Cost of car shipping

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Average cars’ shipping cost and its factors

In regards to the transportation company it can be quite difficult to figure out an approximate average price. Normally, all the calculations are divided into shipping a car costs with an open and an enclosed truck as the difference between them can be significant.

If we talk about the cheapest and the most expensive transportations within the United States from various companies, we can see the lowest rate of 280 dollars for the open delivery of the standard sedan for a short distance (within the single state or maximum to the near one). The most expensive price can be expected if you are planning to deliver your vehicle across the whole country in the enclosed truck – here the price will be around 2,060 dollars.

There is also an average price calculated within the whole transportation industry. It’s 710 dollars with open and 1,120 dollars with enclosed methods, so basically this amount you can take into consideration when planning a budget in accordance with the standard shipping cost of a car.

Important factors of the quote

It’s obvious that the average cost of car shipping it’s not so easy to calculate because of various factors and aspects of every particular case. Traditionally, all these aspects are divided into three main categories:

  1. Transport type. Here we are talking about the truck your car will be placed on for the delivery. Open transport is a good idea if you have a very limited budget and the car is not of too high value. Of course, for every car’s owner his or her personal vehicle is one of the most essential investments (usually, the second after the house) and in any case the safety of the car during the delivery service is very important. Nowadays almost every transporter and carrier are strongly interested in attracting more and more new customers, and its service level is also important (as every client can easily spoil the reputation of the transportation company by very negative feedback and gossip. So in regards to the transportation service itself, you should not worry that if you choose an open transport your car will be delivered broken or damaged. But there is another point – your car can be affected by snow, rain and direct sun on the way, especially if we are talking about long-distance trips across different states with different climate and weather conditions. In case of the open-framed platform it’s also unavoidable to fully protect your car from the dust and dirt. Luckily, some transportation companies offer a complimentary wash for the car upon its delivery so the owner can easily check the real condition of the car.

    Enclosed method, which is on average 410 dollars more expensive, is definitely worth it if you need to deliver a classic or sports car. Moreover, this service is very popular and common among the collectors of rare and exotic cars as the value if these cars is much higher than these 410 dollars – usually we are talking about the value of 100,000 dollars and more. It’s not surprising that the owners prefer to pay extra but to make sure the surface of the car will be in the same perfect condition as it was before the shipping. It’s also caused by the necessity to deliver the car directly to the exhibitions and auto shows when it’s crucial to get it clean. Some vehicles cannot be delivered by open transport at all. For example, a low clearance loading makes it impossible to safely load the car on the open platform and such vehicles have to be transported via enclosed truck. The same we can see in case of various motorcycles and other non-standard vehicles. It’s always recommended to discuss the options directly with the carrier’s representative to make sure your car is allowed to be transported by the method you chose.

