A Complete Guide to Finding the Cheapest Car Shipping Rates Online

Harish Makam

21 Nov 2022 1 week ago


Many people find it difficult to transport their vehicles across state lines. This can be due to various reasons, such as the cost of the trip or the distance involved. If you are looking for a way to transport your car without breaking the bank, look no further than auto transport services. These services can help you transport your vehicle to any location in the US for a low price. We have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you find the best car shipping rates online. It will walk you through the information on the types of vehicles best suited for auto transport, the types of car shipping services available, the vehicle preparation tips, and a lot more. 

Why Use An Auto Transport Service?

Auto transport services can be a great way to secure your vehicle during transport. This is because these services typically use the latest security technology, including vehicle immobilization and tracking systems. So, not only will your car be safe during transportation, but you can also track its location and status at all times. Auto transport services can also guard against weather and road conditions. For example, if a storm is headed your way, an auto transport service may choose to delay or cancel your shipment altogether. In addition, auto transport services often have teams of drivers well-versed in both driving and weather conditions. They can safely transport your vehicle no matter what happens on the road. On the other hand, using an auto transport service can eliminate the wear and tear of driving yourself. By having someone else drive for you, you’ll save time and energy that you could spend on other tasks.

Why ship your car?

There are many reasons to ship your car. Here are a few examples:

  • Save time and hassle – Driving your car to its new destination can be time-consuming and frustrating. Why spend hours behind the wheel when you can have someone else do the hard work for you? An auto transport company can get your car to its new home quickly and safely.
  • Save money: Auto transport companies have routes that they follow, so they can often get your car to its destination more cheaply and quickly than you could. 
  • Avoid expensive towing fees – If you decide to drive your car to its new destination, you may spend a lot of money on towing costs. Towing a vehicle can be expensive, especially if you’re crossing state lines. An auto transport company can help you avoid these fees altogether.
  • Avoid damage to your car – Driving your car long distances can put a lot of strain on your vehicle. By shipping it instead, you can avoid any potential damage.
  • To reduce your environmental impact. Shipping your car can help reduce the amount of pollution that it creates while you drive. By shipping the vehicle in bulk, you can minimize the amount of gas used, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Experienced professionals: The drivers working with auto transport companies have experience shipping cars long distances, so they know how to handle all the logistics involved in getting your vehicle from Point A to Point B. 

Different types of auto transport services?

Like most people, you probably think of car shipping as a one-size-fits-all service. You might picture a shipping company picking up your car and driving it thousands of miles to its new home. While this is one option for car shipping, various car shipping services are available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The following is a quick rundown of all the available car shipping services:

Open transport

 It is the most affordable option, and it’s also the most popular type of shipping service. With open transport, professionals will transport your car on an open trailer, exposing it to the elements. There are better options than this, but it’s the most affordable. Shippers take several safety precautions to protect their cars during open auto transport. They properly secure the vehicles to the trailer. This typically involves using a combination of straps, ropes, and chains to keep the cars in place. In addition, the shipper will generally ensure that the vehicle is correctly aligned on the trailer so that it will not move around during transport. The shipper will also take steps to protect the cars from the elements. This may involve covering the vehicle with a tarp or using a wind deflector to keep the car from being blown around.  

Enclosed auto transport

Enclosed car shipping is a more expensive but more secure option. In enclosed car shipping, the shipping company will transport your car in a completely enclosed trailer. The primary benefit of enclosed auto transport is the protection it offers to the vehicle. The trailer is covered so that wind, rain, and snow cannot harm your vehicle. This is important for luxury and classic cars that need more excellent care. The cost of enclosed auto transport varies depending on the trip’s distance and the trailer’s size. It is typically more expensive than open transport, but the added protection is worth the extra cost for some car owners.

Door-to-Door Car Shipping

Shipping a car door-to-door is a great way to get your vehicle from point A to point B without hassle. But what does it involve? How does it work? It’s a lot simpler than it may seem. Essentially, you book a car shipping service to pick up your car from where it is and deliver it to where you want it to go. The company will send a truck to pick up your car and drive it to the shipping port. From there, it will be loaded onto a boat and transported to its destination. Once it arrives, the company will send another truck to pick it up and deliver it to your door. 

Terminal-to-Terminal Car Shipping

Terminal-to-Terminal Car shipping (T2T), also known as terminal car shipping, is a process of shipping a car from one transportation hub to another. The two transportation hubs can be either a seaport and an inland port or an airport and an inland port. The inland port can be a railhead, freight terminal, or truck terminal. There are a few things to consider when deciding if Terminal-to-Terminal shipping is the best option:

  • How far is the terminal from your home?
  • How far is the destination terminal from your final destination?
  • Is it easier to pick up the car from or drop it off the vehicle at the terminal?

