make sure that you provide us with correct information about the vehicle and shipping request so that we can generate an accurate estimate from top car transport companies.
How Long Is My Instant Quote Valid?
Currently, A-1 Auto Transport can guarantee your car transport quote until the end of the business day. This is because the factors that impact vehicle shipping rates change daily. Fuel costs, the demand for auto shipping services, and weather can increase the cost of transporting your vehicle overnight. If you are not able to book your auto shipping services before the close of business, we will gladly provide you with a new instant quote for shipping your car.
Where Can A-1 Auto Transport Ship My Vehicle?
A-1 Auto Transport can facilitate auto shipping to virtually anywhere in the world. We offer domestic and international shipping solutions through our network of partner open and enclosed carriers.
How Do I Pay for My Auto Shipping?
A-1 Auto Transport is proud to offer a seamless and enjoyable shipping experience for shipping your car. As part of those efforts, we accept a variety of payment methods. Online payment processing software makes it easy to reserve and pay for your shipment.
Can I Make Full Payment Via Credit Card?
The best car shipping companies in the auto transport industry will honor all major credit cards. You can reserve your services by paying the minimum deposit. You can also pay for your services in full at the time of booking via credit card. We accept payments online and over the phone.
How Soon Should I Book My Auto Transport From The Shipping Company?
At a minimum, auto shipping customers should book their auto transport services approximately two to three weeks in advance. The sooner that you reserve your services, the better your chances of getting your desired guaranteed pickup dates. In addition, booking early can help you save time and money through various discount opportunities.
If you are arranging international shipping services, you should schedule the pickup and delivery date even further in advance. Typically, we suggest booking international auto shipping services three to four weeks ahead of time.
This extra time makes it easier for our team to facilitate this complex process and provide you with the exceptional shipping services you deserve.
Can I Pick My Shipping Date and Time From The Shipping Company?
At A-1 Auto Transport, we make every effort to accommodate the shipping date and time chosen by our clients. However, this is not always possible. Availability depends on several factors, such as how soon you book and the current demand for auto shipping services.
Even if we cannot arrange pick-up on the day you choose, we can almost always accommodate shipping within a few days the most cost effective way - two to three days of your preferred date.
How Long Will Delivery Take?
The time that it will take for your delivery to arrive fluctuates depending on a variety of factors, including:
- Unexpected delays
- Shipping type (domestic or international)
Extremely severe weather, such as a snowstorm that shuts down roadways, could delay your shipment by several days. The total distance that your shipment is traveling will also impact the time it takes to arrive. International shipping takes longer than domestic delivery, even if the total miles traveled are identical.
What Information Does A-1 Auto Transport Need to Provide a Quote?
In order to provide you with a free quote, A-1 Auto Transport only needs the following information:
- Pick-up location
- Delivery location
- Year, make, and model of your vehicle
Once you have provided us with these basic details, our software will email you a free quote. If you have the exact pick-up and delivery address, this will improve the accuracy of the quote. However, the city and state or zip code will suffice if you don’t have the full information just yet.
Can I Schedule Auto Transport Services Without an Exact Address?
Yes, you can schedule services through A-1 Auto Transport without the exact pick-up or delivery locations. You only have to provide the city and state or zip code in order to schedule your delivery. However, we will need the exact addresses prior to finalizing your services if you have chosen to use door-to-door delivery.
Am I Able to Track My Shipment?
Yes, you can track your shipment shortly after it is loaded onto the carrier’s truck. All of our partner carriers utilize real-time GPS tracking technology so that you can get precise updates on your vehicle’s current location.
You can track your shipment with a smartphone, tablet, computer, or another internet-connected device.
Does Someone Have to Be Present for Loading and Delivery?
Yes, someone must be present during both loading and delivery. If you cannot be present yourself, a designee can meet with the carrier at the time of pick-up. This person must be willing to sign the bill of lading and turn over the keys to the truck driver.
If no one can be present during delivery, make sure to notify our team of this in advance. We can arrange for your vehicle to be stored at a warehouse when it arrives at the final destination. Our partner carriers offer both short-term and long-term warehouse storage solutions.
What is a Bill of Lading?
The bill of lading is the official document that details what property is being received and loaded onto the car hauler. In this case, the bill of lading should include details about your car. Before signing the document, review the vehicle information to ensure that it is accurate. The make, model, year, and color of the car should all be listed on the bill of lading.
Can I Ship My Vehicle If It Does Not Run?
Yes, car shippers can facilitate car shipping services, even if your vehicle does not run. However, you must notify us of this fact when you’re booking your services. The carrier will need to bring additional equipment with them so that the car can be loaded onto the trailer.
If you do not notify us in advance, the carrier may not be able to load your vehicle. They will have to reschedule the transport, which will result in additional fees.
My Vehicle is Oversized. Can I Still Ship It?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport can facilitate oversized vehicle shipments. However, you must notify us in advance that your car is oversized and has been modified. That way, our partner carrier can allocate additional space for your vehicle on their trailer.
Vehicles that are exceptionally large or heavy will increase the rate of your shipping services. This is because they limit the carrier’s ability to haul additional vehicles.
Does the Vehicle Need a License Plate?
No, your vehicle does not need to have a license plate attached when it is being transported by one of our carriers. You will need to provide proof of ownership, but no proof of registration is necessary.
If your vehicle is being transported internationally, then you may need to provide additional documentation. For instance, if your vehicle still has a lien on it, then you will need a letter from the lien holder that authorizes you to ship the car overseas. Without this documentation, the carrier will not be able to load your vehicle onto their hauler.
What Type of Semi Will Transport My Vehicle?
The answer to this question depends on the type of shipping services that you choose. If you opt for open car transport, then the carrier will arrive in a traditional semi-truck that is attached to a car hauler. If you choose enclosed shipping, the carrier will arrive with an enclosed trailer type that is designed specifically to haul cars long distances.
What Are the Benefits of Enclosed Transport?
While it is a bit more expensive option, enclosed transport services offer your car maximum protection from the elements. We generally recommend enclosed transport if your vehicle is classified as being exotic, classic, or high value. These vehicles are difficult — if not impossible — to replace.
When you choose this shipping option, the carrier will load your car into an enclosed trailer and strap it down to minimize movement during transport.
Can I Ship a Car Purchased at Auction?
Yes, A-1 Auto Transport arranges thousands of these types of shipments every single year. While most auctions offer their own shipping services, they often cost a premium and can take weeks to deliver your car.
A-1 Auto Transport’s shipping services are a much more cost effective and reliable alternative. We will coordinate with our partner carrier and the auctioneer in order to collect your car. Our carrier will deliver your new purchase to your residence in no time.
Does A-1 Auto Transport Ship Exotic and Classic Cars?
Our partner carriers are trusted members of the auto transportation community. We have facilitated the transport of hundreds of classic and exotic cars. A-1 Auto Transport and our partners can safely ship your rare vehicle anywhere in the world.