In this case enclosed transport is a must. Besides the obvious benefit of the trailer being closed off from the elements your car also benefits from the expertise of a driver accustomed to handling exotic and specialized shipments. Thoroughly research the broker you will use as well as the carrier that the broker finds, provide the driver with any additional information he might need before he comes to pick up the car. For example, if the car has delicate tires and wheel straps are not a good way to secure the car let your broker know right away. It is important to provide a detailed explanation of exactly what you are shipping and exactly what kind of service you need, especially if the vehicle in question is custom or modified. This benefits everybody involved, surprises are not good in auto transport and could jeopardize the safety of your car.
In addition to having an experienced and knowledgeable enclosed transporter there are also a few proactive steps you can take. One popular and effective option is transport wrap. Hiring a someone to apply this wrap before the car is picked up will add another layer of security. Also, make sure to do a thorough inspection with the driver on pick up and drop off. This ensures that, should something happen, you are covered. Get a copy of the inspection report on pick up and drop off. Finally, tip on pick up. Transporters don’t get tips often and it isn’t because they don’t want them. As far as auto transport goes this might be the best bang for your buck, $20 will ensure your car gets the royal treatment. And you want to tip on pick up, tipping on drop off won’t help as the driver is done with his handling of the vehicle at that point.
Professional carriers are extremely good at their jobs and there is no substitute for their proficiency but, if this is a car that you are moving often, to car shows for example, your best bet may be to do the shipment yourself. A small pick up with a one car enclosed trailer is surprisingly affordable and, frankly, no one is going to care about your car more than you. Plus you save money. This is definitely a better option for people traveling in a limited radius but, if you are shipping regularly enough, this is a good option to at least consider. Everything will always be on time and in your hands.
Every route has an average price; carriers want to get more than the average. A trailer has a certain amount of cars it can move at one time, drivers want to maximize their profits, that means getting paid more per car. I can’t say for sure that the extra money a carrier will charge is going to be more or less than a broker fee but, from my experience, it’s about the same. So what’s the difference?
Going direct to a carrier you completely give up the opportunity to get a low price. You will always pay more than average with a carrier, they have no motivation to give you a low price, there are almost always other cars they can move for an average rate so if you don’t want to pay more there is no reason for them to take your car over another. Brokers aren’t limited like carriers. They’re motivated to get you a good price by the prospect of you returning to them for service. Plus they make the same amount of money no matter what price the carrier moves the car for so they have no reason to charge you more. Auto transport prices are balanced this way. Brokers push for lower prices and carriers push for higher prices and eventually it lands at a compromised medium.
Brokers put their expertise to work for you. They will know a good deal when they see one. If you were aiming for a certain price they will know when to persist or give up. They know the language and how to negotiate. They will reach much more carriers than you will be able to. These are invaluable to have in your corner, especially finding carriers. If you need auto transport on a route regularly and still want a carrier to call directly go through a broker first, get the info of the carrier that moves your car, and contact them in the future. If all else fails, brokers never run out of spots so you can always come back.
Every year, a large number of people moving to a new state ship their cars for the first time. Shipping a car isn’t hard, but a few common mistakes can cost you a lot of time and money, especially when trying to juggle the logistics of moving your personal things too.
So I’m using my decade of expertise to help. Here’s how to (safely) ship a car when you are moving.
If you reside in a big city, these days it’s as simple as typing “’my city’ auto transport” into Google. The “my city” being either the city you are shipping to or from.
Hiring a company online to move your car is usually the easiest part of the entire auto transport process. It’s cheaper than hiring a professional driver, keeps miles off of your vehicle, and it’s helpful if you aren’t able to drive the car to your new place yourself.
No. Finding a company based in either your origin or destination city isn’t crucial. You can hire a company from anywhere in the country to ship your car. But companies based where you are or are going are ideal because of the flexibility they might offer with scheduling. This is because the driver will be in the city the company is based in for a few days, as opposed to just passing through.
If you live where there are few options near you, your first step is to search for a company based in the opposite place that you are shipping your car either to or from. Every state typically has at least a few auto transport companies that can help but some companies, like MIG, have the capability to handle transport from anywhere to anywhere.
If you still can’t find one (or you don’t like any of the ones that you do find), move on to just a general search for auto transport companies elsewhere in the country. You can still receive fine service from a company not based in your state, it’s just an advantage to have someone familiar with your route to work for you.