Expedited vehicle shipping 

It is a premium shipping service that allows you to get your car, truck, motorcycle, or another vehicle to its destination much faster than traditional shipping methods. How does it work? The carrier picks up your vehicle and delivers it to its destination much quicker than it would be using a conventional shipping method. Why would you need expedited vehicle shipping? There are a few reasons:

  • You might need your car shipped quickly for a business meeting or a family vacation.
  • Your car might need to be sent urgently for a repair or to participate in a car show.
  • You might have purchased a vehicle online and require it to be shipped to you as quickly as possible.

Guaranteed vehicle services

Guaranteed vehicle pick-up service is a service that assures that the service provider will pick up a customer’s vehicle within a specific timeframe. It’s usually available in select locations. The way it works is the customer contacts the service provider and provides their location and the make and model of their vehicle. The service provider then assigns a driver to pick up the car, and the customer is given a time window for pick up. The service is free if the driver arrives outside the time window. The main benefit of guaranteed vehicle pick-up service is that the customer doesn’t have to worry about finding a ride to their car. This can be especially helpful in situations where the customer cannot drive or has a driver’s license. It can also be beneficial for people who are unfamiliar with the area they are in.

How long does it take to transport your vehicle?

Several factors determine how long it takes to transport a vehicle in the USA. The distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations, the size and weight of the car, the availability of transport vehicles, and the number of transport stops are all factors that can impact the time it takes to move a car. Let’s understand the impact of each aspect one by one:

  • Distance: The further apart the pick-up and delivery locations are, the longer it will take to transport the vehicle. This is because the car will have to be driven further, which takes more time.
  • Route: The route can significantly impact the amount of time it takes to transport a vehicle. Some roads are more complex than others and can take longer to traverse.
  • Type of Vehicle: The heavier the vehicle, the longer the transport time. For example, transporting a truck will take longer than transporting a car. 
  • Weight: The heavier the vehicle, the longer it will take to transport. This is because the transporter needs to use a giant truck to accommodate the weight, which takes longer to drive.
  • Number of Vehicles: If only a few cars are transported, the process will go much faster than if there are a large number of vehicles. This is because there will be more time to load and unload each car. 
  • Weather Conditions: Heavy rain or snow, for example, can slow down the process. This is because the transporter needs to take into account the road conditions and ensure that the vehicle is safe to transport.
  •  Traffic: The amount of traffic on a given highway or road can also significantly impact the amount of time it takes to transport a vehicle. For example, if there is a significant traffic jam on a highway, the transport of a car will be delayed. 
  •  The availability of transport trucks: The availability of transport trucks can also affect the time it takes to transport a vehicle. The transport process will take longer if there are not enough trucks available.

Things to consider when choosing a car shipping service

 Here are a few things that you may want to take into account when selecting a car shipping service:

The type of car shipping company Choosing the right one will determine the quality of the service. There are three types of car shipping companies- brokers, carriers, and auto transport brokerages.

  • Brokers are middlemen who find a carrier for the car.
  • Carriers are companies that transport cars.
  • Auto transport brokerages are companies that offer a combination of the two services.

The type of shipping service offered

 Not all car shipping services are created equal. Some companies offer only door-to-door service, while others offer both door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal service. Make sure to choose a company that provides the shipping service that best suits your needs.

The insurance coverage offered 

When shipping a car, it is essential to have adequate insurance coverage in case of damage or loss. Make sure to ask the car shipping company what insurance coverage is offered, and read the fine print to ensure you are fully protected. 

Compare prices

Take your time choosing the first car shipping service you come across. Take the time to compare prices from a few different companies. That way, you’ll be sure to find the best deal. Remember, you want to ensure you’re getting a good deal, but you also want to maintain quality for a low price.

Check reviews

Reading reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect from a particular auto transport company. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded view of what to expect.

Ask for references

If you still need to decide which car shipping service to choose, ask for references from friends or family members. They may have used a car shipping service and can recommend one perfect for you. 

Read the contract carefully.

Before you sign any contracts, be sure to read them carefully. This will help you to understand the terms and conditions of the service. Don’t hesitate to ask the company’s representative if you have any questions. Choosing an exemplary car shipping service can be daunting, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll find the perfect company.

Ask questions

Don’t hesitate to ask the auto transport company questions about their services. This can help you ensure that you are making the right decision.

