The Cost of Auto Shipping Services

Brantley Kendall

13 Feb 2023 1 year ago

 If you are up for a job change or are planning to relocate, auto transport services providers cover it. 

Transporting your vehicle seems like a very daunting task. It’s like burning a hole in your pocket, but it doesn’t have to be this way if you look for information to support your auto-shipping experience. There is always a way to cost-cutting.

 Many auto shipping services provide a variety of options when it comes to shipping your car. It would help if you researched the best-suited and cost-effective way to transport your vehicle. Ideally, it would help if you took car shipping quotes from multiple companies for a better comparison and choice; it also opens you up to various possibilities and differences in offerings from different transport companies. 

 These auto shipping services usually have varied costs catering to different types of customers. The average cost can go from $500 to over $5000 or more in the US. However, all these costs depend upon various factors. 

Factors that affect the cost of auto shipping

While some factors can be controlled by you, some are just natural, and you need to adjust your plan according to those factors. Let’s look at these in detail to make a better choice. 

●    Location

Location plays a significant role in deciding the auto shipping rates for your car. If the pick-up and drop-off locations are in urban and populated areas, then costs are less, but if your locations are offbeat or out of the regular routes, then the trucks would need more time to reach, and hence, that would add to the cost. 

●    Distance

It’s a no-brainer. The more the distance, the more will be the expenses in terms of fuel and time taken by the driver to reach the final destination. Short distances usually cost less as compared to more considerable distances. Many hauling companies charge a cost per mile for a transparent cost structure.

●    Size and weight of the vehicle

The size and weight of the vehicle differ from model to model. Different types of cars, like sedans, SUVs, or sports and luxury cars, have different needs to be considered. For instance, if the cars are heavy, it would require heavier trucks to load into, or if multiple cars are shipped together, it will reduce the usual capacity of the trucks, adding to the overall cost for you. 

●    Type of delivery trucks – Open VS Enclosed

The choice of the truck can be a deciding cost factor when choosing a vehicle shipping service. An open truck usually costs less than an enclosed truck. Hence, a lot of people prefer open trucks for their vehicle shipping.  

●    Weather/ season 

Picking out a feasible time is of the essence in your cost-cutting journey. Auto shipping rates greatly vary from season to season. For instance, summers are usually very expensive for availing any vehicle shipping services. This is the peak time when people move across new cities for jobs or recreational purposes. Extreme winters also make it difficult to move through hilly terrains, adding to the shipping cost. 

●    Mode of delivery – Door to Door VS Terminal 

Different modes of delivery affect the final auto-shipping rates for you. Usually, terminal pick-up and delivery are cheaper than door-to-door pick-up as it saves the costs of auto shipping companies. 

●    Car conditions – Operable VS Inoperable 

The conditions of your car can also make or break your budget. If the car is in operable condition, it is easier to load and unload the car into the truck/ carrier. Different equipment would be required to ensure a safe pick up and delivery if it’s in an inoperable state. 

●    Time flexibility

If you need the car to be delivered per your time constraints, the auto shipping services will charge a handsome amount. Still, if you are flexible with the timings offered by the service provider, there is definitely a scope for a better bargain. 

Door to door VS Terminal auto shipping services

If cost is a point of consideration, then understanding the critical differences between the door to door auto shipping and terminal auto shipping services is essential. 

Door-to-door shipping services

As the name suggests, the vehicle is picked up from one address to deliver at another given address by the auto shipping service provider, giving you a sense of ease and comfort of hassle-free pick-up and delivery. 

This service can be preferred when you have a busy schedule and need more time to deliver the car to the service provider at their designated locations in the city.  

Terminal Auto Shipping Services 

When you opt for terminal shipping service, you deliver and pick up your vehicle from the assigned terminal provided by your shipping services. You are free to pick the terminals closest to your source and destination addresses. This is a viable option when your car is in good condition, and you have an option for a ride back from the terminals, as these are usually located in outer areas of the cities. Such service is usually helpful when you stay in a gated neighborhood or areas where heavy trucks are not allowed. 

Open VS Enclosed auto transport services.

The type of auto transport vehicle you choose is purely based on your risk appetite and your budget for vehicle shipping services. 

Open auto transport services

When you pick an open truck, your car is exposed to almost everything during the commute, such as dust, and rough weather conditions, which leaves your vehicle exposed. 

Most people in the country go for open trucks, as it is known to be a cheaper option. The auto transport services can transport multiple cars in an open truck, saving time and cost of fuel. 

Enclosed auto transport services

Enclosed trucks protect the vehicle from any external conditions like sunlight and dust. 

But this proves to be an expensive choice, as closed trucks have limitations on the number of vehicles they can ship together. It also requires a more experienced driver to navigate the way to protect the car from internal damage. 

Methods of payment to auto shipping services

Customers engage in different ways to pay for vehicle shipping services. However, it is crucial to understand that two costs are involved in the auto-shipping journey. 

Payment to broker

Broker is typically any auto shipping service that connects you with an appropriate driver/ carrier who will deliver your vehicle to your shared destination. 

Payment to carrier 

The carrier is the driver who ultimately ship up your vehicle from the one state to another. He is responsible for the smooth transit of the vehicle.

 The most common payment method is to pay the broker and carrier separately. So, ideally, you pay the broker in advance and then pay by cheque or cash to the carrier at the destination once the vehicle is safely delivered. 

If you are not available at the delivery time, you can also pay the carrier at the pick-up, known as COP (Cash On Pick-up) method. The auto shipping services abstain from debit or credit card payments to avoid fraud, so the preferred mediums are cash, cheque, and money orders. 

Always choose reliable and trustworthy auto shipping services to avoid any scope of fraud or scam in your vehicle shipping experience. 