I always recommend calling them, as opposed to emailing, because you get a much better feel for what working with that company will be like.
Also, call only a few of the (reputable) companies that show up in your search. (More on finding reputable companies below.)
This will vary significantly based on lots of factors, but transportreviews.com reports that the average cost is $983, based on the average distance of 1,662 miles. Obviously, this price will fluctuate lower or higher, depending on where you’re transporting your car, as well as how big your vehicle is. If you are moving on a budget ask your broker what you can do to save money.
Be prepared to tell the company this basic information:
Where is the car is coming from?
Where are you going?
When do you want to have it shipped?
Knowing the basics is all it takes to get a quote. Want to be really sure what your best option is? It’s standard to get as many as three different quotes to get a good idea of what a fair price is.
How do you know who a bad company is? Knowing this begins with understanding what is happening behind the scenes. There are two types of car shipping services, and first-time shippers usually have no clue which they are (or how good they may be) until well after they ship their first car.
Brokers are companies that don’t actually own the truck that ships your car.
Almost all of the companies that you find online are brokers and don’t actually own any transportation equipment. Their purpose is to find the carrier who will actually ship the car. This is usually a necessary step because finding a carrier without the connections that brokers have can be extremely difficult.
You generally want to avoid brokers who are not upfront that they themselves are not shipping your car!
Brokers charge a set fee for their service and make an educated guess on what the rest of the transport will cost when they give you a quote. Whether or not they tell you they are a broker upfront depends on what kind of company you find.
Carriers are the companies that own trucks and employ drivers. This is the company that will do the actual relocating of your vehicle. The reason brokers are necessary is due to most of these shipping companies being extremely small.
It’s not uncommon for the owner of the company to be the driver and sole employee. These small companies don’t have websites and don’t do any marketing because they rely on brokers for their freight. If you are not already in the industry, finding a company on your route and on your schedule would require days of work.
With MIG you are getting a carrier who is also a broker. This means we can be certain of what your price will be (which is why we have a Guaranteed Price) regardless of if we are shipping your car on one of our trucks or sending one of our carrier partners.
With the magic of the internet, it’s easier than ever to check who is and isn’t legit. Before you request a quote from a company, check their reviews.
After ten years of experience, I know it’s simply to promise impossibly low prices in order to get you to book right away.
Do not simply request quotes from as many companies as you can. By giving away your info, you will run into very persistent sales people that will never stop calling you. Furthermore, there are some companies that look like transport companies but are actually what are known as “lead generators”. This means the information you put on their site is going to be sold to 10 or 15 different companies. Your phone will not stop ringing for days!
You want to get multiple quotes, but you need to make sure the company is legitimate before you inquire. How?
Check for and read verified reviews before requesting quotes.
Watch out for abnormally low quotes.
Ask if the price you are getting is 100% guaranteed.
If you found a good broker, getting an easy to understand contract should be a breeze. But you still have to be careful (just like you should be with every contract you sign!).
Read through the contract very carefully. If your contract says anything – and it will be small – about the price not being guaranteed, this is a major red flag.
I have heard plenty of stories from customers about how they signed a contract with a broker, only to be told at the last minute that the price is a $100 to even $500 more than originally discussed.
Just imagine the moving truck has all of your things, then the broker calls and says they have a carrier but it is going to cost $150 more. You won’t really have a choice at that point.
Correctly Prepare The Inside and Outside of Your Car to Be Shipped
It is standard practice to get your car inspected by the shipping company, but first, you need to clean the car so that an accurate inspection can be done.
If the car is dirty, the driver might miss something when they do the inspection on pick up, or you might miss something when the inspection is done on delivery. An accurate inspection is vital in case there is a problem.
Do auto-shippers charge by weight?
Yes. Lighten your car as much as possible. Auto shippers will charge you by the weight of your car, and bigger vehicles will cost more to ship.
Most drivers allow 100 pounds or less for free. (Remember: the personal items you put in the car cannot be insured.) If you exceed 100 pounds, you could be charged extra for the added weight. For a totally packed small car, the driver will ask for around $200-$300. A totally packed large SUV or truck could be from $300-$500 extra, or the driver might even refuse the shipment. If you need to put things in the car, let your broker know ahead of time when you are booking so that they can arrange it with the carrier.
