How Hiring Auto Transport Services Can Save You Time and Money

Brantley Kendall

01 Oct 2022 2 years ago

If you own a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ve considered shipping it at some point or another. Maybe you’re moving to a new city and can’t take your car with you, or maybe you’re going on an extended vacation and need to get your car from point A to point B; whatever the case may be, auto transport service is the answer. It’s easy to see why. The auto transport industry grew by 3.4% in 2022 alone.

Besides, the average market size of the auto shipping industry in the USA is $10.8bn, which means that there are many options available to vehicle owners for transporting their vehicles in the USA. This larger market size also means more auto transport companies leading to high competition. Therefore making vehicle transport an accessible and affordable process.

Auto transport services move vehicles for dealerships, manufacturers, and individuals across America. It’s safe, efficient, and relatively affordable.

If you are considering hiring an auto shipping company, this guide will walk you through all the steps. This article covers the reasons to hire professional auto shippers, tips for hiring the right company, and a step-by-step guide to hiring one.

What is auto transport service, and how does it work?

Auto transport is a service that helps people move their vehicles from one location to another. Auto transport companies typically have special equipment that allows them to move cars safely, and they will often pick up and drop off the vehicle at the customer’s convenience.

The auto-shipment process involves a variety of methods. The most common one is using a car carrier or auto transport trailer, which can carry multiple vehicles simultaneously. Professionals can ship your car via land or sea, depending on the distance and the type of vehicle being shipped.

Scenarios when you need to hire an auto shipping company

You have a few options when you need to transport your vehicle across the country. You can drive it yourself, have someone else drive it for you, or hire an auto shipping company. While driving your car or having someone else do it may seem like the easiest and most cost-effective option, there are a few scenarios when hiring an auto shipper is your best bet.

When you’re moving long distance

Driving your car isn’t practical if you’re moving across the country (or even just a few states away). Not only would it take forever, but there’s also the risk of damaging your vehicle during transport. Hiring an experienced and reputable auto shipper is a much safer option in this case since they’ll be able to get your car to its destination without any issues.  

When you need to get your car to an inaccessible location

If you need to get your car to a remote location or somewhere difficult to reach by road, then a car transport service is the best way to do it. They can access special equipment and routes that normal cars can’t use.

When time is of the essence 

If time is tight and getting your vehicle delivered as soon as possible is the most important thing, finding a good carrier should be your priority. See, it may be worth paying a little extra money to get quick delivery within a specified time frame than doing all the hard work yourself, which could be tedious, expensive, and riskier.

When you have an expensive or classic car 

Suppose you have a luxury vehicle or one that is particularly valuable. In that case, it’s worth using a car transport service that can offer extra protection and care for your vehicle during transit. Normal carriers may not have the experience or equipment necessary to transport your vehicle without damaging it, so it’s best to leave this to the professionals.

Driving yourself Vs. Hiring an auto transport company

If you’re driving to your new home, you’ll have to deal with traffic, gas, and the hassle of packing everything yourself. Hiring an auto transport service means somebody else will take care of everything for you. All you have to do is drop your car off at the transport company’s location (in case you opted for the T2T service), and they’ll take it from there. Auto transport services are also more affordable than you might think.

When you factor in the cost of gas, lodging, and food, driving your car long distance can get expensive. With an auto transport service, you only have to pay a flat fee, which is often much less than the cost of driving yourself.

If you’re worried about your car being damaged during transport, you can rest easy knowing that most auto transport companies offer insurance. Companies will offer compensation for any damages caused to your vehicle.

Types of auto transport options

There are generally two types of auto transport – open and enclosed. Open is economical but not suitable for all vehicles, especially luxury ones. On the flip side, enclosed shipping is expensive but offers greater protection to your vehicle.

Open shipping

Experts will ship your vehicle on an open carrier, which is essentially a large flatbed truck. They will secure it with straps or chains and cover it with a tarp to protect it from the elements during transport. This type of shipping is perfectly safe for most vehicles. But remember that they will be exposed to weather conditions, including sun, rain, snow, dust, and debris. So if you’re transporting a luxury or classic car, you may want to consider enclosed shipping instead.

Enclosed shipping

Enclosed shipping offers added protection for your vehicle as the professionals will transport it in a fully enclosed trailer. This protects your car from weather damage and keeps it out of sight during transport, which can help deter potential thieves. Enclosed shipping is more expensive than open transportation, so keep that in mind when making your decision.

Open car shipping

Types of car shipping services

There are many different types of car shipping services available to choose from. Here are some of the most popular options:

Guaranteed pick-up and delivery

Guaranteed pick-up auto transport services provide customers with a hassle-free experience when shipping their vehicles. With this option, the company guarantees they will pick up your vehicle within a certain time frame. Remember, the shipping company doesn’t guarantee pick-up and delivery on the same order. So, you can get guaranteed pick up or enjoy guaranteed delivery at once.

