Anyone who has already been moving across the country knows that long-distance moves can be quite pricey. In case you’re bringing your vehicle with you, and you’re wondering how you can save a few bucks, you should opt for the cheapest way to ship a car. What are your options? Which option is the most reliable one? What are the risks? We’ll answer each question and explain much more.
Car shipping isn’t as easy as some might think, and it can bring many dilemmas such as which auto transport company should you pick? Is the door to door auto transport better than terminal to terminal car shipping? What is the difference between open and enclosed auto transport and what should you opt for? If you don’t want to get scammed and spend more money than you actually should, read on and get familiar with how to move a car to another state economically.
What Are the Options Available When Shipping a Vehicle to Another State?
You can have many reasons to move your vehicle, and luckily, there are plenty of ways to do it. You can do it by yourself or with the help of a company.
Here are the most usual methods:
Driving by yourself
If you’re not going too far away, if you’re having a last-minute move or if you just love to drive, you can just hop inside of your vehicle and relocate. This is not the easiest option, but it’s always available if your automobile is operable and ready for a long journey.
Hire a driver
Similar to the top option, except you don’t have to do anything but to hand the keys to someone and have the vehicle relocated. You’ll need someone reliable and with experience of long drives. It can be complicated to find a person of trust, but it is possible. You can reach out to people you know, or Google it and you’ll find plenty of businesses offering this type of service. Keep in mind that long trips are heavy for cars.
Hire a towing company
Towing truck is mostly used for inoperable vehicles. They are a great option if you don’t have time to fix some problems your automobile might have, and you want it relocated as soon as possible. Works best if you’re going no more than 500 miles.
Ship your car by rail
This method is not that common. Loading your automobile into a train is used mostly by car dealers who relocate several cars at once, but it can happen that you can find an open slot as well. This method isn’t available at all locations, and it isn’t the safest one – cars could be vulnerable to vandalism.
Hire a broker
Brokers are not that reliable, but a quite common option. You need to be careful with their quotes – brokers have a bad reputation of “too good to be true” prices that add up at the end.
Hire a carrier by yourself
Go online or ask someone of trust to recommend a business that can do relocating for you. Many people opt for U Ship to find the most affordable option. Once you enter the year, make, and model of the automobile, as well as the pick-up and delivery location, you will see what carriers you can hire, how much that will cost, and what their delivery window is.
Hire a relocation company
The last, but not least is shipping your four-wheeler with a professional relocation business that specializes in auto transport. They can offer you a very good deal and lower the costs, as well as insurance.
Pay Attention to These Things If You Wish to Ship Your Vehicle the Cheapest Way
We listed above all the choices that you have, but not all of them are cheap. Here are some moving tips you should keep in mind if you opt to go with professionals:
- Are they registered and licensed? Make sure there are no moving scams by checking their DOT number, and seeing if they have a license and insurance.
- Be sure that you know how they charge. This is the most common mistake that also causes moving stress. See if they charge the full amount upfront, or is there any room for increasing the quote.
- Ask about any possible additional costs or fees. Some businesses like to tell their customers only one side of the story, not mentioning some additional costs that can appear later on. Beware if they ask for big deposits or if they provide only ballparks.
What Kind of Company Should You Choose for Auto Transport?
Not every business is the best option for lowering the costs of auto transport. It’s important to know whether they do business transparently, so check who you are calling on Better Business Bureau and see their Yelp and Facebook reviews. That should paint a good picture – you will see if it is a legitimate one, and what previous customers said about them. Be aware that there are many fake reviews, so learn to distinguish them from the real ones.
Reputable companies work seven days a week and can pick up your automobile any time except weekends and holidays. In case that is the only time that works for you, professionals will do anything in their power to meet your needs, but keep in mind that it won’t be the cheapest way for auto transportation.
Make a List of Trustworthy Ones and Call for Quotes
Multiple quotes are the best method to pick the cheapest way to move out of state and to see how a business charges for its services. You should avoid those giving you only ballparks or prices that sound too good that are based only on the estimate.
Find a business that can offer you a guaranteed quote, with no large deposits, and with all costs and insurance coverage transparently introduced. They should also provide you with a dedicated sales representative that you can reach out to anytime and ask whatever questions or concerns you may have.