Drivers also prefer you leave the car with a quarter tank of gas. That’s enough so that they don’t have to worry about it running out when moving it, but not so much that they haul additional weight for no reason.
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Arrange to Get Your Car Exactly Where You Can Get It
Now that you’ve found a good company, you’ve signed the contract, and you’ve readied your car, you need to tell the company the best place to have the car picked up.
When will my car be available for pick up?
If you are flying, think about which end you need the car more. Is it the city the car is being picked up in, or the city it is being dropped off at? Trust me, in my experience, you will definitely beat the trucker to your destination. Remember that all delivery dates are estimated.
Moving trucks have one pick up and one drop off, so you can imagine that a moving truck estimate is much more accurate than auto transport trucks, who routinely have to deal with around 10 different pickups and drop-offs a day! Because of this fact, make sure that you have a backup plan on the day of pick up and drop off.
If the car isn’t delivered when and where you need it, ask a friend that can hold onto the car for you, or maybe a neighbor. It’s not even unheard of for a hotel manager or car dealership to offer this as a service.
What to Do When Your Car Shows Up
When the truck comes to pick up the car, make sure the driver does an accurate inspection and that you get a copy of the inspection report on pick up. This ensures the state of your vehicle cannot be altered. The inspection report is the only thing that can support your claim if any damage occurs.
The delivery driver does the inspection on pick up, you do the inspection on the delivery. Remember that if you sign the inspection report, you are releasing the driver and the company from all liability. That means if you notice something later, there is nothing you can do!
In my experience, damage doesn’t happen often and the process for getting reimbursed is not difficult if you do everything right. Almost all damage during transport is extremely minor. Small scratches or a dent is the most common of these things.
Most companies will prefer to handle the matter directly rather than have you go through their insurance company. The most important thing is that you do not sign the inspection report until you have received your reimbursement. Again, damage almost never happens in the first place, but you need to make sure you handle the paperwork properly if it does.
Do I have to do anything else after the car is delivered?
Hopefully, everything is done correctly and the process will be seamless. But if not, leave a review.
If you were happy with the service it’s always nice to leave a review saying so. The best place online to do this is on transportreviews.com, which in my experience is the biggest and most sincere community for car transportation reviews online. By leaving an honest review, companies know what they are doing right and you’ll help the next person transporting their vehicle make a more informed decision.
Similarly, if you weren’t happy with the service, let your broker know. Some things are out of the control of the broker and the driver, so be understanding if your car was a day late. Like I mentioned earlier, dates are always estimates in the auto transport industry.
If however, you feel that your experience was poor, then it’s especially important to leave a review. This helps future customers and the companies that are doing good work out there.
Welcome to (usually) sunny Jacksonville!
Home of the Jacksonville Jaguars and MIG Auto Transport!
By population Jacksonville is the biggest city in Florida. There are a lot of military bases here and a lot of people are moving in at the moment. Jacksonville also has a very big port which is constantly importing and exporting cars from all over the world. We are not a popular snowbird destination though because the climate here isn’t as warm as the cities further south but Jacksonville is still very affected by snowbird price fluctuations.
Jacksonville is located at the meeting point of the very heavily trafficked i-95 and i-10 interstates. Overall it’s an easy place to ship from but you might pay a little extra compared to other cities in Florida when going west or northwest. This is because most trucks will go up i-75 from FL when going that way and Jacksonville isn’t along the way.
If you live by the beach auto transport trucks could have a hard time getting to you because the roads are narrower here. But the northwest part of Jacksonville is pretty much made for trucks. Southern and northern Jacksonville are easy spots for trucks to get to as well because most roads will be wide and clear. Downtown is the worst area for a trucker to drive to but there will always be a parking lot or something close by that they can stop the truck in. Overall Jacksonville is a better than average city for truck accessibility.
If you read our guide on Florida auto transport you will know that the whole state gets a very high auto transport grade. Jacksonville is the same but shipping west or northwest is a little bit more difficult though still easy. You can get a rough estimate on your price below but to get an accurate price make sure you request a personalized quote.
Article Originally Published here: http://www.fi-magazine.com/article/story/2018/06/3-factors-impacting-2018-auto-shipping-costs.aspx?refresh=true
Auto transport prices are constantly on the move. In fact, the price, the price a carrier is willing to ship a car on a given route can change weekly. The reason is supply and demand.