Expedited shipping

When you book an auto transport service, you usually have the option to choose between standard shipping and expedited shipping. Expedited shipping means your car is a priority for pick-up, and the trucker may have to reschedule other pick-ups to accommodate your car. And as a result, this service comes at a premium price.

Standard shipping 

The car shipping company will give you a range of dates to choose from for when they can come and collect your vehicle. This is ideal if you’re not sure of the exact date but have a general idea of when you need your car shipped.

Door-to-door shipping

It is a car transport service that picks up and delivers vehicles to and from specified locations. This can be the customer’s home, office, or other location. This is the most convenient option for customers, eliminating the need to drop off or pick up their vehicle at a terminal.

Terminal-to-terminal shipping

With this option, you will drop off your vehicle at a designated terminal, and then the shipping company will transport it to another terminal for delivery. This is often the most economical option for car shipping. With terminal-to-terminal auto shipping, you will be responsible for delivering your vehicle and picking it up from the terminal. This can be a more convenient option if you live in a rural area or if the pick-up or delivery address is not easily accessible to the carrier.

How much does it cost to hire an auto shipping company?

According to a recent study, the average cost to ship a car is just over $1500 – which is significantly less than driving the car yourself! However, this can be lower or higher based on a few factors that directly or indirectly affect shipping costs.

  • The time of year: Auto transportation rates will be higher during the busy summer months and lower during the winter.
  • The distance: Covering greater distance requires more time and resources. So, the further it needs to go, the more it will cost.
  • The type of vehicle: Shipping a smaller car will cost less than shipping a large SUV or truck.
  • Your location: If you live in a rural area, it may cost more to have your car shipped than if you live in a major city where more transport companies are competing for business.
  • Insurance: Make sure to get insurance for your vehicle while it’s in transit, as this will protect against any damages that may occur during shipping
  • The shipping company you choose: Some companies are more expensive than others. Do your research to find a reputable and affordable company.
  • Additional services: If you need additional services like expedited shipping or door-to-door delivery, this will add to the cost of transportation.
  • Discounts: Many transport companies offer discounts for various reasons, such as AAA membership or military service. Be sure to ask if any discounts apply to you.
  • Fuel surcharges: Transport companies may add fuel surcharges depending on current gas prices. This is usually a percentage of the total cost, so it’s important to factor this into your budget.

Tips for hiring an auto transport company

The right shipping service can make all the difference between a good and bad experience. The following tips will help you choose and use a shipping service for a seamless experience.

  1. Do your research: Find a reliable company with a good reputation. There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to refer to BBB ratings and read online reviews. This will give you an idea of what other people have experienced with the company and if they would recommend them.
  2. Check out their website: The company’s website can tell you a lot about them. It should be professional and easy to navigate. If it is not, it could be a red flag that they are not a reputable company. Make sure to take some time to look around and see if there is anything that makes you hesitant about using them.
  3. Get quotes from multiple companies: Once you have found a few good fits, the next step is to get quotes from each of them. This will help you compare prices and services to make the best decision for your needs. Ask about discounts or promotions they might be running to save even more money!
  4. Ensure there isn’t any hidden cost. Make sure to get an inclusive cost quote, so there are no surprises later on down the road. Some companies might try and sneak in additional fees, so always clarify what the quote includes.
  1. Get everything in writing: Make sure you get all the important details in writing. This includes the price, the services they will provide, and the completion timeline. This way, there is no confusion later on, and you will have a document to refer back to if any problems arise.
  2. Read the contract carefully: Understand the company’s policies you are considering hiring. This includes their cancellation policy, refund policy, and type of insurance they have. This way, you will know exactly what you are agreeing to and will not have any surprises later. If something does not seem right, do not hesitate to ask questions or walk away from the deal entirely.
  3. Check the insurance coverage plan: Most reputable companies offer insurance coverage for your vehicle, but coverage varies from company to company. Be sure to find out exactly what coverage it includes and the limits. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask!

Hiring an auto transport service: how does the process work? 

Hiring an auto transport company is easy. Here’s how the entire process works.

  • Please request a quote from us. You can do this by filling out our online form or giving us a call at (888) 725-0005
  • Once we have your quote request, one of our experienced shipping consultants will contact you to discuss your specific needs.
  • Next, we will match you with one of our carriers who can provide the best service for your particular shipment.
  • Once a carrier has been selected, we will provide you with all the necessary paperwork you need to complete before pick-up.
  • We will then coordinate with you and the carrier to schedule a pick-up date and time that is convenient for you.
  • On the day of pick-up, the driver will arrive at your location to collect your vehicle. They will inspect the vehicle briefly and load it onto their truck.
  • Professionals will then transport your vehicle to its destination, where it will be unloaded and delivered to you or your designated recipient.
  • Finally, we will follow up with you to ensure that you are satisfied with our services and to answer any questions you may have.