How to save money while shipping a car?

●    Pick out quotes from multiple car transport services

The ideal way to get the best possible deal is to look through and compare various auto transport rates to understand the competitive market rates. Pick the best offer that is feasible for your budget. 

●    Opt for open transport trucks

Enclosed transport trucks offer added protection to your vehicle, thereby becoming an expensive choice. But cost-cutting requires a little flexibility, so pick an open transport truck that is easy to handle and will help in dialing down your car shipping cost.

●    Choose terminal to terminal option 

When auto shipping services are required to pick up and drop as per the given addresses, it requires extra fuel and effort, impacting the cost. So, for a better bargain, choose the terminal to the terminal option, wherein you drop the vehicle at the closest terminal and then pick it up from the terminal near your destination address. 

●    Be flexible with car shipping dates

Time is money, so the sense of urgency will directly increase the cost of shipping the vehicle. So try to be more open and flexible when picking up and dropping dates or timings. Cooperation with auto shipping companies can absolutely save you some bucks. But this may require you to plan ahead of your schedule and be okay with not having the vehicle for a few days when you move to a new city/ country. 

●    Ship more than one car

Try to ship more than one car to bring down the overall cost. Shipping multiple cars using a particular auto shipping service at once creates a bond of trust and loyalty with the provider. It boosts the chances of getting more personalized discounts on the final cost. 

●    Pick an off-season 

Choose a season where transportation is easy for the carriers or there is comparatively lesser demand for vehicle shipping services. It is always wise to avoid summer as it is a peak season for relocation and winter too. It is challenging to navigate in snow or hilly areas, making vehicle shipping an expensive affair. 

Types of Insurances for Vehicle shipping services

Insurance is of utmost importance regarding any of your expensive possessions/belongings. It is pertinent to know that you must check for the required insurance from the auto shipping services. Usually, there are three types of insurance in terms of vehicle shipping services. 

1.Customer insurance 

This is essential/must-have insurance to ensure your car’s safety. It is a standard procedure to avail of this insurance when you buy a car. However, customer insurance is not required to ship the vehicle. 

2.Carrier insurance

This insurance is mandatory for any carrier. This insurance covers the losses or damage that may occur by the carrier during the vehicle’s transit from the source to the destination. Always check for this insurance before trusting a service provider with the vehicle. 

This insurance usually offers coverage up to $3,50,000, and only events like accidents can be liable for the coverage offered. 

The incidents like Acts of God, such as earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc., are not covered by the insurance. Even acts of terrorism and anything causing civil unrest also lie outside the claims of carrier insurance. 

3.Broker insurance

Brokers are just the middlemen between the carrier/ driver and the customers. This does not mean that they are the owners of the shipping companies. This insurance is not for brokers. It is just supplemental insurance that the hauling companies may use to lure in customers. It would help if you opted for any other insurance after mindful consideration only.   

As this is supplemental insurance offered by the broker, these terms are not uniform and will be subjective to the claim as mentioned in the insurance you accepted. 

But one point of significance is that the damages and losses can only be covered through carrier insurance, so ensure that you clearly check the carrier insurance or choose a reliable hauling service provider that carries a thorough background check for carriers.

It is advisable to always check your vehicle inside out at the destination before signing the final documents. If you sign the delivery documents and then encounter some damage or loss in your vehicle, it is tough to claim insurance for the same. 

However, you associate with a reliable hauling company. In that case, they have a policy where you can claim for any damage/ losses you witness within 48 hours of vehicle delivery, though there are various terms and conditions to this clause.

How to use our transport cost generator form?

Before opting for any auto-hauling services, you must have a rough estimate of the costs you might incur for your car’s shipping. You can use our transport cost generator form to your advantage. Here’s how you can use it to find a cost that is suitable for you. 

● Enter the source and destination city name or zip code to get an exact idea of the distance.

● Choose the trailer/ truck type and whether you would like an open or enclosed one.

● Once done, select the button Provide vehicle details.

● You will get to the second part of the form. Here you need to fill in the built year of the car.

● Then enter the making and the exact model of the vehicle.

● You also need to enter whether your vehicle is in working condition.

● Once done, select the button Provide pick-up date.

● First, enter the email ID wherein we can send you the desired car hauling quote.

● You can also fill in optional fields about the earliest pick-up date and your contact number for further communication.

● At the end, you can go for the button View Quote now.

Upon accessing the given information, a customized quote will be delivered to your inbox of the stated email ID. You can always take the conversation further, wherein our diligent team can help you get your vehicle shipped safely at the most cost-effective price. 

Frequently asked questions

1.What is the average car shipping cost in the US?

 The average cost can be between $500 to $5000 or more, subject to many factors. 

2.Can season/ weather affect the time and cost of a car shipping?

Yes, the season/ weather is one of the prime factors that affect the cost and time for your car shipping.

3.What are the available types of transport services?

 There are two types of transport services, open and enclosed trucks/trailers. 

4.What is the most preferred type of transport service in the US?

 A majority of people prefer open trucks for their car-hauling services. 

5.What is a commonly preferred mode of payment for auto shipping services?

 The most common mode of payment is COP (Cash On Pick-up). 

6.What are the two types of payment involved while shipping your vehicle?

 Two costs are involved – payment to the broker and payment to the carrier. 

7.What are various types of car insurance that are talked about while shipping your vehicle?

There are two critical insurances – carrier and broker insurance. 

8.Do you need car insurance to ship your vehicle?

 No, you don’t need car insurance for shipping your vehicle.

9.How to choose the best shipping service for your vehicle?

 Take quotes from multiple shipping companies, and then choose the best service that meets your requirements. 

10.Which is the peak season for shipping a vehicle?

 Summer is the peak season for shipping a vehicle.

Brantley Kendall