Truckers will take what pays them the best. If more people are shipping in a certain direction, the prices for that route will go up. With that said, the amount of people shipping is always changing, but the amount of trucks shipping on a certain route stays pretty much the same.
Summer is a busy time for auto transporters and dealerships alike. More people buy cars in the summer, so dealerships buy more cars to sell. Obviously, controlling costs is a priority, but auto transport costs are not usually something sales managers think they can control. It’s true you can’t control the price of a particular route, but you can control where you buy the car. Shipping vehicles a shorter distance is one way to control costs, but there are trends to watch out for, especially this summer, that can help lower costs.
Factor No. 1: Regional Bump
Summertime auto transport rates are based on which regions are doing the best economically. Those regions are usually where people are moving to and are a good indicator of where dealerships are selling more unit. Basically, it decides auto transport demand.
The general direction people move has an impact on all transportation along that route. Like last year, people this year are generally moving from the East to the West. Additionally, moving trends are showing that most people are moving out of the Northeast and Midwest and into the Northwest and Southeast. So what does that mean for auto transport?
Well, to get cheaper prices, you want to ship against the trend. So if you are in Chicago, you are in luck, because people are leaving and transport prices will get a bump down coming from pretty much everywhere. This is because there is less demand to ship to you.
Oregon, Idaho, and Washington are very popular destinations for people relocating right now. If you are based in these areas, you will see slightly higher transport prices for the summer because demand to ship to you is higher.
The good news is this means the Northwest is doing better economically, and dealerships located there will sell more cars. This also works against Northwestern dealerships as far as auto transport prices, but selling cars is the end goal after all.
Another trend right now is people moving from rural areas into metropolitans. This development means shipping from rural areas into metropolitans will see a slight bump in cost. Keep in mind that shipping to and from rural areas is already fairly expensive.
Factor No. 2: ELD Enforcement
April 1 marked the end of the so-called “soft enforcement” of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, which requires most commercial vehicles to have a compliant device in the cab to track the driver’s hours of service and shut down the vehicle if the driver goes over his or her allowed time. Violators now face the full weight of the law if caught without and ELD, including being placed out of service or having their compliance, safety, and accountability scores adversely impacted.
It is no secret that truck drivers have altered their hours a little in order to make deadlines. This is impossible this year, and the effect on transport prices for all freight has been significant. Trucks are moving slower and therefore shipping less freight. As a result, shipping prices have gone up across the board. This is something that will stay in effect permanently. And if you noticed, prices are up compared to last year. The reason is this ELD mandate.
Factor No. 3: Winter Impact
Auto transport trends in the winter are much more prominent, with prices in one direction sometimes being more than double what it is to ship on the same route in the other direction. They are so prominent that they are still noticeable, and they will remain noticeable for at least the remainder of June.
Prices for shipments going south to north are just starting to come down, as the last of the snowbirds leave the South and return to their homes up North. Depending on where you are, you can take advantage of cheap prices going south for the moment, or otherwise wait, if possible, to ship north. This is especially true for Florida but applies to all Southern states.
To get the best price on auto transport this summer, try to buy cars to the west of you, from a metropolitan, or from somewhere north of you for the remainder of June. The trends I have laid out here are the main factors for auto transport costs in the summer and can be used for future summers — though the locations may change.
CDL is an acronym for commercial driver’s license and these licenses are not quick or cheap to obtain. Drivers are required to enroll in a truck driving school for 4 to 7 weeks. At this school driving basics are covered in addition to cargo protection. Different types of drivers have different schooling requirements and car carriers are one of the most schooled.
This is because insurance companies are extremely strict with car haulers. It is virtually impossible to get insurance if you have less than two years of experience. After getting their CDLs car carriers almost always end up having to drive with someone more experienced for two years before they can drive alone. And, even after you’ve acquired two years of experience, insurance is still very, very costly.
Truck driving, especially for owner-operators, is a huge investment financially. Schooling, equipment, registration, and insurance are all prohibitively expensive. Equipment is definitely the largest up front expense, a truck and trailer can cost $80,000 used and a lot more new. A bank loan has to be taken out to cover everything and this means that a huge portion of the profits will go to paying off debts for the first couple of years. And any major accident will cause insurance to either be denied or become too expensive to continue operating. After all of the money and time invested you can be sure drivers will be extremely careful, no one wants to see that work go to waste.
