You may have gotten a quote to ship your car and wondered exactly where they got that number. Interestingly enough, you may have gotten a quote to ship your car one way and thought it would be the same price to ship it back, only to be flabbergasted to learn that the two trips are drastically different in price. The thing about an auto shipping quote is that it’s always a moving target. With gas price changes, available drivers, and the weather, auto shipping quotes can change quite drastically in a short period of time. Some shipping companies won’t even give you a quote for a shipment that’s more than two weeks away. That’s how quickly things can change in the auto shipping industry. But we’re here to give you some peace of mind. We broke down the four biggest contributors to price changes in the auto shipping world. This way, you can avoid any surprises and perhaps even adjust your shipment to get the best deal. That way you know exactly what the costs to ship your car are.
Time of year
Snowbirds are people who leave their cold-weather homes in the winter and return in the spring when things warm up. These people can tell you that the time of year plays a huge role in the costs to ship your car. But why? The real reason is a whole bunch of things. First, the cold winter months mean harder road conditions. Road closures due to snow, delays due to rain, and high winds can create delays in a shipment and therefore make it more expensive.
The summertime, however, also doesn’t prove much better. Sure, the sun is out and the days are longer, but everyone is on the road this time of year. Family road trips go up, which means more traffic on the highways. Many people also choose the summer months to move. This means that more people need their cars shipped, which creates a supply and demand issue. Many people are willing to pay a premium price to get their car on a transport trailer to meet their schedule. This means that the prices become more competitive and, in turn, go up.
Spring and fall are the best times of year to ship your car. Fall beats out spring because, often, spring still has some harsh weather in some places. Also, the fall has more people in school and on a regular work schedule. This means fewer people on the roads and fewer people who need their cars shipped. Drivers are also looking to fill up their trailers and make some extra cash before the holidays. If you can choose any time of the year to ship your car, choose the fall.
There are two main ways to ship your car: Open transport or enclosed transport. Both have their benefits, and both have very different costs to ship your car. 95% of all transport trailers are open transport. This means the cars are exposed to the elements. Your car will more than likely return with a layer of dirt and dust as if it had driven the distance itself. Many people with classic cars choose enclosed transport. This type of transport uses a canvas or hard-shell to cover the trailer. It offers more protection against the rogue rock that may fly off the road and find a windshield. Since there are far fewer enclosed transport options, it may take longer to ship your car, and it will undoubtedly be more expensive. If you’re trying to find a place to save money any time of the year, go with open transport. Even new car dealerships use open transport, and any trucking company worth its salt will have enough insurance to do away with any concerns. Just make sure to budget for a car wash when you get your car back.
It feels like gas prices are getting higher with every passing day. It is no surprise that the farther you go, the more expensive it’s going to be. Gas prices aren’t the only thing that transport drivers need to worry about. Toll roads, weigh station fees, and maintenance costs make the longer trips really add up. However, if you think about taking the drive yourself, you’ll be paying for all of that yourself. Then you also need to add food, hotel costs, parking, and more. It’s not free in any scenario to ship your vehicle, even if you do it yourself.
Dimensions and Condition of the Vehicle
Many people think a car is a car. However, we all know that not all cars are the same. Ask anyone with a compact truck who gets their car washed. A two-seater truck costs more than a four-door sedan, even though they have to vacuum a smaller area than the sedan. Auto transportation is a little more forgiving for compact trucks, but size does matter here. If the truck or SUV can’t fit on the bottom row of the transport trailer, you may experience delays or price surges for the extra hassle. For even bigger cars that take up two spots on the trailer, you may have to pay twice as much.
Sometimes, you may need to ship a car to a mechanic or need to ship a car that doesn’t even run. This is fine in most cases as long as the car can do the three big things: roll, brake, and steer. If the car can’t do one or all of these things, additional charges may accrue. It makes the job tougher and, in some cases, adds additional liability, which will increase the car transport price.
All of the Costs to Ship Your Car
Now that you know the biggest things that affect car shipping, you may be able to adjust your trip. If you’re shipping your broken car, maybe fix the brakes before you ship it and save some money on shipping. Adjust your schedule so you can ship your vehicle in the fall and opt for open transport. All of these things add up, and you can save yourself hundreds of dollars.
If you have a car that needs to be shipped, give Global Auto Transport a call. We offer instant online quotes and our knowledgeable team can walk you through your quote and help you find things that can save you money.