One of the biggest misconceptions people have about car shipping is that it will cost a fortune to transport a vehicle. In reality, the cost of car shipping (at least for Cross Country Car Shipping) is directly proportional to its benefits, especially when compared to a DIY car transport job.
While we answer your question of “How much does it cost to ship a car?”, we’ll touch on why car shipping is a better option and why every dollar you spend on auto transport is worth it in the long run.
Benefits of car shipping
A lot of people are convinced DIY is a better option than car shipping. At least, that’s what they think until they find out just how much more sense it makes. Besides being profitable for car shipping companies, there are many benefits to the customer. For example:
Sure, you can drive, but have you ever traveled across state lines, and reached distances of 700 miles a day? If you have, congrats, but for many people, this is going to be a difficult task with the risk of getting tired and falling asleep at the wheel.
Truck drivers are trained to handle long distances, and even more, they know when to stop and recharge for the safety of themselves and other motorists. Furthermore, they have the expertise to handle any mishaps on the road and do minor repairs when necessary. Unless you have an auto mech background, good luck dialing AAA or another mechanic to come to help you on a backroad in the middle of the night.
You can save time and do something else
Think about how long it will take you to drive your car from your current location to your desired destination. Now, think about what you could use that time to do instead.
Most customers request car shipping services because they are moving. Moving house itself takes up a lot of time, and imagine adding the burden of driving your car where it needs to be on top of all that. If you’re already hiring a moving service to transport your belongings, why not get an auto shipping service to bring your car as well. You, on the other hand, can enjoy a quick domestic flight and give yourself a break from all the madness.
Send it ahead of you, and by the time you get there, your car will be waiting. Even if you choose to ship and arrive at the new location instead, you’ll still be giving yourself a well-needed rest, enough to prepare you for unpacking and getting your new home in order.
Your car will thank you
The more mileage a car has, the less valuable it becomes. During the long journey, it will also experience more wear and tear.
Choosing a car shipping service means your car will be carried the entire way. This means no extra miles, no wear, and tear, and less money having to be spent in the future to keep your car in tip-top shape.
If you love your car, you’ll give it a break too. Road conditions can be unpredictable and auto carriers are better suited for the journey.
Until you’re out there on the open road, trying to plot a route and navigating unfamiliar terrain, you’ll never understand how much goes into car shipping.
We are responsible for finding the safest and shortest possible routes to transport a car. We’re also tasked with coming up with contingencies in case something should happen to make a route impassable, or unfavorable.
We’re also responsible for figuring out the best lodging, fuel, and food spots along these routes to avoid unnecessary detours and delays in the journey. All these things can be a headache for an inexperienced driver, so why put yourself through that?
Moving multiple cars at once
What happens when you need to move more than one vehicle to a new location? Do you drive them one by one, or put them in the hands of another person who won’t be as vigilant as you when driving?
Why not have all your cars shipped at once on one transport carrier? This would mean they all arrive at the same time, and you won’t have to worry because they will be in the hands of a skilled and experienced truck driver.
How much does it cost to ship a car?
The best way to know how much it will cost to ship your specific vehicle to the desired location is to get a price quote. Most modern car shipping companies will offer free online quotes after you provide a few details about your shipment.
Get an instant quote from Cross Country Car Shipping, and compare it with other quotes for the best price. We guarantee we can’t be beaten!
All vehicle shipping companies are required by law to carry insurance. Many companies include this in their quotes. Be sure to ask about this, and whether this insurance is primary or secondary to your motor vehicle insurance.
You should also check with your insurance company to find out if your policy covers any damage that may occur during shipping. One thing most insurance companies do not cover is the loss of personal belongings transported with the vehicle. So, make sure you remove them before transport.
Cancellation + delay policy
Before going forward with a shipping company, find out about their cancellation and delay policy. What happens if an emergency arises and you can’t make a pickup? Is your deposit gone or are you refunded some of the money? What if there is a delay? Can you simply reschedule or are there fees associated with it?
Most shipping companies will offer discounts to specific groups of customers. All you have to do is ask!
Military discount (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force & Coast Guard)
One popular discount group is military personnel. Military families have to relocate a lot, so it isn’t surprising that a huge chunk of our customers is military personnel. Transporting a car for someone in the military has a few special regulations that shipping companies must follow.
