Moving is expensive, especially if working with a moving company (although making a move yourself is not inexpensive either).
The same goes for shipping an automobile or other vehicle: chances are good it’s going to cost you a few hundred dollars. The average cross-country shipment for a four-door sedan can run from $700-$1200 in an open carrier; possibly as much as $2000 if you ship it in an enclosed carrier.
But there always are ways to save some money. Take a look below for five tips on how to save money when you ship a car from one place to another.
1. It does pay to shop around.
Take a look at a few auto transport companies and ask for a free quote on the shipping cost. It’s best to contact at least three companies and ask for an estimate. (Remember that this is only an estimate and that the cost more than likely will change and the actual price probably will be more than the estimate, although not always.)
2. If possible, don’t ship the car May-September.
This is peak moving season because many people move in the summer so that their children can finish out the school year and start anew in a different district in the fall after the move. Off-peak shipments can be less expensive.
Interesting note: if you’re moving north or south, peak season may be fall and spring so that those moving south can leave before winter and those moving north can get there before summer.
3. Ask for terminal-to-terminal shipping.
Most auto transport companies will pick your car up at your home and may even deliver it to your new home. This adds to the cost. But if you can drive the car to the drop-off terminal and then pick it up at the terminal near your new home, you can save a good chunk of change.
Make sure you pick the car up relatively quickly because many terminals charge daily storage fees after a certain number of days.
4. Ship the car in an open carrier.
Open carriers are the trailers you’ve seen on the highway with about six cars on a double-level trailer open to the elements. These are less expensive (by $200 to $500) than an enclosed carrier.
Your car probably will get dirt, rain/snow on it in an open carrier so don’t be surprised if you need to take it to a car wash when you pick it up.
5. Pickup, travel and delivery flexibility are your friends.
Unless you absolutely must have your car delivered by a certain date, ask the carrier about discounts it may have if you’re willing to be flexible in your dates.
As you look for a carrier, remember that the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best. Make sure the transport company is licensed and carries enough insurance: ask to see its insurance policy and read it closely (and read the fine print and be sure to discuss anything you don’t understand or have questions about).
Our auto transport company Ship A Car, Inc. has moved more than 35,000 vehicles of many different types (we also ship golf carts, campers / RVs, motorcycles, trucks, all terrain vehicles, jet skis, heavy haul equipment, etc.). What’s more, our customers are very happy with us!
Give us a call at 866-821-4555 for the car shipping estimate we mentioned above.