How long does it take to transport a vehicle?

The average time it takes to transport a vehicle from one place to another is about 3-7 days. However, there are several factors that can affect this timeframe, including:

  • Distance: The further the distance, the longer it will take to transport the vehicle. For example, transporting a vehicle from Los Angeles to New York (2780 miles) will take significantly longer than transporting a vehicle from Los Angeles to San Diego (120 miles). In other words, shipping across state lines will almost always take longer than shipping within the same state.
  • The type of vehicle being transported: Some vehicles are larger and heavier than others, affecting transit times. For example, it may take longer to transport a large SUV than a smaller sedan.
  • The time of year: Seasonal changes can impact transit times as well. For example, the weather may cause delays due to the road or adverse weather conditions (snow, ice, etc.).
  • The route: The most direct route is not always possible or feasible; sometimes, they must make detours based on traffic patterns or other factors beyond our control. These types of delays can add up and impact overall transit time.
  • Your location: If you live in a rural area, it may take longer to pick up and deliver your vehicle than in a major metropolitan area. More vehicles are moving through urban areas on any given day.

As you can see, several factors can affect transit time for your car shipment. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a reputable auto transport company like SAKAEM and provide them with all the relevant details about your shipment.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for the Journey

Following a few simple tips can help ensure that your vehicle arrives safely at its destination. Keep these tips in mind before you transport your vehicle:

  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. This includes checking the oil and tire pressure and filling up the gas tank.
  • Disable any alarm systems that may go off during transport.
  • If possible, disconnect any battery-operated devices, such as radios or GPS units, so they don’t run down the battery during transport.
  • Clean out your vehicle, so no loose items are floating inside that could become damaged or lost during transport.
  • Lastly, if you have an automatic transmission, put your car in “park” before loading it onto the trailer or truck.

Benefits of using auto transport services

Auto transport services can provide several benefits over traditional methods of moving cars, such as towing or driving the car yourself. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should hire them when moving cars:

  • Save money: If you are moving a long distance, an auto shipping company can help you save money on your move. They can transport your vehicles for you, so you won’t have to pay for gas or rental cars. They can also help you pack and load your belongings, saving you time and money.
  • Avoid wear and tear on your vehicle: Shipping your car instead of driving it cross-country can help avoid wear and tear on your vehicle, preserving its value for years to come.
  • Flexible shipping options: There are many different shipping options available for auto transportation, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. For example, you can choose to ship your car on an open carrier or a closed carrier.
  • Your car will get door-to-door service – When you use an auto transport company, they will pick up your car from wherever you are and deliver it right to your new doorstep (assuming you’re not shipping it to a storage facility).
  • Insured companies: If something happens to your vehicle during transit, most reputable companies will be insured so you can get compensated for any damages.
  • Experienced professionals: When you choose an experienced auto transport company like SAKAEM Logistics, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be in good hands throughout the shipping process. From start to finish!
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that professionals are shipping your car can give you a great sense of relief during what can be a stressful time.
  • Ship other items with your vehicle: Many people take advantage of the fact that they can ship other items along with their vehicle when they use an auto transporter company (up to a permissible weight, of course). This can save shipping costs since everything will be going on one trip!
Enclosed car shipping

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Types of vehicles you can shop with an auto transport company

There are many types of vehicles that an auto transport company can ship. These include:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Buses
  • RVs
  • Military vehicles

Each type of vehicle has its shipping requirements, so it’s important to consult with your chosen auto transport company to ensure that they will ship your vehicle safely and securely.

Will my car be insured during shipment? 

The short answer is yes! The shipping company will insure your car during shipment. Talk to our experts for more information.

What documents do I need to ship my vehicle? 

The most important document is the title of your vehicle. You’ll also need to have a current insurance policy, as well as registration. These documents will help ensure that your car arrives at its destination safely and without any issues.

What do I need to do to prepare my car for shipment? 

Ensure that there is nothing loose inside the vehicle that could shift during transit and damage your car or injure someone. Second, if you have a spare tire, ensure it is properly inflated. Third, wash your car before shipping it, so dirt or grime doesn’t become ingrained into the finish during transport.

What kind of tracking information will I receive? 

Tracking information allows you to see your vehicle’s location at any time during shipment. Most reputable companies offer to track for your convenience and peace of mind. Be sure to ask about this when getting quotes from different companies so that you can make an informed decision.

What is included in the price? 

The auto shipping price typically includes the cost of the vehicle, freight, insurance, and documentation fees.

Is there anything I need to pay for separately? 

The cost of hiring an auto transport company is generally all-inclusive. You will not need to pay for any additional fees or services. However, check with your chosen company beforehand to make sure that there are no hidden costs.

Brantley Kendall