Knowing What to Expect Moving a Car

Car carrier

There are many reasons why you’d sometimes appreciate having a professional carefully load your car in a car transportation vehicle, to gently take it where you need it. Whether the need comes from relocating for a new job, buying a vehicle from a seller in another state, or wanting to have your own car to drive at a holiday destination, driving long distances yourself isn’t always an option.

Contact a carrier yourself, or use a broker?

Many businesses that advertise own their own auto-carrier trucks. Most of the time, however, businesses advertising these services are not actual transporters — they are middlemen who put customers in touch with the businesses that actually own the trucks.

You might think that cutting out the middleman and going directly with a carrier would be the better option. It isn’t always that simple, however. The top benefit to dealing with carriers over brokers is that you always get a reliable pricing quote that is not subject to change. The downside is that your vehicle may take a great deal of time to get to its destination — individual carriers usually operate no more than two or three vehicles and have to wait days until there’s one ready to go.

The top benefit to going with a broker is having all the choice that you need. Brokers are touch with hundreds of carriers and can have your car on a truck in a matter of hours. If a truck breaks down on the way, they will usually have a fallback truck available very soon, too.

It’s important to understand that both kinds of service can offer great results or poor ones — it depends on the quality of the business that you look at. Looking up reviews on user review sites and on BBB is important. So is calling up the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s transporter verification hotline (

Know what affects prices

The time of year that you choose to move your car greatly affects what it costs. Most people relocate in summer, and transport their cars around this time, as well. In these times of demand, you can expect prices to go up. Prices tend to be at their lowest in December and January, on the other hand, because few people move then.

If you’re looking for the lowest possible price, it’s a good idea to consider shipping between terminals and not from door to door. If a car needs to be transshipped to a smaller town, and then to a residential area, the costs are likely to add up.

Choosing an exact pickup date and time costs extra, too. For the cheapest possible quote, you need to be willing to wait until a truck with an open slot shows up as available for your destination. For pickup at an appointed day, you need to be willing to pay extra.

When you compare one carrier against another, it’s important to make sure that they offer the same kind of product.

Insurance worth about $250,000 for a load is considered the industry standard. Some businesses are likely to have less liability insurance, however, for any damage that may occur en route. It’s important to ask. At any rate, you should make sure that your own car insurance covers transportation. Most carriers do not have insurance for things like damage from hail storms.

The kind of truck that you choose can have an effect on the quote you receive, as well. An open truck usually costs less than a closed one.

Know what to expect

Some kinds of vehicle cost more to ship than others. An SUV or a classic car will usually cost twice as much to ship as a regular sedan. It’s also important to remember — the farther in advance you make your booking, the cheaper it gets. A last-minute booking is always more expensive than one made a couple of weeks in advance.