“You’ve accepted a great new job on the opposite coast and are gearing up for the big move. Although a road trip sounds enticing, you’re really excited and want to get there as soon as possible so you can start getting settled in. You’ve decided to take your friend’s advice to fly out and have your vehicle shipped. Now the question is, how DO you ship a car?
Many people aren’t familiar with the idea or process of shipping a vehicle. Googling companies is a great place to start, but before you hand over the keys, here are 5 things to do when shipping a car: Read More”
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Thanks to a great new job, you’re getting ready to move across the country. You don’t want to drive all that way, but don’t want to go through the hassle of selling your car and buying another, either. Your friend tells you her grandparents use an auto transport service when they go to their winter house every year. Although that sounds like a great option, most likely your first thought, like many first time shippers, is: How much does it cost to ship my car?
Although we’d like to say there’s an easy answer for this, there’s actually some information that you’ll need to provide before getting a straight answer. It’s with this information that we come up with our car shipping quote. It starts with 3 main factors: Vehicle Type, Locations, and Time of the Year.
Do you drive a lifted truck or a Smart car? Not all vehicles load or take up the same amount of space on the trailer for an auto transport. If you’re car has any modifications, it can affect the way it would need to be transported. For instance, if your vehicle makes the load taller than the 13’ 6” (highways and metro law) to 14’ (interstate law) clearance, your vehicle won’t be able to be on a standard car hauler. Bigger vehicles can also take up more space on a carrier, causing the driver to lose a spot for another vehicle. Weight is also a factor. We like to say that in car shipping, it’s actually a good thing to have your gas tank below half. Having a full tank of gas can add more weight to your vehicle and the overall weight of the carrier.
Another factor is the care that is needed to move the vehicle. There are two ways to ship a car: open or enclosed auto transport. For instance, are you looking to move a classic show car? You probably wouldn’t want it to go on an open auto transport because it will be exposed to the elements. It would be the same if you have an exotic low-profile vehicle such as a Lamborghini – you’d want an enclosed carrier with a lift gate, not ramps. Enclosed transport drivers are also specialized in how to handle a classic car or exotic low-profile vehicle. Expenses such as insurance for enclosed carriers are also higher due to the nature of the shipment, too. If you just have your daily driver, you wouldn’t want to pay the upcharge for an enclosed carrier. Open carriers can usually transport more vehicles than enclosed, which also helps lower the cost. It’s why we’re glad we can offer a network of carriers with various skills, experience, and equipment to handle any type of vehicle.
Although you might think the distance of an auto transport would affect the price most, it’s actually the location for pickup and drop off. If you’ll be having the carrier pick up and/or drop of in a more populated or large metro area, chances are your rate will be better. For instance, if you ship a car from a suburb of Chicago, you’re probably going to have a better rate than, say, Billings, MT. The reason for this is the amount of “truck traffic” an area gets. Major metro suburbs like Chicago and New York are more likely to be on a carrier’s route than smaller towns or rural areas. Large cities’ suburbs are also more truck-friendly, whereas the city itself can’t always accommodate a car carrier. The same also goes for drop off location. Another factor to consider is if your locations are major vacation spots because transport could be higher during peak seasons.
Time of the Year
Alongside the location is the time of year you’re looking to ship a car. Now, you might think that during what we like to call “snowbird season” it would be cheaper to ship from a colder climate to warmer. In fact, the opposite is true. Many drivers don’t have trouble filling their trucks when the snowbirds head south – it’s the trip back north that’s tough. No driver likes to travel with an empty trailer, because they aren’t being paid. Within reason, any money is better than none – if you’re looking to transport your vehicle from Scottsdale, AZ to Chicago in December, you’ll most likely have a better rate. The opposite would happen for the spring when snowbirds head home – you’d pay more to ship a car from Scottsdale to Chicago.
Some people also think that the rise and fall of gas prices will affect the cost of a transport as well. In this industry, like a lot of others, it’s more about Supply and Demand not just the cost of fuel. Gas prices might be down, but if a carrier has a full trailer, the cost might actually be higher. For instance, certain trucks have certain capacities, so sometimes if the shipment is greater than the capacity, the price can be higher and vice versa. If you’re looking to ship your Jeep to Hawaii, make sure it’s not during their busy vacation season!
These are some of the main factors you’ll need to consider when it comes to the cost for shipping your car. Make sure to let the representative know anything unique or special about your auto or the shipment itself. It also helps the driver be prepared when he comes for pickup and as well as drop off. For more info on which type of transport is best for your vehicle, read our previous post Know Your Options: Enclosed or Open.
EAS works to provide the best competitive rates possible get your free quote today!
You’ve done your research to narrow down a list of companies that could ship your vehicle. You’ve asked them questions about how they operate, what they guarantee, and the like. You’ve probably even received a few quotes. Now the question is, did they ask YOU questions about your vehicle?