Cross Country Car Shipping has over two decades worth of experience with moving cars for military personnel and has made the process simpler and even more affordable when the needs arise.
College/university is expensive, and we want to make sure our student customers can afford these services without compromising their educational needs. The student discount program is active year-round, meaning you don’t have to wait till the beginning or end of a semester to move your vehicle!
Senior citizens qualify for discounts with most services they encounter, and car shipping is no different. This is because many senior citizens live on fixed incomes (pensions) and their budget is limited.
During the off-season, auto shipping companies try to incentivize customers by offering lower rates to offset low demand. Some shipping companies call this “snowbird” or ”winter discount”, but they’re pretty much the same thing.
This type of discount is offered to customers who wish to ship more than one vehicle at a time, for example, car dealerships and collectors. This discount may not be readily advertised, so you will have to ask the car shipping company about it.
This discount is offered to customers who have shipped with a company in the past. Its purpose is to attract repeat customers to their business. Some companies may also offer first-timer discounts when shipping a vehicle.
Another popular type of discount is offered to first responders such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs.
5 factors influencing car shipping cost
By now you’ll have noticed that car shipping costs are not the same across the board. That’s because several factors go into determining how much it will cost. These include:
Typically, the greater the distance, the more the overall shipping cost. The mileage costs will vary depending on the shipping company, but usually, the longer the journey, the more it will cost.
Of course, conditions apply to this generalization. For instance, long-distance routes with open highways will be cheaper than those that require truck drivers to pass through large metropolitan areas with heavy traffic. These delays cost the shipping company more, so the customer will be charged a higher rate.
Similarly, long-distance routes with free moving and high-speed traffic will mean the drivers can cover more miles during the day. Therefore the cost per mile will be lower.
The type of vehicle you have plays a huge role in your auto transport fees. Some models are larger and heavier than others, which means the carrier transports fewer vehicles and burns more fuel per mile. So, the cost to transport a sedan will be different than a bulky SUV even though they’re traveling the same distance.
The way your vehicle is transported also plays a considerable role in the overall cost to transport your vehicle.
Most companies offer open-air transport. This is the cheapest way to ship vehicles because the carriers can transport more vehicles per trip. The company does not need to make any special arrangements for these vehicles (with the exception of inoperable cars) and can load and carry them with ease.
Enclosed auto transport is the opposite. It’s more expensive because the carrier will transport fewer vehicles per trip. Besides the effort put into protecting the vehicles from the elements, enclosed carrier customers usually require special attention, which means the cost to transport goes up. This is to be expected because enclosed carriers are used primarily for luxury and classic cars.
Pickup + Delivery method
The standard pickup and delivery method involves customers bringing their vehicles to the terminal to be loaded onto the carrier, and visiting the destination terminal to collect them once it arrives. This is called terminal-to-terminal service and is the cheapest option.
However, special circumstances may mean a customer is unable to visit the terminals and will require door-to-door service. This is the most expensive method as the truck drivers will have to go out of their way to do their job. It is, however, the most convenient.
Customers may also request door-to-door service or even terminal-to-terminal service. This depends on individual needs and is still cheaper than door-to-door service.
Demand in the auto transport industry skyrockets from Mid May to Labor Day every year, with upticks during the Spring, and a decline towards winter. As demand increases, so will the costs, and during the summertime, auto transport fees are at their highest.
Company of choice
The last major influence on the cost of car shipping is the company you choose. One company may charge more than another simply due to its location and overhead costs. Others may have lower costs because they are a big business and can afford to offer extremely competitive rates.
This factor all boils down to you and how well you research the auto transport companies in your area. Comparing quotes is a great place to start, but you should also check the reviews and complaints against the company.
Covering your auto transport costs
Once you find a suitable quote, it’s time to decide how you will cover the auto transport costs. Most companies will accept cash and cards, but more recently, payment methods like PayPal and Venmo have become increasingly popular.
Find out about the fees associated with each method to determine the most suitable one for you.
Once you figure this bit out, all that’s left to do is prepare your car for pickup and await its arrival at the predetermined location!