Say you’re moving halfway across the country. You probably don’t want to drive your car thousands of miles. Not only because it’ll be hard on the engine, but also because it’s stressful to drive long distances. Guess shipping your car’s the best way to do it, huh? But there’s one problem. It can be expensive. So how do you save on this kind of service? Don’t worry. Below are the steps you should take for a cost-effective cross-country auto transport experience.
Book an Auto Transport Company Ahead of Time
In any operation, it’s always best to be prepared. That means getting things ready with your potential shipper as soon as you can. How does this help you save? Well, for starters, transport companies often give discounts to early bird transactions. On top of that, you won’t be pressured into opting for a method or route because of availability.
Compare Quotes from Different Companies
One piece of advice that is consistent among transport blogs is to constantly expand your options. As the famous saying goes, ‘never settle for less. If you have several shippers in mind after reaching out, request quotes from all of them. From there, you can compare which ones have the most suitable services that best fit your budget. In the same way that a pair of shoes can’t fit perfectly on every individual, no single carrier will be able to meet your vehicle’s needs completely. Maximize your options and find the company that will tailor a plan just for you.
Get to Know Your Auto Transporter
The chances of getting scammed when transporting your car are low, especially when you’re informed. However, it’s not zero. You’ve got to protect your ride at all costs. This means digging more about your potential carrier before signing anything. Make sure they’re able to show proof of license, have reliable reviews, legitimate referrals, and a trustworthy website.
Choosing a Method of Transport
Transport method is one thing where you can certainly save up on this operation. Open-air transport means the shipping company will ship your car in a trailer with no roofs and walls. Based on the looks of the carrier vehicle alone, you can already see the disadvantages, including a higher risk of theft, exposure to the weather, and possible collision between passenger cars. In exchange, it’s more affordable, making it great for transporting regular vehicles. At the same time, it’s more practical to use enclosed transport for expensive, rare, and vintage wheels. Yes, it’s not cheaper upfront but cost-effective in the practical sense that it comes with fewer risks. Better be safe than sorry.
Choose Terminal-to-Terminal Transport Service
In addition to the carrier type, where you’ll pick up your car after delivery impacts the final cost. That said, a straight-up delivery to your doorstep is more convenient but, of course, more expensive. An excellent way to save a significant amount is to pick it up yourself from a designated terminal by the carrier.
Like any other industry, the car shipping business has on and off-seasons. Summer is expectedly the busiest time of the year. Many people move homes or go on vacations, driving up the demand for car shipping. As a result, the carrier will often charge more. And don’t think your wallet will have it easy during the winter either. Blankets of snow and ice make the road slippery. Auto shippers will often take these challenging conditions into account in charging extra. So when is the best time to ship your car? The answer is during fall. The weather’s not too harsh yet, and not many people will be looking to ship their vehicles at this time of the year.
Collaborate With a Friend in Shipping More Than One Car
If you know someone close to you who is also planning to ship a car, try to work together. You see, car shipping companies often give discounts to individuals who ship multiple vehicles at once. Of course, you have to make sure that you can trust this person beforehand. If you want to reassure yourself even further, you can even get the collaboration into writing.
Remove Personal Items and Body Modifications
This might sound obvious, but your carrier will charge you extra for any items inside the car — unless you’ve both agreed to it. Anyway, transport companies don’t want any part in paying for damages during shipment. That’s why you’ll want to strip your car bare of any modifications, accessories, or personal objects. Common examples include:
Keep in mind that you also don’t want to put extra luggage inside your car. Carriers will charge for the added weight inside.
Auto transport doesn’t have to stress you out, nor does it have to drain your budget away. Remember that even small things can make a difference in the final price. Although you might not be able to do all the things on this list, getting some things done matters. Trust the process, and wish you luck on this operation!