Cheapest Way to Ship a Car | Useful Tips | CitizenShipper Auto Transport

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated August 9, 2023

car shipping

No matter whether you need to move your car as part of a relocation or you purchased a car from an auction. If you need to move a car a long distance you will be asking yourself how much it is going to cost. Read on for a brief guide to the cheapest way to ship a car. 

Open transport versus closed

The cheapest way to move a car is on an open trailer. This is essentially exactly what you imagine a car trailer with no sides or roof. Your car is completely exposed to the element BUT it is the lowest option out there. A closed trailer has walls and a roof that protects your car from the weather and road debris – you will pay more for this service. 

If you choose an open option, it would be advisable to request your car is covered by either a canvas or removable wrapping to protect against stone chips and dust. 

Combine with other cars to save dollars. 

Shipping just your car means you have to pay for the transporters full costs plus their fee. Splitting the journey with other car owners will make the trip considerably cheaper. In this case, you will need a transporter that can take multiple vehicles. You can organize these yourself which will require a fair amount of effort Or you can let your transport know that you are ok with the stacked shipment. Just note that many vintage car transporters recommend using non-stacking trailers as oil may drip from cars on the upper deck and damage the ones below. 

For a multi-vehicle trip, you may also need to provide more detailed weight and size details that may be more difficult to ascertain if you are not at the point of departure.

Insurance and accident cover

It’s absolutely crucial your car has insurance before it starts its journey. But think carefully about the type of insurance you need to avoid paying a premium. It pays to check any insurance policies provided by your credit card company or health insurance that may save you a few bucks. Your shipping service may also have an insurance policy that offers a fair deal. 

Overall price

The secret to cheaply shipping a car is to know the market and be prepared to negotiate. 

It is best to get several quotes from several different types of shipping companies. A large shipping company will likely have the experience and equipment required but be prepared for impersonal customer service. Another option is to use a shipping marketplace provider such as CitizenShipper. All you need to do is post the details of your shipping requirements. For example, the model of your car, where it’s starting, and where it needs to go. A highly experienced shipper will then contact you with quotes for the job. This gives you a great position to review many shippers at once using the CitizenShipper platform. You can also contact them securely and safely over the CitizenShipper website. The marketplace model keeps the price competitive while bringing the best shippers in your area to your attention. 

Check that the quoted price includes the entire journey including gas, any tolls, or additional equipment. 

Preparing your car

Once you have a date set for your car’s move, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the journey. If you are buying a car in another state or from a distant location, you may not be able to do these jobs yourself. Ask the seller or the shipper to go over this checklist. 

  • Dropdown antennas.
  • Ensure all windows are closed
  • Cover car with large canvases or cloth
  • Use soft tie-downs when securing the truck or trailers to avoid scratches on the paint and other damage.
  • Remove any moving object inside the car (such as objects in the dash, cleaning equipment, etc)

Know the route 

For peace of mind discuss the route your car will take with your shipper. If you elected for an uncovered trailer, you will definitely want them to avoid gravel roads. CitizenShipper allows you to stay in touch with your shipper the entire journey so you can know exactly where your dream machine is as it approaches you. 

Welcome your new car home

Finally, the day is here, your car is being delivered. Once your car arrives at its destination make sure you thoroughly inspect it for any damage that may have occurred on the journey so that you can make a claim with your insurance within an appropriate time frame. 

The only thinking left to do is to leave an honest and complete review of your shipper

Enjoy your new car!