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Is Auto Transport Financing a Thing?

What's in this article?
  1. Paying For Auto Transport In A Pinch
  2. How Is Auto Transport Typically Paid For?
  3. Cash
  4. Debit/Credit Cards
  5. Checks
  6. Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Payments
  7. Paypal Credit
  8. Auto Transport Financing 
  9. Personal Loans
  10. In-House Financing
  11. Small Companies 
  12. Large/Independent Companies
  13. How To Make Auto Transport Cheaper
  14. Look For Discounts
  15. Ship Offseason
  16. Opt For Open-Air Transport Over Enclosed Shipping
  17. Terminal-To-Terminal Delivery Vs Door-To-Door Delivery
  18. Car Shipping With A1 Auto Transport
Is Auto Transport Financing a Thing?

It can almost feel like the worst things happen when money is already tight. Take moving for instance, maybe in search of a new job opportunity, for school or even to be with family. 

When your new location is too far or risky to drive yourself, the best possible option is auto transport services. The problem isn’t finding an auto transport company to do the job, in these cases, it’s finding the money to pay for the service.

Paying for auto transport in a pinch

In most cases, when we need to pay for something important but don’t have the capital right away, we turn to lending agents for financing options. Just like when buying a new car, recently, more Americans have considered this a viable option to facilitate their auto transport needs for domestic purposes and even for importing cars to other countries. 

Auto transport financing may very well be the solution you need to get your car to another state or even another country. 

We are a company that cares, and A1 Auto Transport prides itself on offering the most affordable and competitive rates in the auto transport industry. And just like finding financing options to get a new car, you can rack up debt and dig yourself a deeper hole if you aren’t careful. 

We strongly advise doing your research into whatever options become available, and more importantly, staying within your means. 


How is auto transport typically paid for?

Auto transport companies prefer the most direct means of payment. This is understandable since this is a high-risk business with thin profit margins. Many auto transport companies can’t afford delinquent payments and require some sort of guarantee before moving forward with the shipment. 

This is why you are required to pay a sizable deposit before anything can happen. The auto transport company has to watch its back, especially since there are many people involved in the process that must be compensated.

Cash-on-delivery is the typical route. If you don’t pay, you don’t get your car, and you will face storage fees per day until the balance is received. 


Many smaller auto transport companies will allow their customers to pay cash simply because of the guarantee in it. There are no checks to be cleared, no credit card companies to stop the deposit, and no runarounds.

Others try to steer clear of large cash deposits because of security reasons, or because they don’t have time to make multiple deposits. Of course, they will outline other payment methods that may be more convenient like direct transfers

Be sure to inquire about cash as a method of payment, and find out what is best for the company. Many small auto transport companies need quick access to cash for their day-to-day operations, and much rather an envelope with money over a check.

Debit/Credit Cards

Debit and credit cards are usually the easiest way to pay for services since it is fast and doesn’t involve cash. All the company needs to do is swipe the card and the money will be sent to their business account.

Some smaller auto carrier companies don’t accept cards because of the processing fees involved in each transaction due to the thin profit margin under which the company operates. Since debit card fees are cheaper, some companies may outlaw credit cards in their company policy.

There’s also the issue of payments being reversed if a customer decides he/she isn’t pleased with the service or wants to report fraudulent claims to recoup the expenses. It’s much harder for a customer to take back the cash once it’s handed over.

It also is not uncommon for a company to require a cash deposit, then allow debit/credit card payments for the balance. 

Before booking the transport, contact the auto carriers to find out if card payments are accepted. 



Checks are a touchy issue for some businesses, and this does not apply solely to the auto transport industry. Once a check is cashed, the money belongs to the company and it will take more leaps and bounds for a customer to get the money back.

However, bad checks are still a thing and when they bounce, it can feel like it’s not worth it to hunt down the customer because of the costs and time involved in resolving the matter. Some unscrupulous customers may even call their bank to stop the payment altogether.

To remedy this, some auto transport companies only take cashier’s checks, and not personal checks, and also money orders.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Payments

The new trend is to use P2P apps over cash and cards. Usually, this is for security reasons and they have been branded as an alternative with lower processing/transaction fees.

Some of the most popular P2P methods include Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and so on.

The transfers are instant, and the most popular apps are compatible with most major banks in the U.S. Some of these apps, like Zelle, only allow users to connect debit cards, rather than credit cards to ensure the cash is actually available. 

If you plan to use P2P payment, find out if it is acceptable tender beforehand.

Paypal Credit

Paypal Credit, or Bill Me Later, is a suitable financing option for customers who use Paypal often. Paypal allows users to build a line of credit (with the backing of brick-and-mortar financial institutions) and offers it as a loan to be repaid in installments or lump sum.

This option will only work if agreed upon by all parties involved, so get clarification before going ahead with this option.

Auto transport financing 

There are typically two options to finance auto transport if you don’t have the cash on hand. The first, and most popular, is personal loans. The second is to seek in-house financing options from your auto transport company.

