Most people assume that the most cost-effective way to transport a vehicle from one state to another is to drive it themselves. However, when you factor in all the extra costs of fuel, lodging and possible sightseeing activities, it will actually end up costing you more money. Not to mention the unnecessary miles and wear that you’ll inevitably have to put on your car during the drive. Cross country road trips can be very stressful ventures and if you own multiple vehicles, transporting them yourself becomes almost impossible.
By far the best option for transporting a car is by entrusting the services of a professional auto transport company. During the planning and scheduling process, your first question will likely be “How much does it cost to ship a car?” There isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question as it ultimately depends on multiple variables. Some of these factors include how many vehicles you’re transporting, the distance they need to travel, and road and weather conditions.
Although the majority of the factors that influence the price to ship your car are out of your control, there are some factors you can use to your advantage and reduce the cost of delivering your vehicles. There are several instances where you can cut down on costs in a very realistic way. We’ll explore the different ways that you can save money when shipping your vehicle.
But, there’s one important tip you should always follow: If your auto transport company is offering a deal that is overly cheap, it is most likely too good to be true. Never consider the services of a company with a significantly low price. This is why it’s always important to collect quotes from multiple companies to avoid getting scammed. Although it may seem tempting to accept an offer that is far below your budget, this can result in a poor customer service experience, delayed delivery and unnecessary stress about the fate of your car.
Choose An Open Trailer
If you’re not transporting an exotic vehicle, classic, or antique car, or one that you feel requires extra privacy, consider opting for an open trailer. If you’re not concerned about the possibility of your car being rained on or collecting dirt from the road, an open car transport is almost always cheaper than enclosed transport. In fact, an open trailer will not be as bad for your vehicle as you may think.
If you choose enclosed transport, you can expect to pay over 50% more. However, these types of carriers are driven by exceptionally qualified, experienced drivers and the closed nature offers more safety and security for your vehicle. Your car will be protected from elements such as debris, dust, rain and snow while in transit.
When it comes to open transport, your car will be exposed to the elements but will only become damaged in very rare circumstances. Professional auto transport companies will take every measure possible to ensure the safety of your vehicle throughout the entire process.
Timing Is Everything
If you’re not on a particular schedule or time crunch, wait until off-peak seasons to ship your car. If you live on either coast, avoid the summer season as coast-to-coast car shipping is busiest from May until about September. There is also another peak season during winter and fall for when snowbirds need to transport their cars from northern states to warm southern locations. If you live in any of these particular locations, keep these factors in mind and try to scheduling your car shipment by avoiding peak times.
However, it’s always recommended to book your auto transport services a few months in advance. That way the company can ensure that they have the necessary manpower and carrier for the job. If you wait too long, bookings will fill up fast or be closed entirely. You don’t want to have to resort to expedited car transport; this will cost you even more money.
Ship Multiple Vehicles
If you are the owner of multiple vehicles, you can reduce your expenses by shipping all of them at once instead of waiting to ship the second. A lot of auto transport companies offer discounts when you’re bundling two or even three cars in a shipment.
This saves them time and manpower from not having to go to multiple homes or terminals to retrieve different cars.
Opt for Terminal-to-Terminal Transporting
There’s no doubting the convenient of having your car picked up and delivered straight to your home. However, you can save a significant amount of money by choosing terminal-to-terminal transport. This involves dropping off and picking up your vehicle from dedicated terminals that also store other cars waiting to be picked up by owners. Without the need for your mover to go to each individual home, this option is much more cost-effective.
In this case, it’s as simple as driving your car to and from terminals, your auto transport company will manage the rest. You may actually find that some of these car shipping terminals are very conveniently located near where you live.
However, by choosing terminal-to-terminal transportation, you need to be aware of some of the downsides to this option. First, if you don’t pick up your car on the designated day, the terminal may charge you a daily storage fee, significantly adding to your overall cost. Also, many terminals are left unguarded leaving your car vulnerable to theft, though the chances of this are very low.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
Most auto transport companies will allow you to pick your own pickup and delivery dates that adhere to your specific schedule. However, this typically comes at a cost and may end up being rather pricey. Instead, if you do not give them an exact day for pick up or drop off this is usually a lower-priced option.
You may even be eligible for a discount with your car transport company if you have your car picked up and delivered on a day that isn’t busy. In these cases, make sure to always consider your own convenience and availability. You want to make sure that you’re actually about to physically pick up and drop off your vehicle.
Gather Multiple Shipping Quotes
As previously mentioned, never try to save money on car shipping by choosing a company with a very low rate. Do your research and gather multiple quotes from different companies. If you notice that a deal is too low, this is likely a red flag and you should run in the other direction. It’s better to choose a company with experience and a great reputation. You can always ask them for potential discounts to help you save money!
Having your car transported across the country or even shipped overseas, doesn’t have to break the bank. Keep all of these tips in mind when you’re planning the shipment of your car and you may gain significant savings.
If you’d like to get the process started, reach out to one of our car shipping experts for a FREE, no obligation quote. At Ship Vehicles, with over 30 years of experience, we guarantee that you’ll get the best price without compromising excellent service.
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