Many people use car shipping. It is a service designed to transport a vehicle from one area to another, often over long distances. It is sometimes called vehicle transport or auto transport. There are many reasons to ship a car, including simply needing someone else to drive the car to your location. The more you know about the process, and the benefits it offers, the better you will be prepared for the process.

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What Is Car Shipping?

Perhaps you just purchased a car online. You won an auction and are excited to start driving. Yet, you do not have a way of getting that car to your location. Any time you cannot drive the car yourself, you can turn to car shipping for help.

What is Car Shipping?

It is possible to ship a car over a short distance, such as from one area of the state to another. It is also possible to ship a car to another state or even to ship a car cross country. Most of the time, you will pay based on the type of vehicle and the distance the shipping company needs to transport the vehicle. You can also use this type of service to ship your vehicle overseas.

You can use this service for any type of car. It could be a prized collectible that you do not want any damage done to, not even a scratch. It could be a car that is not operational, and you plan to repair or restore it on your own. You can use it for most types of vehicles, from passenger vehicles and SUVs to sports cars and trucks.

Using an auto transport company makes it easy for you to move your vehicle from one area to the next, no matter the location. However, if this type of auto shipping service sounds good to you, there are a few more things you need to know before investing in a car shipping company.

Which Type of Car Shipping Service Do You Need?

A range of companies will ship a car, and they range widely in terms of what they will provide and how they work. It is a good idea to compare some options to find the best car shipping company available to meet your needs.

Types of Car Shipping Services

Before you consider a vehicle transport service, you need to think about what your needs are.

  • Where will the car to be picked up?
  • Where will the car be delivered?
  • Does the vehicle run?
  • Is the suspension modified?

Types of Delivery

Do you want the vehicle taken directly to your home, a car repair shop, or another specific destination? That is an option, though it typically costs a bit more. It is called door-to-door auto transport. If you are not too picky and just need the vehicle delivered close by, you can choose a terminal-to-terminal auto delivery. In this case, the company will pick up the vehicle and drop it off at one of their stores or an operating base they use. This tends to be a bit less expensive overall.

If your car is not operational or you want to ensure it is delivered all the way to your home or business, using door-to-door delivery tends to be the best option available. However, this type of delivery can take a bit of pre-planning to arrange, so you do not want to wait too long to get the help you need.

Drive the Car

The next consideration is how the vehicle is going to move from place to place. You can choose to ship a car so that a person from the company gets behind the wheel of it and drives it to the destination of your choice. This is as simple of service as you can get.

There are some key benefits to this service:

  • Typically the least expensive option for moving the vehicle
  • It may be a fast option since there is no complicated process to set up

This method has a few concerns to think about before you use it:

  • You are adding mileage to the car when you have the vehicle driven for you, which can be a factor if the car is older and valuable.
  • There is a slight risk that the car could be damaged from things like stones being tossed up at the windshield, just as that can happen to you any time you drive it.
  • This option is not viable if the vehicle is not fully operational or the trip may be too long for the vehicle to make it in good condition.
Transport the Car

Another option is to use a trailer. When it comes to the best car shipping company, most will recommend this type of process if the car is valuable or you are concerned about damage. You may also choose an enclosed trailer so there is less risk of something damaging your car.

There are a few benefits to this method:

  • There is more safety involved in the process than having someone drive the car for you.
  • You can choose the transport shipping option that works for you with several types of shipping services available. A shipping container is the most expensive option, but it is also the safest option.

Using this method of car shipping, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Depending on the company, it may take a bit more time to set up the transport process, which means it may be harder to arrange right away.
  • Shipping in any type of trailer or transport vehicle is going to cost more than trying to do it yourself. 

With the use of a trailer, you should also consider the various types of shipping options available to help you. Most often, there are more than a few methods used here.

Open Carrier Auto Transport Car Shipping

Open Carrier Shipping

One of the more common options for everyday vehicles is to transport the car on an open trailer where there are no sides to protect it. The car is secured and safe, but there is no protection to the car from the elements.

Enclosed Carrier Auto Transport

Enclosed Carrier Shipping

For high valued vehicles, consider the benefit of using an enclosed transport, which means the vehicle is fully enclosed within the shipping container. This option is ideal for valuable cars as it helps to minimize dust, weather, and debris buildup.

Take some time to consider which of these options is right for you. You will need to know your preferred method of shipping in order to get car shipping quotes from companies.

What Factors Play a Role in Car Shipping Costs?