After booking, you should get a contract certified in the Department of Transportation, and the price should be charged in full before the move happens. Paying with a credit card instead of cash leaves no space for manipulation and foul business.
Don’t Believe the Average Costs Companies Tell You Before the Transport – It Might Eat Up All Your Savings
Some companies like to say that they have an average price of auto transport and that it’s around $700. The thing with average prices in this industry is that it’s very hard to determine them, and saying the number can be misleading. The cost depends on many factors – it varies during the year, it can be different based on the route that the carriers will take, and the type of vehicles. That is why it is always better to say the range of prices – costs can usually vary from $450 to $3000.
When Is Hiring a Relocation Company the Cheapest Way to Ship a Car?
The business you hired to ship your auto has more ways to provide you with a lower cost. Here’s what else you can do to get a cheaper quote:
- Choose open instead of the enclosed trailer – Open trailers are the most common method of transporting multiple cars at once, while enclosed ones are preferred by those who are shipping expensive, modified, or rare automobiles. Enclosed one offers maximum protection from the outside factors, provides more insurance coverage than the open one, and is more expensive as a result.
- Move out of season – We’re talking about winter months such as November, December, and January. Fewer people are relocating during that period, so the quote will be lower as well.
- Book on time – A month or two in advance. The prices are higher during the summer, which is the moving season, so if you want to relocate your car in June or July, which is the best time of the year to move, feel free to call a company in April.
- If you’re shipping more than one car, you can get a discount for the total cost. For example, if transporting an automobile costs $1,000, shipping two of them might end up costing $1,800, rather than $2,000.
- If you’re relocating your household goods with the same company, they can offer you a bundled deal.
- If you’re a returning client, you will have privileges and get a discount.
- If you’re in the military or if you’re a student, you might get a discounted quote.
The Type of Your Vehicle Can Impact the Price
If you’re driving a large automobile like, for example, Dodge RAM 3500, the size and the weight of your four-wheeler can increase the cost. Pick-up trucks and SUVs are also on the list, while sedans can be shipped for a lower price if we’re not talking about old ones, like the Lincoln. They are long and heavy, so they might as well fit the list of vehicles that take up a lot of space on the trailer.
Don’t Increase the Price of the Shipping by Putting Too Many Things in Your Auto
Since many companies have a limit of 100 lbs of personal items you can put in your trunk, some people take advantage of that and put even heavier things. That leads to the bigger weight of the vehicles and the bigger cost. Make sure that you respect the amount of things you can ship in your car, and keep in mind that those items won’t be covered by moving insurance.
Should You Choose Door to Door or Terminal to Terminal Service?
Do you have a dilemma about this? We’d like to help. Let’s explain first what is what. Door to door service is more common in the industry, meaning that it’s also cheaper. It means that the company will pick up and drop off the vehicles as close as possible from and to the desired addresses. Terminal to terminal is less convenient because you will have to leave your car at a terminal or a safe parking lot where the carrier picks it up and delivers it to another terminal in the state you’re going to. Door to door is also preferred by customers because of the liability – there’s no chance that someone steals your car once the company delivers it to the terminal.
There’s a myth that terminal to terminal is a cheaper version of car shipping. The truth is that it isn’t. There could be costs of picking it up or storage costs in case your vehicle stays on the terminal, no matter for how long.
Why Is Auto Transport With a Moving Company the Safest Way to Ship a Car?
We explained the economic benefits you will have if you opt for the transport of your automobile with reputable movers, but the most important pro is that you will have peace of mind. Working with reputable and professional companies that provide long-distance moving services is always a pleasant experience, and you won’t have to worry about possible damages, scratches, or even theft.
Another Important Reason Is That Your Car Won’t Travel for Long
Companies that do business transparently usually say that they have guaranteed delivery windows for their services. That is the time during which your vehicle must be delivered to you, and there’s no dilemma or delays. Those windows can be anywhere from 5 to 14 business days, just to make sure that there’s no lateness, but in practice, your four-wheeler will be at the new destination in 2 to 9 days tops, depending on the distance.