Shipping your car saves on mileage, time and convenience. But shipping automobiles is quite unlike shipping household items, which means you need to find an auto transport company specifically. There are many factors involved, such as finding a reliable auto hauling company and your destination. The cost to ship your car to a large city is going to differ from shipping it to a rural area. The distance and location also play key roles in determining the cost of auto shipping. However, there are many other factors at play which we will outline in this post.
Factors That Influence the Cost of Car Shipping
No auto shipper will be able to tell you exactly how much it will cost to haul your car to its new home. An estimate can be drawn up, however, by determining certain major factors. If you understand those factors, you can do it yourself or get it done by a professional auto hauler. Whether you are a business or an individual looking to relocate, hiring a car shipping service is essential to transport your vehicles safely.
The first thing you need to understand about car hauling is that the cost is directly related to the demand and popularity of the freight forwarding company. Here we have compiled a list of major factors that will impact the cost of shipping your car.
1. Distance and Location
Distance is an obvious factor. The further you need to send your car, the more it will cost. This is simply due to mileage and fuel consumption. Also, the distance will impact the time required to complete the journey.
Location is also a primary concern if you are preparing for a cross-country relocation. In fact, it is more important than distance. Since major cities are popular destinations, the chances are that shipping to these places will cost less. This is because if your vehicle needs to be shipped away from the main highways, your location becomes more difficulty to reach. You and the driver may even have to negotiate on another place to meet.
2. Time of Year
The auto transport industry is busiest when people are moving or travelling. Snowbirds, who rely a lot on car transport services, want to send their cars back home as spring approaches. Summer tends to be peak season, since children are out of school; naturally, people will try to move prior to the next school year. June and July are popular months for vacations as well.
As you can guess, shipping your car in summer is going to be more expensive. You may not always get to choose whether to ship during summer or winter, but keeping in mind how weather impacts the safety and cost of shipping may be helpful. Any type of inclement weather or harsh storm makes it difficult for the driver. Seasons, therefore, are an important factor to consider, especially if you have a high-end vehicle.
3. Delivery Time Frame Flexibility
The more flexible you are with the delivery date, the lower the rates. A reputable auto hauling company will provide a lot of different options for shipping your precious vehicle. Some are more economical, while others come with guaranteed on-time delivery and safety, so cost more.
The best thing to do is to book the service a couple of weeks prior to when you need it to permit time for both parties to prepare. Shipping your car on short notice will give you fewer options and be more expensive because convenience costs. Fast pickup and delivery require quick and efficient route planning which adds to the price.
4. Shipping Options
Along with flexibility in the delivery time frame, different shipping options come at different prices.
Usually, there are two types of carriers you can choose from:
a. An open carrier
An open carrier is the most flexible option for vehicle shipping and is the most common mode of transport. It carries a lot of vehicles simultaneously, but your car will be exposed to the elements.
b. An enclosed carrier
In contrast, enclosed carriers cost more but offer better protection from weather, dirt and dust. This is specifically recommended for antique or exotic cars.
Many companies offer terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door pickup and delivery, which costs more but is necessary for high-end vehicles.
5.Vehicle Weight and Dimensions
The size and weight of your vehicle both impact its shipping cost. Shipping a heavy truck or any larger vehicle will require more effort and safety measures compared to smaller cars.
Even the type of the vehicle and the condition it is in affects the shipping price. Any modification made to your vehicle can change its size and weight. And whether the car is operable or inoperable affects the way it can be loaded for shipping. Discuss the condition of your car with your shipping company before you ask for an estimate.
We understand that deciding on a reliable car shipping company is overwhelming, but knowing the factors that influence the shipping cost will prove helpful. Even though no shipper will quote you a specific price ahead of time, you can trust an experienced and reliable company to provide you with an estimate that will be close to the end price.