Car Shipping Tips & Information
Understanding the car shipping industry can help you make sense of car transport costs. For example, auto transport companies don’t employ actual carriers. Instead, after you submit your information for a car transport quote, the shipping company will post the job on an industry board for carriers to bid on.
The car transport company strives to set a price that will make you happy while also encouraging carriers to accept the car shipment. That’s why it’s not always best to shop for the lowest car transport quote around. You’ll have trouble finding a carrier if the price is too low.
Many providers allow you to use an instant car shipping cost calculator online, while other providers need to check market conditions manually before giving you a price. In any case, you’ll need to provide some basic information to get accurate car shipping quotes.
You should have the following information prepared:
- Vehicle make, model, and year
- Vehicle operability status
- Dropoff and delivery locations
- Dropoff and delivery dates
- Shipping preferences, such as enclosed or open transport and terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door shipping
Open Vs. Enclosed Car Transport
One key decision with car shipping is whether you want an open or enclosed auto transport service. An open auto transport trailer can fit more vehicles, making it cheaper. An enclosed trailer will be more expensive but also protect your car from the elements.
You may need an enclosed auto transport service if you have low vehicle ground clearance since the ramps on an open trailer can’t accommodate cars with fewer than four inches of clearance.
Cross-Country Car Shipping Service
If you’re planning a cross-country move, you’re probably looking for ways to save money. The good news is that rates per mile decrease with longer shipments. Auto shipping costs for a 3,000-mile trip are about $1,500 between major cities with open transport services. This is about 50 cents per mile for much of the journey, while a 500-mile trip can cost over $1 per mile the whole distance.
International Car Shipping
Not all major car shipping companies offer international shipping. Some companies may offer a car shipping quote calculator for domestic moves but not international ones, and if this is the case, you’ll need to call the car transport company for a price.
International car shipping takes longer than domestic shipping for obvious reasons. Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) is the cheapest option. In this situation, the car transport company would drive your vehicle onto a boat and park it in a large garage with other vehicles. You can also use a shipping container or air freight.