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There are any number of reasons why you may make the decision to ship your car from one place to another. You may be moving out of state or you are flying to your winter home or vacation spot and you want your car to be shipped there. You may have purchased a car from another state or have a classic car that you are sending to a professional for restoration. You may need to ship your car home after getting into an accident or experiencing a breakdown while you are far away.
Hiring someone to drive your vehicle may seem like an optimal solution, but when you figure in the peripheral expenses it isn’t as attractive. The cost of fuel can be prohibitive, but factoring in the cost of wear and tear on your car that will result from a cross country drive. You could also face some insurance costs if you don’t have adequate coverage for a stranger to drive your car.
Auto transport may be a viable option for you to get your vehicle from Point A to Point B for a reasonable price and it isn’t limited to just cars and truck. You can ship motorcycles as well. The rates are based on distance, vehicle weight, fuel cost, availability, and trucking routes. Since many of these expenses fluctuate from day to day, estimates for shipping a car may also vary daily. There are several transport options when making the choice to ship your car. These can also affect rates.
Types of Vehicle Transport
There are three primary types of vehicle transport:
- Closed Carriers – This is typically the most expensive way to ship your car. The vehicle is transported in an enclosed trailer or truck bed and often only one vehicle at a time is shipped. It is preferred by many people because the car is protected against the elements and many road hazards.
- Open Carriers – This is usually less expensive than closed carriers. Only one vehicle is transported at a time and this is preferable for many people, but it does expose your car to road hazards and the elements.
- Multi-carriers – This method usually not as expensive as using single vehicle carriers. However, because they are carrying multiple vehicles, they will often drop off and pick up other vehicles along the way. This may require a more flexible delivery date. Several factors affect the rates for this type of shipping. Placement on the carrier, whether on the lower or upper level of the transporter as well as how it will be loaded (extra charges can be incurred if the vehicle isn’t operational).
Things to Consider when Shipping a Car
Most car shipping experiences begin with a Google search that queries “car transport in my state” or “car transport from state to state.” It doesn’t end there though. In order to get the best service possible, you have to do a little legwork.
- Insurance – The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) requires that auto transporters carry both cargo and liability insurance. $50,000 is the industry standard, but not all vehicle shippers go that high. Some of them carry less.
- Type of Carrier – Find out what type of carrier will be used. If possible, ask what the difference in rates is for different carrier types.
- Timeframe and Delivery – The delivery timeframe can be influenced by distance, especially when transporting the car across state lines. Before you book you will want to know what the expected timeframe is and the expected delivery date. Also, find out if that delivery date is flexible.
- Delivery Location – Discuss whether your vehicle can be delivered to your door or if you will need to meet the transporter somewhere to get your car.
- References – Treat the car transporter as you would any company you plan to do business with and check it out. See if the company has any unresolved complaints or numerous complaints with the local Better Business Bureau where the company is located. Also, look for reviews and references from other customers.
- USDOT Number – All shippers are required to have an active USDOT number and an MC number or Operating Authority. You can verify this at www.safersys.org.
- Supplemental Charges – Request a list of supplemental charges that the contract does not cover. This could include fuel surcharges, toll fees, and additional insurance fees.
Top 5 Car Transport States
Different states may have some variances in fees and fuel costs, but many of the costs associated with shipping a car are subject to change at any time. In fact, they can vary from one day to the next. Crossing state lines can also mean additional expenses. However, the top 5 car transport states, the states that seem to be the most car transport friendly are:
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Car Transporters by State
Find the best car transport companies in your state. Click on your state’s link below to find more specific information on shipping your car.