The process of shipping your car

 Shipping a car can seem daunting, but it’s not that difficult. Here’s a simplified look at how it works:

  • You’ll need to find a reputable auto-shipping company. Do your research and ask for referrals from friends and family.
  • The company will ask you to provide information about your cars, such as the make, model, and year. They will also need your contact information and delivery address.
  • The company will give you a quote for shipping your car.
  • You’ll need to pack your car for shipping. The company will provide you with specific instructions, but generally, you’ll need to remove all personal belongings from the vehicle, including the floor mats, seat covers, and any loose items.
  • The company will arrange to pick up your car and deliver it to its destination.
  • You’ll need to pay the shipping company. The shipping cost will vary depending on the company, the distance, and the type of car. That’s it!

Following these simple steps, you can quickly ship your car from one location to another.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

Shipping a car can be expensive, depending on the size of the vehicle and the distance it needs to be sent. The cost of car shipping can range from around $500 to $4000. A few things will affect the cost of shipping a car. 

  • The distance of the move: The longer the distance, the higher the cost of transportation. This is because the driver will need to spend more time on the road and will likely need to spend more money on gas.
  • The weight of the cargo: The heavier the shipment, the higher the transportation cost. This is because heavier cargo takes up more space in the vehicle and requires more fuel to transport.
  • The vehicle’s weight: The car’s weight also affects transportation costs. Heavier vehicles require more manpower and equipment, which drives up the price.
  • The car’s age: Older cars may require more specialized care when transported, which can lead to higher costs. 
  • The time of year: Transporting a car during busy times, such as the summer or around the holidays, will cost more because there is more demand for transportation services.
  • Location: Locations farther away from transportation hubs or with a limited number of transportation services available will typically have higher transportation costs.
  • The experience of the transport company: Companies that have been in the auto transport business for a long time will likely charge more than those new to the industry.

Car Shipping Costs: How to Save Money

So, how can you get the best deal on car shipping? Here are a few tips for getting the lowest car shipping rates:

  • Compare quotes from multiple carriers. Refrain from assuming that the first quote you get is the best deal. Compare rates from several different carriers to find the best price.
  • Book early. The earlier you book, the lower the rates will be. Carriers often offer discounts for early bookings.
  • Ship your car in winter. Carriers offer lower rates in the winter when there is less demand for shipping.
  • Ship your car in a group. Shipping your vehicle in a group will usually be cheaper than sending it alone.
  • Ship your car in an open carrier. Shipping your vehicle in an open carrier will usually be cheaper than shipping it in a container or on its own.
  • Ship Your Car in a Group Shipping your car in a group can be a great way to save money. Most car shipping companies charge a lower rate for shipping multiple vehicles together.
  • Compare rates online: Several online resources allow you to compare rates from different carriers. Shipping your car can be expensive, but by following these tips, you can save money on the cost of shipping.

Frequently Asked Questions about Car Shipping

Shipping a car can be smooth if you have the correct information. This section will provide answers to some of the most common questions about shipping a vehicle.

What is the best time to ship your car?

Shipping a car during winter can be cheaper than shipping it in summer. This is because the rates for moving vehicles during the winter are generally lower than in other seasons. Spring and fall are also good times to ship a car, as rates tend to be lower than in summer. However, there can be variations depending on your service type. For example, if you use a trucking company, rates may be higher during summer due to increased demand for transportation services. If you’re planning to ship your car during the summer, it’s essential to remember that the heat can make the process more expensive.  

Do I need to be present when my car is being shipped? 

You can be present when your car is shipped. However, it is always advisable to have someone available to take care of any paperwork or registrations that may need to be completed. It is also beneficial to have someone who can be a witness if necessary.

How much does it cost to ship a car? 

The price for shipping a car varies depending on the size and weight of the vehicle. Not to mention the location from which it will be shipped. Prices typically range from $1200-$3,000+.

How long does it take to ship a car? 

The average time for shipping a car ranges from seven days up to five weeks. However, this time frame is subject to change based on various factors such as traffic conditions and the availability of transport services. In addition, please keep in mind that there are often additional fees that you must pay for special transport requests (i.e., loading onto a cargo truck at an off-site location). These fees could range from $50-$500+.

What type of insurance do I need for my car while it’s being shipped? 

You should always ensure adequate insurance coverage while your vehicle is in transit. This coverage may include damage and liability coverage, among other things. Please consult your insurance provider or auto Transport Company before packing your vehicle for shipment to get complete coverage. Besides, shipping companies also offer insurance coverage for which the cost is included in the service package. Please ensure this with your service provider before signing any deal.

How to pay for auto transport services?

There are various ways that you can pay an auto transport company. The most common methods of payment are credit cards and checks. Some companies also accept cash payments.


Harish Makam