In today’s blog, we are going to talk about how much does it cost to ship a car in the United States, help you understand how this industry works, and how to choose the right car shipper and insurance. We’ll start with how a quote is generated and what factors affect the final price. As well as to learn about the market and the people around it. Finally, we’ll help you choose the right auto shipper for your particular needs. In that section, we will discuss the different kinds of shippers and what you receive when working with one or the other.
Cost of shipping a car
Knowing some of the ins and outs of the auto shipping industry will help you choose a reliable company and avoid a bad experience. For example, it is common to perceive auto shipping transport as if it was equal to the postal industry (e.g. FedX, UPS…), but actually, it is not. In the auto transport industry, it is primarily the market (supply and demand), plus the other factors we already stated, that determine the final price.
Pricing is based on the market rate
After an online quote is generated, the carrier or broker will review and look at the overall market price of truck drivers running your origination and destination or route. The final price of shipping your vehicle ultimately comes down to how much a truck driver is willing to get paid to ship your vehicle. If you’re in a highly trafficked area such as a major metropolitan area, you’ll most likely get a better price, because more carriers will be bidding on your vehicle.
Brokers and some carriers will then place your vehicle on what are called load boards, which is an online marketplace where drivers compete and bid on loads. Based on the factors mentioned above –like pickup point, the rate offered, brokers’ reputation, etc.– drivers look for loads that meet their requirements and pricing. They are also more willing to work with carriers or brokers who they’ve worked with before or have established business relationships with.
To get started most online quotes generators are based on the following information and will give you a pretty good idea of what the final price will be:
- Type of car
Large vehicles will weigh more and take up more space. Consequently, they will come with a higher price to ship.
- Car condition
Inoperable vehicles require additional time, equipment, labor, and expertise to load and unload.
Metropolitan pickups and deliveries are cheaper due to the wider availability of transport trucks. While in less populated areas, drivers will charge more and it will be more difficult to find transport.
Car transport in the fall tends to carry a higher rate on north-south routes due to snowbirds relocating for the winter.
Cost is tied to demand. That means that it can change as a result of external factors. E.g. Wars, shortages, climate events, etc.
Try our free calculator here to estimate your vehicle shipping price accurately!
How to choose the right car shipper and insurance?
There are generally two types of car shippers: brokers and carriers or owner-operators.
- Brokers are companies that connect you with carriers/owner-operators to ship your car, saving you time getting multiple quotes and finding carriers who are willing to ship from your location.
- Carrier/Owner Operators are privately owned, and will either own their trucks or broker out your vehicle to other carriers/owner-operators. They usually operate from one location and have specific types of trailers, ie. open trailers, enclosed, flatbed, etc.
Does my car need to be insured when shipping a car?
- Customer insurance. You don’t usually need personal insurance to ship your vehicle
- Carrier insurance. The carrier must have insurance that covers damage to your car
- Broker insurance. The broker can offer supplemental coverage to attract customers but isn’t required to provide insurance
|Insurance type||Personal auto insurance||Liability coverage||Supplemental coverage|
|Insurance summary||Auto transport is not typically included, but supplemental insurance can be purchased||Must have federal minimums for license and insurance||Must use licensed and insured carriers; can offer supplemental coverage|
|Insurance requirements||State minimums||Federal minimums||Must use adequately insured carriers|
|Required for shipping?||Optional||Required||Optional|
Final thoughts –
As you may have realized, the process behind your car being transported from point A to point B has many more steps and actors involved than what can be intuited when acquiring a quote on the internet. Knowing the ins and outs of how you get priced and how the industry works, will allow you to
- Understand the proper time, season, and even location from where to transport your car
- Choose a company that ensures you that your vehicle will be picked up and that the ship will be under the budget agreed upon and under safely and efficiently conditions
- Know why the cheapest price isn’t always the best and why when a company promises to transport your car well below the market price, is likely unable to keep its word
- Learn why reputation, years of industry experience, and full logistics services can make all the difference
Booking with RCG Logistics in four simple steps
The move shouldn’t make you have to deal with unclear terms, delays, extra fees, confusion, and many other variables proper to the logistics and transport industry. That is why we simplify the process for you and take all the pressure of the logistics off your shoulders by offering no upfront cost, working directly with you from pickup to delivery and we’ll handle any possible hiccups along the way. After the following four simple steps, which won’t take more than 15 minutes of your time, you won’t have to think about the move again.
- Get your free online car shipping quote
Get an instant car shipping quote through our shipping calculator. Just tell us about your vehicle, condition, location, and where you need it to be. Start Car Shipping Quote!
- Let us contact you
Our customer service agent will contact you after you get a car shipping quote to verify. You’ll be able to discuss your specific needs and confirm the necessary details of your move.
We will then schedule the carrier that most closely suits your schedule and equipment needs. Then just wait for your professional car shipper to pick up your vehicle.
- Let us handle the move and get it scheduled and booked in less than 3 business days
Let us and your carrier handle all the work. You’ll receive regular updates on where your shipment is and when you can expect it to arrive at its destination.