6 Ways to Save On Car Shipping Expenses

Auto Transport

A lot of people think that the least expensive way to transport your car from one state to another is to drive it yourself. However, what they don’t realize is that the extra cost, like lodging and fuel refilling, as well as the stress of driving hundreds of miles, can actually make it quite costly and inconvenient. Moreover, if you own multiple cars and you are the sole driver, driving your vehicles from one state to another isn’t possible.

Your best option is to get the shipping services of a car transporting company. One of the first questions a person asks when considering an auto transport company is how much it costs. There is no single answer to this question because the shipping cost depends on a large variety of factors.

However, you can use these factors to minimize the cost of delivering your vehicles. Although some factors like rough weather are out of your control, there are many other factors that allow you to reduce your expenses in a realistic way.

Before we jump on to the several ways you can save money when shipping your car, here is one thing you need to remember: Do not consider the services of an overly cheap auto transport company. Though it may seem tempting, such companies are too good to be true. Because the cost is so little, these companies compromise on the quality of their services. As a result, you may experience delayed delivery of your car, poor customer service, and undue anxiety about the fate of your vehicle.


If you are not in a big hurry to have your car transported, you should wait until the off-peak period. If you live near the coast, you should know that coast-to-coast car shipping is the busiest during the summer season from May till September. The fall and spring seasons also experience heavy car carrier traffic due to snowbirds, who want their car transported from the cold northern states to the warmer southern states. So if you live in these places, you will experience lower rates during off-seasons.

However, don’t wait too long; most auto transport services encourage customers to reserve their services a few months in advance, to ensure they have the carrier and the manpower to have their vehicle transported. Wait too long and you may find out all bookings have been closed. This can be very counterproductive since this means you will have to resort to urgent car transportation, which is more expensive.

Terminal-to-Terminal Transport

Although it can be very convenient to have your car picked up from your home, it can be a bit more expensive than terminal-to-terminal transport. Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves delivering and picking up your car from specific terminals that also store other cars waiting to be taken by their owners. Since your car mover does not have to go to every individual house to pick up vehicles, the economies of scale make this cheaper.

If you do a little research, you may find that many car shipping terminals are not very far from where you are located. All you need to do is to drive your car to and from the terminals, and your car carrier company will do the rest.

However, if you choose this way of transportation, you need to know that terminal-to-terminal transport comes with its own issues. One is that if you do not pick your car on the same day as it was delivered, you will have to pay a daily storage fee to the terminal, which can add to your cost.

Additionally, many terminals are unguarded which means your car may be vulnerable to theft, though the chances of this are still quite low.

Another thing is that your car mover may need you to sign the Bill of Lading, which will require you to come to the terminal when your car is delivered, even though it may not be convenient for you to travel the distance at that time. However, you can always send someone else in your place to retrieve your car.

If you take care of these considerations, terminal-to-terminal auto shipping can help save you money.

Flexible Dates

Most car transport companies will let you choose your own pickup and delivery dates, based on whatever is best for your schedule; however, this service may cost you a little bit more. You can opt for a lower-priced option if you don’t give them an exact day of pick up or drop off.

Some car movers may even give you a discount if you get your car picked up or delivered on a day that is not too busy. However, you should also keep your convenience and availability in mind also. Don’t give them a date when you won’t be able to pick up or drop off your car.

Choose Open Carriers

If your car is not a high-end sports car, an antique, or classic car, or one that requires privacy from prying eyes, there is no reason why you shouldn’t opt for open carriers. In fact, most auto transporting companies use closed carriers as their default mode of transport.

Closed carriers can cost you over 50% more than the regular open carrier option. But they are driven by highly qualified and experienced drivers and offer more security to your car. They also protect your car from elements like rain, debris, dust, and snow during transportation.

However, an open carrier is not as bad for your vehicle as you think. Though your car will be exposed to the elements, only in rare circumstances will it be damaged. High-quality auto transport companies take every measure available to ensure your car remains safe through the journey.

You don’t need to worry about its condition unless it is a luxury vehicle or a collectible.

Ship Multiple Cars

If you own multiple cars, getting them shipped from a single car shipping company rather than putting off shipping the second one can help you reduce your expenses. Many companies may even go as far as to give you a discount if you request them to ship two or three of your cars.

That’s because they won’t have to go to different houses or terminals to retrieve multiple vehicles.

Shop Around for Shipping Quotes

As we mentioned above, never try to save money by going to car shipping companies that give you the lowest rate. Research other companies’ shipping rates by going online. If a deal is too low, it is a red flag that the service isn’t great.

Therefore, it is a good idea to shop around and look at other shipping quotes. You may be able to determine the going market price of shipping your car through this.

Many car shipping companies also offer you convenient shipping quote calculators that allow you to input the location, size, and weight of your car, along with some other considerations, and then give you an estimate on how much it would cost to ship your car. This method is particularly convenient, transparent, and very helpful for people who have never had their car shipped.

Your car is a huge investment so it makes sense that you would be concerned about its well being while it is being delivered. If you want a quality transporting service for your car, it doesn’t have to be too expensive though. Follow the tips above and you will be surprised at how much money you can save.