How much does it cost to ship a car? That depends on several key factors, including the following:

  • Distance: This is the biggest factor in determining how much you will pay for shipping a car. The total distance from one location to the next, in miles, is used. For long distances, there may be a discount provided per mile, but that varies based on the carrier.
  • Route: The route taken can matter, too. If the vehicle needs to go through dense city traffic, that may up the cost a bit more for you. Other factors, such as access to roadways and construction, poor weather conditions, and the types of roads available for large loads, can play a role in this process.
  • Timing: How fast do you need to ship a car? The more advanced notice you have, the less you’ll likely pay for shipping. Be sure to request quotes as soon as you know you need to ship a vehicle.
  • Transport type: As mentioned, having an enclosed or open-air trailer can play a role in the cost of shipping your vehicle. It is typically best to ship within an enclosed vehicle as that helps minimize damage risks to paint and class.
  • Condition: The car’s condition also plays a role in the cost. A vehicle that is running and easy to move onto the truck is going to be far less time-consuming for the carrier. If your vehicle is able to be rolled, steered, and stopped with its brakes, you should be able to use a transport like this for it. If a forklift or wrecker needs to be used, that is going to increase the cost.
  • Location: Where the vehicle is and where it is going could play a role in this as well. Are the streets too tight? Are there any mountain passes that need to be navigated?
  • Your car: The make and model of the vehicle typically play a role in this process, too. That’s because it plays a role in how much space needs to be available on the truck or trailer to move the vehicle. Larger or longer trailers may be necessary for some vehicles.

The longer the trip is, the more you are likely to pay for the transport. Other factors play a role in the costs you will pay as well. That includes the value of the car and the size of the transport needed. The best way to know what it will cost to ship a car is to use car shipping quotes. The process really only takes a few minutes and provides you with very accurate information about what you can expect to pay from one destination to the next.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

How much does car shipping cost?

This is the big question many have when shipping a car, but it is also the most difficult one to answer. That is because many factors play a role in determining what you will pay. Here are some basic guidelines that may apply in your case:

  • Typically, car shipping in an open carrier costs about .45 cents per mile
  • Car shipping in an enclosed carrier costs about $1 per mile

The longer the trip is, the more you are likely to pay for the transport. Other factors play a role in the costs you will pay as well. That includes the value of the car and the size of the transport needed. The best way to know what it will cost to ship a car is to use car shipping quotes. The process really only takes a few minutes and provides you with very accurate information about what you can expect to pay from one destination to the next.

Should I have my car shipped in an open or enclosed auto transport carrier?

Auto Transport Insurance

One of the factors to keep in mind when choosing the best car shipping company is whether insurance is available. Transport companies carry liability insurance, but there are typically limitations on the coverage available to protect your vehicle should there be an accident. In nearly all situations, drivers should have insurance on their vehicle because you simply do not know what could happen. Be sure that the insurance policy clearly outlines the type of damage covered.

Enclosed Auto Carrier Transporting

Timing of Your Trip

Another factor to consider when it comes to costs is the time of the year. Weather can be a big factor in any type of transport, depending on where you live, because these vehicles are larger. In the winter months, you are likely to spend a bit more to have your vehicle shipped. There is no telling what type of weather could occur that could put your driver and the vehicle at risk.

Also, be careful around the holidays. One of the most expensive times of the year to ship a vehicle is December (and sometimes, it can be very difficult to find an available company).

The ideal time of the year is typically spring and summer, as the days are longer and carriers have more availability. Most often, you will see prices remain good through the fall, though the closer you get to the holidays, the higher the costs are likely to rise. There is also a peak in price around September when students are going to school.

Types of Companies Offering Car Shipping Services

There are several types of companies that provide car shipping:

  • Lead Providers: This type of company will provide you with a list of leads or carriers that may be available to help you. You can then contact any of those leads to determine if you should work with them.
  • Carriers: An auto shipping company that does the actual transporting of the vehicle is a carrier. You can request a quote from the carrier directly or use a third party to do so.
  • Broker: A broker is a company that helps you find the best option for shipping a vehicle. They offer key benefits because they help with planning the details and ensure you are working with the appropriate carrier.

Brokers offer other advantages, too. With them, you have access to thousands of potential carriers to meet your needs, and they can help you find the best car shipping company available, whether you need to ship a car to another state or a car across the country. They can also speed up the process, ensuring you get access to the best provider without reaching out and requesting a quote from each car shipping provider.

Steps to Take to Ship a Car

With all of that info, you should be ready to ship your vehicle. The process does not have to be complex, but you want to be sure you’re thorough to ensure that you make the best decision for your vehicle.

Here’s how we make the entire process easy for you.

Thousands of companies will ship a car. Each one has different availability, costs, and services it offers. Our goal is to help you. Instead of spending the next week trying to track down a number of providers and then requesting quotes from them to compare, we do that step in the process for you. You can get the car shipping quotes you need right here in a matter of minutes.

There are some big reasons to use our service when you need to ship your car:

Auto Transport Company
  • It saves you time. Time matters in the shipping world, and you need a fast, reliable estimate in no time. We can do that for you.
  • It’s easy to compare costs. It takes a few minutes to get more than one option using our service. You can then use that information to help you get the best price on the services we offer. You can often save a lot of money by working with us for this process – even if you go to the carriers’ website directly.

The entire process of shipping your car does not have to take too much of your time. You will learn from the carriers what documentation you need. You can arrange the specific timeframes that work for your needs and even get photographic evidence that the vehicle is arriving in the condition you sent it in.

Don’t overlook the importance of having some help getting the right shipping carrier for your car. This is a big move and a valuable one. Getting it right means working with the best car shipping company available to you today. It only takes a few minutes to start the process, and there is no risk in learning more about costs, timelines, and availability.