Whether you’re buying a new car or shipping your tried and true vehicle to a new location, you’re likely considering the best option to do so. You want the most safe, reliable and cost-efficient option, so where do you start? Car delivery services can grant you all of the above — here’s how!
What is a Car Delivery Service?
A car delivery service helps you transport your car from one location to another via a professional car delivery company. On the whole, choosing to hire a car delivery service can be incredibly beneficial and cost-effective.There are several reasons someone might choose to hire a car delivery service:
- Relocating multiple cars: Car delivery services can transport multiple vehicles at a time. It would be hard to do this on your own unless you have a friend or family member to help.
- Convenience: Perhaps the most appealing part of hiring a car delivery service is that it’s stress free. You can leave logistics to the pros! Door-to-door auto transport makes it simple — your transporter picks the car up from your house and takes it directly to your destination.
- Safety of the vehicle: Long distances can add wear and miles to your car. Hauling it on a truck can prevent both of these! Additionally, car delivery services offer insurance policies that will protect your car during transport.
- Your own safety: If you’re not used to driving long distances, it could be unsafe. You may be driving through terrain and weather conditions that are not typical to where you live.
What Guarantee is There That Your Car Will be Safe?
Legal Licenses and Regulations
In order to legally operate as a car shipping service, there are several legal requirements a company must fulfill to ensure safe transport.
Perhaps the most important is the company’s registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) The role of the FMCSA is to regulate the operations of long-distance transporters and ensure they’re up to code. It also controls what type of insurance is required for a company to have based on federal regulations.
Becoming registered with a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number is another federal requirement for car delivery services in 37 states. Even within states that do not require it, it’s heavily encouraged. The USDOT number is the key to finding information on a car delivery service through the FMCSA’s electronic record system. The records will indicate information about audits, compliance reviews, inspections, and other data.
Your personal car insurance likely will not hold up while on the road with a car delivery service. Luckily, all car delivery services are required to carry insurance. This can range between $100,000 and $1,000,000. When choosing a transport service, be sure to communicate about what the transport insurance limit is, especially if you’re shipping a high-end vehicle. Most companies will offer an add-on insurance package for an extra fee to ensure total coverage. That way, you will be covered in the event of an accident during the car delivery process.
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In addition, any quality car delivery service will have their own shipping guarantees that will protect you from scammers and fraudulent activity. CitizenShipper offers a Booking Assurance Guarantee to anyone who hires a car delivery service through the online marketplace. This protects you from fraudulent transactions and provides driver replacement assistance in the rare case of cancellation.
Can You Buy a Car Online and Have it Delivered?
Imagine the ultimate convenience — you see a car online that you like, and you wish it could just show up on your doorstep. This can actually be your reality! Car delivery services can contact your online seller to pick it up at a location near the seller and bring it to you. You can choose terminal-to-terminal delivery or door-to-door shipping.
Can a Non-Running Car be Delivered?
There are some car delivery services that specialize in transporting non-running vehicles. Before you choose a car delivery service, you’ll want to be sure they have the necessary equipment to do so. For example, if the brakes and steering are in working order but the car won’t run, you may need a tow truck and winch to haul your car to a shipping terminal. From there, the transporter can use equipment to get it on the hauling vehicle.
Can You Have a Car Delivered from the Dealership?
Delivering a car from a dealership to your home is absolutely an option, it just may take some extra coordinating. Pick a day and time that works both for the dealership and the transporter, then arrange door-to-door shipping. The car will be delivered directly to your house through door-to-door shipping.
Can You get Enclosed Transport to Protect your Car?
Enclosed car transport is what the name suggests — your car is protected by the walls of a truck during transport. Enclosed car transport is usually a popular choice for custom, luxury, exotic or classic vehicles, but of course available for most vehicle types. The main reason people use enclosed transport is because it protects the vehicle from the elements, like road grime, especially during rainy and snowy months.
Enclosed transport also provides extra security. If the car delivery service needs to make stops along the way, your car will not be left in the open, susceptible to theft or damage.
Enclosed transport comes in various sizes and styles. There are multi-car or double trailers that allow for multiple vehicles to be hauled at time. There are also single trailers for the option to have your car hauled by itself. The typical maximum for enclosed trailers is seven cars at a time. This makes enclosed transport ideal for expedited shipping — your car can ride solo or with one to five other cars, shortening the route to your destination.