Any well qualified auto transport company should and will ask you questions as well. Why? In order to provide you with good information and help you make the best decision, their representatives need to be gathering facts about your vehicle. One of the biggest reasons is to help you assess what type of car carrier would work best.
There are actually 3 types of car carriers: Open, Soft-Side Enclosed, and Hard-Side Enclosed. Each is specialized for certain types of vehicles and specifications. For instance, drivers will handle a classic car (especially a show car) differently than fully-loaded jeep.
For instance, we are all familiar with an open carrier. These are the ones you’d see driving down the interstate. These typically hold 8-10 vehicles, depending on size of the trailer as well as the vehicles. Open carriers are what most people associate with auto shipping. In fact, most cars transport by open carrier, including common luxury cars like Lexus and Jaguar.
Enclosed auto transport is one most people aren’t as familiar or even aware of. Soft-side enclosed shipping is used frequently by manufacturers, such as Mercedes Benz. The trailer has an open structure with a roof and end caps on the front and back. The sides are like curtains, made of canvas and pulled tight for transport.
Hard-side enclosed shipping looks similar to semis hauling other items. The trailer is usually made of tin or fiberglass. Most have a lift gate door for low clearance cars, such as a Lamborghini. This type is best for high-end, exotic, and classic show cars.
Both enclosed trailers have drip pans, which do a great job of keeping any possible fluids dripping from the top rack onto the lower level vehicles. The biggest difference is that hard-side trailers are 100% airtight. Since soft-side trailers use canvas instead of tin or aluminum, there is a potential of small amounts of dirt and grime getting on the vehicles.
Although anyone can choose any type of carrier, you have to keep in mind the additional costs. Enclosed carriers are specialized in handling vehicles that need a little extra care. The carriers who fall into the enclosed trailers category are usually slimmer than open, and it becomes even more limited if you’re looking for hard-side as well. If you would like your daily driver to have the royal treatment, make sure to book well in advance, too. Why? Since the lineup of carriers is smaller, it could make your transport time longer.
Find out all the types of services Executive offers on our Services page.
In short, any of the 3 types of carriers can get the job done. It all comes down to what kind of vehicle you own and how soon you would like it there. Contact the representatives here at EAS to help you make the right choice – 847-557-0200 or get a free quote!
You’ve decided to head south for the winter months. You don’t like renting a vehicles, but don’t want to put the miles on your vehicle either. How can you get it there?
Your company has decided to relocate you across the country and will reimburse expenses, but when it comes to your vehicle, where do you start?
Many people know something about moving companies, changing addresses, hotel reservations, and vacation activity planning, but not many know how to transport their vehicle. Don’t let it be an afterthought – shipping your vehicle takes planning. With the right company, though, not only will you feel at ease, but the process could be virtually hands-off and you could save a little money as well. So the big question – where to start?
You might be tempted to ask, “how much does it cost to ship my car?” but you don’t want to start with price. Many companies might seem enticing with lower shipping quotes, but start by doing some research. The best suggestion is to start online with websites such as Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau. You’ll be able to see ratings and reviews from their customers. Make sure to read the reviews, especially the bad ones. See if their reasoning for a bad review is legitimate – some people just can’t be pleased. Also pay attention to the resources you use – some sites allow companies to pay to remove the bad ratings and secure top spots.
Once you’ve gotten a short list of companies, reach out and ask questions. Here’s a few suggestions:
a. Do you offer any guarantees? For instance, Executive Auto Shippers offers a One Price Guarantee and Car Rental Guarantee.
b. Do you assist when issues arise and, if so, how? EAS is with you through the whole auto transport process, start to finish. If issues arise, we stay involved until it’s been resolved.
c. What’s your availability for questions and concerns? Our representatives are available by both phone or email to answer questions and calm concerns. If you happen to need something after business hours, we have a 24/7 Emergency Line with a live representative.
Finally, you’ll want to ask for a quote. Make sure to find out what all is included in the price they provide. Some companies don’t include cost of insurance or can add unexpected fees for various reasons. This is why their quote may seem lower than others. As mentioned above, EAS has a One Price Guarantee, which includes all taxes and insurance. We also don’t charge anything, including the non-refundable deposit (subtracted from the total amount quoted), until your car has been successfully picked up.
Just like planning for any other part of a move or extended trip, don’t let shipping your vehicle fall through the cracks. Auto transport doesn’t have to be complicated, and, with the right company, could be the easiest part. Make sure to get all the facts and know what’s expected of you. To learn about different ways to ship your vehicle, check out our other blog “Open or Enclosed: What’s Best for Your Car.”
To learn more about Executive Auto Shippers, visit our About Us page.