Online Car Auctions: How much does it cost to ship a car to your home?

Jason Hilderbrand

20 Jul 2021 10 months ago

Types of vehicles you can buy from online car auctions.

Online car auctions are a great way to buy used cars at an economical price. One can even purchase new cars from these online car auctions these days. The types of cars you can expect to see at online car auctions include:

Cost to ship a car

Off-Rental Cars

Off-rental cars are the vehicles placed in online car auctions by car rental companies after using them for a few years. Every year or so, car rental companies seek to upgrade their cars and submit these used cars to online car auctions. These rental companies are very mindful of the condition of cars they rent out to their customers. Sometimes, they upgrade their fleet to provide more comfort than their competitors. So, there is a good chance you can find your favorite car model at a reasonable price and in good condition as well.

Off-Lease Cars

The next type of cars you will find at an online car auction are off-lease cars. These cars are submitted for sale after their lease term is over. These cars are often well-maintained since a single owner primarily uses them. 

Salvage Cars

Vehicles involved in catastrophic accidents suffer extensive damage to their bodies and engines, which makes it uneconomical to repair. This is due to the fact that the money necessary to refurbish these vehicles is typically greater than their resale value once they have been repaired.

Company or Fleet Vehicles

Another type of vehicle you can buy from online car auctions is a company’s previously used car. These cars can be sedans, SUVs, trucks, or even large trailers. The condition of these vehicles varies from company to company and needs to be thoroughly checked before buying. 


Some customers use online car auctions to swap their cars with other customers after adjusting the price of both vehicles. These are primarily old cars that the car dealers are reluctant to purchase themselves. 

New Cars

Sometimes, the car dealers are unable to sell all the new vehicles in a year. This decrease in sales is especially true during Covid-19 when the auto industry has seen less purchasing throughout the year. In such cases, the car dealers prefer to sell these new cars at online car auctions at very reasonable prices to bring in the latest car models in their car auto showrooms.

Repossessed Cars

Some customers cannot pay their monthly payments for the cars bought from different dealers and companies. As a result, due to non-payment of the vehicle, the company or dealer takes back possession of such vehicles. You can buy these vehicles at online car auctions in excellent condition.

There are many advantages of buying from an online car auction compared to visiting a traditional car auction. However, the most important is the economical price you will have to pay for your dream car at online car auctions. Sometimes, these online car auctions are located in your city or within a reasonable distance. However, most of the time, the car you wish to buy at an online car auction is located in another state. 

At this point, the thought that arises in your mind is getting that car delivered to your doorstep. After all, driving the car yourself can be an exhausting experience, along with sacrificing your precious time. This is where car shipping companies like SAKAEM Logistics come to your rescue. Car shipping companiescan move the car you wish to buy from an online car auction to your home efficiently and economically.

Available shipping options for online car auctions

When you have finally bought your favorite car from an online car auction, the next step is to move your vehicle to your home with ease and affordability. There are a few options available at your disposal to make that happen. Most of the online car auctions do provide shipping services to buyers. However, their car shipping services are mostly limited to nearby locations. Moreover, their car shipping prices are usually higher than car shipping companies. 

You can use three types of car shipping companies to get your car shipped from an online car auction. However, the best option is to work with a broker like SAKAEM Logistics to move the vehicle you buy from an online car auction to your doorstep.

Open vs. Enclosed shipping. Which one is better for online car auctions?

Cost to ship a car

When you look for different shipping options available for moving your car from an online car auction, you’ll see two kinds of shipping modes. These are open and enclosed shipping. This selection depends largely on the kind of vehicle being shipped.  Most of the time, people go for open shipping, whereby their cars are transported in an open carrier to their desired location. 

However, luxury or exotic cars are sometimes bought from online car auctions and shipped in closed containers or trucks for increased car safety.  Moreover, if you plan to ship a car with exposed interior or engine parts, you should consider enclosed car shipping. This option will protect engine parts, electronics, and the rest of the car’s interior. Finally, enclosed shipping is the best option if you have bought an inoperable vehicle from an online car auction.

When it comes to identifying the cost to ship a car, enclosed shipping is at least 25-50% more expensive than open shipping. It can vary depending on the vehicle and the shipping distance. If you wish to ship a car bought from an online car auction that you will use daily, then open shipping is just fine for you.

The cost of shipping a car from an online car auctionReduced Demand of vehicles

Cost to ship a car

There is hardly any country in the world whose economy has not plummeted due to the devastating effects of COVID-19. Soon after the SOPs were implemented, new studies by the scientists showed that these measures were not enough to stop the virus. Therefore, many countries quickly turned to lockdowns and then eventually to curfews. Similarly, states in the US also started implementing different strategies to fight the fast-spreading virus. The economic impact of these new measures was massive. 

To get an idea of how many people lost jobs in the US alone, the fact that 22 million unemployed people applied for financial support from the government is sufficient. Even the ones that had a job at that time were way too reluctant to buy a new car. This economic uncertainty led to reduced demand for vehicles all over the world. Auto manufacturers and car shipping companies were definitely on the receiving end of this financial crisis. To survive this turmoil, car shipping companies had no option other than to increase the car shipping prices. 

●    Running VehiclesReduced Car Production

The cost of shipping a vehicle from an online car auction depends on a few factors. The first is the condition of the car. Cars that come from online car auctions that are operational and can be loaded and unloaded with the carrier easily have a fairly reduced shipping cost. The second factor that decides the overall car shipping cost is the distance the car has to travel from the online car auction. If the car has to be shipped to a longer distance, the car shipping cost per mile is greatly reduced. 