Personal loans

Taking a personal loan to finance auto transport means going to the bank or a lending agency, as you would for any other loan, and using the funds to pay for the auto transport. Once you meet the basic conditions for the loan, it shouldn’t be difficult to access the funds.

Make sure the loan makes sense, in terms of the payment plan and interest. Shop around for the best ‘deal’ and don’t jump the gun on the fastest offer. 

Taking a loan isn’t always worth it. Do the math, and see how much you’ll end up paying in the long run versus out of pocket. If you get a bad ‘deal’, you can end up paying twice as much!

If you’re moving a state over, auto transport is way cheaper, and no more than a few hundred dollars. If you can use a credit card, and pay it back with a part of your paycheck, it’s more logical to make that sacrifice. 

Going the personal loan route typically makes more sense when transporting your car across the country, the border, or an ocean to start a new life. This takes off some of the burdens of other moving and settling costs and gives you enough time to repay the loan at a reasonable pace. 

If you’re not sure about taking the loan, talk it over with someone to get a bit of perspective. 

In-house financing

Lots of companies offer payment plans for their services, but the auto transport business is one where it generally doesn’t make sense.

Small companies 

Large companies can afford to absorb the shock of non-payments, but usually, no one wants to take that risk. It’s not meant to dissuade customers or make it harder for them, it’s simply about the continuity of business operations. 

Look at it this way, a lot of these auto transport companies cannot afford to miss out on funds. In many cases, drivers have to maintain their vehicles, buy fuel, pay for lodging and food, and at the end of the day, make a reasonable living from providing these services. These high overhead costs require a constant flow of cash through the auto shipping business. If there’s no cash, many of these companies cannot operate, and they don’t have the backing of banks to recoup lost earnings 

Outside of this, some smaller companies cannot offer in-house financing options because the shipping process involves two different companies. One is the auto transport broker, and the other is the auto transport carrier. The broker finds the carrier to do the actual shipping and will require a deposit for that service. The next is the carrier fees that are collected on delivery. 

A payment plan complicates things as it’s not one entity. You would be bonded to two separate payment plans, which would likely cost more in the end. 

Large/independent companies

The shipping companies that do offer payment plans do so mainly because they function as both the broker and the carrier. They usually have the infrastructure in place to protect them against risk and have positive cash flow. 

The interest rates are pre-set and the payment plan may be as well. This varies across different auto transport companies, so research is definitely needed. 

How to make auto transport cheaper

The easiest way to find out how much your car transport will cost is by getting an online quote. Compare with other quotes to get the best price options.

Use the FREE, No-Obligation Quote Tool today to find out how much shipping your car will cost. 

Did you know that your quotes are rough estimates, and you can end up paying less than you expected? Here’s how you can make your auto transport cheaper:

Look for discounts

Getting a discount is a great way to save yourself money on car transport. Special discounts are usually available year-round for military personnel and students. You may even find special discounts for senior citizens. 


Companies sometimes offer other discounts available to a certain number of customers as an incentive to book right away. 

If you don’t see any discounts readily available on a company’s website, call and ask to speak to someone in sales. You may be eligible for discounts you didn’t even know existed.

Ship offseason

During the off-season, around the winter months, in particular, demand for auto transport decreases. Auto transport companies try to incentivize customers by lowering rates for transport services.

The best part about shipping off-season is that you can usually find an available shipping date much sooner than you would during peak season. You may even receive your shipment sooner if weather conditions permit. 

Opt for open-air transport over enclosed shipping

Transporting a car by land is typically done in two ways: open-air transport or enclosed shipping.

Open-air transport means that the car will be loaded onto the truck, usually with several vehicles, and shipped exposed to the elements. This method is cheaper since the transport is shared and the truck can carry more vehicles at once.

Enclosed transport is more expensive since the car is shipped in a covered carrier. These carriers usually carry a maximum of four vehicles that share the cost. 

When you opt for open-air shipping, the overall cost for shipping your car will be less. 

Terminal-to-terminal delivery vs door-to-door delivery

Taking your car to the company’s terminal yourself will cost the carrier less, therefore you will be charged less for the service. The same is true when you pick it up yourself at the destination terminal. 

When a carrier comes to your house or a predetermined location for pickup, more time and energy is consumed on the company’s end, and you will have to pay more for the service. You will also be charged to drop it off anywhere other than the company’s terminal.

Terminal-to-terminal delivery will save you money, but it should also make sense. If you live a distance from the terminal and have to, for example, Uber there, it may make more sense to opt for door delivery in a new area. Ask about terminal-to-door or door-to-terminal delivery options.

Car shipping with A1 Auto Transport

Agents are always available to discuss your auto financing options and the most cost-effective way to transport your vehicle. We guarantee the fairest prices, and the expertise to get you there sooner without breaking the bank.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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