There is no such thing as careless car carriers but obviously some are better than others. At MIG we check references, insurance history, and personal history before we select a carrier for you. You can be assured that your car will be in the best of hands.
Why can you be confident in MiG? It all starts with the price guarantee.
We realized a long time ago that one of the biggest problems in the auto transport industry are the companies that mislead customers about price. Brokers promise a low price and often times even send contracts with a price on it that will mention somewhere in small print that the price isn’t guaranteed. Then, the day before or the even the day of pick up the broker calls and says the price is too low and they have to charge more or the car won’t get picked up. They are relying on the fact that you won’t have a choice at this point the customer because you have a flight or moving truck or other plan set that you can’t change. And it isn’t just a few companies doing this, there are a lot of them and this, of course, made auto transport seem like a scary thing to most people.
This is a dishonest way of doing business. We want the people that ship with us to feel that they are being taken care of and to be confident that they are getting the best service possible.
The secret in auto transport is that you will get pretty much the same price no matter what company you go through. Either a company like ours gives you an honest price right away or a company will promise you a cheap rate and ask you for more money later. Your priority should be finding a company that you trust.
So how are we able to offer a price guarantee when others can’t?
Firstly we are not just a broker; we are a carrier as well. This means we own trucks and have connections with other trucking companies. This way we make sure that the truck that ships your car fits your needs best.
Second, our prices are very accurate. We have been in this business for a long time and we have extensive knowledge of every route you can think of in the US. We have shipped every type of car to every type of place and because of this experience we know what the prices are going to be. This is not true for a lot of companies who haven’t been in the business for a while or don’t own any trucks.
Third, if all else fails, we will take money out of our own pockets to make sure you don’t pay more. This is why ours is a guarantee and this is why you can be confident in MiG.
The main difference between the two is money. Obviously shorter shipments are going to be cheaper but, the shorter distance you are shipping a car the more the price per mile goes up. If you’ve ever used a tow truck you know that towing a car 10 miles can cost $150 or more, that’s $15 per mile! Long distance shipments generally cost around $.50 per mile. This happens because the equipment short distance haulers use typically can’t carry as many cars. Long distance carriers are almost always capable of hauling 6 cars or more.
Shorter shipments are obviously going to be much quicker as well. Smaller trailers and shorter routes create much less variables for drivers to deal with so drivers are more predictable, meaning a rigid schedule has a much better chance of being fulfilled on a short trip than on a long one. Often they follow the same schedule every week, pick up from their home town on Monday, drive to the destination and drop off cars and pick up cars for the way back on Wednesday, get home Friday and drop their return load off. Knowing this can certainly help you plan but keep in mind this does not mean they will books weeks or even a week in advance. Your shipment may not get booked until the very last minute, drivers call the same day they want to pick up, a day in advance if you are lucky. Going to rural areas is also a diminished problem with short routes. The smaller trucks will not need as many cars going to a certain area to justify going there and fuel is much less expensive so these carriers are much more willing to go out of their way to help you out.
Most auto transport shipments will fall into the long distance category. The cost does not justify the means for most people needing to move a car 150 miles away. Often these people opt to drive the car to its destination instead. Whatever the reason that you are shipping have lots of patience, especially on a short route. Do not panic if you don’t have a carrier figured out right away.
The DRIVE Act died in Congress but pieces of the DRIVE Act were enacted in a bill called the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act. The FAST Act was passed on December 4, 2015 and it was the first bill in over 10 years that addressed long term funding for America’s infrastructure.
The FAST Act authorized $305 billion in funds for the next four years, until 2020. In addition to infrastructure this funding is also to be spent on highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs.
Where does that money come from? The FAST Act extended the current tax rate on fuel (18.4 cents on gasoline and 24.4 cents on diesel) into 2022. It also approved $51.9 billion in funds to be transferred from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund.
Transfers from the General Fund are not good. The Highway Trust Fund was initially funded by the fuel tax alone. But the tax is no longer sufficient because the tax was never adjusted for inflation (if it was adjusted from the original rate set in 1993 the tax would be about 25 cents for gas and 40 cents for diesel) and because Americans just aren’t using as much fuel. Electric cars, more fuel efficient cars, and improved public transit have all contributed to less fuel being used overall.
