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 Car Shipping Rates

Car Shipping Rates

Auto Shipping Rates: There are many factors which come into play when you are given an auto shipping quote. In this article we will attempt to breakdown those factors so you will have a thorough understanding of how car shipping rates are put together. These are important considerations that must be used to gain a realistic estimate of cost. We use this formula every single day to create accurate car shipping quotes.

First things first. Car shipping rates are often based upon actual cost per mile. Mileage factors definitely play an important part in all auto transport quotes but sometimes it can mean nothing. Take a look at the rates below:

  • Open auto transport (or open trailer, not enclosed) can be as low as .30 cents per mile to .60 cents per mile depending on route.
  • Enclosed Auto Transport (sided trailer with roof) averages around $1.00 per mile

Now those costs can fluctuate both up AND down depending upon other factors. Sometimes if you are shipping in the winter the transports won’t want to go far north into the cold snowbelt zone. In some cases like those they may ask for more money. In a situation like this the cost would be up considerably from the normal vehicle shipping rates because there are less transports running northern routes in winter seasons. There are risks involved in taking a big rig into bad weather and ice-covered roads.

Another situation that can drive auto shipping quotes upward are customers who wish to have their car picked up in hard to reach locations. Recently a customer called wanting their car picked up in northern Michigan. The car was located in the northern most region of Michigan and there just aren’t many auto transports that can go into locations like that. We solved the problem by having the customer drive the vehicle down to a relatives home in southern Michigan for pickup. The savings were huge and well worth the time and fuel for the customer. That worked because of the heavy traffic lanes running through southern Michigan.

car shipping ratesTraffic lanes (or traffic routes) play a huge part in determining what car shipping rates will be. If you’re looking to ship your car you should consider the pickup and delivery locations as very important criteria. Where is your car located in relation to major metro areas or high traffic interstates? When a customer has a car for pickup and/or delivery in a metro area the costs can actually come down from the normal rates. We’ve seen some transports go as low as .25 cents per mile because the shipping locations were VERY high traffic locations where there are simply oodles of trucks running every different direction. When you want to move a car in one of those high traffic areas the prices can fall as low as half the normal rate.

Car shipping rates can fluctuate depending on when you ship and the locations for pickup and delivery.

Another thing to consider is, believe it or not, elevation. What we’re talking about is, more specifically, MOUNTAINS. Another recent customer wanted his Porsche retrieved from a mountaintop retreat. It was just outside of Los Angeles which is a heavy traffic zone for auto transports. The thing is the road UP the mountain was narrow and very steep and it was an almost 30 minute drive to the top. Remember, transports move slowly except on flat open highways. It was tough getting a transport to go up there and it cost the customer almost $150 more than usual to get the car because of the location. A thirty minute drive up a steep incline is a tedious and costly exercise for any type of auto hauler. What’s worse is the drive DOWN a steep incline for 30+ minutes.

These are examples of how going online and filling out a form can be a bad situation. Those companies that shoot automatic robot generated quotes simply cannot give you accurate car shipping rates. Often times they will give you an unbelievably low rate just to lock you into a transaction and obtain your credit card numbers. Then when their transport never shows to load your car they tell you the price needs to be more than promised. All car shipping rates and price quotes can vary due to factors such as those listed above. A robot auto quick quote cannot take into consideration something as simple as a mountain region or low population area. They base their car shipping rates on mileage for the most part. That is often useless and will only result in frustration as you watch the weeds grow round your car.

Here’s the secret tool the auto generated quick quotes use to quote your car shipping rates.

Filling out an online form will not get you realistic car shipping rates. What it will get you is an email inbox overload after your information is sold and re-sold to any number of other companies who will use any driver they can find (regardless of performance ratings) to ship your car.

We give approximate quotes based on the variables above. We do research and make calls to our transports to see where they are and what open spots are available for your car. We check logs of available trucks too. This is where you can save money again. Sometimes the transports will accept less than normal rates just to fill that one spot on the trailer. The robot auto quote people don’t bother doing any of this.

Another factor the “robot-powered” auto transport quotes don’t take into consideration is that of the highly important “comparable” loads. When you go to sell a car you look on Ebay or the local car lot or maybe even the classifieds to determine what your car is worth, right? The same with home sales. A GOOD house broker will do research to determine the value of your home. Often times they use comparables and so do we. A BAD house broker just takes a look around and shoots out a number. Sound familiar? That IS exactly what an auto-quote is, a BAD broker. Accurate car shipping rates require work and knowledge a computer will never have.

Think about it. If a prospective transport company isn’t willing to do the work on getting you an accurate quote IMAGINE what kind of service they will give your car…

So if you are looking to ship a car we suggest using the above variables and the posted rates as a base pricing. Stay away from the robot auto quotes too. Car shipping rates cannot be accurately quoted by a robot auto response. We hear stories nearly everyday about bad experiences that came about because the customer went for the cheapest car shipping rates generated by auto quotes or companies that didn’t bother to do a little research for their car move.

We also suggest you take a look at our article How To Find The Best Auto Transport Companies. You may be surprised at what you learn about the car shipping business.