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Car Shipping Rates

Car shipping rates are based on a complex set of factors ranging from the simple, like the distance of the transport, to the complex, like the route being traveled and the time of year.

Determining Auto Transport Rates

The location and destination are the biggest cost factors. Of course, it's cheaper to ship a car locally than across the country, so this will affect the price of car shipping no matter which company that you use. Not to mention, if you want your car picked up or delivered to a destination in a rural area, expect a variety of problems. Transporters like to stick to urban areas with lots of customers to save gas, so many shippers may refuse to handle a service if it is too far out of the way. Auto shipping companies that do transport the car or truck will definitely charge more for it. Alternatively, you may be able to lower your car shipping rates by picking up or dropping off the car at a terminal in the closest city the transporter does service. Finally, international car shipping always adds additional cost to the car transport process, as vehicles must be shipped aboard a boat. Similarly, shipping on commonly traveled routes can actually save you money. Shipping along the East Coast, to Florida, or interstate transport in the Southwest is fairly frequent. Since competition tends to drive prices down, these routes are relatively inexpensive, though you need to book them in advance. Increasing gas prices also increase the cost of transporting vehicles, even on car transport trailers. Expect for prices to increase with gas price hikes, which most often occur during the summer months. Auto transporters are also busiest during the summer, so avoid moving a car during this season if you need it done quickly and cheaply. On the other hand, car shipping rates may plummet during the fall and winter months, when bookings are infrequent and transporters need your business. Car transport pricing also looks at the type of car that you have. Smaller and lighter cars cost less to ship than a big heavy SUV, so this can drastically affect the cost of transport services. Large vehicles may even take up the same amount of space required by two smaller cars in some cases, so expect to pay accordingly. Very expensive or vintage vehicles cost extra to transport due to increased insurance and care needs. On the same token, vehicles that require extra care or don't start may incur additional shipping fees. Always keep your transporter informed about your car's condition, as any delays during shipping due to your car malfunctioning will certainly drive up the final cost of transport. The final big cost factor is the type of transport service that you decide to use. There are different options, from open transport trailers to enclosed trucks, and they offer varying levels of protection and associated prices. Enclosed car transport offers considerable protection to a vehicle, and may actually be quicker thanks to the smaller amount of Car shipping rates are best discussed with a broker, who works with multiple shippers to find the cheapest quotes.

Additional Resources

Best Car Shipping Rates: Real Life Story

"Auto transport services are heavily advertised in my area because I live by the beach and we have a seasonal population. So when I needed to move my car, I decided to call round some of these auto transport companies to get a quote to relocate my vehicle. I was quite shocked by some of the prices that were quoted to move my car, and certainly some of these auto transport companies were charging double the price of others. Because I didn't have much experience in auto transport, I didn’t know how much to expect to pay to move my car. It was a friend that suggested I talked to an auto transport broker and I was very pleased that I did. What I found was that the auto transport broker was able to provide clear and concise quotes that detailed all that would be included to move my car. What's more, the prices from the auto transport broker were considerably lower than anything I had been given contacting auto transport companies direct. In the end, I chose to use an auto transport company that I hadn't heard of, but they provided a top rate service to move my car, and were far lower priced than others I had spoken to. My whole auto transport experience went off without a hitch, and my car safely arrived at its destination in one piece. Im just thankful that I talked to an auto transport broker early on in my car moving experience." Posted by: Quentin L. - La Jolla, CA