You may be wondering why you’d choose to have your car hauled with several others instead of by itself. Multi-car shipping options are cheaper because it allows the driver to carry multiple vehicles at a time on a route. Enclosed carriers are heavier and less fuel efficient than open carriers. Higher fuel costs means higher shipping costs as well.
Where Can You Get Quotes for Auto Transport?
Sometimes getting a quote from car delivery services can be a convoluted process filled with hidden fees and fine print. CitizenShipper makes calculating car shipping estimates transparent and easy. First, you create a free listing on the CitizenShipper marketplace, filing in some simple information about your car:
- Year, make and model of the vehicle
- Photos of the vehicle
- Whether the vehicle is in operable condition (starts, runs, and has keys)
- Ideal pick-up and drop-off dates and locations
- Any other details you think are important to share with your transporter, such as the type of trailer you prefer, pre-existing damage to the vehicle, modifications made to the vehicle, etc.
Note: the more detailed the listing, the faster quotes will start rolling in and the more refined matches will be!
Once you’ve submitted your listing, CitizenShipper takes care of the research portion. You’ll be paired up with car delivery services that reflect the specific needs of your vehicle, and the personnel and equipment to carry it. Before booking, you can view a transporter’s profile. It will tell you information about past deliveries such as reviews from past customers, the number of successful trips as well as cancellations, and their overall rating on a 5-star scale.
CitizenShipper has an internal messaging system where you can speak directly to the delivery services about questions you may have or to discuss aspects of the quote. Competition to take on your transport journey keeps prices low!
What Should You Expect to Pay?
The price breakdown differs depending on the car delivery company. Some charge based on a per-mile rate, while others provide a flat rate. Here are factors that determine the price:
Distance — The longer the trip, the more it will cost.
Vehicle Size — Your car contributes weight to the hauling vehicle and takes up space on the trailer. Compact cars are usually cheaper to deliver than larger vehicles. Additional equipment may be required for an oversized vehicle.
Timeframe of Delivery — If you choose to expedite the delivery of your car, extra fees may be added. If you can plan ahead and be flexible with pick up and drop off dates, this may save you some money.
Multi-Carrying Car Delivery Services — If multiple cars are being delivered on the same hauling vehicle, this can reduce the price. You will be splitting the overall delivery costs with other people who are shipping their cars to a location along the same route. Open transport is typically the most cost-effective for this reason, as it is easier to haul multiple vehicles simultaneously.
Non-running Condition– Additional equipment may be necessary to deliver non-running vehicles.
Seasonal Price Surges
A lot of people choose to move in the summer. For this reason, May through August are the months where car delivery services are in high demand. You may see price surges during this time. On the other hand, during the winter months adverse weather conditions may cause the car delivery journey to be more taxing, and delivery fees may be affected.
Paying for Peace of Mind
These may seem like a lot of variables, but what you’re really paying for is peace of mind. You may find that it will still be cheaper and less risky than driving the car yourself. If you were to drive the car yourself, you could factor in the cost of gas, food and lodging. These can add up quicker than you think! On top of that, you will have to make time for the journey. This may mean days off work. Lastly, in the event your car needs emergency maintenance due to an accident, flat tire or a break-down this will put you back even more on both money and time.
Is Express Delivery Possible?
Most car delivery services will offer express delivery options, but it may come at a higher price tag. It definitely pays to be flexible with pick up and drop off dates. This way, the car delivery service will have the time to plan out the best route and cut down on costs where possible. Express delivery fees may range from $200 to $500 on top of an average quoted price.
Do You Tip the Driver After Delivery?
Gratuity is not included in the price of your car delivery service, but it’s a gesture that shows your appreciation for the work they’ve done. For example, if the driver is communicative, on time, and fulfills special requests — really going that extra mile, sometimes literally — it would be a great idea to leave a tip. The better the service, the better the tip is a good rule of thumb.
Car delivery driving is a skillful job that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. If you’re unable to give a small tip, that’s totally okay. Leaving some kind words about your experience on the car delivery service’s page is another way to extend your gratitude!
The Benefits Hiring a Car Delivery Service
It may seem like a huge task to get your car from point A to point B, especially if you’ll need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles and the car isn’t in running condition. The equipment to get the job done may be expensive and hard to come by. If your car does run, the journey may be too stressful and time consuming.
No matter the reason you’re searching for a car delivery service, CitizenShipper specializes in connecting people with hard-to-ship items with the best person to get the job done right. Create a free listing today to receive quotes within minutes!
Paige Strickland is a content writer with a background in journalism. She is an advocate for animals, the environment, and local issues.