There are many reasons why you may need to transport a car. Perhaps you brought one from an auction in another state; you need to move a car that can’t be driven or you are moving house too far away to drive. In any case, you must find a reliable transporter that can move your car efficiently and within your budget. This article goes through a few items to think about and gives some tips about choosing a reliable car transporter.
Shipping Methods: Open vs. Enclosed
First, you need to understand the difference between the two main forms of car shipping: Open or enclosed transport.
Open Transport: This is the cheaper option for shipping vehicles and also the most common. Your car gets transported on an open-air trailer or carrier. It won’t have any protection from weather and elements, but it’s not likely to be exposed to anything too dramatic. For your average car, this method is good enough.
Enclosed Transport: This is the safest way to transport a vehicle, but it’s less common and more expensive. In this method, the carrier or trailer is covered on all sides, so your car is completely protected from the weather and any other dust or debris from the road. If you need to ship a very expensive car, a vintage car, or something similar – then this might be the option for you. Keep in mind it may be difficult to find an enclosed transport possibility short notice.
In both options, there may also be the choice of stacking or non-stacking. Stacking is when there are two layers of cars. Non-stacked means the cars are on a single-level trailer. Either option is good, but if you are moving an older car request it is on the bottom row, just in case it has an oil leak.
How to find a reliable transporter?
A great way to get several quotes from experienced transporters is to use the shipping marketplace CitizenShipper. The website allows you to post your shipping needs, and then drivers in your area will send a personalized quote. There is no need to call multiple places are to re-explain your needs over and over. You make one post then the quotes come to you. Better still, the site allows you to read about the driver’s experience, their equipment, and their availability. You can also read the review of their previous customer before making a decision.
So what sort of price should you expect to pay? Several factors influence the cost of shipping a car:
Distance: Obviously the further the route, the higher the price. But common routes between larger cities might be cheaper than a shorter distance between rural areas. Speak to your transporter about how they design the quotes. If they are moving multiple vehicles, it may help reduce the cost.
Season: Seasonal changes in weather and demand influence the cost of shipping. Summer is usually the most expensive season to ship a car; often, you’ll see quotes up to 30% higher than in any other season. Holidays and even the end of the financial year can affect the price. Weekdays in shoulder seasons will be your best bet for the lowest price.
Size and Weight: A large vehicle, such as a van or 4wD, usually costs more to transport than a small car but depending on the type of trailer even this won’t have an effect. The overall weight of a load is what is critical for the transporter, so the more information you can provide, the easier it is for them to give a personalized quote.
Condition of the Vehicle: If your vehicle can’t be driven at the moment, transporting it will probably be more expensive because the carrier needs additional equipment for lifting it onto the truck.
Other things to consider
Insurance: You must have your car insured for travel. Your transporter may also offer a policy, but ultimately, the responsibility lies with you.
Time of the reservation: If you already know which day you need your car moved, it makes sense to plan the transport ahead. Early bookings may be more affordable. Shipping companies know that they can get higher prices with short-term pressure, and for them, it’s also beneficial to plan ahead.
Updated September 17, 2021