Having a vehicle shipped long distance is a task that most people only do very infrequently, if at all. Most are unfamiliar with the process and aren’t sure how to begin or who to contact to get the process started. If you know the first steps you need to take and can get the preliminary research done ahead of time, you have a great chance of reserving a spot with a reputable car shipping company at an affordable price. Just like a home improvement job, a car shipping job is priced by way of quotes, or bids, from different companies. The final price of your job will depend on many different factors, as well as any special shipping needs that your particular vehicle has. Moving a classic car that requires weather protection, for example, costs more than moving a compact car that can ride on an open trailer.
How To Get Quotes
While going to each auto shipper directly and asking for a quote is possible, it is very time-consuming and is actually unnecessary. Numerous web services allow you to input all of the details of your job and then get quotes from a large number of shipping companies at once. These services check with a variety of shippers, from large, well-known national transport lines to small local businesses that have much less of an established reputation. Some of these services are easier to use than others, and a few make the bidding process easier by allowing you to specify a price range that you would accept. The prices you find during this search will vary widely, which may surprise you at first. The further ahead of time you search for quotes, the lower the costs will be in general. There are also many other factors, most specific to each individual company, that affect the quoted price.
Because cars from different customers are combined on a single transport truck, space is limited. If you request a quote just a short time before your moving date, a company may be unwilling to schedule a new trip at short notice without added cost. Scheduling far in advance, however, gives the shipper time to fit your move in with other jobs delivering to the same geographical area.
Vehicle shipping companies use central terminals to load and unload cars. If you are willing to deliver your car to one of these terminals and pick it up at a terminal near your destination, your shipping costs will be much lower than “door-to-door” service. On the other hand, if you are busy with other moving responsibilities, the convenience of door-to-door pickup and delivery service may be worth the added expense.
Car shipping along common routes, such as those between major cities, generally costs less. Again, the more a company can combine your vehicle with others, the less it must charge to make a profit from the job. If you are moving to a popular retirement destination, your costs will definitely be less than those connected with moving to a small rural town.
Standard vehicle shipping is on an open truck. If you need to move an exceptionally valuable vehicle, or an unusually sized truck, van, or RV, you may need more specialized service such as a covered carrier providing added protection from the weather.
There are many other factors that can raise or lower the cost of car shipping quotes. The time of year, the size of your car, proximity to a company’s terminal, current availability of transport trucks, and influences within a shipping company’s operations all affect rates.
Choose a Company You Can Trust
Not all vehicle shipping companies adhere to the same high-quality standards. Just as you entrust your house moving job to a company that you feel comfortable with, you should spend the time to look into the reputation of the car shipping company that you choose. If cost is the primary factor under your consideration, you may choose a smaller company that offers lower rates for services with few or no extras. Larger companies, however, can make your moving job easier by offering optional services at competitive prices. Whatever type of shipper you select, it is critical to make sure that it is insured and bonded for the security of your vehicle.
Finding a good rate for a car shipping job has become easier than ever before, thanks to the convenience of web search capabilities. Competition between major national companies leads to lower prices for excellent service, and you can take advantage of these by finding quotes ahead of time, looking into each company’s offers, and choosing the shipping line that is the perfect match for you. A last-minute search for quotes, however, will probably result in much higher prices across the board and an unavailability of some services that are important to you.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.