Factors Influencing Your Car Shipping Estimate

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What are the Factors Influencing Your Car Shipping Estimate?

There is no readymade price tag for shipping big and expensive objects like your car. You will want to know how much it actually costs and the internet is full of car transport companies which have online calculators. You can also blog with various other car owners who have moved their cars to the same location. However, they may all end up giving you different estimates. The reason is that there are various factors that are taken into account when you want to get an accurate car shipping estimate.

The distance- This will involve taking the easier or shorter route and let me tell you, they are not the same. Sometimes, it might be easier just taking the highway and avoiding the smaller streets and busy avenues. This is true when you opt for terminal to terminal delivery, which, by the way, is cheaper. The shorter route, on the other hand, may involve cutting right through busy cities and may take a longer time. However, check with the company whether they will take the route that you want. Sometimes trucks will only take regularly used routes as they will have to drop off other cars at predetermined destinations. That may also be a cheaper route as various other customers are also using it. So, in this case, shorter routes may not be cheaper and you will just have to trust the transport company on this.

The Car – Even if the route has been settled, the estimate will again vary because of the car itself. 

  • Primarily, the estimate will depend on the make, model and year of manufacture of the car.
  • Also, bigger vehicles will cost more to ship than smaller vehicles as the volume of the vehicle is taken into account.
  • The estimate will go up even more if your car is not in a drivable condition and needs the help of special equipment to be hauled inside the truck.
  • In case the car is an antique, then more care will have to be taken and that does not come cheap or free.

The Type of Vehicle Used for Transport - A closed truck will cost at least 30% more than an open truck. Nowadays, even new cars are being transported on open trucks and so you consider open trucks. There is only the danger of a little dust and perhaps, some rain. However, you can opt for closed containers when you need to transport your car during winter. So in this case, you can say that the weather is also a cost determining factor.  When you need to use ships for transportation, try to book on the biggest container as they have a large capacity and are more fuel efficient which leads to lower rates. 

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The Origin and Destination - On a general note, it is cheaper to transport from one city to another. The expense goes up when either or both the place of origin and destination are in remote areas. Some ports may ask you to pay “Terminal Handling Charges” and “Import Duty”. Also, it will cost less to transport to larger and popular ports than to ports in remote locations. Sometimes there might not be a ship which will take your car to a remote location and in such cases, the company might hire another smaller ship which takes that route. As this will increase the cost, it might be cheaper to take the car from the previous port and simply drive it to the destination.  

Mode of Delivery – Everyone says that it is cheaper to have terminal-to-terminal delivery than door-to-door. However, if you are late in picking up your car, you will have to pay storage charges to the terminal. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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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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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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