How to Cheaply Move a Car Long Distance?

For Shippers · Vehicle Shipping · 19 July

Orange Volkswagen Beetle in front of an old house
Orange Volkswagen Beetle in front of an old house
Photo by Julia Joppien

You need your car to be at a different place, far away from where it is now, and you are contemplating how to manage your expenses so that this doesn’t affect your wallet too much. Do-it-yourself? Sure, you can drive your car to that other place, all you need to have is the bucks for gas. Plus, if that other place is more than an 8-10 hours drive away, extra cash to book an overnight stay. Too much of a hassle? Don’t want to drive it yourself? No problem. You can still ship your car with this advice on how to do it the cheapest way.

Open vs. Enclosed Trailer Option

Broadly speaking, there are two ways of shipping a car: shipping it with an open trailer, and with an enclosed trailer. Shipping prices for these two options of shipping can differ greatly.

Open-air trailer transportation means that your car will be loaded on an open carrier trailer, usually along with several other cars. This means that your car will be exposed to the elements of travel, such as weather conditions and road debris. This can be the cheapest way to ship your car, as apart from it being shipped along with other vehicles, there are substantially more moving companies that offer this option than the enclosed trailer option. The price for this kind of shipping will still depend on several factors, such as mileage, route variations, and the weight (size) of your vehicle. So make sure to thoroughly discuss this with the moving company and provide them full information about the type of vehicle you need to be shipped.

Ship Your Car, SUV, or Any Vehicle

Enclosed trailer transportation is a preferred way to ship a luxury car. As the name suggests, this is an enclosed car trailer, so your car will be protected from weather conditions and road debris. This kind of car shipping comes at a greater price. There are several reasons why this is not as cheap as the open trailer option. Firstly, there can not be as many cars shipped at the same time in an enclosed trailer as there can be on an open car trailer. Secondly, there are fewer moving companies that offer this option, so the price for this kind of shipping is less competitive. Then, there is a question of insurance policies. Even though both open and enclosed trailer transportation will be insured, the insurance for enclosed car transportation is way higher, making this kind of transportation more expensive.

Door-to-door vs. Terminal to Terminal Option

Choosing between door-to-door vs. terminal to terminal option is also a matter of price difference.

The door-to-door shipping option means that the transporter comes as close as possible to the location where your car is to pick it up and then delivers it as close as possible to the place you need your car delivered to. Apart from its convenience (of not having to drive your car yourself to a terminal that can be far away from your home), this kind of shipping also has a narrower delivery date range. And as you may expect, this service comes at a greater price. Even more so if the pick-up and delivery address are far away from a major city, so the moving company will need to spend more time and gas to get to the chosen locations.

The terminal to terminal option is a cheaper shipping option. This option means that you drive your car to a terminal (parking lot) from where the shipper will load it to the trailer, and drive it to another terminal where you can pick up your car. The downside of this option is the hassle of you having to get to the terminal point of dropping off and picking up your car, and that terminal point might be quite far away from where you actually need your car to be. This option also means that you need to figure out a way to get back from the drop-off location and get to the pick-up location without actually having your car with you. Furthermore, this kind of shipping option has a wider delivery date range than the door-to-door option, as your car may be waiting on a terminal for a couple of days to be loaded on the trailer.

Other factors to consider

When it comes to finding the cheapest way to ship a car, there are also other factors to consider that can influence the price of shipping.

The type of your car is one of them. The type of your car determines the size and the weight of your car, and the greater the weight, the greater the price of shipping your car. Nevertheless, it is a given that you can not change the type of car you already own unless you suddenly decide to swap it for a smaller one. Apart from that, there is still a way that you can influence the price of shipping depending on the weight of the car. Retain the weight of your personal items in the car to less than 100lbs.

If you are in no hurry to transport your car, consider the time of the year when you want it transported. Avoid peak moving season. During the peak moving season (from mid-April to September) shipping prices can go up to 30%. Try to arrange for your car to be shipped during the colder months of the year, to spare a hit on your wallet.

Do thorough research of potential moving companies. Reliability checks are very important when it comes to choosing the cheapest way to ship a car. Ask several moving companies for their quotes, and if one of them gives you a suspect-fully low quote, it may be too good to be true. You want to get the cheapest price possible, but you don’t want to end up paying that small price and losing your car altogether. A great way to find a reliable moving company is by listing your car at CitizenShipper. Once you state the type of car you want to be shipped, pick up and delivery address with delivery date flexibility, you will start receiving quotes within minutes. An awesome feature of CitizenShipper is that once you start receiving quotes from the movers, you will also be able to see the reviews of the previous movers’ clients. So go ahead, and choose wisely

Updated September 17, 2021

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