I expect a future gas and diesel tax increase and probably more tolls for heavily trafficked roads and interstates. The fuel tax increase would encourage the move to cleaner electric vehicles and it is also very easy to implement. The tolls would be a better way to tax vehicles based on use in addition to helping ease road congestion by encouraging drivers to use free, less crowded roads.
I also expect the Highway Trust Fund to become more focused on roads specifically. The Fund is currently used for many different things besides simply building and maintaining roads and clearly all of those expenditures are not sustainable based on the need for bailouts time and time again.
You can find a list of the things accomplished by the FAST Act here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/factsheets/.
To see the actual figure in the Highway Trust Fund currently and what has been allocated where go here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/highwaytrustfund/
The most common question we get from first time shippers is how much does it cost to ship a car? In this post we will go over what factors decide your cost, how much shipping a car costs, and what you can do to keep your price as low as possible.
Location is the most important factor in deciding your cost. In most cases further distance will equal a higher cost but if your pick up or drop off location is in a difficult or rural area you could pay more for a shorter distance.
Truckers want to keep all of their stops as close together and as simple as possible to save time and money. If they have to drive an hour out of their way to pick up your car they will charge more. If they have to drive up steep mountains or through a crowded downtown they will also charge more.
Every state has some spots that are difficult to ship from but there are a handful of large regions where this is also true.
The Canadian border is one such area. It is difficult to ship from except for Buffalo, Detroit, and Seattle. Besides these three cities anything within a few hours of the border is a dead zone including northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Even Seattle is not really that close to the border and you will be looking at an additional cost to ship close to Vancouver.
This is a big issue for Canadians who vacation in the US. Most of the time they do not ship their vehicles directly from their Canadian residence to their US residence because shipping internationally is EXTREMELY expensive. Most people choose to meet a carrier close to the border in the US in order to save money.
This is a simple solution for people in Toronto. They can just meet in Buffalo, right across the border.
People from Vancouver also don’t have a huge issue doing this because, while Seattle is three hours away, the area between Vancouver and Seattle is pretty densely populated. Truckers don’t have a problem getting close to the border because they know there will be other shipments coming from the area. They are not driving three hours from Seattle for just one car. Shipping directly from Seattle would still be less expensive however, if you want to save as much money as possible.
Every other Canadian city will not have this same luxury and the best advise for someone shipping from Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, or Quebec City is to try to ship in a group. These cities are five hours or more from major US cities. Carriers will not drive that far unless they can find other vehicles coming from the same area. If you do that work for them you can save money and find a carrier quicker. Even just pairing up with one other person will be a major help, but if you can assemble a group of four or more then you can really be in control of your shipment. Online forums are a great way to do this. You can join a group, drive to the border with them, and receive your car at the same time.
How much does it cost to ship a car from the border? It really varies. The price calculators at the top and bottom of this page will give you an idea but contacting an MIG shipping agent is the best way to get an accurate estimate because there are a lot of variables that the price calculator might not be able to add.
Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska make up another “dead” area. Along the interstates you can certainly ship without a problem in certain directions but, because of how sparsely populated this region is, a lot of areas can be difficult to ship to. It isn’t quite as hard as shipping from the Canadian border but it certainly presents more of a challenge than other regions do.
And the last significant dead zone would be the Rocky Mountain range. Carriers will only drive on the interstate when passing through so if your car is not close to an interstate you will have to meet your driver or store it somewhere close. Interstate 70 in Colorado, however, is a particularly difficult road and carriers will change their whole route in order to avoid it. The entire western half of Colorado is difficult to ship from or to because of how mountainous it is. Be patient and look into towing companies that can hold the car in a lot in a easier to access city.
There are other, smaller areas that also present challenges but are too many to count. We have covered every state individually and if you want a more precise look at your state definitely check out those posts.
Time can mean shipping according to a specific schedule or shipping at a certain time of year. Both can be huge factors.
Having a very specific pick up or drop off window means not as many trucks are able to take your car. This means less competition between the carriers for your vehicle and therefore a higher price for you. Also, if there is no carrier that can ship according to your schedule, you may have to put the car in storage which, of course, will add to your cost.
For some routes the time of year is a big factor as well.
This is especially true if you are shipping from a northern state to or from a southern state. When it starts to get cold, around October, people ship their cars to warmer states for the winter. This makes shipping south more expensive but shipping north very inexpensive. The reverse happens when winter is over around February. It becomes much more expensive to ship north and very inexpensive to ship south as people go back home. Shipping east to west can also be more expensive depending on the time of year but it is harder to predict these trends. Generally during summer shipping from coast to coast is more expensive because a lot of people are relocating at this time but spikes do occur throughout the year for various reasons.