  2. Distance. It’s not surprising that the shipping car cost fully depends on the distance between the original location and the destination. To summarize, the cost of car shipping for 150 miles will take around 470 dollars while to deliver your car from West Coast to East Coast will cost you 1,270 dollars. As we can see, the shipping cost of cars does not involve just easy mathematical calculations otherwise the price for the 2,500-miles delivery will be much higher. The reason for this confusion is that the piece per mile is becoming different. Every transportation company is interested in having more long-trip orders and, therefore, try to attract more clients with such requirements. Traditionally, the quote per mile in case of the across-the-country routes will be about 50-60 cents while a 150-miles trip consists of the quotes of two or even three dollars per mile. That is why it can be considered as a stereotype that terminal-to-terminal deliveries are always much cheaper than more convenient door-to-door transportation. You need to check the difference in price carefully as in case of too much difference in mileage you can figure out that the second option is not only more convenient but also more profitable. By the way, the average quote per mile in the transportation industry is 1,38 dollars.
  3. Vehicle’s parameters. The weight is not the only feature of your car that will directly affect the final price. The length and the width will also be an important part of the deal. If you visit the official website of any transportation company, you will see there is an online-calculator for getting an approximate shipping cost of car. And one of the fields you will need to fill is the information about your vehicle – its make, model and year. Depending on this information, the system will consider your car as a standard sedan, SUV or truck. And this will affect the price. In some cases, there can be a pretty essential difference between two types (or even models) of the cars. The reason for that is not that the carrier wants to make extra money on your particular vehicle, but because its extra pounds or inches will not allow the transporter to add an extra car onto the track. Therefore, you will have extra expenses to cover the difference in price for the carrier. For this reason, you will also need to inform the transportation company in advance if your vehicle has some adjustments and improvements in comparison to the basic, factory-made model. Even a non-essential, from the first sight, detail can lead to the impossibility to load your car onto the full truck and therefore you will have some unnecessary delay and probably extra expenses. This kind of problem is much better and easier to avoid and prevent than to deal with. As an example of the differences in the car shipping costs, we can consider the trip of 1,000 miles. If you are a happy owner of the sedan type of the car, you can expect to pay around 820 dollars for its transportation. Those who possess SUV, will have a slightly higher quote of 890 dollars while the truck’s delivery will cost you about 1,020 dollars. In regards to the weight of the vehicle to be transported, here we also can mention that some transportation companies allow the clients to place some packages and parcels inside the car to be delivered as well, but this should be discussed and agreed in advance. You just should remember about the limitations the company will name you. Moreover, you can even arrange the delivery of your pets inside the car – this is a great option as most cats and dogs are not feeling too good after the flights.

Additional factors

Need for Vehicle Shippers

Here we will check the factors you as a car’s owner can affect to make the shipping cars cost more attractive and affordable.

  1. Advance booking. Of course, in modern changeable realities sometimes it’s not possible to predict when exactly you will need your car to be delivered. Normally, we are applying for the transportation service as soon as we have already made a deal with the auto dealer for purchasing a car online from another state. Or after we already bought a new house to move to. But as soon as you can plan your car shipping even a few weeks before, you can expect a better deal. You can also find very attractive discounts for so-called early birds who can afford to plan the delivery of the car a few months in advance. The reason for such a great benefit is that the carriers and brokers themselves are very interested in scheduling the routes for the cars’ deliveries in advance. To attract more “early birds”, they provide much cheaper shipping a car cost. You can check the conditions of every company you are interested in as some of them are slightly more flexible in regards to the final pick-up date so you will be able to choose between a couple of dates when it’s time for the delivery.
  2. Seasonality. Like almost every industry and sphere of life, the transportation industry also has its low and high seasons. Traditionally, the low season is winter as not so many car’s owners have the necessity to deliver the car from point A to point B. On the other side, in summertime people tend to move to new houses and buy cars. It's probably caused by the awakening of nature, probably because it’s considered to be easier to arrange the car’s transportation when the weather is warm and there are no significant weather conditions. In any case, when choosing to deliver your vehicle in winter, you can expect the car shipping cost to be 200-300 dollars lower than in summer. But, of course, you also need to be ready to wait a little bit longer as there is no so big demand and the carrier cannot deal only with a single car for the transportation, even if we are talking about the enclosed delivery (which is more recommended in winter time for the across-the-country delivery of the car). Additionally, some states of the United States may have their own seasonality, at least in regards to the directions. Thus, people get used to travel to the south states before the winter (if they have second houses or relatives and can afford to work remotely) and, vice versa, to the north when spring is coming. With a higher demand for some particular routes, transportation companies can raise the quote. There are, actually, a lot of details in regards to the seasonality, and you should not be confused to check with the transporter all possible options to cut the final price.
  3. Condition of the car. Shipping car costs can fully depend on the fact if the car to be delivered is operable or not. That is why if you are planning to send your vehicle to the repair shop, you should better arrange it before the pick-up date. Especially if there are some problems with the brakes, steering wheel and rolls. It may not only negatively affect the cost of shipping a car, but also can lead to the cancellation of the whole deal as the majority of the transportation companies are dealing only with the operable vehicles.

Finally, if you are truly interested in getting the best deal possible, you need to be ready to spend some time while checking the offers from various transportation carriers and brokers. It’s recommended to consider at least three options, but the more the better.

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