Another important factor in deciding car shipping costs is the shipping vehicle. Car shipping cost decreases when your car is shipped with a carrier that transports numerous vehicles at once. However, if you ship your car separately in an enclosed truck, the cost of car shipping will rise.

●    Non-Running Vehicles/ Inoperable CarsHow was the business of Car Shipping Companies affected?
Cost to ship a car

Online auto auctions may sell non-running vehicles. Inoperable automobiles demand more work from the car transportation business. Such automobiles require external assistance to load onto car transport trucks or carriers. If the automobile won’t start but can be rolled, a winch can lift it into the car shipment container. It is essential to notify the automobile transportation business ahead of time to make required arrangements. But they will charge you more for the extra effort. If the wrecked automobile you acquired from an online car auction can’t be rolled, it must be loaded using a forklift. Unloading the automobile from the car transportation carrier requires similar labor. As a result of this added effort, automobile transport costs go up.

Details to provide when your car is shipped from an online car auction.

Cost to ship a car

After you win in an online car auction, you receive some information regarding the auction itself and your winning bid. You need to provide this information to the car shipping company so that the online car auction hands over the right vehicle to the car shipping company.  The information online car auction provides generally includes:

●    Buyer Number

When you buy a vehicle from an online car auction, you get a unique number from the auction management. This buyer number is unique and is assigned for the sole purpose of identification of buyers of vehicles. Providing this buyer number or customer number, as some auctions like to call it, to the car shipping company is compulsory for the release of the vehicle.

●    Lot Number

The next thing you need to provide the car shipping company is the lot number. It is the number of the lot where your car is physically present. When you win a bid in an online car auction, they will send you an email containing all the details, including the lot number. When you provide this lot number and the buyer number to the car shipping company, it will be sufficient for the auction management to release the car.

●    Release Form

Most online car auctions release your car after being provided with a lot number and a buyer number. Some online car auctions, however, demand to see a release form as well. Such online car auctions provide you with the release form when you win a bid for a car. 

Before you hire a car shipping company to move your vehicle from an online car auction to your doorstep, make sure that you have all these details available with you. If the online car auction management is not provided with these essential details, they will refuse to release your car.

Let SAKAEM Logistics ship your vehicle from the online car auction to your doorstep.

Once you have won the bid at an online car auction and got the required details, you can rely on our car shipping services to ship your vehicle to your doorstep. Since we regularly visit such online car auctions for shipping cars of different clients like you, auction authorities trust us and hand over the vehicles to us. 

Why should you use our car shipping services instead of relying on online car auction management? Well, SAKAEM Logistics, being a trusted broker, is constantly in contact with local carriers that can ship your car at the most economical rates. We can provide a cheap car shipping service since our 900+ carriers regularly travel near the auction places. Moreover, the drivers we work with are thorough professionals in their field and meet all the legal requirements.

Moreover, when you use our car shipping services, there is only a single point of contact. You don’t need to communicate with the carrier about any of the details and requirements. Instead, we do all the coordination on your behalf with the carrier. 

Your automobile is automatically insured with SAKAEM Logistics from the time we pick it up from the online car auction until it is delivered to your home. Find out more about picking the finest vehicle shipping services here.

Frequently Asked Questions about online car auctions.

Cost to ship a car
  1. Do you work with Copart Auction?

Yes. We can ship your car from Copart Auction.

  1. Which car auctions do car rental companies work with?

Car rental companies mostly work with Manheim and Adesa for the auction of their rental vehicles

  1. How can I ship my car outside the state?

You can hire a professional to drive your car outside the state. However, this is an expensive option. We recommend you use the car shipping services of any reputable broker.

  1. When do rental cars arrive at the auctions?

Every year, rental car companies seek to upgrade their fleet of cars to get ahead of their competitors in the industry. The old vehicles get sent to auctions usually after two years or after hitting a certain mileage.

  1. Is short-distance shipping pricier than long-distance shipping?

It depends on a few factors. In short-distance shipping, the shipping price per mile usually goes up when compared to long-distance shipping. Moreover, for short distances, cars have to be shipped in smaller trucks. Normally, shipping up to 300 miles is considered short-distance shipping.

  1. Can I track my car shipment?

Yes. For tracking your shipment, you can directly call SAKAEM Logistics and confirm the status of your shipment.

  1. Can you ship vehicles from Online Car Auctions to rental car companies?

Yes. We regularly work with rental car companies and provide them our car shipping services to move their fleet to or from the car auctions.

  1. Can you ship my car from the airport?

Yes. We do offer our car shipping services from airports in the US or Canada.

  1. Can I change my car shipment date after booking?

At SAKAEM logistics, we try our best to facilitate our customers. Therefore, at your request, we can change the car shipment date after booking.

  1.  Can I book my car shipment if I am not sure about the shipment date yet?

If you are not sure of the shipment date yet, you can still book our car shipping services. For this to work, however, you will provide us with a range of dates between which the car is likely to be available for shipment.

  1. Can I cancel my shipment after booking it without getting charged a cancellation fee?

If one of the carriers affiliated with our network has departed for shipping your car, then you’ll be charged a dry-run fee by the carrier. However, we cancel the booking most of the time as long as the carrier has not departed yet.

Jason Hilderbrand