The state particularly affected by seasonal changes are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Washington, and Oregon. The other northern states are also affected but these states have a large snowbird population and see very large price swings.
A mid-size SUV will be about $100 more to ship than a car. A half ton pick up will be about $150 more to ship than a car. Bigger or customized trucks and SUVs will have even higher additional costs. Cars with low ground clearance, modifications, or a convertible top will also have some additional costs but because they are still small it will usually not be that much unless the modifications are extreme. Non running vehicles also have additional costs though how much will depend on the pick up and drop off locations.
If you are transporting a classic or high end luxury vehicle then shipping enclosed will be your best option. Check out our guide on enclosed auto transport here. This is the most expensive shipping option but also the safest. The drivers operating these trucks have experience with exotic cars and of course because the trailer is completely enclosed there is less risk. These trucks are more expensive to ship with because the trailers carry less cars than an open trailer would and because they usually carry more insurance coverage.
If you are shipping a normal car, even if it is in perfect condition, this is probably not necessary for you. Showroom condition vehicles are shipped using this method so if you drive your car everyday there is no need to ship enclosed.
If you live far from a metropolitan area or interstate try to meet the driver closer to one. If you let your broker know that you are willing to meet a driver then it increases the number of drivers that can move your car and the competition to move it as well. This gets you a better price and more options. If you live in a large city then this won’t really help you however.
If you live in a downtown area meet the driver a little bit outside of it or at a nearby truck stop. Small, busy streets are very difficult for trucks to maneuver. When you consider that auto transport trucks are the biggest trucks on the road you can understand why they don’t want to go into these places. Some cities also have restrictions and low bridges that can also be very bothersome. A trucker won’t stay away from your car because it is in a downtown area but you may be able to negotiate a few dollars off once your order is booked.
Be more flexible with your shipping schedule. Having a very narrow pick up and drop off window decreases the amount of trucks that are eligible to ship your car. That means less competition and a higher price. Sometimes there may be only be one truck that is suitable for your needs. Obviously you don’t want to be stuck somewhere without a car but do your best to be as flexible as possible.
Try to ship outside of peak transport times. Pay attention to the above section that talks about Time. This won’t really be an option for most people because you may have to alter your shipping date by months to take advantage of the discount but if it is an option for you you could save a lot. At peak times from Florida to New York right around May you could be looking at $1200 to ship a car. If you were to ship the same car on the same route November you could ship for as low as $500. Ask your broker about when the best time of year is to ship on your route. This isn’t possible for some routes though as this is mostly for snowbird routes.
Get cars running before shipping them if possible. Again, having a non-running vehicle means the truck shipping your car will need a winch to be able to ship it and not all trailers do. This decreases the eligible trucks and decreases competition and increases price. If you cannot get the car running another thing you could do to save some money is to meet the trucker at a nearby auction where they can forklift the car onto the trailer. You will have to pay for this service but it will usually be cheaper than the extra fees you would be charged to ship a non running vehicle. At a minimum cars should be able to roll, brake, and steer. If this is not the case you will need to find someone to load the car onto the trailer and you will be looking at additional fees.
Undo any modifications you can like large spoilers and low suspension. Lifted vehicles will also incur additional fees but it probably isn’t worth the work. Low suspension can usually be raised to a high enough amount where it isn’t an issue and a huge spoiler can usually be removed and stored inside the vehicle. Most other modifications are not really an issue.
Book with carriers directly. If you will be shipping on the same route again save the carrier’s info to avoid broker fees next time. This is an especially useful tip for snowbirds. You can get your carrier’s schedule weeks in advance and plan a flight around it for maximum convenience and of course you will know the company and can trust them with your car. This can save a lot of hassle.
|2014 Audi A4
|2015 Chevrolet Traverse
|Los Angeles, CA
|2008 Chevrolet Corvette
|2009 Honda Civic
|2011 Kia Sorento
|2014 BMW 3-Series
|2014 Infiniti Q50
|2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
|Saint Louis, MO
|Los Angeles, CA
So how much does it cost to ship a car? The calculator below will give you a good idea of what your price will be but it might not be 100% accurate. To get a personalized quote use our quote request form.